Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Ricord, Jean Baptiste

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RICORD, Jean Baptiste (ree-cor), physician, b. in Paris, France, in 1777; d. in the island of Guadeloupe, W. I., in 1837. He was educated in France and in Italy, whither his father had fled during the French revolution, and subsequently accompanied the latter to this country, and settled in Baltimore, Md. After graduation at the New York college of physicians and surgeons in 1810, he went to the West Indies to make researches in botany and natural history, and travelled and practised medicine extensively in the islands until he returned to New York. He was an accomplished scholar, musician, and painter, and a member of various learned societies in France and the United States. Many of his writings were signed “Madiana,” the name of his homestead in France. In addition to contributions to scientific and other journals, Dr. Ricord published “An Improved French Grammar” (New York, 1812), and “Recherches et expériences sur les poissons d'Amérique,” illustrated by his own pencil (Bordeaux, 1826). He left many manuscripts, which have not been published. — His wife, Elizabeth, educator, b. in New Utrecht, L. I., 2 April, 1788; d. in Newark, N. J., 10 Oct., 1865, was the daughter of Rev. Peter Stryker. She was educated by private tutors, married Dr. Ricord in 1810, and accompanied him in his expeditions to the West Indies. In 1829 she opened a young ladies' seminary in Geneva, N. Y., of which she was principal until 1842. The great religious revival that spread through western New York in 1832 originated in her seminary. In 1845 she moved to Newark, where she became interested in works of charity, and was a founder of the Newark orphan asylum, and its directress until her death. She contributed largely to magazines and journals, was the author of “Philosophy of the Mind” (Geneva, 1840), and “Zamba, or the Insurrection, a Dramatic Poem” (Cambridge, Mass., 1842). — Their son, Frederick William, author, b. in Guadeloupe, W. I., 7 Oct., 1819; d. in Newark, 12 Aug., 1897. He was educated at Hobart and Rutgers, and studied law in Geneva, N. Y., but did not practise his profession. He taught for twelve years in Newark, N. J., was a member of the board of education of that city from 1852 till 1869, serving as president in 1867-'9. He was state superintendent of public schools of New Jersey in 1860-'3, sheriff of Essex county in 1865-'7, mayor of Newark in 1870-'3, and associate judge of the various county courts of Essex county in 1875-'9. He was long librarian of the New Jersey historical society. Judge Ricord received the degree of A. M. from Rutgers in 1845 and Princeton in 1861. He was one of the editors of the “New Jersey Archives,” and had published a “History of Rome” (New York, 1852); “The Youth's Grammar” (1853); “Life of Madame de Longueville,” from the French of Victor Cousin (1854); “The Henriade,” from Voltaire (1859); “English Songs from Foreign Tongues” (1879); and “The Self-Tormentor, from the Latin of Terentius, with more English Songs” (1885). He had ready for publication “The Governors of New Jersey,” which gives the history of the state from its settlement to the Revolution. — Jean Baptiste's brother, Alexander, physician, b. in Baltimore, Md., in 1798; d. in Paris, France, 3 Oct., 1876, was educated in his native city, removed to France in order to study under Cuvier, and received his diploma as doctor in medicine in Paris in 1824. He was assistant surgeon in the French navy, and correspondent of the Academy of medicine, but devoted his life chiefly to natural history, received the decoration of the Legion of honor in 1845, and contributed largely to scientific journals. — Another brother of Jean Baptiste, Philippe, French surgeon, b. in Baltimore, Md., 10 Dec., 1800; d. in Paris, France. 22 Oct., 1889, was the grandson of a distinguished physician of Marseilles, and the son of a member of the Compagnie des Indes, who came to the United States in 1790 in the hope of retrieving his fortunes. After pursuing a course of scientific studies with his brother, Jean B. Ricord, Philippe began the study of medicine in Philadelphia. In 1820 he visited Paris, taking with him a collection of animals and plants as a present to the National museum. In March, 1826, he received the degree of M. D., and began to practise at Olivet, near Orléans, afterward removing to Croüy-sur-Ourcq. In 1828 he returned to Paris, and delivered a course of lectures on surgery, and in 1831 he was appointed surgeon-in-chief to the Hôpital des vénériens du Midi. At this hospital, from which he retired on account of age in 1860, he gained a great reputation as a specialist. By a decree bearing date, 28 July, 1862, he was appointed physician in ordinary to Prince Napoleon, and on 26 Oct., 1869, he was named consulting surgeon to Napoleon III., whom he had assiduously attended during a recent illness, and who in return had presented him with a snuff-box and 20,000 francs. He was promoted commander of the Legion of honor, 12 Aug., 1860, and grand officer, 23 June, 1871, for services as president of the ambulance corps during the siege of Paris. He also received many foreign decorations. Besides writing the works mentioned below. Dr. Ricord devised and first performed many surgical operations, several of which have since been “crowned” by the Academy of sciences. Dr. Rieord in his eighty-ninth year was still engaged in the practice of his profession, daily visiting his numerous patients, and during his office hours receiving the crowds that came to consult him. For many years he was known in Paris as “the great American doctor,” and he ever cherished a warm affection for his native land. He published “De l'emploi du speculum,” treating of his invention of the “bivalvular speculum” (Paris, 1833); “De la blennorrhagie de la femme” (1834); “Emploi de l'onguent mercuriel dans le traitement de l'érésipèle” (1836); “Monographie du chancre,” being a thorough explanation of his system (1837); “Théorie sur la nature et le traitement de l'épididymite” (1838); “Traité des maladies vénériennes” (8 vols., 1838; new ed., 1863); “De l'ophthalmie blennorrhagique” (1842); “Clinique iconographique de l'hôpital des vénériens” (1842-'51); “De la syphilisation, etc.” (1853); “Lettres sur la syphilis” (1854; 3d ed., 1857); and a great number of “Memoires,” “Observations,” “Recherches,” “Communications,” etc., contributed principally to the “Mémoires” and “Bulletins” of the Academy of medicine (1834-'50).