Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/506

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Thornton, Matthew (1714-1S03).

The last name to be signed to that memorable document, the Declaration of Independence, was that of Matthew Thornton, born in Ireland in 1714. His father emigrated to this country in 1717, and settled in Wiscasset, Maine. From there they removed to Worcester, Massachusetts, where Matthew received his education. Here he studied medicine and settled in Londonderry, New Hamp- shire, where he acquired an extensive practice and became conspicuous for professional skill as well as the distinc- tion of being an aggressive and public- spirited patriot.

Dr. Thornton shared in the perils of the expedition against Louisburg as surgeon of the New Hampshire Division of the army.

^^'hen the political crisis arrived, Thornton abjured the British interests. He was a member of the convention which declared New Hampshire to be a sovereign state, and was elected its president.

He served in the Continental Congress from 1776-1778 and in the latter year resigned to accept the chief-justiceship of "Hillsborough County. He held this position only two years, resigning to accept a position on the supreme bench of the state. In 1783 Thornton was elected a member of the State House of Representatives and the next year a member of the State Senate.

In 1780 he purchased a farm on the banks of the Merrimac near Exeter and spent the remainder of his life there, dying in Newburyport, Massachusetts, while on a visit to his daughter, on June 24, 1803.

I. J. P.

Biog. of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence, Phila., 1849.

Thornton, WiUiam (1761-1828).

Born on Tortola Island in the West Indies, May 27, 1761, he held the Edin- burgh M. D. and after graduation con- tinued his medical studies in Paris and traveled extensively through Europe,

then came to the United States, married in 1790 and returned to Tortola. In 1793 he returned to Washington and that same year published his "Elements of Written Language," and afterwards many papers on other subjects, including medicine, astronomy, philosophy, finance, government and art. He was also associated with Fitch in early experi- ments in running boats by steam. Always inventive, he was wisely put in charge of United States patents from the passage of the Act of Congress 1802 till his death; and during the War of 1814 was the means of preserving the records of the Patent Office from destruction by the British. He was the first architect of the Capitol, as also its designer; and of many buildings in the District of Colum- bia and elsewhere.

In 1794 he was appointed by Wash- ington one of the three commissioners of the District of Columbia. He died March 27, 1828.

D. S. L.

Appleton's Medical Biog., 1889.

Hist, of the U. S. Capitol, Glenn Brown, 1900.

Tilden, Daniel (1788-1870).

Daniel Tilden was born in Lebanon, Grafton County, New Hampshire, August 19, 1788. The boy was compelled to share in the general work of the family. Nevertheless, by perseverance he was able to secure the A. B. from Clinton College, New York, and in 1807 began to study medicine with Dr. Joseph White of Cherry Valley, New York. His first course of medical lectures was taken in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western District of New York, just organized at Fairfield, Herkimer County, and his M. D. he received from the medical Department of Dartmouth College in 1812. In the same year Dr. Tilden was examined by the State Board of Regents of the State of New York and received their diploma; in 1827 he was granted an honorary M. D. by the Berkshire Medical College of Massa- chusetts. In 1817 he removed to Ohio and settled first in Erie Countv at a