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Autobiography of Silas Thompson Trowbridge M.D. (Shawnee Classics)

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< div> < div> < i> Autobiography of Silas Thompson Trowbridge M.D.< /i> is a remarkable account of nineteenth-century medicine, politics, and personal life that recovers the captivating experiences of a Civil War& #8211; era regimental surgeon who was also a president of the Illinois State Medical Society and a United States consul in Mexico. First published in 1872 by Trowbridge& #8217; s family and even printed on a family-owned press, only a handful of copies of the initial publication survive. In this first paperback edition, Trowbridge& #8217; s memoirs are reprinted as they originally appeared. < br> < br> & nbsp; < br> < br> Indiana-born Trowbridge moved to Illinois in his early twenties. A teacher by trade, he continued that career while he began the study of medicine, eventually starting a medical practice near New Castle, which he later moved to Decatur. Though respected by the community, Trowbridge lacked an authentic medical degree, so he enrolled in a four-month course of medical lectures at Rush Medical College in Chicago. < i> Autobiography < /i> describes the atmosphere of the medical school and delineates Trowbridge& #8217; s opinions on the lack of quality control in medical colleges of the day. < br> < br> & nbsp; < br> < br> Although three years of study and two annual terms of sixteen weeks were the actual requirements for the degree, Trowbridge was allowed to graduate after a single course of lectures& nbsp; and completion of a twenty-page thesis due to his previous experience. He then married a young widow and returned to Decatur, where he began a partnership with two local physicians andinaugurated a county medical society.& nbsp; In addition to practicing medicine, he was known and respected for regulating it, too, having supported legislation that would legalize dissection and prohibit incompetent persons from practicing medicine. < br> < br> & nbsp; < br> < br> In 1861, Trowbridge began service as a surgeon of the 8th Illinois Volunteer Infantry commanded by Colonel Richard J. Oglesby.& nbsp; < i> Autobiography < /i> describes his experiences beginning in Cairo, Illinois, where the infantry was involved in several expeditions and where Trowbridge made his & #8220; debut at the operating table.& #8221; Revealing a litany of surgical duties, replete with gruesome details, these war-time recollections provide a unique perspective on medical practices of the day. Likewise, his commentaries on political issues and his descriptions of combat serve to correct some of the early written histories of the war& #8217; s great battles. < br> < br> & nbsp; < br> < br> After receiving an honorable discharge in 1864, Trowbridge returned to Decatur to resume his partnership with Dr. W. J. Chenoweth and devote himself to surgery. His reminiscences recount several difficult surgeries, his efforts to reorganize the county medical society (which had collapsed during the war), and his communications to the Illinois legislature to set higher qualifications for practicing physicians. He was later elected president of the Illinois State Medical Society and appointed by President Grant United States Consul to Vera Cruz on the eastern coast of Mexico, where he studied and challenged the treatment of yellow fever. The autobiography endsin 1874 with a six-day family vacation and the marriage of his daughter to a merchant of Vera Cruz.< br> < br> < /div> < /div>

Synopsis:

Autobiography of Silas Thompson Trowbridge M.D. is a remarkable account of nineteenth-century medicine, politics, and personal life that recovers the captivating experiences of a Civil War-era regimental surgeon who was also a president of the Illinois State Medical Society and a United States consul in Mexico. First published in 1872 by Trowbridges family and even printed on a family-owned press, only a handful of copies of the initial publication survive. In this first paperback edition, Trowbridges memoirs are reprinted as they originally appeared.

 

Indiana-born Trowbridge moved to Illinois in his early twenties. A teacher by trade, he continued that career while he began the study of medicine, eventually starting a medical practice near New Castle, which he later moved to Decatur. Though respected by the community, Trowbridge lacked an authentic medical degree, so he enrolled in a four-month course of medical lectures at Rush Medical College in Chicago. Autobiography describes the atmosphere of the medical school and delineates Trowbridges opinions on the lack of quality control in medical colleges of the day.

 

Although three years of study and two annual terms of sixteen weeks were the actual requirements for the degree, Trowbridge was allowed to graduate after a single course of lectures  and completion of a twenty-page thesis due to his previous experience. He then married a young widow and returned to Decatur, where he began a partnership with two local physicians and inaugurated a county medical society.  In addition to practicing medicine, he was known and respected for regulating it, too, having supported legislation that would legalize dissection and prohibit incompetent persons from practicing medicine.

 

In 1861, Trowbridge began service as a surgeon of the 8th Illinois Volunteer Infantry commanded by Colonel Richard J. Oglesby. Autobiography describes his experiences beginning in Cairo, Illinois, where the infantry was involved in several expeditions and where Trowbridge made his “debut at the operating table.” Revealing a litany of surgical duties, replete with gruesome details, these war-time recollections provide a unique perspective on medical practices of the day. Likewise, his commentaries on political issues and his descriptions of combat serve to correct some of the early written histories of the wars great battles.

