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the small circle of loving friends who gather around the bed of the sick or the dying
Such a life, it may seem, presents but a barren field to the biographer. Bid him chronicle the victories of the warrior, the triumphs of the statesman, and he will devote to the task all his most brilliant powers, and do it with pride and pleasure. But to trace the every-day life of one who has “pursued the noiseless tenor of his way" in that obscurity which necessarily and very properly shrouds most of the labors of the physician, whose path has been from sick bed to sick bed, and whose contests have been only with the great enemy, death,--this, to the ambitious biographer, may seem to be an ungrateful task. But it is not, or at least ought not to be an ungenial labor, to speak of a life devoted to the service of humanity, spent in the unostentatious performance of varied and important duties. Especially should the task of tracing such a course be grateful when the duties of the man have. been performed in the spirit of a Christian.
Such a task I have imposed upon myself, in attempting to write a biographical sketch of the life and character of Samuel W. Moore, M. D., whose recent removal from among us, while it has plunged a bereaved family into deep affliction, has spread throughout a large circle of loving friends and strongly attached patients, a deep and abiding sorrow" that they shall see his face no more forever.”
Samuel W. Moore was born in New York city, 11th October, 1786, the son of Dr. William Moore, long one of our most highly esteemed and successful practitioners. From early childhood his constitution was frail, and the delicacy of his bodily organization was equaled by the gentleness of his temper, and the kindliness of his feelings.
Such an one might seem to be unfitted to bear the grave responsibilities, and act amid the appalling dangers which so often beset the physician's path ; but this, I believe, is not so; and the success of Dr. Moore adds another to the list of those physicians whose lives prove that it is not so. The truth seems to be that a strong sense of moral duty will so nerve the heart and strengthen the hand, that the most acute sensibility will only make its possessor more eager to relieve those sufferings by which his compassion is so strongly excited. Dr. Moore received his early intellectual training from Mr. Samuel Rudd, and entered Columbia College at the age of sixteen years, in 1802. His connection with Columbia College was probably rendered more pleasant and profitable by the fact that his uncle, Benjamin Moore, D. D., Bishop of New York, was then president of the institution. Several of his classmates still survive among us, and we noticed two of them among the sorrowing friends who assembled at his funeral. He graduated in regular course in 1806, and immediately commenced the study of medicine, under the guidance of his father, attending lectures in the medical department of Columbia College ; in which Dr. Wright Post then taught Anatomy, Dr. Richard Bailey, Surgery, Dr. Hammersley, Theory and Practice of Physic, Dr. J. R. B. Rodgers, Midwifery, and Dr. David Hosack, Botany. From those distinguished teachers he received, in 1810, the degree of Doctor of Medicine, and immediately entered into full practice, taking a share of the large business of his father. This arrangement continued until 1824, when the elder Dr. Moore died, having practiced physic forty-four years. His son now took his place among the prominent physicians of New York, with a large circle of patients, and a still larger one of friends; for such was the unaffected kindness of his heart, and such the graceful amenity of his manners, that few became his patients without remaining ever his attached friends. With his professional brethren, his position was peculiarly pleasant; a thorough medical education, and a large measure of well-improved experience, gave to his opinions deserved weight, and insured him as a physician a strong hold on the confidence of physicians; while his conduct, on all occasions so perfectly upright, his manner so dignified yet so gentle, gave him as a man the highest place in their regard : to quarrel with such a man was simply impossible, and to distrust him seemed not so much a wrong, as a folly. Of him it can truly be said, that after a successful career of more than forty years, and that in times of many professional contests, he made many friends, and not one single enemy in his own profession. Oh, si sic omnes! In 1824 he was appointed one of the physicians of the New-York Hospital; for this situation he had moral qualifications which are more important, and alas ! more rare, than professional skill. His conscientiousness insured to the poorest and most degraded of his pauper patients a full measure of his attention; while his amiability and benevolence made him the friend of poor and rich alike. In 1828, he was compelled, by failing health, to retire from a position which he was so well fitted to adorn.
In 1828, Dr. Moore was appointed Trustee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and continued, from that period to the end of his life, to take an earnest interest in the prosperity of that institution. At the time of his death, he was the senior member of the board. In 1849, on the reappearance of the cholera, Dr. Moore, in conjunction with his friends Dr. Joseph M. Smith and Dr. John B. Beck, was appointed medical counselors to the Committee of the Sanitary Board of Health. To the duties of this position, made more onerous by the fact that his associate Dr. Beck was soon, by the state of his health, disabled from taking his share of them, Dr. Moore devoted all his energies; and the Report published by the Committee affords most satisfactory evidence of the ability and faithfulness with which this important public duty was performed. For several years, the health of Dr. Moore, never very robust, had been gradually declining, and he felt himself obliged to contract the sphere of his professional labor. Still he was unwilling entirely to give up the practice of his profession, and very many of his old friends were still more unwilling to be given up. In March last he met with an accident, which, though not immediately followed by grave symptoms, caused, as afterwards appeared, effusion of blood into the cavity of the arachnoid. He continued to visit a few friends, and his venerable form was still seen at. church, till in July, paralysis very gradually supervened, and then
“Gently as an infant to his sleep,
Went he to death”
Dr. Moore married in 1813, Emily, daughter of William Constable, Esq., by whom he had thirteen children, ten of whom yet survive to give unto God most "hearty thanks, for the good example of him who, having finished his course in faith, doth now rest from his labors.”
