Godman, John Davidson
- Charles W. Carey Jr.
Godman, John Davidson (20 December 1794–17 April 1830), anatomist and naturalist, was born in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of Samuel Godman and Anna Henderson. His mother died when he was two years old, and he was sent to Wilmington, Delaware, to live with an aunt who in 1798 moved with him to Chestertown, Maryland. She died in 1800, the year after his father died, and he was sent to Baltimore, Maryland, to live with a sister. In 1811 he became a printer’s apprentice, a position that was intellectually stifling and physically debilitating; within a year he contracted a tubercular infection that plagued him for the rest of his life. Perhaps as a result of this infection and the drudgery of his situation, he developed an interest in medicine and spent as much time as he could in the office of a local Baltimore physician. There he met William N. Luckey, a medical student at the University of Maryland, who inspired him to study chemistry in order to prepare for a medical career....