Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/400

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SEMMES


■A5i\


SEMMES


1852, Georgetown College. District of Columbia: M. D., 1851, Columbia Col- lege, District of Columbia.

He was the sou of Raphael Semmes, Esq., of Nanjemoy, and Matilda Neal Jenkins, of Colineck, Charles County, Maryland; his i)aternal and maternal grandfathers were officers of the Mary- land line of the Revolutionary Army, and came to Maryland between 1(336 and 1650. lie studied medicine three years with Grafton Tyler, and after graduating at the National Medical College, District of Columbia, settled in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he was a resident physician of Charity Hospital, New Orleans, in 1860. He was ai)pointed surgeon of the Eighth Louisiana \'olun- teers, June 19, 1861, and July 4 was com- missioned a surgeon in the confederate .\rmy, serving from 1861 to 1863 as sur- geon and brigade surgeon in Hay's Louisiana brigade, of Stonewall Jackson's corps, in the army of Northern Virginia, and jvas surgeon in charge of the third division of the Jackson Military Hospital at Richmond, Virginia.

After the close of the war he returned to New Orleans, then removed to Savan- nah, Georgia, and from 1870 to 1876 was professor of physiology in the Savannah Medical College. Subsequently he took orders in the Roman Catholic Church and in 1886 became president of the Pio Nono College, Macon, Georgia.

He was the author of "Medical Sketches in Paris," 1852; "Poisoning by Strj^chnine," 1855; "Medico-Legal Duties of Coroners," 1857; " Gunshot Wounds" 1864; "Notes from a Surgical Diary," 1866; "Surgical Notes of the Late AVar," 1867; "Medical Reviews and Criticisms," 1860-61; "Re vaccination; Its Effects and Importance," 1868; "Preparations of Manganese," 1868; "Evolution of the Origin of Life," two papers read before the Georgia Medical Society, 1873; "The Influence of Yellow Fever on Pregnancy and Parturition," paper read before the Georgia State Medical Association, 1875; and other papers both numerous and important.


He also wrote frecpiently for literary and other non-professional periodicals. He married October 4, 1864, at Savannah, (ieorgia, Sarah Lowndes, daughter of John Macpherson Berrien, attorney- general of the United States in the cabi- net of Pres. Jackson, and for many years Ignited States Senator from Georgia.

He died September, 1898, at New Orleans.

D. S. L.

.Xlkinson'.s Phys. and .Surg.s. of the U. S.,

.Vppleton's Biogr.'iphy.

Stone's .\uif'rican Phys. anil Surgs.

Semmes, Thomas (1778-1833).

The eldest son of Edward and Sarah Middleton Semmes, of Prince George County, Maryland, he was born on Au- gust 13, 1778. The Semmes family was of French origin, and the first to receive a grant of land in the colony of Maryland was one Joseph Semmes, as shown by a record now in the state archives.

His family were Roman Catholics and it was the intention of his parents that he should become a priest, but their design was frustrated by the death of both parents before the boy was twelve. After having acquired a good classical education, he read medicine ■with Dr. Elisha C. Dick, of Alexandria, District of Columbia, and, later, attended lec- tures at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1801. His inaugural the- sis on the general effects of lead, and the nature and properties of lead acetate, presented many striking and original observations.

After graduating he went abroad and spent a year studying in Paris and St. Petersburg, after which he returned home and settled in Alexandria, District of Columbia, where he continued to Uve and practise until his death.

He soon obtained in the highest degree the confidence of the public, and his suc- cess was almost unprecedented. He repaid that confidence by untiring assiduity, especially in times of calamity, as when the epidemics of 1803 and 1822 visited his people. In both of these