Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/89

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KIRTLAND


73


KISSAM


of Strychnine" is preserved in the "Proceedings" of the Convention of 1849. He was equally active in the organization of the Ohio State Med- ical Society, was, in 1846, its first vice- president, and its president in 1848. Two papers by Dr. Kirtland are also published in the Cleveland Medical Gazette of 1860, the one entitled "On the Use of Podophyllin and Leptandrin as a Suljstitute for Mercurials in Dis- eases of the Digestive Organs;" the other, "Parthenogenesis in Bees and Moths." A third paper, "On the Use of Opium in Certain Forms of Nervous Irritability and Coma, Which Frequent- ly attend Typhus fevers," will be found in the "Transactions of the Ohio State Medical Society," 1851.

But in spite of his eminent medical character, it was in the field of the natural sciences that Dr. Kirtland secured his most extended and most enduring fame. Even as a boy he had manifested great interest in botany, natural history and scientific agricul- ture, and in 1834 he announced in the "American Journal of Art and Science" (vol. xxvi) his discovery of the " Ex- istence of Distinct Sexes in the Naiads," a species of fresh water shell- fish, heretofore believed to be hermaphro- dite. This discovery produced a con- siderable sensation in that day, and was denied by many naturalists, but its truth was finally confirmed by Agassiz and Karl T. E. von Siebold. In 1837 Dr. Kirtland was appointed an assistant to Prof. W. W. Mather in the geological survey of the state of Ohio, authorized by the Legislature, and spent the summer in collecting specimens in all departments of natural history for an extended report upon that subject. This survey was sus- pended before completion, and the legislature even refused to reimburse to Dr. Kirtland the expenditures which he had made from his own pocket in the performance of his part of the work. He accordingly retained the specimens already procured, and ultimately pre-


sented them to the Cleveland Acad- emy of Natural science, organized in 1845 chiefly through his influence and example. In 1853, in company with Spencer F. Baird and Dr. Hoy, he traveled extensively throughout Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and even Canada, engaged in the study of the natural history of these states, and in 1869-70, though now seventy- seven years of age, he made a trip to Florida, for similar purposes.

As early as 1840 Dr. Kirtland had purchased a farm on the shore of Lake Erie, about five miles west of Cleveland, and now devoted his declin- ing years to scientific agriculture, the cultivation of fruits and flowers and the management of bees, and his private gi'ounds became one of the show-places of the neighboring city. Even in the art of taxidermy Dr. Kirtland was an expert, and numer- ous specimens from his hands are found in the museums of both the L'nited States and England.

In 1861 he received from Williams College the degree of LL. D. He was also a regular correspondent of Ag- assiz, Spencer F. Baird, Joseph Henry, Marshall P. Wilder and numerous other scientists.

Dr. Kirtland died un his farm at Rockport December 10, 1877, at the advanced age of eighty-four years.

An excellent portrait is in Western Reserve Medical College, and a bust by Dr. Garlick may be seen in the Museum of the Western Reserve His- torical Society in Cleveland.

H. E. H.

f'leveland Med. Gazette, 1890-91, vol. vi. Nat. Acad. Sci., Wash., 1886, vol. ii. Cleave's Biographical C'yclopedia.

Kissam, Richard Sharp (1808-1861). Richard S. Kissam, son of the great lithotomist, was born in New York, October, 2, 1808. In 1824 he enter- ed Union College, Schenectady, and later Washington College, Hartford, Connecticut, in 1827 becoming a