Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/430

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SIvENE 378

John and CliJirles Bell and did the dissec- tions for their famous anatomical plates.

So greatly were his capabilities held in estimation that he was told, did he remain in Europe he would be able to pave his street with gold.

Returning to America, he began to practise in his native city in 1801, as a surgeon; he drew much of his practice from the northern states. He was con- sidered the leading surgeon of the South, some of the medical profession even coming there to hear him lecture.

He was the first man to trephine bone for abscess and did the first successful op- eration in South CaroHna for stone in the bladder, and was said to be the only man in America who cured goiter. He treated thirteen cases of bone necrosis and first recognized the condition and treatment.

Dr. Simons was a member of the Medical University of Edinburgh; fellow of the Royal Society of London, and one of the early presidents of the Charleston Medical Society.

He was professor of chemistry and the author of a valuable treatise on the bones, as well as several other medical works. He married Maria Vanderhorst, daugh- ter of Gov.-gen. Arnoldus Vanderhost and Elizabeth Raven, and had two daughters.

There is a picture of him by Bowman in the board-room of the Roper Hospital; the same artist also painted him in another position, and so good was the likeness that it is said his old negro ser- vant on seeing it exclaimed," lor! massa's in dere, " indicating the room in which the portrait stood. Simons was fond of drawing his friends around him and entertained lavishly at his house on East Gay in Charleston, where he died of apoplexy September 27, 1844.

R. W., Jr.

Carolina Jour. Med, Sci. and Agricul., 1825, vol. i.

Skene, Alexander Johnson Chalmers (1837-1900). In the death of Dr. Skene, on July 4, 1900, at the age of sixty- two, American


gynecology lost one of the last of its famous pioneers. He was born in Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, June 17, 1837, of a family that had made its name knovra in Scotch history for nine centuries. His schooling was in Aberdeen and Kings College. He came to America at the age of nineteen, began the study of medicine three years later at Toronto, matricu- lated at the University of Michigan in 18G1, and was graduated from the Long Island College Hospital in 1863. In that year and the following he served as acting assistant surgeon in the United States Volunteers at Port Royal, Charleston Harbor, and David's Island, prominent in plans for army ambulance work. He kept up his interest in military matters in the National Guard of the State as surgeon to the Twelfth Regiment and First Division, and as lieutenant-colonel on the staff of General Molineux (1884- 1SS5.)

In 1864 Dr. Skene entered practice in Brooklyn, and within a year had begun his college and hospital work in obstetrics. Professor of both branches of gynecology at thirty-one, he gave his best strength to the Long Island College Hospital, as teacher, as operator, and as dean and president (1886-1893), until the last year of his life. It was he who was most active in securing practical and beautiful plans giving adequate expression to the great Polhemus gift of a college and clinic building. The college owes its most famous alumnus a debt it can never repay.

Dr. Skene was professor of gynecology in the New York Post-graduate Medical School, 1883-86, and consultant to various hospitals and dispensaries. He was one of the founders of the American Gynecological Society and its tenth presi- dent (1886), and founder and honorary president of the International Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics. He had been president of the Medical Society of Kings County, of the New York Obstetri- cal and of the Brooklyn Gynecological Society, and was a corresponding or honorary member of many foreign