Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/571

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WILLIAMS


511


WILLIAMS


became greatly interested in ophthal- mology, studying under Sichel and Des- marres in Paris, Friedrich and Rosas in Vienna, and Dalrym'i^e, Lawrence, Dixon and Critchett in London. He then returned to America and graduated at Harvard in 1849. From 1850 to 1855 he was instructor in the theory and practice of medicine in the Boylston Medical School, and in 1850 organized a class of Harvard students for the study of eye disease and after a few years of general practice, limited himself to ophthalmic work. He was one of the first to intro- duce etherization in cataract operations (1858) and the suturing of the flap (1865). In 1856 he read a most important paper " On the Treatment of Iritis Avithout Mercury." His first literary work was a translation of Sichel's "Spectacles: Their Uses and Abuses in Long and Short- sightedness," (1850). In 1862 his "Practical Guide to the Study of the Diseases of the E3^e, " appeared and in 1865 his essay, "Recent Advances in Ophthalmic Science," won the Boylston prize. In 1881 his most important work appeared, "The Diagnosis and Treatment of Diseases of the Eye," (second edition, 1886). These works presented the science and practice of ophthalmology in the clearest manner and in accordance with the most advanced thought of the day, and their popularity was attested by the demand for new editions.

His greatest influence was exercised as a teacher and lecturer (1869) and later (1871) as professor of ophthalmology in Harvard Medical School, also in the medical societies in which he took an active and leading part.

He impressed his strong personality on his medical brethren, as he lived and worked largely for them. He was, all in all, a doctor first, and other things after- wards. . . .

Of large stature and strong character, he was a conspicuous figure on all medical occasions and proved a frequent and forcible and persuasive speaker. Con- servative to a fault, he was yet kindly and thoughtful of his professional brothers.


He did not grow old, but retained his enthusiasm to a remarkable degree.

In 1864 he was one of those who founded the American Ophthalmological Society, and was for many years its president. On retiring in 1891 from the chair of ophthalmologj', on account of ill health, he endowed the professorship. His son, Charles, followed his father as an ophthalmologist; another son, Francis Henry, likewise became a physician.

Dr. Williams died June 13, 1895.

H. F.

Trans. Am. Oph. Soc, vol. vii.

Boston Med. and Surg. Journal, June 27,

1895.

History of Boston City Hospital.

Knapp's Archives of Ophthalmology, xxiv.

Williams, Stephen West (1790-1855).

Stephen West Williams, second son of Dr. William Stoddard Williams of Deer- field and a lineal descendant of Rev. John Williams, the first minister of that town, was born in Deerfield, March 27, 1790. The family furnished many eminent physicians to New England, and Stephen early showed a studious turn of mind. When sixteen he had read the five vol- umes of Rush's "Enquiries," "Darwin's Zoonomia," Thornton's "Medical Ex- tracts" in five volumes, and other lengthy works, and two years later began an apprenticeship in medicine under his father. Like Rush, he early formed the habit of taking notes on matters that particularly interested him and in this manner and by reporting cases for the medical journals acquired facility in writing. His first medical publication was an account of the two remarkable cases of suicide of the brothers Clap, which was published by Rush in his " Diseases of the Mind," and subsequent- ly quoted by Esquirol in his works on insanity.

In the winter of 1812-13, he attended a term of lectures at Columbia College by Post, Hosack, Mott and others, and in 1853 settled as a doctor in Deerfield, moving in 1853 with his family to Laona, Illinois. In his early 3'ears he practised surgery, but later in life devoted himself