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Scottish American Doctors

A prominent physician of early colonial times was Dr. Gustavus Brown (1689-1765), born in Dalkeith, and died in Maryland. Dr. Gustavus Richard Brown (1747-1804), born in Maryland and educated at Edinburgh University, his son, also made a reputation for himself as a physician of ability. Dr. Gustavus Brown (1744-1801), grandson of the first named, was summoned to attend President Washington in his last illness. Dr. John Lining (1708-1760), born in Scotland, settled in Charleston, S.C., in 1730, gained a large practice through his skill as a physician, and a distinguished reputation in Europe as a scientist from his experiments in electricity, etc. His meteorological observations were probably the first ever published. In 1751 he issued his "History of the Yellow Fever," "which was the first that had been given to the public from the American continent." Dr. Lionel Chalmers (1715-1777), born in Argyllshire, practised in South Carolina for more than forty years, and was the first to treat of the soil, climate, weather, and diseases of that state. He "left behind him the name of a skilful, humane physician." Dr. James Craik (1731-1814), physician-general of the United States Army, was born at Arbigland, near Dumfries, and for nearly forty years was the intimate friend of Washington, and his physician in his last illness. One of the earliest introducers of vaccination into America and an original investigator into the cause of disease was Dr. John Crawford (1746-1813), of Ulster Scots birth. As early as 1790 he had conceived what is now known as the germ theory of disease. Dr. Adam Stephen, born in Scotland, died at Martinsburg, West Virginia, in 1791, took part in the French and Indian wars and was an active participant in the Revolutionary War on the side of the colonists. The town of Martinsburg in Berkeley County was laid out by him. Dr. George Buchanan (1763-1808), founder of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, was a grandson of George Buchanan, the Scot who laid out Baltimore town in 1730. Dr. John Spence (1766-1829), born in Scotland, educated at Edinburgh University, settled in Virginia in 1791, and obtained a high reputation as a judicious and successful practitioner. The "father of ovariotomy," Dr. Ephraim McDowell (1771-1830), was born in Virginia of Scots ancestry and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. James Brown McCaw (1772-1846), one of the leading surgeons in Virginia for over thirty years, studied medicine in Edinburgh. He was one of the first, if not the first, to tie the external carotid artery, an operation he performed in 1807. He came of a race of doctors, being the great-grandson of James McCaw, a surgeon who emigrated from Wigtownshire in 1771. George McClellan (1796-1847) the eminent surgeon and founder of the Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, was of Scottish descent. His son, John Hill Brinton McClellan (1823-74), was professor of anatomy in Pennsylvania Medical College, and his grandson was George McClellan (1849-1913), the eminent Philadelphia anatomist. Dr. Peter Middleton (d. 1781), a native of Scotland, made the first dissection on record in this country before a class of students and in 1767 established a Medical School in New York which was subsequently merged in the King's (now Columbia) College. Dr. William Currie (1754-1823), served in the medical service during the Revolutionary War, and was reputed one of the most gifted men of his time as physician and classical scholar. Horatio Gates Jameson (1778-1855), distinguished physician and surgeon, was son of Dr. David Jameson who had emigrated to Charleston in 1740 in company with Dr. (afterwards General) Hugh Mercer. Granville Sharp Pattison (1791-1851), anatomist, born near Glasgow, held several professional appointments in this country and founded the Medical Department of the University of the City of New York. Dr. John Kearsley Mitchell (1793-1858), poet, botanist, and eminent physician of Philadelphia, was son of Dr. Alexander Mitchell who came from Scotland in 1786. His son, Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell, born in 1829, was distinguished for his researches in toxicology, the nervous system, etc., and as one of the most distinguished of American authors. One of the founders of the City Hospital, Albany, and Surgeon-General of New York State, was Dr. James McNaughton (1796-1874), born at Kenmore, Aberfeldy. Dr. Daniel McRuer (1802-73), born in Knapdale, Argyllshire, "a typical Scotchman with a 'burr' in his talk," performed great service in the Civil War as an army Surgeon. Dr. John Watson (1807-1863), organizer of one of the first dispensaries for the treatment of skin diseases and introducer of reforms in the New York Hospital, was an Ulster Scot. John Murray Carnochan (1817-87), one of the most distinguished surgeons of his day, was of Scottish parentage. Ferdinand Campbell Stuart (b. 1815), inventor of various instruments used in genito-urinary diseases and one of the founders of the New York Academy of Medicine, was grandson of Rev. Archibald Campbell of Argyllshire. Dr. David Hayes Agnew (1818-92) was of Scottish descent. In his work "he attained a degree of eminence which has rarely, if ever, been equaled, and to which our own times and generation furnish no parallel." William Thomas Green Morton (1819-68), the discoverer of anaesthesia, was also of Scottish origin. Dr. Robert Alexander Kinloch (1826-91), of Scottish parentage, was the first American surgeon to resect the knee joint for chronic cases, also the first to treat fractures of the lower jaw and other bones by wiring the fragments, and was also the first in any country to perform a laparotomy for gunshot wounds in the abdomen without protrusion of the viscera. Dr. George Troup Maxwell (1827-1879), was inventor of the laryngoscope. James Ridley Taylor (1821-1895), who entered the medical profession after middle life, at the end of a long career passed as a mechanical engineer, and achieved success and fame in his profession, was born in Ayr, Scotland. He probably inherited his mechanical skill from his uncle, John Taylor of Dalswinton, who constructed the steam engine along with Symington. James Henry McLean (1829-86), physician and Member of Congress, was born in Scotland. Dr. James Craig (1834-88), obstetrician, born in Glasgow, graduated at the University of the City of New York, attended over four thousand cases without the loss of a mother, was inventor of several surgical appliances, and was the first to demonstrate hydriodic acid as a curative in acute inflammatory rheumatism. Professor Alexander Johnson Chalmers Skene (1837-1900), of Brooklyn, born in Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, was perhaps the most famous Gynecologist in America. He was author of many treatises on his special subject. Prof. Charles McBurney (b. 1845), the famous surgeon, was of Scottish ancestry. Neil Jamieson Hepburn, born in Orkney in 1846, oculist and aurist, held many positions of responsibility. Charles Smith Turnbull (b. 1847), oculist and eminent specialist in diseases of the ear, was of Scottish parentage. Alexander Hugh Ferguson (1853-1911), the famous Chicago surgeon of Scottish parentage, was decorated by the King of Portugal for his skill in surgery. Other prominent doctors and surgeons of Scottish origin whom we have only space to name are: John Barclay Crawford (1828-94); William Smith Forbes (1831-1905), grandson of Dr. David Forbes of Edinburgh; John Minson Gait (d. 1808), and his son Alexander D. Gait (1777-1841); Robert Ramsey Livingston (1827-88), the most prominent of Nebraska's early physicians; and James Macdonald (1803-49), resident physician of Bloomingdale Asylum.

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