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Charles Withers

Scottish physician, botanist, and explorer, was the first European to return safely having observed the west–east course of the River Niger. His significance stems from this geographical accomplishment, from the much reprinted book of his first expedition, Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa, first published in 1799, and from his “heroic” failure and death in 1806, in circumstances that are still unclear, on a further Niger expedition. His second posthumously published work, published in 1815, and drawn from Park’s surviving papers and reports, began the process of Park’s biographical commemoration.

Park was born near Selkirk in Scotland on or about 11 September 1771, the seventh of thirteen children. Park was educated at home, at Selkirk Grammar School, and, from 1789, in the University of Edinburgh, where he studied medicine. In November of 1792 Park was introduced to Sir Joseph Banks by his brother ...

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William K. Beatty

surgeon and hospital administrator, was born in Hollidaysburg, south central Pennsylvania, the son of Daniel Williams Jr. and Sarah Price. His parents were black, but Daniel himself, in adult life, could easily be mistaken for being white, with his light complexion, red hair, and blue eyes.

Williams's father did well in real estate but died when Daniel was eleven, and the family's financial situation became difficult. When Williams was seventeen, he and a sister, Sally, moved to Janesville, Wisconsin. Here Williams found work at Harry Anderson's Tonsorial Parlor and Bathing Rooms. Anderson took the two of them into his home as family and continued to aid Williams financially until Williams obtained his MD.

Medicine had not been Williams's first choice of a career; he had worked in a law office after high school but had found it too quarrelsome. In 1878 Janesville's most prominent physician, Henry Palmer ...