Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/500

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THOMPSON


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THOMPSON


He was diligent in his labors and skill- ful — sympathetic in manner and hand- some in appearance, his physical vigor enhanced by much horse-back riding. His marked characteristics were truth and moral courage.

He married, in 1843, Mary Summer Clark, and had three children. One of these, Dr. George Gillett Thomas, became a surgeon.

Dr. Thomas died of laryngeal diph- theria in 1890. H. A. R.

Eminent Men of the Caroliuaa.

In memoriam, North Car. M. J., Wilmington,

1S90, vol. XXV.

Obituary. Tr. M. Soc. N. Car., 1890,

Wilmington, 1S91 (port.).

Portrait also in the Surg. -gen. Lib., Wash.,

D. C.

Thompson, Jesse C. (1811-1879).

The parents of J. C. Thompson were of Scotch-Irish extraction, natives of Frank- lin county, Massachusetts. Jesse C. was born in Heath, in the same county, January 9, 1811. His father owned a farm, on which Dr. Thompson passed his boyhood.

He had mapped out for himself the study and practice of medicine as a life work, and in the summer of 1834 he began to read medicine with Drs. Bates and Fitch, at Charlemont, near his home, attending his first course of lectures at Berkshire Jledical College, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He graduated at Berk- shire Medical College and practised in Bloomfield, Pickaway County, forty-two years.

A keen observer and close student, his many years' experience gave him a prominent place in the counsels of all neighboring practitioners, who regarded his advice and opinion with great respect. In surgery he ranked as a wise, careful, and successful operator. He success- fully performed the operation of exsec- tion of the head of the humerus, leaving the patient — a young laboring man — with a useful hand and arm; besides many others demanding the greatest skill and surgical knowledge. It was his pride and profound satisfaction that in


a career so long and practice so varied, ho left no cripples behind. On June 6, 1838, he married Emily Sage, and had five children. He died January 7, 1879. Once he did a Cesarean section under most difficult circumstances. The pa- tient lived in a small cabin on a farm several miles distant from Circle ville and from Bloomfield. The doctor was called late at night, found his patient, who had been in labor many hours, in a state of collapse. Knowing it to be impossible to obtain professional assistance in time, he deemed it necessary to operate with- out delay, and, with no help except that of a few women of the neighborhood, and only the poor light of two or three tallow candles, be proceeded with the instru- ments in his pocket case to make the necessary incision. He encountered no difficulty, and the patient made an unin- terrupted and speedy recovery. The child was alive and grew into a strong and lusty youth. R. B. W.

Thompson, Mary Harris (1829-1895).

The first woman who specialized in surgery and remarkable for her splendid organizing and administrative ability. Little is known of her early life beyond the simple fact of her birth at Fort Ann, New York State, and of her education at West Poultney Academy, Vermont.

In 1859, at the age of thirty, she began to study medicine at the New England Female Medical College. Dr. Zakrz- ewska, at that time professor of obstetrics there, wrote, " Dr. Thompson commenced her studies with me in 1859. She gradu- ated from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, serving a year as interne with Dr. Emily Blackwell. She was the first woman surgeon who performed capital operations entirely on her own responsibifity."

Mary Thompson began to practise in Chicago in 1863 and two years later founded a hospital for women and chil- dren. The building which housed this work was swept away in the fire of 1871 and within twenty-four hours the Relief and Aid Society sent an appeal to Dr.