Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/104

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LECONTE


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LECONTE


Action and Functional Murmurs of the

Heart." 1875.

Tr. M. Soc, N. York, Phila., 1S03. (J. L.

Corning.)

Mod. Rep., N. York, 1S93, vol. xliii.

Tr. N. York Acad. M. (1893), 1S94, n a.,

vol. X.

LeConte, Joseph (1823-1901).

A geologist and teacher, he was horn February 26, 1823, and descended from Guillaume LeConte (LeConte de Nonant, of Normandy) who settled about 1698 at New Rochelle in the state of New York. His father, Louis, had left the North to take up his permanent abode upon a family estate in Liberty County, Georgia, and it was here Joseph was born.

P>om the University of Georgia he received the degrees A. B., 1841; A. M., IS-io; from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, M. D., 1845; from Lawrence Scientific School (Harvard), B. S., 1851; from Princeton, LL. D., 1896. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and various other societies. In Cambridge he studied under Louis Agassiz, and in New York, under Dr. Torrey and Dr. Louis A. Sayre.

He was elected to the chairs of geol- ogy and natural history. University of Georgia, 1852; to the chairs of geology and chemistry. South Carolina College, 1856; to that of chemistry in the medical department of the same college, 1857; and those of geology and zoology, University of California, in 1869 — which positions he continued to hold until his death. During the Civil War he was chemist of the Confederate laboratory for the manufacture of medicines, 1862-3 and chemist of the Nitre and Mining Bureau, with the rank of major, 1863, until the end of the war.

Dr. LeConte practised as a physician onljf a few years after graduating M. D., and before taking up his studies under Agassiz. Nevertheless he continued to be interested in medical subjects, pub- lishing a number of papers on such


topics; and a book, "Sight," which is an exjiosition of the principles of mon- ocular and binocular vision. Besides these, he is the author of various books and articles, most of which lie in the domain of natural science. In his own specialty of geology his best work lay along the line of mountain making and structure.

Up to the time of his death he was head of the departments of geology and biology in the University of Cali- fornia, but elected to those of geology anil zoolog}', for in 1869 the term "Biology" had not yet entered scien- tific nomenclature.

In 1847 he married Caroline Eliza- beth Nisbet, daughter of A. M. Nisbet, of Milledgeville, Georgia, and had five children, four of whom survived him, Emma Florence, Sarah Elizabeth, Car- oline Eatton and Joseph Nisbet.

It is a peculiar fact that the Le- Conte family were scientific men from father to son for two hundred years. Dr. Pierre LeConte (born in 1704) was in his day a physician of some note, and since his time there has not been one generation of this family in the male line which has not been represented by scientists and by one or more phj'sicians. This striking example of heredity was noted by Samuel Scudder in his memoir of Dr. J. L. Le Conte, read before the National Academy of Sciences in 1884.

His many scientific publications were mosth^ confined to geology and phy- siology. Among those connected with medical science are:

"Science of Medicine," "Medical and Surgical Journal," 1850; "Artificial Production of Sex," "Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery," 1 866-' 67. A series of articles on " Binocular Vision," "American Journal of Science," 1868-'S7; "Glycogenic Function of the Liver," "American Journal of Science," 1878-'80; "Genesis of Sex," "Popular Science Monthly," 1879; "Rev. Scientifique," 1880; "Effect of Mixture of Races on Human Progress," Berkeley "Quarter-