« PrejšnjaNaprej »
father, the Rev. Samuel Blatchford, removed to this country when Thomas was an infant, and first settled in Bedford, N. Y., and afterwards in Greenfield Hill, Conn., to which place he was called as the successor of Dr. Dwight, who had accepted the presidency of Yale College. He was subsequently called to the pastoral charge of the united congregations of Lansingburgh and Waterford, N. Y., in 1804, where he spent the most of his useful life.
Dr. Blatchford's early studies were prosecuted under the direction of his father, in Lansingburgh Academy, of which his father was the principal. In 1810 he commenced the study of medicine under Dr. John Taylor of Lansingburgh, and in 1813 he matriculated at the "College of Physicians and Surgeons." In 1815 he went to England and attended two courses of lectures at the united schools of Guy's and St. Thomas' hospitals, given by Sir Astley Cooper and Professor Cline. In 1816 he returned to New York and after attending another course of lectures he graduated in 1817. His graduating thesis was upon "Feigned Diseases," being the result of his observations and experience while attending the State Prison. The paper was printed and gives evidence of that judicious observation and accuracy of diagnosis which distinguished his subsequent career as a medical man. After receiving his degree of M.D. he opened an office in New York City. He afterwards removed to Jamaica, Long Island, where, gaining the confidence of the residents, he had an extensive and arduous practice. In 1819 he married Harriet, the daughter of Thomas Wickes, a descendant of one of the original patentees of the town of Huntington in 1666, and one of the leading men on Long Island, who took a prominent part in our revolutionary struggle, being connected with the American army during the entire war, in the quartermaster's department, with the rank of major. While in Jamaica the doctor identified himself with the interests of the town, being a trustee in Union Hall Academy, and an active laborer in works of religion and general benevolence.
In 1828, after the death of his father, Dr. Blatchford removed to Troy for the purpose of being near his widowed mother. The successful treatment and cure of a clergyman there whom several other physicians had treated unsuccess
fully, caused him to become very popular, and for a period of about forty years he was looked upon as a highly successful practitioner and a cultivated and scientific medical man.
His intercourse with his associates was uniformly marked by the amenities and courtesies of one who appreciated and loved the honor of his profession. While jealous of his own reputation, he paid a scrupulous regard to the reputation and rights of others. He took great pleasure in rendering aid and encouragement to his professional juniors, and even assisted them materially. His interest in the advancement and welfare of his profession was manifested in his efforts for the promotion of medical association. The State and county medical societies, and the American Medical Association, were regarded as worthy of his active efforts for their promotion. He was rarely absent from their meetings, and their records bear evidence not only of his interest in their welfare, but of his sound judgment in the adoption of measures calculated to promote the cause of medical science.
Dr. Blatchford is favorably known by his published papers and essays, which are as follows: "Inaugural Dissertation on Feigned Diseases," in 1817; "Letters," &c., 1823; “Letters to Married Ladies," 1825; "Homœopathy Illustrated," 1824. One of the earliest discussions of the delusion which was published and which has always been regarded as possessed of peculiar merit, " Equivocal Generation," 1844. “Inaugural Address before the Medical Society of the State of New York;" "Memoir of Charles Lyman, Esq.," 1849; "Two Cases of Hydrophobia," 1854; "Report on Hydrophobia," 1856, read before the American Medical Association, and published in their Transactions; "Report on Rest and the Abolition of Pain, as Curative Remedies," 1856; "Eulogy on Dr. Samuel McClellan," 1859; "Alumni Oration before the College of Physicians and Surgeons," New York, 1861; besides many articles for newspapers, and papers contributed to the medical and surgical journals.
Dr. Blatchford kept a meteorological journal from the year 1824; noting the range of the thermometer and barometer, direction of the wind and aspect of the weather, account of rain, snow, &c. His accuracy and care in these observations were well known, and the testimony of his record on these
subjects, was regarded as conclusive. He was a philanthropist in the highest sense of the term. The temperance cause received his earnest and most systematic efforts for its promotion. Every enterprise for the advancement of the well-being of his fellow-men, at home or abroad, found in him an earnest friend, and active and consistent colaborer.
