Obrázky stránek

and she carried the burden of nursing him for nearly fifteen years until his death. Dr. Philip did considerable clinical work for many years at the Women's Hospital in New York.

She was Medical Examiner of the public schools of Stamford for six years, and was connected with the Stamford Hospital, being attached to the staff as Consulting Physician. Her life was spent in devoted service to her large circle of patients and she is greatly missed by both them and by her medical brethren.

George Loring Porter, M.D.


Dr. George Loring Porter, Soldier, Patriot, Physician, respected Citizen and gentleman of the old school, was born in that beautiful Capital City, Concord, N. H., on the 29th day of April, 1838, and died the 24th day of February, 1919, thus covering in his more than 80 years' span of life a period of the world's greatest achievements in mechanical science, useful art and constructive democracy.

In the course of his active and intelligent life he saw steampower become dominant and yield in turn to electricity applied to constructive usefulness; the aerial world come to be the highway of travel; and the uncharted depths of the unknown seas become the dark passageway of the would-be destroyer or the safe lane of the beneficent merchant-man. In the field of his own much loved and highly honored profession, he saw and experienced the humane beneficence of general and local Anaesthesia; under his appreciative observation came the improvement of the Stethoscope, Clinical Thermometer, Cardiography, X-Ray, the Sphygmanometer with multiple other instruments of diagnostic precision and means of exploring, appreciating and successfully charting the internal activities of that wonderful mechanism, the human body. Surgery, the specialty of his choice, during his active life, by virtue of these same improvements in constructive and useful science and in instruments of precision has advanced from an uncleanly, hurried and horridly painful superficial work, to a leisurely, intelligent exploration, and reconstruction of the very innermost recesses of the seat of life; the unresisting patient meanwhile comfortably resting on a painless couch, in the immaculately clean "Sanctum Sanctorum" of the present-day hospital surgeon.

Equal indeed, during Dr. Porter's life, and in no less degree beneficent than all the above, were the progressive changes

wrought in the two fundamentals in the Art and Science of medicine, namely-Diagnosis and Therapeusis. Beguiled by the aid granted us by the varied instruments of precision, and mechanical substitutes for hand and eye, are we not now in danger of going too far away from the shrewd, individualistic observation of our Fathers, and coming to depend more upon the machinery of diagnosis than upon knowledge of disease and diseased conditions? And again, in Therapeutics, in consequence of the remarkable results of chemical analysis and synthesis, discovering and isolating the active principles of so many useful drugs, producing (and with true German efficiency, advertising) so many wonderfully useful, even if oft-times over active, "Coal-tar products," are we not in danger of forgetting the Galenicals, of straying away from those things both useful and good, which lie near at hand in our own fields and dooryards, of depending too much upon the synthetic chemicals and too little upon our study of the individual patient, of disease as an entity, and of therapeutic aids to the natural forces of the body in restoration to health and function? The writer makes no risk of denial in asserting that such was the belief and ripened opinion of the subject of this sketch, as expressed by him in conversation and in act.

Born of an early New England stock, with primary education in the public school, the best of all democracies, secondary education in those schools of solidly constructive worth, the old time New England Academy; graduated in Arts at Brown University in 1859, and in Medicine from Jefferson in March, 1862, Dr. Porter came upon active life at a time suited to his birth, temperament, education and patriotism.

The next month following his graduation Dr. Porter entered the Medical Service of the U. S. Army in the war for the Union, being immediately mustered into active service at Strasburg, Va., as a "Proof Candidate," and receiving his Commission as Assistant Surgeon in July of the same year. He remained in active service during the entire period of the War, being present at no less than twenty important engagements in one of which he was wounded and was once made prisoner by the

Confederates under Colonel Ashby. General Ashby. General "Stonewall" Jackson, recognizing merit in the young prisoner, put him in charge of the hospital and requested him to care for the Confederate wounded also. This act appears to have been the first recognition during the War of the Rebellion of the right of medical officers to claim the protection of the rules of War governing non-belligerents. Being recommended for promotion for bravery on the field of battle, in March, 1864, Dr. Porter was brevetted Captain and Major. In referring to this service, Captain Julius Mason, U. S. A., addressed the Board of Officers on Staff Brevets as follows:

"During this time the regiment was engaged in many battles, losing heavily in killed and wounded. Assistant-Surgeon Porter's faithfulness to the sick and wounded is gratefully remembered by the Officers and men; and conspicuous gallantry during the battles of Upperville, Aldie, Gettysburg, Williamsburg, Funktown, and Brandy Station, where he took the dead and wounded almost from the hands of the enemy, entitles him to the greatest praise and consideration. He was under my command during all the above mentioned battles, and for his gallant conduct, and faithful and intelligent services he is justly entitled to a brevet captaincy and a brevet majority."

Relieved of duty in the field Dr. Porter was made, in May, 1864, Post-Surgeon at Washington Arsenal. He had medical charge of the Lincoln conspirators, was present at the hanging of five of them and accompanied the others to Dry-Tortugas, where they were imprisoned. He was the only commissioned officer present at the disposal of the body of John Wilkes Booth, and many of the members of this Society can well remember the pleasure the Doctor had in giving his instructive and entertaining lecture which embodied his reminiscences of that fateful period in the history of the Country, which he had served so patriotically and so well. After the War Dr. Porter was ordered to the frontier, where he served among the Indians and rattlesnakes until July 18th, 1868. At that time all the Country West of St. Louis was a vast buffalo-roamed prairie. It took Dr. Porter three months to make the trip on steamer and horseback up the Missouri River

from St. Louis to Montana, where he reported to Col. Benton at Camp Cook, on the 27th of August, 1865. An interesting item, disclosing the state of our Western Country only fifty years ago, is, that a fruit cake sent from Providence, R. I., where his wife. then was, in the month of September, so that it would surely reach the Doctor by Christmas, was actually received by him on July 4th, following. Patriot as he was, we can readily believe that Dr. Porter had a greater joy on that Independence Day than he would have had on the preceding Christmas had the cake then arrived. Upon arrival of his successor, Major Porter completed the journey across the Continent over the Lewis and Clark Trail, on horseback and alone, to the Pacific Coast, thence home to the East by way of the Isthmus of Panama.

Almost immediately upon discharge from service in the Army, Dr. Porter entered upon civil practice in Bridgeport, making Surgery a specialty in a General City and Suburban practice, having his office in a dwelling on Main Street, at the location of the present Howland Dry Goods Store. Soon after coming to Bridgeport he became associated with the late Dr. Robert Hubbard, thus combining to make one of the strongest and most influential medical centers in the State. In their offices both instruction and practice was constructively combined. Many practitioners in Fairfield County today, and at one time most of them, received a large part of their early medical education in the offices of Drs. Hubbard and Porter and an honorable body of men they sent out. Possessed of native ability, a liberal education, dignified in manner, generous and kindly in spirit, judicious and efficient in treatment, it is needless to say that Dr. Porter soon established a successful and enduring practice. Add to these attainments the quality of a "good mixer,"-a love of humanity, a wonderfully varied experience, a large knowledge of affairs, a wide acquaintance with public men and it is no wonder that the Doctor became a much esteemed and widely honored citizen.

In civil as in military life, Dr. Porter gave efficient service to the State. Four years he was in the Connecticut National Guard as Surgeon, and three years as Medical Director, with rank of

« PředchozíPokračovat »