Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Parrish, John
PARRISH, John, preacher, b. in Baltimore county, Md., 7 Nov., 1729; d. in Baltimore, Md., 21 Oct., 1807. He was a member of the Society of Friends, and followed Anthony Benezet in pleading the cause of the African race. He published “Remarks on the Slavery of the Black People” (Philadelphia, 1806). — His nephew, Joseph, physician, b. in Philadelphia, Pa., 2 Sept., 1779; d. there, 18 March, 1840, followed the business of a hatter until he was of age, when, yielding to his own inclinations, he became a student under Dr. Caspar Wistar, and was graduated at the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1805. He was appointed resident physician of the yellow-fever hospital in the autumn of that year, and in 1806 one of the physicians of the Philadelphia dispensary, which post he held until 1812. He was also surgeon to the Philadelphia almshouse from 1806 until 1822, of the Pennsylvania hospital in 1816-'29, and consulting physician to the Philadelphia dispensary in 1835-'40. Dr. Parrish achieved reputation by his scientific attainments, which were somewhat unusual in that time. Among his experiments were a series that led to a proof of the harmlessness of the “poplar worm,” supposed at that time to be exceedingly venomous. In 1807 he began the delivery of a popular course of lectures on chemistry, which he subsequently repeated at various times. Notwithstanding his large practice, he also received medical students, and at one time had thirty under his instruction. Dr. Parrish was associated in the organization and subsequent management of the Wills hospital for the lame and blind, and was president of the board of managers in that institution from its beginning until his death. He was active in the proceedings of the College of physicians and in the medical society of Philadelphia. He contributed largely to the medical journals, and was one of the editors of “The North American Medical and Surgical Journal.” His books include “Practical Observations on Strangulated Hernia and some of the Diseases of the Urinary Organs” (Philadelphia, 1836), and an edition of William Lawrence's “Treatise on Hernia,” with an appendix. Says Dr. George B. Wood in his “Memoir of the Life and Character of Joseph Parrish” (Philadelphia, 1840): “Perhaps no one was personally known more extensively in the city, or had connected himself by a greater variety of beneficent services with every ramification of society.” — Joseph's son, Isaac, physician, b. in Philadelphia, Pa., 19 March, 1811; d. there, 31 July, 1852, was graduated at the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1832, after studying under his father. He became one of the surgeons of Wills hospital in 1834, and also acquired an extensive practice. He was active in the Philadelphia college of physicians, and in the state and national medical societies, contributing papers to their transactions. Dr. Parrish also wrote largely for the medical journals of his time. See “Memoir of Isaac Parrish, M. D.,” by Dr. Samuel Jackson (Philadelphia, 1853). — Another son, Joseph, physician, b. in Philadelphia, 11 Nov., 1818; d. in Burlington, 15 Jan., 1891. He was graduated at the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, and went to Burlington. He returned to his native city, and in 1856 was called to fill the chair of obstetrics in Philadelphia medical college, but soon resigned to go abroad. While he was in Rome his attention was directed to the imperfect management of the insane hospital, and by addressing the pope he succeeded in rectifying the abuse. On his return in 1857 he was appointed superintendent of the Pennsylvania training-school for feeble-minded children, and this institution, with its buildings, grew up under his management. At the beginning of the civil war he entered the service of the U. S. sanitary commission, for which, under orders from the president, he visited many hospitals and camps with orders for supplies and hospital stores. Dr. Parrish also had charge of the sanitary posts of White House and City Point, and subsequently visited the governors of the loyal states, whom he aided in the organization of auxiliary associations for the continued supply of hospital stores. When the war was over he established and conducted for seven years the Pennsylvania sanitarium for the treatment of alcoholic and opium inebriety. In 1875 he settled in Burlington, N. J., where he afterward continued in charge of a home for nervous invalids. He had been most active in relation to the care of inebriates, and in 1872 he was summoned before the committee on habitual drunkards of the British house of commons. His advice and recommendations were approved and adopted by the committee, and were made the basis of a law that is now in existence. He issued the first call for the meeting that resulted in the formation of the American association for the cure of inebriates, and was afterward president of that organization. Dr. Parrish was vice-president of the International congress on inebriety in England in 1882, and was a delegate to the International medical congress in Washington in 1887. He was also a member of scientific societies both at home and abroad. In 1848 he established the “New Jersey Medical and Surgical Reporter,” which is now issued from Philadelphia without the state prefix and under new management. He also edited “The Sanitary Commission Bulletin,” and has been associated in the control of other publications, such as the Hartford “Quarterly Journal of Inebriety.” Dr. Parrish is the author of many papers and addresses on topics pertaining to that branch of medical science, and “Alcoholic Inebriety from a Medical Standpoint” (Philadelphia, 1883). — Another son, Edward, pharmacist, b. in Philadelphia, Pa., 31 May, 1822; d. in Fort Sill, Indian territory, 9 Sept., 1872, studied at a Friends' school, and was graduated at the Philadelphia college of pharmacy in 1842. He then purchased a drug-store, and engaged in the active practice of his profession. In 1849 he established a school of practical pharmacy. He was elected to membership in the College of pharmacy in 1843, in 1845 a trustee, and in 1854 secretary of the college. He was chosen to the professorship of materia medica in 1864, and in 1867 exchanged his chair with Prof. John M. Maisch (q. v.), taking that of practical pharmacy, on which branch he continued to lecture until his death. Prof. Parrish was active in the movement that led to the founding of Swarthmore college, and was its first president in 1868-'70. In August, 1872, he was appointed commissioner to the Indians with a view toward establishing peace, but he was attacked by malarial fever and died. He was a member of the committee of revision of the U. S. pharmacopoeia in 1850 and 1860. Prof. Parrish joined the American pharmaceutical association at its first meeting in 1852, and filled various offices, including that of president in 1868. He was also a member of other societies, and was elected to honorary membership in associations in Great Britain. His contributions to the “American Journal of Pharmacy” are more than forty in number. He published “An Introduction to Practical Pharmacy” (Philadelphia, 1856), which has since passed through five editions; “The Phantom Bouquet, a Popular Treatise on the Art of Skeletonizing Leaves and Seed Vessels, and adapting them to Embellish the Home of Taste” (1863); and “An Essay on Education” (1866). — The first Joseph's grandson, Stephen, artist, b. in Philadelphia, 9 July, 1846, was engaged in mercantile pursuits until his thirtieth year, when he applied himself to art, taking a year's tuition from a local teacher. In 1878 he first exhibited at the Pennsylvania academy in Philadelphia, and in 1879 at the National academy, New York. He soon turned his attention also to etching, and in December, 1879, produced his first plate. Since then he has applied himself to both branches of art, exhibiting in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, London, Liverpool, Paris, Munich, Dresden, and Vienna. He is a member of the New York etching club and the Society of painter-etchers of London. In 1885-'6 he travelled in Europe. His etchings include “Northern Moorland” and “Low Tide — Bay of Fundy” (1882); “Coast of New Brunswick,” “Winter Evening — Windsor, N. S.,” and “Bethlehem” (1884); “London Bridge” and “On the Thames” (1886); and “A Gloucestar Wharf” (1887). Among his paintings are “November” (1880); “In Winter Quarters” (1884); “Low Tide — Evening” (1885); “On the Rance, Brittany” (1886); and “The Road to Perry's Peak.” He has also made etchings of several of his pictures.