Dr. Blatchford was connected with the Marshall Infirmary of Troy from its foundation. The Lunatic Asylum connected with the Infirmary was projected by him. Upon his death the governors, in their tribute to his memory, express their "irreparable loss" in the death of their associate, and declare that his place in their councils "can never be wholly filled,” and that his labors in the care of the institution "have been such that few can ever equal." He left his valuable medical library of over six hundred volumes to the institution. The bequest was accepted by the governors, who resolved to place the books in a separate apartment to be known as the " Blatchford Medical Library of the Marshall Infirmary."
The doctor was connected for a period of seven years with the Board of Education of the city of Troy, and was its presiding officer during most of that time. To the cause of education he gave his untiring energies. Regarding the health of the body as essential as the improvement of the mind he drew the plan of most of the schoolhouses of the city, so as to secure pure air and thorough ventilation. One of the public schools was named, in 1862, the Blatchford School. He was also a trustee of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and of the Troy Female Seminary.
Dr. Blatchford's reputation as a man of science was recognized in the degree of A.M., by Union College in 1815; in his election as Fellow of the Albany Medical College in 1834; President of the Rensselaer County Medical Society 1842-3; Permanent member of the Medical Society of the State of New York, 1845, and its President in 1847; Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1849; Corresponding Fellow of New York Academy of Medicine, 1847; Vice-president of the American Medical Association, 1856; Corresponding Member of the Academy of Science, St. Louis, 1857; Fellow of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, 1861; Honorary Member of
the Medical Society of New Jersey, 1861, and of the Medical Society of Connecticut, 1862.
As a Christian a uniform and consistent piety formed a part of the man. In his daily round of duties, professional, civil, social, as well as in those more peculiarly religious, his aim seemed always to be to "do all things to the glory of God." He seldom absented himself from the services of the sanctuary. So unusual was his absence that when at rare intervals it did happen, the minister would send to his residence, under the apprehension that he was ill. It is said that a certain physician in Troy had been admonished for his uniform absence from services on Sundays, and he excused himself on the ground of professional duty, and he was asked why Dr. Blatchford could attend church so regularly, whereupon he acknowledged that he could not understand it, as his practice was not so large as Dr. Blatchford's. He was advised to learn the doctor's secret, and upon calling upon the latter for the purpose, the doctor said to him: "You always attend your consultations, don't you, doctor?" "Oh, yes," he replied. "And you aim to be always punctual to your appointments, don't you?" He answered in the affirmative, and with emphasis. "Well," said Dr. Blatchford, "I have a consultation with my Divine Master at ten o'clock every Sunday morning, and I make all my arrangements to meet my appointment."
His piety was not severe, but always beautiful; ever cheerful, often jocose and eminently social, his society was welcome to every circle. He fell asleep in Jesus Jan. 7th, 1866. - Memoir by Stephen Wickes, A.M., M.D.
[See page 234]
In the notes to "The Lord of the Isles we find an account of the cruel execution of Sir Simon Frazer, called in the poem the "flower of chivalry."
NOTE."Sir Simon Frazer, or Frizel, ancestor of the family of Lovat, is dwelt upon at great length, and with savage exultation, by the English historians. This knight, who was renowned for personal gallantry, and high deeds of chivalry, was made prisoner, after a gallant defence, in the battle of Methuen. Some stanzas of a ballad of the times give minute particulars of his fate. It was written immediately at the period, for it
mentions the Earl of Athole as not yet in custody. It has been translated out of the rude orthography of the times to make it intelligible."
"This was before Saint Bartholomew's mass,
That Frizel was y-taken, were it more other less,
He was y-fettered wele
Both with iron and with steel
"Soon thereafter the tiding to the King come,
"Y-fettered were his legs under his horse's wombe,
So to be brought in hand.
"This was upon our lady's even, forsooth I understand,
Both of great and of small
"Then said the Justice, that gentil is and free,