Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/440

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consultiiifi" i>li\ ,-ician wliosc |ir;ictic:il ail vice was widely souglit by liis con- t"r(Tos" is a good introduction to the child wlio was born to Dr. Matson Smith ami his wife in New Rocheile, 1789; i^iaduatcd at the New York College of i'hysieians and Surgeons in 1S15 and served as surgeon's mate during the \\'ar of 1812. In 1824 he published his fine treatise on the "Elements of the I'-liolony and Philosophy of Epidemics, '" wiiich Sir James Johnston, reviewing in the '■ Medico-Chirurgical Review," described as characterized not only by great talent and force of argument but also by can- dour and talent, doing honor to American meilicine."

Four years as visiting physician to the State Prison; lighting the typhus which broke out there and in the Belle- vue Almshouse in lS2o and three out- breaks of yellow fever, gave him a good and valued experience in epidemics. When, in 1831, an outbreak of cholera was announced in Europe, Dr. Smith set to work preparing to prevent or com- bat it, should it reach America. He traced its progress and elimination in all parts of the world, so that, when come it did in 1849 he and his confreres. Beck and Moore, were all ready. Record word was done in fighting the pestilence and every day the doctor met the munici- pal committee to confer. The following year Dr. Smith gave to the American Medical Association a lengthy and valu- able report on "Hygiene and Preventive Measures in Case of Possible Epidemics," and 1860 saw his exhaustive treatise on the "Medical Topography and Epidemics of the State of New York," in which geolog}', geography, botany, hydrology, and meteorology are made to throw all possible light on the subject.

Even when seventy years had passed he, with faculties untouched by time, worked away at all hygienic reforms and everyone knows what cheerful work that is and the dull-headed opposition it provokes. Specially he encouraged and honored the sanitary inspectors and never failed to be present at their meetings.


On the morning of April 22, 1800, seventy-eight years old, he completed an earthl}^ career of useful deeds. The liible had for many years been his daily counsellor and sanctified the fireside.

Ill is;n he married Henrietta M. daughter of Henrj- Martin Beare of New York and had two daughters and three sons, the eldest of whom, Gouverneur M., became a physician in New York.

His writings included:

" Elements of the Etiology and Philos- ophy of Epidemics," 1824; "Epidemic C-holera Morbus of Europe and Asia," 1831; "Influence of Diseases on the Intellectual and Moral Powers," 1848; '■ Illustrations of Mental Phenomena in Military Life," 1850; "Puerperal Fever; Its Causes and Propagation;" "Medical Topography and Epidemics of the State of New York." 18G0; "Therapeutics of Albuminuria," 1803; "On the Identity of Typhus and Typhoid," 1846; "On Yellow Fever," 1859.

His appointments included professor of theory and practice of medicine, New York College of Physicians and Surgeons; visiting physician New York Hospital; president New York Academy of Medi- cine; president of the Council of Hy- giene; and many others.

D. W.

Eulogium on (W. C. Roberts) N. Y., 1867. Trans. N. York State Med. Soc, 1867. Med. Rec, N. Y., 1866, vol. i.

Smith, Nathan (1762-1829).

Nathan Smith, professor of physics in the Medical College of Yale and the second to perform ovariotomy in America (1821), was a farmer's son and born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, September 30, 1762. His father and mother settled in Chester, Vermont, then a wild district, and the boy, after a desultory education, taught other boys, himself untaught, but unconsciously gaining much from the country life and a little exciting experi- ence in the state militia on the Canadian border. He was twenty-one when Josiah Goodhue of Putney, Vermont, did an operation near Chester and young Smith