Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/530

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Wagner, John (1791-1841).

After studying at Yale he took his A. B. there in 1812 and his A. M. three years later, then began to work at medi- cine under Dr. Post of New York. When the latter went to Europe for his health, Wagner, dissatisfied with his opportunities, resolved to visit tlie schools of London and Paris, and unex- pectedly ran up against his preceptor in Liverpool who gave hirn a letter to Sir Astley Cooper. A year as "dresser" in Guy's Hospital followed and plenty of eager attendance at Sir Astley's lectures, two large folio volumes in manuscript testifying to his interest. "America," wrote Sir Astley in his testimonial, "who is making rapid progress in pro- fessional science, will be proud to rank among its citizens a man so clear in his intellect, highly informed in his pro- fession, and so kind and gentle in his manners."

Wagner settled down and married in New York, but after a few years went to Charleston, South Carolina. With his advent a new era in surgery began. Many of his confreres remember the exhibition of surgical ability in a case of osteo-sarcoma of the lower jaw in which nearly half that bone was removed, the third operation of the kind in the States, two of them by Charleston surgeons. Other operations of importance were undertaken — the amputation of the arm at the shoulder joint, the tying of the artery in popliteal aneurysm with many others which showed his masterly skill in using the knife and his intimate acquaint- ance with the human structure. Practice rapidly increased and in the winter of 1826 he began a course of dissections and demonstrations in practical anatomy with the art of preserving specimens, in which latter he was rarelv excelled.

In 1829 he was appointed professor of pathological and surgical anatomy in the medical college of South Carolina. Such a professorship was new, and treated of topics necessitating much research and practical information. The syllabus published by Wagner showed his large views and personal resources.

Elected to the chair of surgery in 1832 he continued as professor until his death on May 22, 1841, often doing his work in great bodily pain, suffering from rheuma- tism early contracted.

He married (date undiscoverable) a Miss Breact and had eight children.

D. W. Am. Med. Jour., 1841.

Wales, Philip Skinner (1837-1906).

Philip Skinner Wales, surgeon-general of the United States Navy, was born at Annapolis, Maryland, and graduated from the University School of Medicine, Baltimore, in 1856. The same year he entered the navy as assistant surgeon, was promoted to surgeon in 1861, and served during the Civil War at the Naval Hospital at Norfolk and on the steamer Fort Jackson. He became a member of the board of Examiners in 1873, and later occupied the posts of medical inspector, chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, and medical director, also served as surgeon-general of the navy from 1879 to 1884. He retired from active service on account of age February 27, 1896, and spent most of his time in Washington. He died suddenly from cancer of the intestines in a hospital in Paris, September 15, 1906.

He wrote "Mechanical Therapeutics," 1867, and several valuable articles for the medical journals. C. A. P.

Med. Rec, N. Y., 1906, Ixx.

J. Am. M. Ass., Chicago, 1906, xh-ii.