Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/414

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SHIPPEN


3GS


SIIIPPEN


burgh lie luul sat :il the feet of Munro primus and Cullen.

Upon finishing his studies in London and Edinburgh he wanted to continue tliem in France, but, as Enghmd and France were then at war, he only managed it by the friendly interest of Sir John Pringle. This great authority on military surgery secured him the position of travelling physician to a tuberculous lady who having court influence, had got George the Second to procure for her a special passport through the sovith of France. In this capacity Shippen went over and met some of the celebrated physicians of Paris.

In 17G2 lie returned to Philadelphia, bringing with him the Fothergill pictures, and full of schemes to establish courses in anatomj- and midwifery for the instruction of his fellow-countrymen. These plans soon took form and he announced his first course of lectures in a newspaper letter dated the eleventh of November, 1762, in which he stated "that a course of anatomical lectures â– will be opened this winter in Philadelphia for the advantage of the young gentle- men now engaged in the study of physic in this and the neighboring provinces, whose circunistances and connections will not permit of their going abroad for improvement to the anatomical schools in Europe; and also for the entertainment of any gentlemen who may have the curiosity to understand the anatomy of the human frame. In these lectures the situation, figure, and structure of all the parts of the human body will be demonstrated, their respective uses ex- plained, and as far as a course of anatomy will permit, their diseases, ^\-ith the indications and methods of cure briefly treated of. All the necessary operations in surgery will be performed, a course of bandages exhibited, and the whole concluded with an explanation of some of the curious phenomena that arise from an examination of the gravid uterus, and a few plain general directions in the study and practice of midwifery. The necessity and public utility of such


a course in this growing country, and the method to be pursued therein, will I)e more particularly explained in an intro- ductory lecture, to be delivered on the sixteenth instant, at six o'clock in the evening, at the State House, by William Shippen, Jr., M. D.

"The lectures will be given at his father's house in Fourth Street. Tickets for the course to be had of the doctor at five pistoles each; and any gentleman who may incline to see the subject prepared for the lectures and learn the art of dissecting, injecting, etc., is to pay five pistoles more."

His first course of lectures was attended by ten pupils but it was not long before larger numbers came. The public was greatly opposed to dissection at that time and Shippen met with violent oppo- sition on the part of the populace, who stoned him and smashed on several occasions the windows of the house in which the dissections were performed. To allay this prejudice he announced in letters to the newspaper that the bodies he used were those of persons who had committed suicide or been legally exe- cuted, except "now and then one from the Potter's field."

In 1765 Dr. Shippen began his lectures on midwifery, the first systematic instruc- tion given in obstetrics in this country. He himself engaged actively in the prac- tice of that branch although it was still customary to leave the management of labor cases chiefly in the hands of female midwives. Shippen's lectures were illus- trated by the "anatomical plates and casts of the gravid uterus at the hospital."

In connection with his midwifery lectures he also established a small lying-in hospital "under the care of a sober, honest matron, weU acquainted with lying-in women."

In May, 1765, the Board of Trustees of the College of Philadelphia had voted to establish a medical school in connection with the College and had elected John Morgan professor of medicine in it. In September, 1765, Dr. Shippen was elected professor of anatomy and surgery. In