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Gouverneur Emerson. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B06655).

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Emerson, Gouverneur (04 August 1795–02 July 1874), physician, statistician, and agriculturalist, was born near Dover, Delaware, the son of Jonathan Emerson and Ann Bell, well-to-do farmers. After education at the Quaker Westtown School in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and the classical school of the Reverend Stephen Sykes in Dover, Emerson began the study of medicine in 1811 with Sykes’s physician brother James, also of Dover, and then entered the School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania in 1813. He was graduated in 1816, offering a dissertation on hereditary diseases. For two years Emerson practiced in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania; then in 1818 he went to Canton, China, as surgeon on a merchant vessel. He opened his practice in Philadelphia on 4 August 1820....

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Jarvis, Edward (09 January 1803–31 October 1884), psychiatrist and statistician, was born Asa Jarvis in Concord, Massachusetts, the son of Francis Jarvis, a baker and farmer, and Millicent Hosmer. In 1821 he changed his name to Edward Asa Jarvis, and shortly thereafter he stopped using his middle name. Raised in a patriarchal household, Jarvis imbibed the Unitarian faith in an orderly and moral world. He entered Harvard College in 1822 and graduated four years later. After successive apprenticeships with Drs. George C. Shattuck and Benjamin Lincoln, he received an M.D. from the Harvard Medical School in 1830. In 1834 he married Almira Hunt; they had no children. The two collaborated in treating mentally ill patients in their home as well as in professional work. Between 1830 and 1837 he practiced successively in Concord and Northfield, Massachusetts, and then moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he remained until 1842. His ventures in private practice, however, proved disappointing because relatively few patients returned for visits. In 1842 he returned to Massachusetts and settled in Dorchester. He quickly made the practice of psychiatry his specialty, which included caring for a small number of private mentally ill patients in his home....

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Sutton, William Loftus (21 May 1797–20 July 1862), physician and statistician, was born near Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky, the son of John Sutton, Jr., and Mary Coleman, farmers. After completing classical studies at Bourbon Academy in Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, he began his medical apprenticeship in 1815 under ...