Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Agnew, Cornelius Rea

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AGNEW, Cornelius Rea, physician, b. in New York city, 8 Aug., 1830; d. there, 18 April, 1888. He was graduated at Columbia College in 1849, studied medicine at the college of physicians and surgeons, and received his degree in 1852. During the following year he was house surgeon, and subsequently curator, at the New York hospital. After studying in Europe, he was surgeon to the New York eye and ear infirmary until 1864. In 1858 he was appointed surgeon - general of the state of New York, and at the outbreak of the civil war he became medical director of the New York state volunteer hospital, in which capacity he performed most efficient service. He was a prominent member of the U. S. sanitary commis- sion, and much of its success must be attributed to his labors. In 1868 he established an ophthalmic clinic in the college of physicians and surgeons, and during the following year he was elected clinical professor of diseases of the eye and ear in the same institution. He founded in 1868 the Brooklyn eye and ear hospital, and in 1869 the Manhattan eye and ear hospital. For several years he was one of the managers of the New York state hospital for the insane, at Poughkeepsie. Dr. Agnew exhibited considerable interest m the educational institutions of New York city. In 1859 he was elected a trustee of the public schools, and subsequently he was president of the board. In 1864 he was associated in the establishment of the Columbia college school of mines, and in 1874 became one of the trustees of the college. In 1872 he was elected president of the State medical society. He contributed numerous papers to the current medical journals, most of which are devoted to diseases of the eye and ear, and he also published brief monographs and a "Series of American Clinical Lectures," edited by E. C. Seguin, M. D. (New York, 1875).