American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

Surgical Set collection from 1860 to 1865 - Civilian and Military

Civil War:  Medicine, Surgeon Education & Medical Textbooks

 Dr. Michael Echols  &  Dr. Doug Arbittier


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 Henry Massie Bullitt, M.D.

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Bullitt, Henry Masiie (1817-1880)

Henry Massie Bullitt, founder of Louisville Medical College and son of Cuthbert and Harriet Willit Bullitt, was born in Shelby County, Kentucky, on February 28, 1817.  His father was a direct descendant of Benjamin Bullitt, the founder of the family in this country, who, refusing to surrender his religious views after the revocation of the edict of Nantes, came with his wife in 1685 from the Province of Languedoc, France, and settled in Maryland. Originally the name was spelled "Bullet" but, owing to the existence of an English law in this country by which aliens were prohibited acquiring landed property, Benjamin Bullet changed his name to Bullitt in order to hold the land which had been granted him in America.


At the age of seventeen he studied medicine with Dr. Coleman Rogers, Sr. (q.v.), and pursued his studies with rare devotion, entering the University of Pennsylvania, from which institution he graduated in 1838 with high honors. From Philadelphia he returned to Louisville and entered upon active practice.


Bullitt passed the year 1845 in Europe, where he availed himself of every opportunity to advance in medical knowledge and returned home liberally equipped with the fruits of his sojourn abroad. In 1846 he was elected a professor in the St. Louis Medical College, and lectured there during the sessions 1846-7 and 1847-8. In 1849 he was called to the chair of matcria mcdica in Transylvania University at Lexington, Kentucky, at that time the oldest and most renowned school in the Ohio valley.


In 1850 Dr. Bullitt organized the Kentucky School of Medicine, which entered upon its career in the winter of 1850-51, and in 1866 was elected to the chair of principles and practice of medicine in the University of Louisville, the next year occupying the chair of physiology in the same school.


In 1868 he established the Louisville Medical College, with which he remained and co-operated several years.

Dr. Bullitt was an able writer on professional subjects. Prof. Charles Caldwell (q.v.) had said that: "None but professors practically trained in the West and South could competently lecture on western and southern diseases, hence a medical education acquired in the northern and eastern cities could not qualify for practice in the West and South," Dr. Bullitt entered an eloquent and potent protest against this heresy. His paper was published in the Medical Examiner, Philadelphia, in 1844 or 1845. Other papers were on the "Art of Observing in Medicine," published in the St. Louis Medical Journal. "Medical Organization and Reform;" "On the Pathology of Inflammation," published in the Transylvania Journal of Medicine.


Dr. Bullitt held chairs - in five medical schools and in all showed great aptitude for teaching. He was co-editor of the St. Louis Medical Record, the Transylvania Journal of Medicine and Louisville Medical Record. His great affliction, deafness, was all that prevented him from taking the foremost position among medical practitioners, teachers and writers. This misfortune he bore with singular equanimity and fortitude.


On May 26, 1841, Dr. Bullitt was married to Miss Julia Anderson and had seven children; only two lived to their majority. She died January 16, 1853.


On September 14, 1854, he was married to Mrs. Sarah Crow Paradise and had six children, one son and five daughters. She died December 3, 1901.


The cause of Dr. Bullitt's death was Bright's disease. During his long and severe illness he was always cheerful and escaped some of the most dreadful sufferings which attend this disease. He had led a long and useful life, and often recalled many beautiful reminiscences of his boyhood. A short time before his death, he read, with great joy and pleasing anticipation, Lord Lytton's beautiful poem, "There is no Death," greatly enjoying its fine gracefulness.

He died on February 5, 1880.

(The personal edited research notes of Michael Echols, the source of which may or may not be completely documented)

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Civil War Medical Collections 


Direct links to all medical & Civil War collections on this site                         

American Surgical Sets:

Pre-Civil War:  1 | 2  -   Post-Civil War:  3  -  Civil War 1861-1865:  4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   INDEX

Medical Text-Books:

1 | 1a | 2 | 2a | 3 | 3a | 4 | 4a | 5 | 5a | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 9a | 10 | 11 | 12    INDEX

Surgeon General's Office Library printed catalogues: 1840 | 1864 | 1865
Medical Lecture Cards: 1 | 2 | 34 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21    INDEX

Medical Faculty and Authors:


Navy Surgeon Exams:

1863 Navy Surgeon Applicant Exams with Biographies   INDEX ONE | INDEX TWO

Surgeon CDVs, Images:

Army: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8    INDEX

Navy: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   

Hosp Dep't Bottles, Tins, 

U.S. Army Pannier:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

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Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016