A TYPICAL AMERICAN;

OR,

INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF DR. JOHN SWINBURNE OF ALBANY,
THE EMINENT PATRIOT, SURGEON, AND PHILANTHROPIST.

COMPILED AND PUBLISHED BY

THE CITIZENS' ASSOCIATION.
ALBANY, N.Y.:
ISSUED FROM THE CITIZEN OFFICE.

1885

Entered according to Act of Congress,
In the year 1885,
By JOSEPH R. McKELVEY,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States
for the Northern District of New York.

 

INTRODUCTION.

IN presenting this sketch of the life of one of the most remarkable men of the period, ---one in whom the people of Albany take the deepest interest; who is esteemed by all classes, particularly by the men who were found at the front during the Rebellion; and who, by his many kind acts to the poor, has endeared himself to them beyond all other men, ---the citizens have no further apology than a desire to have the people at large know him as they know him.

To him is given the strange title of "The Fighting Doctor," because of his many contests with error in every walk of life. These conflicts have all been in the interests of the people, ---as a volunteer during the Rebellion; in professional struggles to overcome malpractice and deformity in treating the sick and maimed; and in private and political life to secure better government, and overcome corrupt political cabals.

Aggressive yet tender and kind, he possesses all the characteristics of a true man, combined with a skill that places him at the head of his profession; self-made, he thoroughly understands the wants of the people; and possessed of a spirit of fearless independence, he has been by nature and circumstances well fitted to espouse the cause of the people at large without distinction of class.

From the days of boyhood, when deprived of a paternal guide and director, up to the present time, his life has been a remarkable one, full of thrilling adventures and unprecedented achievements. Rising by his own efforts from obscurity to eminence, and from poverty to plenty, his life has been eminently that of a typical American.

Every chapter in this life is a history of itself, and will be read with interest. In compiling it, the work has been somewhat difficult, because the doctor has never kept any scrapbook, either of the contributions he has made to science, or of the many good things others have said of him. We have therefore been compelled to resort to public documents on file in the State and other public departments; to the libraries; to the press, as far as these could be reached conveniently; and to correspondence with those who knew him in the various walks of life. The doctor having but little to say of himself with reference to his life and doings, we have been enabled to learn comparatively little from him to assist in the work.

In accordance with a resolution of the association, this work is respectfully presented to the public, believing that it will entertain and inspire a desire in others to emulate his example, however humble their position in life may be, as well as to make the people at large better acquainted with our brave, skilful, and humane fellow-citizen.

 

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I: ONE OF NATURE'S NOBLEMEN
CHAPTER II: THE SOLDIER'S FRIEND
CHAPTER III: A PRISONER OF WAR
CHAPTER IV: FIGHTING FOR THE WOUNDED
CHAPTER V: FROM WAR TO PESTILENCE
CHAPTER VI: A QUARTET OF PLAGUES
CHAPTER VII: HONEST AND FAITHFUL
CHAPTER VIII: UNDER TWO FLAGS
CHAPTER IX: THE WONDER OF SCIENTISTS
CHAPTER X.: LIVING ON HORSE-FLESH
CHAPTER XI: REVOLUTIONIZING SURGERY
CHAPTER XII: CONSERVATIVE SURGERY
CHAPTER XIII: CHALLENGING THE CRITICS
CHAPTER XIV: MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE
CHAPTER XV: PRAISED AND SLANDERED
CHAPTER XVI: THE FIGHTING DOCTOR
CHAPTER XVII: A PLUCKY LEADER
CHAPTER XVIII: ELECTED TO CONGRESS
CHAPTER XIX: SWINBURNE'S DISPENSARY
CHAPTER XX: SCIENCE DEVOTED TO HUMANITY
CHAPTER XXI: BEHOLD THE MAN

Chapter One