Case of Rupture of the Uterus.-Recovery. By J. S. Monell, M. D.,
I was called on Tuesday, July 15th, about 2, P. M., to see a patient, aged 35 years, in labor with her fifth child, who had been, since one o'clock of the night previous, under the care of a midwife. The membranes had ruptured about an hour before my visit ; and upon examination, a hand was found protruding from the vulva, and above this, the fætus presenting by the face. The pains were excessively severe.
Circumstances, over which I had no control, delayed the adoption of the only means of relief, until between four and five o'clock. By this time the pains had ceased entirely, and the aspect of the patient was alarming; the countenance was pallid, the lips blue, pulse quick and
feeble, with abdominal tenderness. Through the abdominal parietes, the contour of the child was readily distinguishable, especially in the right hypochondrium. Upon vaginal examination, the head was found to have receded.
At this time the patient was seen by several medical gentlemen, who all agreed as to the correctness of the diagnosis of the case as one of ruptured uterus; and immediate delivery was resolved on as furnishing the only feasible hope of saving life.
Version was effected without difficulty, by Dr. T. F. Cock, who found the laceration in the right side of the uterus, the foot having passed through the rent into the peritoneal cavity. At the time of delivery, the case appeared nearly hopeless; the countenance was pale and haggard, the pulse rapid and thready; frequent vomiting, and tenderness over the abdomen, indicated the probable existence of peritonitis.
Nevertheless, soon after, delivery was effected; and by the active administration of stimulants, the patient began to rally; and in about two hours, the use of Majendie's solution of morphine, in 15-drop doses, was commenced, to be continued every two hours until sleep should ensue.
The patient slept well during the night, and was found on Wednesday morning, with a pale and anxious countenance, tongue furred white, pulse 100, hard and quick, skin hot and dry, tenderness and tumefaction of the abdomen. She had passed no urine, and the lochia were suppressed. Motion, and even respiration produced abdominal distress. She was directed to take every three hours, a tablespoonful of a mixture of spts. minderer., spts. nitr., ipecac. and Majendie's solution, with hot fomentations to the abdomen.
In the evening, no special mitigation of symptoms was apparent; but the urine was voided after applications of flannel cloths wrung out in hot water, had been freely used. To take Dover's powder, gr. xij., ext. hyoscy. gr. i., calomel, gr. ij., at bed-time, and to continue fomentations to the abdomen.
Thursday, 17th. No improvement. Lochia but small in amount, pulse 104, incompressible, countenance pale and anxious, respiration sighing, tongue heavily coated with a thick, white fur ; patient complains of feeling faint, and also of great tenderness over the seat of laceration: Stimulants were given internally, and two leeches applied over the seat of pain, which produced marked beneficial effect. Fomentations of hops and chamomile flowers were used ; and the lochial discharge became more profuse, though quite fetid. In the evening, the pulse was reduced to 90, the countenance more natural, and the tenderness over the uterus was diminished. She had slept three hours, and was much refreshed. Calomel, gr. ij., with pulv. Doveri, gr. x., to be taken at bed-time.
Friday, 18th. Much improved. Had slept well. The pulse was 88, the skin more natural, and less abdominal tenderness. The fomentations were discontinued, and some light nourishment allowed, the patient having taken for three days cold water or ice only. Anodyne at night, as yesterday.
Saturday, 19th. No special change. Calomel, grs. x. with pulv. Doveri, grs. ix., at night, with the intention of following with a cathartic in the morning, to relieve the bowels, which had not been moved since the day of confinement.
Sunday, 20th. The patient passed a restless night. The abdominal tenderness had increased, and the intestines appeared to be loaded with fecal matter. To relieve this, pulv. purgans was given in half-drachm doses every three hours, until free catharsis was produced, by which she was much relieved.
Convalescence seemed now to be established, and she progressed steadily, though slowly. From this time, to August 1st, she was kept under moderate medication by laxatives and diuretics, with careful attention to the lochia and the bandage. At this time she began to sit up, and though strictly enjoined to avoid exertion, she could not be restrained after August 15th, from her usual duties. Since that time, I have visited her occasionally; and at the present time (Sept. 18th), she declares herself as well as ever.
No. 2 First Avenue, Sept. 18, 1854.
Modification of the Vectis. By Aug. K. GARDNER, M.D., Member of the
Committee on Obstetrics, &c., New York Academy of Medicine; Lecturer on Obstetrics, New York Preparatory School of Medicine, &c., &c.
The vectis, lever, or tractor, for the names are used synonymously, is an instrument of former times, now fallen into general disuse. It was the antecedent of the forceps, to which it has yielded the field, and is now mentioned only by the lecturer, and in order to caution the young and inexperienced against its use. The reasons urged against its employment to assist nature in parturition, are undoubtedly just. It is correctly