Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/485

This page needs to be proofread.




afterwards acted as teacher, subsequently studying at Fairfield, Herkimer County.

In the spring of 1843 he became inter- ested in meilicine and chemistry, fortu- nately studying the latter under Prof. Mather and in 1844 taking up medicine under Dr. Griffin Sweet and afterwards under Prof. J. H. Armsby. He gradu- ated from Albany Medical College in 1846, with a thesis on "The Anatomy of the Neck."

During the first years of his practice in Albany he gave all his leisure to prac- tical anatomical studies and the careful preparation of specimens. After gradu- ating M. D. he was obliged, owing to a serious attack of pleurisy, to take up country practice, but was in a short time appointed demonstrator of anatomy at Albany Medical College. Three years he held this post, giving loving care to the arrangement of a private anatomical museum, where pupils attended, till 1851. The skeleton of the celebrated Dr. Enson who was exhibited on account of his I'emarkable attenuation, was prepared by Swinburne for this museum. Wliile almshouse physician Swinburne attended 800 cases of ship fever in one year with only fifteen deaths, he himself being attacked by the disease. In May, 18G2, he became medical superintendent of the New York wounded troops at the front, a post which was no sinecure, for the victims of disease increased more rapidly than the government could provide accommodation. He succeeded in im- proving the surgical appliances of that clay and published his ideas in two valuable pamphlets. His first official visit was paid to the Peninsula in 1862 when he helped as surgeon after the battles of Williamsburgh and West Point, and he was one of the eight surgeons who organized the hospital at White House. His report on the battles and the soldiers he subsequently attended, induced Gov.

Morgan to appoint him superintendent of the New York State Troops and soon after he was the means of preparing an asylum for 2500 patients in Virginia.

After the war he served six years as quarantine liealth officer at the port of New York, doing fine service and obvi- ating many epidemics by his careful supervision.

War seems to have held attractions for him, because after these six years he went abroad and served with the French Army during the Franco-Prussian War, organizing the American Ambulance Corps in Paris and taking care of it during the siege for which he had the Cross of the Legion of Honor.

By 1873 he was back again in Albany taking an active share in politics as well as medicine and doing much work as a good citizen. He maintained a free dis- pensary, treating thousands of cases, chiefly surgical, and was professor of clinical surgery in Albany Medical Col- lege; consulting surgeon to Albany Hos- pital and a member of various important medical societies. Among his writings areĀ :

"Treatment of Fracture of the Femur l)y Extension," 1859; "Introduction of Air into the Uterine Veins during Crimi- nal Aborton," pronounced by Dr. Dalton the only case on recordĀ ; " Compound and Comminuted Gun.shot Fractures of the Thigh and Means for Their Transplanta- tion;" "Treatment of Fractures of the Long Bones," 1861; "Reports on the Peninsular Campaign," 1863, and other pamphlets.

He married in 1848 Henrietta Judson of Albany and had four sons.

He died in Albany on March 28, 1889.

Med. Rec, N. Y., 1889. vol. xxxv.

Med. and Surg. Rep.. Phihi. 1864-5, vol.


Tr. Med. Soc, N. Y., Albany, 1864.

The case of Swinburne (Edit.), Med. Gaz.,

N. Y., 1880, vol. vii.