Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/572

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WILLIAMS


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WILLIAMS


to an extensive consultative practice. He became a member of the Vermont State Medical Society in 1815, and of the Massachusetts Medical Society in 1817. In the latter he was an influential mem- ber, being orator at its annual meeting in 1842, with a scholarly address, "Medical History of the County of Franklin in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." He was instrumental in the formation of the Franklin District Society, one of the branches of the Massachusetts Medical Society, in 1851.

In 1816 he published a volume on the indigenous plants of Deerfield and its vicinity and subsequently ^vTote numer- ous papers, which were published in the periodicals of the day upon the medic- inal properties of plants. In 1817 he read a " Traditionary and Historical Sketch of the Aboriginal People of the Country " before the New York Historical Society, published in the "Society's Transactions."

From 1823 to 1831 he held the chair of medical jurisprudence in the Berkshire Medical Institution and in 1838 delivered a course of lectures on the same subject in the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, supplying a chair made vacant by the illness of Professor Beck, subsequently for two years he served as lecturer upon medical botany and juris- prudence in Dartmouth College and pro- fessor of materia medica, pharmacy and medical jurisprudence in Willoughby University, during this period delivering over four hundred lectures, carefully written out in full.

Dr. Williams's most noted work was his modest, dun-colored octavo of some 400 pages on American Medical Bi- ography, published in 1845, in which he continued James Thacher's pioneer bio- graphical vn-iting in a manner most satisfactory to the student of early medi- cine and at the same time showing a more careful regard for facts than Thacher. Previous to this he wrote an " Indigenous Medical Botany of Massachusetts" and a "Catechism of Medical Jurisprudence," and in 1847 appeared the "Genealogy of


the Williams Family in America." Many more of his writings are to be found in the medical journals of the time and a list of his published minor works is in AUibone's "Dictionary of Authors." Dr. Williams was the author of the first report of the American Medical Association on medical biographies and the originator of a prac- tice on the part of the Association of collecting biographies of deceased medical men of the country who had attained prominence.

In 1824 the Berkshire Medical Institu- tion gave him her honorary M. D., and in the same year Williams College made him an Honorary A. M. He was an honorary member of the New York Historical Society, The Royal Society of Antiquari- ans at Copenhagen, the State Medical Society of Wisconsin.

Dr. Williams was simple and unostenta- tious in his habits and, owing to an in- born timidity, was never a polished pub- lic speaker. He suffered at times with angina pectoris which disqualified him in a degree from the performance of major surgical operations. After moving from Deerfield to Laona, Illinois, in 1853 he was not altogether happy in his changed surroundings. His strength failed dur- ing the spring of 1855, but he was able to visit patients until a week before his death, which occurred from heart disease on July 7, 1855. The last entry in his journal made shortly before had reference to the annual meeting of the Massachu- setts Medical Society, of which he was an ardent member, held on June 27 of that year. It was as follows: "Today the Medical Society meets at Springfield, my heart is with them."

W. L. B.

Boston Medcical and Surgical Journal, Aug. 9, 1855, vol. liii (James Deane, M. D.). Tr. American Medical Ass., 1878, xxix (J. M. Toner, M. D.).

Williams, Thomas Henry (1822-1904).

Thomas Henry Williams was born in Dorchester County, Maryland, in March, 1822, the son of Isaac F. and Rebecca R. (Stuart) Williams. The early j-ears of