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date: 18 January 2020

Perkins, Elishalocked

(16 January 1741–06 September 1799)
  • Philip Cash


Perkins, Elisha (16 January 1741–06 September 1799), physician and patent vendor, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, the son of Joseph Perkins, a physician, and Mary Bushnell. Perkins may have briefly attended Yale and studied medicine under his father. He set up practice in Plainfield, Connecticut, and in 1762 married Sarah Douglass; they had ten children. During the Revolution, he served as a regimental surgeon. Tall and muscular, Perkins possessed great energy, self-control, self-confidence, and a good bedside manner. In spite of his thriving practice, he was not able to earn enough from medicine to support his large family. To supplement his income, he engaged in the mule trade, boarded patients, and took in students from the local academy he had helped to establish. He was an incorporator of the Connecticut Medical Society (1792) and chairman of the Windham County Medical Society....

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