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Forbes, Alexander (14 May 1882–27 March 1965), neurophysiologist, physician, and explorer, was born in Milton, Massachusetts, the son of William Hathaway Forbes, the first president of the Bell Telephone Company, and Edith Emerson, the daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Forbes received his early education at the Milton Academy and in 1900 matriculated at Harvard College, after a year of travel in the western United States and then in Europe. In 1904 he received an A.B. from Harvard and the following year an M.A. Before undertaking medical training at Harvard, Forbes spent another year in the western United States, living with his brother in a cabin in Wyoming. Forbes married Charlotte Irving Grinell in June 1910; the couple would have four children. That year Harvard awarded Forbes a medical doctorate, and he became a member of the American Physiological Society, which he later served as treasurer from 1927 to 1936. He did postgraduate studies in 1911–1912 with Charles S. Sherrington in Liverpool, England, investigating the reflexes of decerebrate animals. While in England, Forbes also visited Keith Lucas at Cambridge for several weeks. Returning to the United States, he worked with H. B. Williams, the Dalton Professor of Physiology at Columbia University, measuring reflex times with an Einthoven string galvanometer (a device invented by Willem Einthoven in 1902 to measure electrical currents in the heart)....

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Judd, Gerrit Parmele (23 April 1803–12 July 1873), physician, medical missionary, and Hawaiian government official and adviser, was born in Paris, New York, the son of Elnathan Judd, Jr., a physician, and Betsey Hastings. Being the eldest son of a physician, Judd took an early interest in the medical profession and attended medical school in Fairfield, Herkimer County, where he received his M.D. in 1825. In 1826 Judd dedicated his life to the missionary cause as directed by the Boston-based Congregational American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM). At this time the board was recruiting missionaries for the third company to join the Sandwich Islands Mission in Hawaii in the fall of 1827....

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Kane, Elisha Kent (03 February 1820–16 February 1857), physician and Arctic explorer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Kintzing Kane, a federal judge, and Jane Duval Leiper. The Kane family was prominent in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., through Judge Kane’s association with President ...

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Elisha Kent Kane. Engraving by John Sartain, from a daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B015757).

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See Kern, Edward Meyer

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Kern, Edward Meyer (26 October 1823–23 November 1863), Richard Hovendon Kern (11 April 1821–26 October 1853), and Benjamin Jordan Kern (03 August 1818–14 March 1849), artists and explorers, were born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the sons of John Kern III, a customs house collector for the Port of Philadelphia, and Mary Elizabeth Bignell. The Kerns’ eight children were well educated and trained in the arts and sciences. Three of the boys (John IV, Edward, and Richard) were artists, and Benjamin earned an M.D. from the Pennsylvania Medical College....

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See Kern, Edward Meyer

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Lumbrozo, Jacob (?–between 17 Nov. 1665 and May 1666), physician and accused blasphemer, also known as John Lumbrozo, was a Portuguese Jew from Lisbon. A court record describes Lumbrozo as being “black,” suggesting that he was a Moor. His parents are unknown, but he had a sister living in Holland in 1665....

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McGillycuddy, Valentine Trant O’Connell (14 February 1849–06 June 1939), physician and Indian agent, was born in Racine, Wisconsin, the son of Irish immigrants Daniel McGillycuddy and Johanna Trant, whose means of earning a living are not known. McGillycuddy attended the University of Michigan in 1866–1867 and received an M.D. in 1869 from the Detroit College of Medicine, where after graduation he served as a lecturer and assistant hospital surgeon until ill health from overwork forced his resignation in 1871. To rebuild his strength, McGillycuddy signed on as a recorder, assistant engineer, and surgeon with the U.S. Survey of the Great Lakes (1871–1874), topographer and surgeon of the British-American Boundary Line Survey (1874), and finally as physician and topographer to Columbia School of Mines Professor Walter P. Jenny’s Black Hills Scientific Expedition (1875). He was the first Caucasian to ascend Harney Peak, the highest point in the Black Hills, where now he is buried. Upon his return to Detroit, McGillycuddy married Fanny E. Hoyt, of Ionia, Michigan, in 1875; this union was childless....

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O’Fallon, James (11 March 1749– December 1793), physician, speculator, and adventurer, was born in Roscommon, western Ireland, the son of William Fallon and Anne Eagan. (O’Fallon added the prefix to his name about 1783.) He studied medicine for two years at the University of Edinburgh (1771–1773), did not graduate, but was licensed by that or another institution as a physician. Thereafter he visited Rome, perhaps in anticipation of entering the priesthood. Subsequently, however, he worked at a hospital in London. In Glasgow in 1774 he was advised by a doctor at the university to go to the colonies, where a revolt was in the making “in favour of Liberty.” As his son John later wrote, “The strong spirit of freedom was already in James, and, (as a genuine Irishman) an hereditary aversion to British oppression” (Draper coll., 34J20)....

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Sibley, John (19 May 1757–08 April 1837), physician and Indian agent, was born in Sutton, Massachusetts, the son of Timothy Sibley and Anne Waite, possibly farmers. After medical study under Dr. John Wilson, he served as surgeon’s mate with the American forces during the Revolution. At war’s end he entered practice at Great Barrington (Mass.) and in 1780 married Elizabeth Hopkins, with whom he had two children. Ever restless, in 1784 he moved his family to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he briefly published the Fayetteville ...

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Wislizenus, Frederick Adolphus (21 May 1810–22 September 1889), physician and lay scientist, was born in Königsee, in the German state of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, the son of a Protestant minister. His parents’ names are unknown. Orphaned at a very early age, he and two older siblings were raised in the home of their mother’s brother and his wife. In 1828 he attended the University of Jena, where he studied medicine. He continued as a medical student at universities at Göttingen and Würzburg. At these universities Wislizenus was very active in the ...

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Woodward, Henry (1646?–1686?), medical doctor and Indian agent, was perhaps from England or from Barbados, the origin of many Carolina settlers. His forbears and social background are unknown. The quality of his writing and the fact that he was addressed as “doctor” indicate a fair degree of education. Woodward was a young man when he went to Carolina. He had a talent for manipulating the tricky and multilingual relations that characterized this volatile region. His talent included the capacity to charm others and to deceive them. He became the deputy of the Carolina lords proprietors who, in their royal charter of 1663, held title to territory that overlapped Florida land claimed by the Spanish and inhabited by native groups wary of both sets of Europeans. Woodward accompanied Captain Robert Sandford on a 1666 expedition to explore the proprietors’ new province and to find natives who would ally with them against the Spanish. Woodward stayed with the Guale people in Santa Elena (near Port Royal) in exchange for the cacique’s nephew, whom Sandford took as an envoy to the English. The exchange of men in 1666 involved a formal ceremony of adoption for Woodward, who was given a field of corn as well as the cacique’s niece to attend him. This arrangement was almost certainly a form of marriage, though it is not known if the couple had any children. Woodward was also delegated by Sandford to act as the sole “tenant-at-will” of the Carolina proprietors—the lone English possessor of the province....