Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/444

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A Narrative of Medicine in America, J. G.


American Medical Biography, S. \\'. \\i\-


Medical and Surgical Memoirs, Natlian Smith


A Eulogium on pronovinced at

his funeral, New Haven, 1829 (J. Ivnight).

Smith, Nathan Ryno ( 1 797-1 S77).

Nathan Ryno Smith was the second of the four sons of Dr. Nathan Smith, the distinguished New England surgeon and founder of Dartmouth and Yale College Medical Schools. The name "Ryno" was derived from the Poems of Ossian, a favorite author of his mother. He was born on the twenty -first of May, 1797, in the town of Cornish where his father had been practising for ten years. After having received a preliminary training at Dartmouth, he entered Yale as a freshman in 1813 and graduated A. B. in 1817, at the age of twenty and in 1823 received from Yale College the degree of doctor of medicine, in his inaugural thesis defending the view that the effects of remedies and diseases are due to absorption into the blood and not to an impression on the nervous system, as many eminent writers then maintained. He continued his experiments on this subject, and his publications in 1827 are referred to by Dr. Alfred Stille in his work on "Therapeutics," vol. i, p. 51.

He began practice at Burlington, Ver- mont, in 1824, and in the following year he was appointed to the professorship of surgery and anatomy in the University of Vermont.

^Miile in Philadelphia he met Dr. George McClellan, an able anatomist and surgeon, who was then giving private instruction in that city to large classes. This gentleman and others were then engaged in organizing a new medical school, the Jefferson Medical College. Being impressed by the ability and acquirements of Dr. Smith, they invited him to join with them and offered him the chair of anatomy, and he accepted.

In 1825 he published at New York an "Essay on Digestion" of ninety-three pages and after his settling at Philadel-

phia, edited in 1825-2G, with the coopera- tion of his father, the " American Medical Review." In .Tunc, 1827, he founded a medical periodical entitled the "Phila- delphia Monthly Journal of Medicine and Surgery," which was continued into the following year and then merged into the "American Jom-nal of the Medical Sciences."

In 1827 Dr. Smith's connection with Jefferson Medical College was severed by his acceptance of the chair of surgery in the University of Maryland, made vacant by the withdrawal of Granville Sharp Pattison. With this event commenced Dr. Smith's long and eventful career of fifty years at Baltimore, terminating only with his death in 1877.

In 1829 appeared his work on "Dis- eases of the Internal Ear," being a trans- lation from the French of J. A. Saissy, with a supplement of twenty pages by himself, on "Diseases of the External Ear." The latter is written in the most concise and simple manner and covers most of the inflammatory affections of the auditory canal, congenital deformi- ties, injuries as well as the treatment of foreign bodies, insects and indurated wax in the auditory canal. In 1830 he issued a journal, entitled "The Balti- more Monthly Jom-nal," the first number of which appeared in February. It continued until the end of the year, when it ceased on account of lack of support. In the September and October mmabers appeared a noteworthy article, entitled " Description of an Apparatus for the Treatment of Fractures of the Thigh and Leg, by Smith's Anterior Splint." One-half of the original matter of the volume of 510 pages consisted of contributions by Smith. The Medical and Surgical Memoirs (of Nathan Smith, his father), appeared in 1831 with a memoir by N. R. Smith.

He was also for many years a collabor- ator and frequent contributor to the ■'American Journal of the Medical Sciences." He also wrote many articles for a journal published at Baltimore by Prof. E. Geddings of the University of