Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/495

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THACHER


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THACHEP.


patients into private rooms or in beds not then occupied.

In this respect he was far sighted, for with such an arrangement things would have been much better. Tewksbury wrote a large number of medical papers of great value, largely upon excisions and on gynecology. He was a man of noble figure, handsome face and markedly tall. A determined and successful man, he was active but impulsive, a good anatomist and a clever, neat and skillful operator. His style in conversation was terse, but in his papers he was inclined to be loquacious. Most of these were pub- lished for many successive years in the "Transactions of the Maine Medical Association."

He often used invectives which were sometimes more convincing than polite. Generally brusque and apparently un- civil at times, he concealed beneath harsh words a very kind heart.

After a long and successful carrer of nearly forty years he died suddenly July 28, 1880. J. A. S.

Trans. Maine Med. Assoc, 1880.

Thacher, James (1754-1844).

Chiefly known for his contributions to American medical history, James Thacher was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, his mother the daughter of a Mr. Norton of Martha's Vineyard. He studied medi- cine under Dr. Abner Hersey, and in 1775 entered the army as assistant surgeon. He says: "Not less than one thousand wounded and sick are now in this city (Albany) .... Amputating limbs, trepanning fractured skulls and dressing the most formidable wounds have famil- iarized my mind to scenes of woe." Thacher was at West Point in 1780 at the time of the treason of Arnold and the capture of the ill-fated Andr6, concern- ing which events he gives a thrilling ac- count in his military " Journal During the American Revolution," 1826. The war over, he settled in Plymouth, Massa- chusetts and gave a large share of his time to antiquarian research and joining the American Academy of Arts and


Sciences. He also joined the Massa- cuhsetts Medical Society and received an hononary M. D. from Harvard in 1810.

He seems to have taken an interest not only in medical history, but in all that served to promote civic health and hapjji- ness. Gross says " he was small in statue, light and agile in his movements, fond of social intercourse, yet regular and studious in his habits. During a few of his last years he was afflicted with a difficulty of breathing." In May, 1844 he died, serenely, in his ninety-first year.

He wrote " The American New Dis- pensatory, 1810," 4th edition, 1821, and wrote "Observations of Hydrophobia," 1821 ; " Modern Practice of Physic," 1817; "American Orchardist," 1822; "Ameri- can Medical Biography," 1828 in two volumes, a most readable work, especially for its prefatory history of medicine. His "Essay of Demonology, Ghosts, Apparitions and Popular Superstitions," appeared in 1831 and the "History of Plymouth," in 1822. Besides all this, he wrote much for the medical journals of his day.

Boston M. and S. J., 1891, c.xxiv (J. B.

Brewster) .

"Lives of Eminent American Physicians,"

S. D. Gross.

Med. Communicat. Mass. M. Soc, Boston,

1844, vii, pt. 3.

Thacher, Thomas (1620-1678).

Thomas Thacher, preacher and physi- cian, author of the first publication on a medical subject, in America, was the son of the Rev. Peter Thacher, rector of St. Edmunds, Salisbury, England, and born in England, first of May, 1620, com- ing to this country when fifteen years old with his uncle, Anthony Thacher, in the "James" and landing in Boston, third of June, 1635. In that same year he went to Ipswich with his uncle.

In a letter published by Anthony Thacher we learn that Thomas had a narrow escape from shipwreck, for Anthony, with the Rev. John Avery and a party of friends, twenty-three in all (even then it would seem an unlucky