Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/529

This page needs to be proofread.


VAUGHAN


VERMYNE


again, and predicted negro insurrections in San Domingo owing to the emanci- pation of slaves by the French. During the French Revolution he was an active participator and became entangled with liberators who wanted to establish in England a republic like the French Re- public. Upon these conspirators some of Vaughan's letters were found, so that Vaughan alarmed for his safety escaped to France, and took refuge with the American Consul, Gen. Skipwith, in Paris.

William Pitt being consulted regarding the return of Vaughan said that he did not consider him dangerous, but only an enthusiast; that he could return and take his seat in Parliament if he desired, and that the government would take no notice of what he had said or done. Vaughan, however, was afraid of Pitt's veracity, and never returned to England. He remained in France a year, and entered the field of hard work. In order to avoid arrest as an Englishman, he went by the name of Jean Pusey. In 1795 the Committee of Safety dis- covered and arrested him, but after a month in the Carmelite Monastery Prison, he was released. It is reported that he was once mobbed in the streets of Paris, as a spy of William Pitt. It has also been said that he was very intimate with Robespierre. Leaving France, he arrived at Geneva, but reading of the probable fall of Robespierre, he ulti- mately returned to Paris on the very day on which this monster was guillotined.

Vaughan again escaped to Strasburg, and wrote a panegyric upon the Directory. He also wrote a pamphlet, saying that the prophet Daniel predicted the French Revolution, but this was suppressed. Finally he went to America to join his brother Charles.

About 1797, Benjamin Vaughan and his brother Charles settled in Hallowell, Maine, which was named for his maternal grandfather, Benjamin Hallowell. He had a fine medical and literary library, loaned the books from it freely, and on his death left some of them to the Insane


Asylum at Augusta, to Harvard, and to Bowdoin College. He practised medi- cine in Hallowell, but not very exten- sively. We hear of him occasionally as consulting with Gen. (doctor) Henry Dearborn and it must have been curious to see in a country town like Hallowell, the former member of the British Parlia- ment and the former major-general of the United States Army discussing the symptoms of some poor farmer on an out-lying country road. Vaughan also gave much time to agriculture. He wrote frequently for publication. He was a learned writer and a profound thinker and many of his writings and essays are unknown as he did not print in his own name. He offered his services to Jefferson, but they were not accepted. Harvard gave him the LL. D. degree in 1801, and Bowdoin in 1812. He died after a short illness, December 8, 1835, aged eighty-five. J. A. S.

Trans. Maine Med. Assoc.

Vermyne, J. B. B. (1835-1898).

J. J. B. Vermyne was born in Holland, and studied in the universities of his own native land, later becoming a surgeon in the Dutch Army. For a time he served in Surinam, then practised medicine in Holland. With his wife, an American, he joined the Red Cross Society, and served during the Franco-Prussian War, for which he received the Order of the Legion of Honor from the French Government. He then settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the home of his wife, and devoted himself for a short time to general practice, afterwards more exclusively as an ophthalmist and auralist. In 1873 he was elected a mem- ber of the American Ophthalmological Society, and in 1875 of the American Otological Society. He displayed great ability in his special lines of work. He was one of the founders of St. Luke's Hospital, New Bedford. He was a man of culture, especially in art and music.

He died in 1898 at the age of sixty- three at Francestown. H. F. Trans. Am. Ophth. Soc, vol. viii.