Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/514

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TOWNSEND


456


TRASK


Dr. David Townsend was an ardent Universalist in religion and published a book entitled, "Gospel News," in 1704. He was a Mason and was buried accord- ing to their rites, in Revere Reach, at low tide.

\V. L. B.

Memorials of the Townsend family, tlirownh Charlea AV. Townsend, M. D., a grandson. Medical Men of the Revolution, J. M. Toner.

Townsend, Solomon Davis (1793-1869).

Solomon Davis Townsend, performer of the second operation under ether anesthesia in America, was the son of Dr. David and Elizabeth Davis Town- send, and born March 1, 1793. He died September 19, 1869.

He married his cousin, Catherine AVendel Davis, October 5, 1819, and had four children. Charles Wendel Townsend, a grandson, son of Thomas Davis, became a physician in Boston and a noted ornithologist and author.

Solomon Davis graduated from Har- vard College in 1811, and took his M. D. there in 1815 after he had served three years as naval surgeon, chiefly in the Mediterranean in the "Independence" under Com. Bainbridge. Here he became a friend of Farragut, then a midshipman, afterwards admiral, and a warm friend- ship began which lasted through life.

Townsend was a member of the surgi- cal staff of the Massachusetts General Hospital and was present at the first operation performed under ether in 1846.

His home was at 18 Somerset Street, at present occupied by the New England Historic Gynecological Society, of which he was once a member.

W. L. B.

Memorials of the Townsend Family, through Charles W. Townsend, M. D. Medical Com. Mass. Med. See, vol. ii. Bost. Med. and Surg. Jour., vol. Ixxxi. Portrait in possession of Charles W. Town- send.

Trask, James Dowling (1821-1883).

James Dowling Trask, a fine obstetri- cian and a co-founder of the American Gynecological Society, was born at


Beverly, Massachusetts, on August 16, 1821. He graduated at Amherst College in 1839 and took liis A. M. in 1842, and his M. D. from the University of the City of New York in 1844, immediately after beginning practice in Brooklyn. In 1845 he married Jane Cruickshank, daughter of Thomas O'Darrell, K. C. B. of Belfast, Ireland.

From 1847 to 1859 he practised in White Plains, "Westchester County, New York, then settled in Astoria, New York City, and became for a few years professor of obstetrics and diseases of women in the Long Island College Hospital until ever increasing private practice compelled him to speak to the medical world through his writings and at the various societies. His writings showed most painstaking labor and fine intellectual quality. His first, "On the Nature of Phlegmasia Dolens" ("American Journal of the Medical Sciences," January, 1847), met with high commendation from O. W. Holmes, and the second, on " Rupture of the Uterus," in the same journal in October, 1847, presented a summary of 303 cases; followed in July, 1856, by a sequel with over one hundred more cases. His " Occlusion and Rigidity of the Os Uteri and Vagina" ("American Journal of the Medical Sciences," July, 1848), was a valuable showing, from sixty-eight cases, that in obstinate rigidity of the OS uteri, that incisions are not fraught with danger to the adjacent organs. "Statistics of Placenta Previa" ("Trans- actions, American Medical Association," 1855), received the prize from this Asso- ciation and fills ninety-four pages of the "Transactions," and other articles were contributed to the "New York Medical Journal" and the "American Journal of Obstetrics." He was always longing for leisure to write more, but was not very strong during the last five years of his life and died on Sunday morning, Sep- tember 1, 1883, after an illness of only five days' duration.

Tr. Am. Gyn. Soc., 1883, N. Y., 1884, vol. viii (port.) (F. Barker).