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street below Market. In the winter of 1808, the class met in it. Dr. Shippen, whose domestic misfortunes and bodily infirmities had borne heavily upon him for some years, had retired from the active duties of the chair. But on this occasion he delivered the introductory lecture, which was rendered more than usually interesting to him by his recollections of almost half a century, when but twelve students had assembled to follow his course, in an obscure room in the city. Now he had spacious and comparatively elegant accommodations, and an immense concourse of students from all parts of the union. In a few weeks after this effort of strength, in which he described in glowing terms his emotions, he was gathered to his fathers. This circumstance left Dr. WISTAR sole professor of anatomy.
The talents which had borne him up to this period of life, were now applied with renewed vigor. Determined on discharging his duties to the best of his power, no pains, no expense, were spared. Well experienced in the best mode of instruction, in what was most useful to be learned, he sustained in the maturity of his reputation, the high opinion that had been formed of him. As a teacher of anatomy, differing in many respects from his illustrious predecessor, his elocution was equally popular. His style of speaking was of that earnest and fluent kind, which, abounding in important truths, commanded the attention without restricting itself to the formal rules of oratory. It was not so much the speaker that spoke as the subject which he was discussing; the absorbing interest was in the latter.
From the uncertainty of continuing the course of anatomy in the early years of the school, no arrangements had been made for an anatomical museum. Dr. Wistar soon became sensible of this deficiency, and to the day of his death continued to supply it. Many years before, he had made a very fine and numerous collection of dried preparations of the arterial and venous systems. A considerable number of corroded preparations in wax were executed about the same period. About the year 1812, a friend of his travelling in Italy, enabled him to add to his cabinet, from the school of Mascagni, several very superior preparations of the lymphatics; their arrival gave an impulse to the cultivation of that branch of practical anatomy among the students of the school, and from it has resulted a number of very creditable preparations. The most signal effort, however, of Dr. Wistar in this line, was having a number of very large models in wood executed by Rush, with the view of giving every member of his class an equal opportunity of learning.
The last year of Dr. WISTAR's mortal career was marked by an unusual concourse of students, and by a series of lectures, in which he even exceeded his former reputation. In his fifty-eighth year, animated by a new and improved lecture-room, but in an impaired state of health, his excessive fondness for the duties of the chair still stimulated him to advance in the noble career. In this zenith of popularity, and of public confidence, in January, 1818, he was assailed with the malady destined by Providence to close his labors. So long as reason maintained her seat, his exclamation was “Well, to-morrow I shall certainly be able to meet my class,” and even when dark delirium threw her mantle over his faculties, his incoherent ravings were addressed to the same subject, and it was only by coercion that he was prevented one day, long after the usual hour of his lecture had expired, from repairing to the University.
Thus perished one of the most distinguished ornaments of the medical profession, and of the literary circles of this country. That his loss was deeply felt, was manifested by the various eulogiums and notices of this event, in different parts of the United States.* A constant memorial of his estimation is now found in the name of the Wistar parties before alluded to, and in the cards of invitation of the association having a vignette of his head.
* Eulogium on Dr. Wistar by Chief Justice Tilghman, March 11th, 1818.
by Professor Hosack, January 26th, 1818.
by Charles Caldwell, M, D., February 21st, 1818. Note Necrologique Par J. Correa de Serra, Ayril, 1818, unpublished.
1.rtered accorias Act of Congres u the year 1844 lry Janes Hertogm the clerks office of the
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HOS ACK, M. D. F: R. S.
“The only advantage which the world can gain from the publication of the lives of individuals, is the knowledge of the circumstances that tend to the formation of character, or of those which influence the happiness of life.”
The only objection which can be raised against the publication of the memoirs of living men is, that truth is apt to be buried in panegyric. Although we willingly admit that there is an appearance of reason in the objection, yet, there are others, and, as we believe, stronger reasons which may be presented to cast the balance on the other side.
That we should speak favorably of the subjects admitted in this collection, ought not to be considered a fault, as if we had nothing to say in their favor, we should not admit them at all. It is not our design nor practice to lavish praise indiscriminately, but rather to gather facts and state them fairly; and such facts, published during the lifetime of the subject, can with more certainty be relied on, than such as may be collected from his friends,- and ho would seek truth from his foes ?-after death, when the maxim “de mortuis nil nisi bonum," is most generally strictly observed.
In the memoir before us, we shall be restrained, by our limits, to a narrative of the prominent incidents in the life of a physician of nearly forty years' practice; which, of course, cannot be few, nor uninteresting
David Hosack was born in the city of New York, on the 31st of August, 1769. His father, Alexander Hosack, whom he never mentioned but with reverence and affection, was a native of Scotland, born at Elgin, in Murrayshire, on the 29th of August, 1736. His mother, Jane, the daughter of Thomas Arden, of the city of New York, was born on the 2d of March, 1743. Her paternal ancestors were from England, but on the maternal side, were among those who fled from France during the persecutions which succeeded the revocation of the edict of Nantes.