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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 John Lang Cassels, M.D.

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Dr. John Lang Cassells, ChemistJohn Lang Cassels, M. D., L. L. D. He was born September 15th, 1802, in Scotland, near Glasgow. He was instructed both in the common branches and classics in the high schools of Glasgow, and at the age of sixteen, being thoroughly prepared, he entered the University of Glasgow, where he remained two years. In 1827 he came to the United States with an older brother, who was at home on a visit after twenty years' residence in this country. He remained a welcome visitor at his brother's hospitable home, near Utica, New York, for about a year. While here he became possessed of a strong desire to travel and see more of the country, and in order to gratify this desire he taught school, earning money enough to take him from place to place, and then teaching again when that was expended. In the fall of 1830 he arrived at Fairfield, Herkimer County, New York, the seat of the Western college of physicians and surgeons, and began the study of medicine with Dr. Moses Johnson. After a year he was appointed demonstrator of anatomy by Professor McNaughton, and graduated in 1834, receiving the degree of doctor of medicine. He occupied the position of demonstrator of anatomy for four years in all.

In the spring of 1835 he opened an office in Chenango County, New York, for the practice of medicine, and in the fall of the same year was appointed professor of chemistry in Willoughby Medical College, at Willoughby, Ohio. He remained at Willoughby till 1843, when he removed to Cleveland, and in connection with Drs. Kirtland, Delamater, and Ackley, established in 1844, the Cleveland Medical College, occupying the first year a building on the corner of Ontario and Prospect streets. All these gentlemen were professors at Willoughby, and when application was made to the legislature for a charter, the friends of Willoughby College opposed it, and the petition defeated. But the enterprise of establishing a medical college in Cleveland, which had been undertaken by responsible citizens, was not to be thwarted. The organization was effected under the charter of the Western Reserve College, and is still (1889) the medical department of that institution. The present (1889) commodious building was erected in 1844 at the corner of Erie and St. Clair streets. For several years he occupied the chair of materia medica, and on the retirement of Dr. Samuel St. John, he was appointed professor of chemistry and toxicology, which position he filled with distinguished ability for nearly thirty years. In 1837 Governor Marcy appointed him, geologist of the first district in the State of New York, and during the three years he held this appointment he made a thorough examination of the territory assigned, and submitted a valuable and highly satisfactory report. He spent the summer of 1846 in the wilds of Lake Superior, making, in the interest of a Cleveland copper mining company, a geological survey of the south shore and Isle Royal. In 1872, having suffered a paralytic stroke, he retired from the active duties of his profession. He was married in the fall of 1838 to Miss Cornelia Olin, daughter of Judge J. H. Olin, of Vermont; she died in 1871. They have had born to them one daughter, who is the wife of Mr. Atwood, of the firm of Fuller & Atwood, of Cleveland.

The original faculty of the Cleveland Medical College was constituted as follows:

John Delamater, M.D. (1787-1867) . Prof, of Midwifery and Diseases of Women and Children.

Jared P. Kirtland, M.D. (1793-1877) . Prof, of the Theory and Practice of Medicine.

Horace A. Ackley, M.D. (1815-1859) . Professor of Surgery.

John Lang Cassels, M.D. (1808-1879) . Professor of Materia Medica. Noah Worcester, M. D., (1812-1847) . Prof, of Physical Diagnosis and Diseases of the Skin.

Samuel St. John, M.D. (1813-1876) . Professor cf Chemistry.
Jacob J. Delamater, M. D Lecturer on Physiology.

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


Medical Antiques Index

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques Index

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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