 

After receiving an honorable discharge in 1864, Trowbridge returned to Decatur to resume his partnership with Dr. W. J. Chenoweth and devote himself to surgery. His reminiscences recount several difficult surgeries, his efforts to reorganize the county medical society (which had collapsed during the war), and his communications to the Illinois legislature to set higher qualifications for practicing physicians. He was later elected president of the Illinois State Medical Society and appointed by President Grant United States Consul to Vera Cruz on the eastern coast of Mexico, where he studied and challenged the treatment of yellow fever. The autobiography ends in 1874 with a six-day family vacation and the marriage of his daughter to a merchant of Vera Cruz.

About the Author

John S. Haller is a professor of history at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is the author of numerous books, including Medical Protestants: The Eclectics in American Medicine, 1825-1939, Farmcarts to Fords: A History of the Military Ambulance, 1790-1925, and The Peoples Doctors: Samuel Thomson and the American Botanical Movement, 1790-1860.

 

Barbara Mason is the curator of the Pearson Museum at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois, where she is also a member of the Department of Medical Humanities. She is the coauthor, with Emmet F. Pearson, of My Sixty Years of Medicine and The Emmet F. Pearson Collection of Disinfected Mail and, with John S. Haller, of Forging a Medical Practice, 1884-1938: An Illinois Case Study.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780809325917
Introduction:
Haller, John S.
Introduction:
Mason, Barbara
Introduction by:
Haller, John S.
Introduction by:
Mason, Barbara
Introduction:
Haller, John S.
Introduction:
Mason, Barbara
Author:
Haller, John S.
Author:
Trowbridge, Silas Thompson
Author:
Mason, Barbara
Publisher:
Southern Illinois University Press
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Military
Subject:
Surgeons
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
Subject:
Surgeons -- United States.
Subject:
Trowbridge, Silas Thompson
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Edition Number:
1st Edition
Edition Description:
1st Edition
Series:
Shawnee Classics (Reprinted)
Publication Date:
20041131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
6.5 x 4.5 x 0.8 in

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Historical
Biography » Military
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
History and Social Science » Linguistics » General

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"Synopsis" by ,

Autobiography of Silas Thompson Trowbridge M.D. is a remarkable account of nineteenth-century medicine, politics, and personal life that recovers the captivating experiences of a Civil War-era regimental surgeon who was also a president of the Illinois State Medical Society and a United States consul in Mexico. First published in 1872 by Trowbridges family and even printed on a family-owned press, only a handful of copies of the initial publication survive. In this first paperback edition, Trowbridges memoirs are reprinted as they originally appeared.

 

Indiana-born Trowbridge moved to Illinois in his early twenties. A teacher by trade, he continued that career while he began the study of medicine, eventually starting a medical practice near New Castle, which he later moved to Decatur. Though respected by the community, Trowbridge lacked an authentic medical degree, so he enrolled in a four-month course of medical lectures at Rush Medical College in Chicago. Autobiography describes the atmosphere of the medical school and delineates Trowbridges opinions on the lack of quality control in medical colleges of the day.

 

Although three years of study and two annual terms of sixteen weeks were the actual requirements for the degree, Trowbridge was allowed to graduate after a single course of lectures  and completion of a twenty-page thesis due to his previous experience. He then married a young widow and returned to Decatur, where he began a partnership with two local physicians and inaugurated a county medical society.  In addition to practicing medicine, he was known and respected for regulating it, too, having supported legislation that would legalize dissection and prohibit incompetent persons from practicing medicine.

 

In 1861, Trowbridge began service as a surgeon of the 8th Illinois Volunteer Infantry commanded by Colonel Richard J. Oglesby. Autobiography describes his experiences beginning in Cairo, Illinois, where the infantry was involved in several expeditions and where Trowbridge made his “debut at the operating table.” Revealing a litany of surgical duties, replete with gruesome details, these war-time recollections provide a unique perspective on medical practices of the day. Likewise, his commentaries on political issues and his descriptions of combat serve to correct some of the early written histories of the wars great battles.

 

After receiving an honorable discharge in 1864, Trowbridge returned to Decatur to resume his partnership with Dr. W. J. Chenoweth and devote himself to surgery. His reminiscences recount several difficult surgeries, his efforts to reorganize the county medical society (which had collapsed during the war), and his communications to the Illinois legislature to set higher qualifications for practicing physicians. He was later elected president of the Illinois State Medical Society and appointed by President Grant United States Consul to Vera Cruz on the eastern coast of Mexico, where he studied and challenged the treatment of yellow fever. The autobiography ends in 1874 with a six-day family vacation and the marriage of his daughter to a merchant of Vera Cruz.

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