Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/457

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STEARNS


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STEARNS


practiced until 1859, when he removed to Hartford, Connecticut. In 1861 upon the outbreak of the Civil War he was commissioned a surgeon in the First Connecticut Volunteers, and as such par- ticipated in the first battle of Bull Run. He was later made a surgeon of the United States Medical Corps and was detailed as brigade surgeon to the army of Gen. Fremont at St. Louis. Later he was assigned to the staff of General Grant and was with him throughout his service in the south-west except for a short period when he served as medical director of the right wing of the army of Gen. Mc- Clellan. He subsequently was appointed medical inspector of hospitals on the staff of Col. R. C. Wood, assistant sur- geon general and later superintended the building of the Joseph Holt Hospital at Jeffersonville, Ind. Afterward he be- came medical director of the United States general hospital at Nashville, Tennessee where he had continuously under his charge at least 10,000 patients.

In September 1865 he was mustered out of the service at his own request with the rank of brevet lieutenant-colonel, and returned to Hartford, Connecticut to resume practice.

In 1874 at much pecuniary sacrifice, he accepted the superintendency of the Hartford Retreat because the demands of his large practice had proven too great for his health and strength. The remain- der of his professional life consequently was devoted to the care of the insane, in which branch of medicine he proved himself a diligent student, a skillful phy- sician and a sagacious, conscientious and able administrator. He practically re- built the Retreat and added cottages and other subsidiary buildings. He also made marked improvements in the medi- cal care and treatment of the patients under his charge. He acted frequently as a medico-legal expert in court, and his services as a consultant were highly prized by his brother physicians.

A prolific writer, he wrote many books and papers. The following is a partial list: Parts 1 and 2 medical volumes and


parts 1, 2, and 3 surgical volumes of the " Medical and Surgical History of the War and Rebellion;" "Classification of the Insane;" "The Relations of Insanity to Modern Civilization;" "The Insane Diathesis;" " Phases of Insanity ; " "The Care of Some Classes of the Insane;" " Expert Evidence in the Case of the U. S. vs Guiteau;" "Insanity, Its Causes and Prevention;" "Progress in the Treatment of the Insane;" "General Paresis and Senile Insanity;" "The Classification of Mental Diseases ; " "The Importance of Cottages for the Insane;" "Some Notes on the Present State of Psychiatry;" "Lectures on Mental Dis- eases" and "Commissions in Lunacy."

He was lecturer in psychiatry at Yale University from 18/5 to 1897, and resigned because of ill-health.

His memberships included: the Ameri- can Medico-Psychological Association (President in 1891); the New England Psychological Association; Connecticut Medical Society; City Medical Society, ser\ing each society as both vice-presi- dent and president.

He remained in active charge of the Hartford Retreat until failing health compelled him to resign March 31, 1905, after a service of thirty-one years.

He married at Dumfries, Scotland, in 1857, Annie Elizabeth Storrier who died in 1903, after nearly forty-six years of ideal married life. •

After a brief and painless illness he died May 27, 1905. H. M. H.

N. Eng. M. Month., Conn., 18S4-5, iv (port.).

Steams, John (1770-1848).

John Stearns was born in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, on the sixteenth day of May, 1770. He was early fitted for college, and graduated at Yale with dis- tinguished honor in 1789. He studied with Dr. Erastus Sergeant of Stock- bridge until 1792, when he went to Phila- delphia and attended the lectures of Shippen, Wistar, Rush, and others at the University. The year following, in 1793, he entered upon practice, near Waterford in the county of Saratoga, New York,