Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/498

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THOMAS


440


THOMAS


offered a tutorship in (Jernian, but pvo- ferred to practice medicine, so stuilied with Dr. John Taylor Oihuan, attended lectures at the Medical School of Maine: at the Berkshire Medical College in Massachusetts, and finally obtained liis degree from the Medical School of Maine in 1S37. He settled in Portland, and labored there the rest of his life with the exception of a winter spent at a post graduate course in Philadelphia.

He was chosen city physician and practised in that post for several years, gaining a deep knowledge of the diseases attached to poverty, and attaining th(? best medical skill. In 1863 in conjunc- tion with Dr. Theodore Harmon Jewett, of South Berwick, he examined all the recruits in the Portland District and was very shrewd in his detection of malingers. When Dr. Jewett resigned. Dr. Thomas took entire charge of this onerous work, which gradually broke do^vn his health. Thus enfeebled, he had an attack of ton- sillitis, with diphtheritic exudation, which passed away so soon that he was appar- ently on the road to health, when he was suddenly attacked with diphtheritic para- lysis, and died, to the sorrow of a large clientage and of his numerous friends. Leaving behind him a father aged ninety- seven: he was gone like a flash.

Thomas was known always as a wise, safe and discreet physician, as a courte- ous and honorable man. He was good to the younger physicians. Inheriting the fun and humor of his family, he was cheerful and mirthful to a high degree. He was a very versatile man, fond of music, had a fine voice and with his brother, George, made music fit for the gods. He was a witty man, like many others of his family. He was epigram- matic on occasions. His brother George had an enormous and finely cultivated basso voice. When Dr. Thomas heard that George was to sing in St. Stephen's Church, he said as if by inspiration:

"Ye Bulls of Bashan now retire:

"For Brother George has joined the choir."

Calling upon a patient, he found her |


worrying in an old fasliioned, four-post bed. Believing that she had an exan- tlieiii. whicli would not break out by the aid of tlie usual remedies, he set out to accoTnplish this miracle by startling the (latient in a most extraordinary^ fashion. Taking off his coat and waistcoat, he gave an enormous jump, caught hold of one of the bed j)osts, and, with a herculean effort, vaulted across the bed, patient and all, and landed safely on the other side. " Why, what is the matter with you, doctor, are you crazy?" cried the patient. " Nothing is the matter with me, madam, but you have now got the measles." In point of fact, the rapidly advancing red- ness of her face and neck soon convinced her that Dr. Thomas was right, and that mental excitement often has curious effects upon the bodily frame.

J. A. S.

Trans. Maine Med. Assoc, 1866-8, Portland, 1869.

Thomas, Theodore Gaillard (1831-1903).

T. Gaillard Thomas, gynecologist, was born on Edisto Island, Charleston, South Carolina, November 21, 1831, a lineal descendant of the Rev. Samuel Thomas, who in 1794 was sent by the Church of England as a missionary to estabhsh the Episcopal Church in South Carolina. His father, was the Rev. Edward Thomas, a clergyman of the Episcopal Church. Through his mother he was descended from Joachim Gaillard, a Huguenot, who went to South Carolina after the revoca- tion of the Edict of Nantes.

Educated in the Charleston, South Carolina, College, he left there in the senior year to enter the Medical College of the State of South CaroUna, where he graduated in 1852.

After completing his interneship at Bellevue Hospital (which began during the epidemic of typhus fever) and Ward's Island, New York Hospital, he went to Europe, going over on a sailing ship and returning on a large emigrant vessel as surgeon. He remained in Europe nearly two years, visiting and serving as interne in the different hospitals,