Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/599

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WYMAN


Majendie, and Longet on physiology, and of de Blainv^lle, Isidore St. Hilaire, Valenciennes, Dumeril, and Milne-Ed- wards on zoology and comparative anat- omy. He took a walking trip along the Loire and another along the Rhine, whence he went through Belgium to London. In London he made a study of the Hunterian collections at the Royal College of Surgeons, but was called home by the illness of his father, who died before he reached America. On his return to Boston he spent most of his time in scientific work, but without adequate remuneration. In 1843 he was offered a professorship of anatomy and physiology in the medical department of the Hampden-Sidney College, estab- lished at Richmond, Virginia. The work in the medical college lasted merely diir- ing the winter and spring months, and the rest of the year he spent in Boston. In 1847 he resigned this professorsliip to accept the Hersey professorsliip of anatomy in Harvard College, a chair at this time transferred from the medical school to the college at Cambridge, while a new professorship, the Parkman, was established at the medical school in Boston and conferred upon Oliver Wen- dell Holmes. Wyman began his work at Harvard in Holden Chapel, a small building not well fitted to the purpose. The upper floor was made into a lecture room while the lower floor contained the dissecting room and museum of compara- tive anatomy, which was a mere rudi- ment when he took charge of it, but rapidly enlarged under his activity. He gave two annual courses of lectures and lessons, each for twenty weeks. One was on embryology, the other on anatomy and physiology. In addition to teaching undergraduates he directed numerous special pupils in advanced work and was loved as a simple, unaf- fected, attractive, stimulating teacher.

Wyman's museum was one of the first of its kind in the country to be arranged on a plan both physiological and morpho- logical. "No pains and labors were spared, and long and arduous journeys


53.5 WYMAN

and voyages were made to contribute to its riches."' (Gray.)

Among these expeditions, the following are the more important: In the summer of 1849 he accompanied Capt. Atwood, of Provincetown, upon a fishing voyage up the coast of Labrador. In the winter of 1852, while in Florida for his health, he began a fruitful study of this district. In 1854, accompanied by his wife, he trav- elled extensively in Europe, and visited many of the best museums. In the spring of 185G, with his pupils Green and and Bancroft as companions, he sailed to Surinam, made canoe trips far into the interior, where they got many interesting collections, but also got the fever from which Wyman suffered severely. In 1858-59 he accompanied Capt. J. M. Forbes on a voyage to the La Plata, ascended the Uraguay and the Parana, and then with George Augustus Peabody, as a companion, crossed the pampas to Mendosa, and the Cordilleras to Santiago and Valparaiso, returning home by way of the Peru\aan coast and the Isthmus.

Wyman's museum was made up of specimens gathered largely by himself and at his own expense, and in the main prepared by his own hands, but Agassiz by his personal enthusiasm got many to aid him. In Dr. Wyman "we have an example of what one man may do un- aided, with feeble health and feebler means, by persistent and well-directed industry, without ^clat, and almost without observation, ^^'hile we duly honor those who of their abundance cast their gifts into the treasury of science, let us not, now that he cannot be pained by our praise, forget to honor one who in silence and penury cast in more than they all." (Gray).

Altliough Wyman's salary was small, he adapted his wants to his means, yet was not one to complain when, in 1856, Dr. William J. Walker, a friend of his father's, sent him ten thousand dollars to aid him in his work. In the same year

  • Holmes ia a biogr.iphical sketch of Wymaa

ia the Atlantic Monthly for November, 1874, has given au iuterosting description of the museum.