Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/541

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WASHINGTON


481


WATERHOUSE


July 31, 1803. His father, John Wash- ington, came to North Carohna from Virginia, and was of the same family as the Washington, though of this fact Mr. Washington never made especial men- tion. His mother, Ehzabeth Cobb, of a prominent North Carolina family, waB a humanitarian in the broadest sen.se; her life-long custom was to visit the sick and distressed, one of her children usu- ally accompanying her with a bountiful basket to relieve the hunger and pains of poverty. From this source Dr. Washing- ton inherited his great love for mankind and tender sympathy for all forms of suffering.

After finishing a very creditable course at Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina, he studied medicine with Dr. Parker, a physician of Kinston, and after- wards attended medical lectures at the University of Pennsylvania. Graduat- ing there, he went to Paris, where, through an acquaintance with LaFayette, he obtained the favor of Louis Philippe, thereby gaining access to all the French institutes and academies, the then centers of medical science. His stay in Paris was probably from 1830 to 1832.

On his return to America, Washington settled in New York City, where he soon won distinction. The people would come in great numbers from far and near to procure the benefit of his marvellous skill and kindness. It was told that on one of these visits, he was called to see a very poor woman who was desperately ill. Finding no one in the house of an age to assist him, he went out, cut the wood, filled a pot with water, heated it, and, using an old hogshead in lieu of a tub, gave her a bath himself. It is need- less to say that she recovered.

He was noted for his courtly manners and great personal magnetism. Although such a scholarly man, he never wrote anything. He spent most of his time in getting up improved instruments and in investigating the nature of disease; this latter seems to have interested him from his earliest years.

His fame was great in the south and Vol. 11—31


west, also in Europe. It is probable that he had more patients from a dis- tance than any other physician of that period. A grateful Scotch patient had the celebrated sculptor David, make a beautiful bronze medallion of him, which, within recent years was in the possession of his family.

Washington became deeply interested in the experiments with crude morphine begun by LaForgue in 1836. He would cure neuralgia by scraping the skin and dusting the sore with morphine. In 1839, he used a morphine solution and injected it under the skin with an Anel's eye syringe. This was four years prior to the invention of Dr. Wood of Edin- burgh, and Dr. C. B. Woodley of Kinston says Prof. A. Smith used to tell his stu- dents at the old Bellevue Hospital Medi- cal College that Washington invented the hypodermic syringe.

December 2, 1834, he married Anna W. Constable of Schenectady, New York. He died in 1847, survived by six children. A relative tells that in his last illness, which was some form of stomach trouble, he said to those surrounding his bed that if he could only operate on himself he could be cured, as he knew the exact location of his disease.

L. T. R.

From a newspaper sketch of Dr. Washing- ton published in Kinston, N. C, October, 1892, Dr. H. O. Hyatt, Editor.

Waterhouse, Benjamin (1754-1846).

Benjamin W^aterhouse, founder of the Harvard Medical School, first vaccinator for small-pox in America, by vote of the London Medical Society dubbed the " Jenner of America," was born in New- port, Rhode Island, March 4, 1754, the son of a tanner, Timothy Waterhouse, who lived in Portsmouth and removed to Newport, a man of considerable weight in the community as he was made a judge of the Court of Common Pleas and a member of the Royal Council of and for the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. His mother, Hannah Proud, was a niece of the illustri-