Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/458

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STEBBINS


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STEBBINS


where in 1797 he married a daughter of Col. Hezekiah Ketchum.

The inception of the Medical Society of the State of New York was received from John Stearns, and he was elected its secretary at the first meeting in 1S07, and continued to fill the office for several years. In 1S07, Dr. Stearns communi- cated to the profession through Dr. Ackerly, in an article published in the eleventh volume of the " New York Medical Repository," his observations on the medical properties of ergot in facilitating parturition. Whatever may have been known of this substance before, Dr. Stearns was the first to elicit atten- tion to it in the United States, and his observations were doubtless original.

In 1S09 he was elected to the Senate of the state of New York, and served as senator for four years until 1813. He removed to Albany in 1810, and for nine years was actively engaged in practice, enjoying largely the public confidence. The Regents of the University conferred upon him the honorary degree of doctor of medicine in 1812. In 1817 he was elected president of the Medical Society of the State of New York, and was deservedly re-elected in 181S, 1819 and 1820.

In 1819 Dr. Stearns removed to New York, where he practised for many years, and contributed largely to the medical periodicals of the day. Upon the organization of the New York Academy of Medicine in 1846, its first president was John Stearns, then venerable in professional life.

A little more than one year later, on the eighteenth of March, 1848, Dr. Stearns died a martyr to the profession in which he had so long lived, his death occurring as the result of a poisoned wound, in the seventv-ninth j^ear of his age. ^ S. D. W.

From Albany Med. Annals and Biographies, Sylvester D. Willard, 1864.

Stebbins, Nehemiah Delavan (1802-1888).

Nehemiah Delavan Stebbins was born

in Beekman Town., Dutchess County,


New York, February 27, 1802; the eldest son of Lewis and Sarah (Delavan) Steb- bins, a lineal descendant of Rowland Steb- bins who emigrated from Yorkshire, England, on the ship Francis and settled at Northhampton, Massachusetts, in 1G34. The boy had a common school education and in 1820-21 worked as a civil engineer in the construction of the Erie Canal, between Rochester and Lockport. After this he studied medicine with Dr. A. F. Oliver, in Penn Yan, Yates County, New York. Later he attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York City, and was licensed to practise by the New York State Medical Society. He first settled at Hammondsport, Steuben County, New York, and eventually in Detroit until 1868, when he settled in Southern California. He was a member of the first and second epochs of the Wayne County Medical Society, and a founder of each; a founder of the first and second epochs of the Michigan State Med- ical Society, and president in 1857-58. He was six feet tall, of spare build, long legs, short body. Pleasant, penetrating blue eyes showed from deep sockets and overhanging dense brows; he was quick in movement, gracious in manner, firm in his convictions. He was a lover of all kinds of knowledge for its own sake, as well as for what practical good it accom- plished. In his frequent visits to the writer, while staying in Detroit, his first question after being seated was, "What is new within your field of observation?" If anything could be given, he was as delighted as a boy with his first pants. Dr. Stebbins' sanguine, cheery disposi- tion, indefatigable industry, devotion to friends and profound faith in God, Bible and church, were important factors in his success. On June 28, 1832, he married Emily White in Rochester, New York. She died in 1859. Of their three children, one, Dwight Delavan Stebbins, became a physician, but died young from typhoid infection while serving the soldiers of the Rebellion. The father died at his brother's home in Dowagiac, Michigan, May 31, 1888. He went to