Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Barton, Thomas

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BARTON, Thomas, clergyman, b. in county Monaghan, Ireland, in 1730; d. in New York, 25 May, 1780. His family was of English descent, who, having obtained extensive grants of land in Ireland, settled there during the commonwealth. Mr. Barton was graduated at the University of Dublin, and in 1751 settled in Philadelphia and became tutor in the academy, afterward the College of Philadelphia, now University of Pennsylvania. In 1754 he went to England, and was there ordained in the Established church. He returned to America the next year, and was for nearly twenty years rector of St. James church, Lancaster, Pa. His death occurred in New York, where he had returned on account of his unwillingness to take the oath of allegiance, and he was interred in the chancel of St. George's chapel in that city. He married the sister of the celebrated mathematician and astronomer, David Rittenhouse. — His son, Benjamin Smith, physician, b. in Lancaster, Pa., 10 Feb., 1766; d. in Philadelphia, Pa., 19 Dec., 1815. After a course of general studies under Dr. Andrews, at York, Pa., he followed the instruction given at the Philadelphia college, now University of Pennsylvania. Then during 1786-'8 he studied medicine and the natural sciences in Edinburgh and London, and received his medical degree from the University of Göttingen, Germany. On his return he settled in Philadelphia, where he soon acquired an extensive and lucrative practice. In 1789 he was appointed professor of natural history and botany, and in 1795 of materia medica in the College of Philadelphia. In 1813 he succeeded Dr. Benjamin Rush as professor of the theory and practice of medicine in the University of Pennsylvania. He was elected president of the Philadelphia Medical Society in 1809, and was some time vice-president of the American Philosophical Society, and also a member of many other American and European societies. He contributed numerous papers to the “Transactions of the American Philosophical Society,” and to the “Medical and Physical Journal,” which was published by him. His most important works are: “Observations on Some Parts of Natural History” (London, 1787); “New Views on the Origin of the Tribes of America” (1797); “Elements of Botany” (Philadelphia, 1803; 2d ed., 2 vols., 1812-'4); an edition of Cullen's “Materia Medica,” “Eulogy on Dr. Priestley,” “Discourse on the Principal Desiderata of Natural History” (Philadelphia, 1807); and “Collections toward a Materia Medica of the United States” (3d ed., Philadelphia, 1810). See “Biography of Benjamin S. Barton,” by his nephew, W. P. C. Bartton (Philadelphia, 1815). — Thomas Pennant, son of Benjamin Smith, b. in Philadelphia in 1803; d. there, 5 April, 1869. He married in 1833 Cora, daughter of Edward Livingston, and in June of that year was appointed secretary of legation at Paris. He was a man of cultivated literary taste, and gathered a Shakespearean library of great value, comprising 2,000 of the rarest editions, and forming, with about 10,000 miscellaneous books, one of the most important private collections in America. He provided by will that this should be sold after his death to some institution that could prevent its dispersion. His widow carried out his wishes in a liberal spirit, and the collection was acquired by the public library of Boston, which set apart a special room for its accommodation. A catalogue of the Shakespeareana has been issued, and one is in preparation of the whole collection, prefaced by a memoir of Mr. Barton. — William Paul Crillon, nephew of Thomas Pennant, botanist, b. in Philadelphia, Pa., 17 Nov., 1786; d. there, 29 Feb., 1856. He was graduated at Princeton in 1805. While there each member of his class assumed the name of some celebrated man; that which he took was Count Paul Crillon, and the initials P. C. were retained by him through life. He studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania under the direction of his uncle, Dr. Benjamin Smith Barton, and received his degree in 1808. His thesis was on “Nitrous Oxide Gas”; it was considered worthy of publication, and for many years was accepted as the standard treatise on that subject. After practising medicine in Philadelphia, he became surgeon to the Pennsylvania hospital, and soon afterward he was appointed surgeon in the navy. The U. S. naval bureau of medicine and surgery was organized by him, and he was the first chief clerk of that bureau. He was stationed at various places on shore, several times at the Philadelphia navy-yard, and he also saw a great deal of sea duty. At the time of his death he was senior surgeon of the navy. On the death of his uncle, Dr. B. S. Barton, he became professor of botany at the University of Pennsylvania, and was for several years professor of materia medica and botany at Jefferson Medical College. Dr. Barton was a fellow of the college of physicians in Philadelphia, president of the Linnæan society, and a member of the American philosophical society, and other scientific societies. His published works include “The Influence of a Change in Climate in curing Disease,” translated from the Latin of Prof. Gregory by Dr. Barton (Philadelphia, 1815); “Floræ Philadelphiæ Prodromus” (1815); “Vegetable Materia Medica of the United States” (2 vols., 1817-'25); “Plans for Marine Hospitals in the United States” (1817); “Compendium Floræ Philadelphiæ” (2 vols., 1818); “Flora of North America” (1821-'3); “Outlines of Lectures on Materia Medica and Botany” (2 vols., 1823); “Letter to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania relative to introducing the Professorship of Botany into the Medical Faculty” (1825); “Hints to Naval Officers cruising in the West Indies” (1830); and “Medical Botany” (2 vols.).