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Charles Caldwell. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B04072).

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Caldwell, Charles (14 May 1772–09 July 1853), physician, author, and teacher, was born in Caswell County, North Carolina, the son of Charles Caldwell, a farmer. His mother’s maiden name was Murray, although her given name is unknown. Caldwell’s father was an elder in the Presbyterian church and wanted Charles to become a minister. Accordingly, from the age of eleven to fourteen, Caldwell studied Latin and classical literature at a Latin school operated by Dominie Harris in Mecklenburg County. By the time Caldwell left Harris’s school, however, he had decided against a religious career....