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Bartlett, Josiah (21 November 1729–19 May 1795), physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in Amesbury, Massachusetts, the son of Stephen Bartlett, a shoemaker, and Hannah Webster. Josiah Bartlett attended common school and at the age of sixteen was apprenticed to study medicine under Dr. Nehemiah Ordway of Amesbury. In 1750, seeking to set up his own practice, Bartlett settled in Kingston, New Hampshire, where he won quick acceptance for his fever treatments and his personal manner and demeanor. There, he married Mary Bartlett, a cousin from Newton, New Hampshire. Eight of the couple’s twelve children lived into adulthood....

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Luke Pryor Blackburn. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B02991).

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Blackburn, Luke Pryor (16 June 1816–14 September 1887), physician and governor of Kentucky, was born in Woodford County, Kentucky, the son of Edward Blackburn and Lavinia Bell, farmers. He graduated from Transylvania University’s medical department in 1835, married Ella Gist Boswell of Lexington a few months later, and practiced medicine in Woodford and adjoining counties....

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Brownson, Nathan (14 May 1742–18 October 1796), physician and politician, was born in Woodbury, Connecticut, the son of Timothy Brownson and Abigail Jenner. He graduated from Yale College in 1761 and practiced medicine in his hometown. In 1769 he married Elizabeth Lewis. The couple moved to St. John Parish, Georgia, in 1774 and began working a 500-acre plantation. Brownson’s wife died in 1775, and the following year he married Elizabeth McLean, with whom he had two children....

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Davis, John Wesley (16 April 1799–22 August 1859), physician and Indiana legislator, was born in New Holland, Pennsylvania, the son of the Reverend John Davis and Margaret Jones. The family later moved to Cumberland County, near Shippensburg, where John worked on the family farm, had brief apprenticeships with a clockmaker and a storekeeper, and then began the study of medicine in the office of George D. Fouke of Carlisle. As part of his medical study, Davis attended medical lectures at the University of Maryland in Baltimore during the winters of 1819–1820 and 1820–1821. In the fall of 1820 he married Ann Hoover of Shippensburg, with whom he had ten children. After graduating from medical school in April 1821, Davis began practicing medicine in Pennsylvania and then in Maryland, but he realized only a modest return. In 1823 he moved to Carlisle, Indiana, where he established a successful medical practice and soon entered public life....

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Aaron Henry. Speaking before the Credentials Committee at the Democratic National Convention, Atlantic City, NJ. Photograph by Warren K. Leffler, 1964. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-U9- 12470E-28).

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Henry, Aaron E. (02 July 1922–19 May 1997), civil rights activist, politician, and pharmacist, was born in Dublin, in the Mississippi Delta. His sharecropping parents, Ed and Mattie Henry, strove to educate Aaron and his sister and shield them from the hardships of farm and manual labor. They moved to neighboring Coahoma County so that Henry could attend the segregated Coahoma Agricultural High School. Indeed his political awakening began in high school, where a few earnest teachers bravely schooled their students on civics and civil rights. With the coaxing of one young educator, Aaron and his classmates joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as at-large members in 1941....

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Kent, Joseph (14 January 1779–24 November 1837), physician and politician, was born in Calvert County, Maryland, the son of Daniel Kent and Anne Wheeler, farmers. Educated in Philadelphia, he returned to practice medicine in Lower Marlboro, Calvert County, in partnership with a Dr. Parran from 1799 to 1801, when he began practicing on his own. He married Eleanor Lee Wallace in 1804 and two years later moved to “Rosemount,” a plantation near Bladensburg in Prince Georges County, where he farmed and continued to practice medicine. In the crisis that followed the attack of the British naval vessel ...

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McKinly, John (24 February 1721–31 August 1796), physician and first president (governor) of Delaware, physician and first president (governor) of Delaware, was born in northern Ireland. His parents’ names are unknown. Nothing is known of his early life, education, or immigration to North America. While in his early twenties he established a medical practice in Wilmington, Delaware. McKinly soon became active in public affairs, serving as a militia officer in 1747–1748 and 1756 and as sheriff of New Castle County from 1757 to 1759. He was annually elected chief burgess of Wilmington between 1759 and 1762 and from 1766 to 1776....

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Newell, William Augustus (05 September 1817–08 August 1901), governor of New Jersey, U.S. representative, and physician, was born in Franklin, Ohio, the son of James Hugh Newell, a civil engineer and cartographer, and Eliza D. Hankinson. Newell’s parents were longtime New Jerseyans, but Newell was born while his parents were on an extended visit in Ohio. In 1819 his family returned to Freehold, New Jersey, where Newell attended the public schools. He graduated from Rutgers College in 1836, and he earned a degree in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1839. He first practiced under the tutelage of his uncle in Manahawkin before establishing his own practice in Imlaystown. In 1844 he moved to Allentown, which would be his permanent New Jersey residence. He married Joanna Van Deursen (c. 1837); they had three children....

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Steiner, Lewis Henry (04 May 1827–18 February 1892), physician, state senator, and librarian, was born in Frederick, Maryland, the son of Christian Steiner, a merchant, and Rebecca Weltzheimer. Steiner studied at the Frederick Academy and in 1846 graduated from Marshall College in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, where he was considered a particularly gifted student of chemistry. He went on to study medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received his M.D. in 1849. Returning home, he established a medical practice in Frederick. In 1852 he moved to Baltimore and thereafter devoted himself to teaching chemistry in relation to medicine....