Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/479

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and in 1840, superintendent. He was one of the prime movers in the organiza- tion of the Association of Medical Super- intendents of Institutions for the Insane in 1844, and was a member during the rest of his life. He was an honorary member of the Medical Society of Vir- ginia. His entire time was devoted to the management of the asylum and the care of his unfortunate patients, the number of whom increased during his administration from seventy-two to more than 350. Possessing great professional ability, extensive knowledge of mental disorders, together with evenness of temper, and inflexible firmness, he was peculiarly fitted for the position. He entered most heartily into that spirit of reform, then growing in strength, that the insane were the subjects of disease rather than demoniacs possessed of an evil spirit, and was an ardent advocate of the modern humane and rational methods of treatment. His success gained for him an extended reputation, and he was regarded as an authority in his native State on all questions con- nected with his speciality.

He took, also, an active interest in the establishment of a State institution for the deaf, dumb and blind, and was one of those influential public men who effected the founding of one at Staunton. As early as 1845 he began to urge the estab- lishment of a hospital exclusively for the colored insane, and never ceased to bring it to the attention of the Legisla- ture until his object was accompUshed. He married Henrietta F. Cuthbert, of Staunton, in 1833, and had three daughters and a son.

He died at his home in Staunton on the twenty-third of July, 1874.

His only known writings are his annual reports, which were considered models of their kind. He was also the author of some valuable laws governing the hospitals for the insane, which were passed by the Legislature.

The Western State Hospital owns a portrait of him.

R. M. S.

Stringham, James S. (1775-1817).

James S. Stringham, the earliest pro- fessor of medical jurisprudence in Amer- ica, and the earliest American writer on that subject, was born in New York City, where his parents gave him the foremost educational facilities of the time. Some time after taking his degree from Columbia College in 1793, he began later to study theology, but, by reason of deli- cate health, ceased for a time all study and afterwards his liking and attention both turned in the direction of science and medicine. To Edinburgh, therefore, the medical Mecca of the time, he went, and there received in 1799 liis medical degree.

Shortly after his return to New York (in 1804) he was appointed professor of chemistry in Columbia College, and pre- pared and deUvered a course of lectures on medical jurisprudence, the first in America. When, in 1813, the medical faculty of Columbia was merged with the faculty of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Stringham was very naturally appointed to the chair of legal medicine. His lectures were always clear, forceful, and interesting, and were greatly enriched by his wide and varied learning. These lectures were published in the "American Medical and Philo- sophical Register" in the following year (1814) and are highly prized at the present day by all interested in the deveopment of American medical jurisprudence.

For the greater part of his Ufe Dr. Stringham was a sufferer from organic heart-disease. On several occasions he was obUged on this account to cease his professional work. In 1S17, on the advice of his friends, he proceeded to the island of St. Croix, seeking relief from his terrible infirmity. But no reUef came except death, which occurred on June 29, of the same year. T. H. S.

Thacher'a American Medical Biography, li>28, vol. ii.

Witthaus and Becker's Medical Jurisprud- ence, Forensic Medicine, and Toxicology, vol. i (R. A. Witthaus). Trans. Intemat. Med. Congress, Phila., 1876 (Stanford E. Chaille).