James P. Boyd, M.D.
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Biographical Sketch Of Dr.
By S. H.
Freeman, M. D. and
Thomas Hun, M. D.,
of Albany, N. Y.*
The subject of this memorial
sketch, was born in
Albany on the 24th of February,
1804. He was the son of Peter Boyd,
a native of Albany, [an
eminent merchant of Scotch descent.']
The Doctor received his academical education in the Albany
Academy, at that time under the superintendence of
Dr. T. Romeyn Beck. In after life
he retained a strong attachment to this school of which he was
for many years, and up to the time of his death, a trustee. He
commenced his medical
studies in the office of Prof. James
McNaughton and attended medical lectures in the College
of Physicians and Surgeons, of New York, and in the University
of Pennsylvania, from which latter institution he received the
degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1825. *
He commenced the practice of
medicine in the city of New York, but after a short time he
removed to the city of Albany and
formed a partnership with Dr.
Jacob A. Wing. A few years later the partnership was dissolved,
and the doctor continued in practice till his death in 1881.]
Boyd's professional knowledge was extensive and accurate.
He was a careful observer of disease, and judicious
practitioner. From an early age he acquired an extensive
practice with large opportunities for study and observation,
which he carefully improved. His practice was not confined to
any specialty, but he particularly excelled in obstetrics, and
in that department had a large practice, and was often called in
consultation in cases requiring instrumental delivery.
He became a member of the
County Medical Society in 1828. He frequently contributed to the
interest of its meetings and was in due time the modest
recipient of its highest honors; he was many times elected
censor, in 1828-29 Secretary, and in 1838-39, President; was
elected delegate to The Medical Society of the State of New York
in 1852, and became a permanent member in 1859. The early
professional career of Dr. Boyd
received a very favorable impulse under circumstances of
peculiar interest. The Asiatic cholera first appeared on this
continent at Quebec, on the 8th of June 1832, and about two
weeks later, without having shown itself at any intermediate
point, suddenly broke out in Albany.
This event at
once furnished a broad field for active service and skill. The
utmost anxiety and consternation prevailed throughout the city.
Neither the quarantine regulations, nor the burning of tar and
the sprinkling of lime in the streets, seemed to furnish
%,barrier to its fearful progress, as during the month of July
there were reported 387 cases and 136 deaths. The population at
this time was twenty-six thousand. During this epidemic
Dr. Boyd enjoyed the professional
advantage of meeting daily in conference and consultation, the
most eminent and experienced physicians of
Albany in the then " New City
Hall." His native genius and quick perception enabled him to
derive practical benefit from these interviews, and by his
skillful and watchful care, as well as by his cheering and
inspiring presence, he rapidly won reputation and a large and
lucrative practice, which he continued to enjoy. He was an active member of the first
medical staff of the Albany
Hospital. [He repeatedly declined the place of Professor in the
Albany Medical College,] of which
he was for many years senior member of the Board of Curators.
died on the 10th of May, 1881.
(The personal edited research
notes of Michael Echols, the source of which may or
may not be completely documented)