Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Steuart, Richard Sprigg

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STEUART, Richard Sprigg, physician, b. in Baltimore, Md., 1 Nov., 1797; d. there, 13 July, 1876. He was educated at St. Mary's college, Baltimore, and studied medicine at the University of Maryland, receiving his degree in 1822. Beginning practice in Baltimore, he was elected in 1828 president of the Maryland hospital for the insane, which he reorganized, and of which he was president till his death. He was an active coadjutor of Dorothea L. Dix in her efforts to improve the condition and treatment of the insane, occupied a good position among the alienists of the country, and lectured to the public on the subject of insanity. Mainly through his efforts the Spring Grove insane asylum was built for the state of Maryland at a cost of $850,000. the result of public and private contributions. — His son, James Aloysius, physician, b. in Baltimore, Md., 3 April, 1828, was graduated at St. Mary's college in 1847 and at the school of medicine of the University of Maryland in 1850. He established himself in practice in Baltimore, and became physician to the city general dispensary, and assistant physician to the Maryland hospital for the insane. Since 1875 he has been health commissioner, registrar of vital statistics, and president of the city board of health. Under his management the health department has been reorganized, and the annual death-rate has been reduced from 26 to 19 per thousand. He checked an incipient outbreak of yellow fever in 1886, and has aided in suppressing two epidemics of small-pox.