Holme Van Buren, M.D.
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U.S.A. from June 1840 to Jan. 1 1846
Dr. Van Buren was a native of the city of
New York, and was born April 5, 1819. He came of a family of physicians,
and his grandfather, Abraham Van Buren, was a son of Dr. John Van Buren,
a pupil of Boerhaave and a graduate of the University of Leyden, who
emigrated to New York in the year 17ÜÜ from a place named Buren, near
Amsterdam, Holland. Soon after his arrival there he was appointed
physician to the almshouse, a position iu which his son, Beekman Van
Buren, who died in 1812, succeeded him.
Dr. Van Buren was graduated from the
Academic Department of Yale in 1838, and the Medical Department of the
University of Pennsylvania in 1840. In 1842 he married à daughter of the
late Dr. Valentine Mott, and went to Paris, where he devoted himself to
the study of surgery in the hospitals for some lime, and subsequently
entered the French army. In 1845 he resigned his commission and returned
to New York, where, on the organization of the Bellevue Hospital, he was
appointed attending surgeon to that institution. lu 1852 he succeeded
Prof. G ranville Sharpe Pattison in the chair of anatomy in the
University of the City of New York, and the same year was appointed
surgeon to the New York Hospital.
It was under the inspiring influence
of his illustrious father-in-law, Dr. Mott, who was about this time
attracting universal attention in the medical world by the boldness and
originality of his operations, and of whom he was an enthusiastic
follower, that he acquired the deserved eminence as a surgeon, which he
has ever since maintained. Later he was appointed, first, attending and
then consulting surgeon to St. Vincent's Hospital und to Charity
Hospital, Blackwell's Island, in the latter uf which he conducted for
many years the most popular venereal clinics ever held in New York, and
abo accepted the position of professor of the principles and practice of
surgery in Bellevue Hospital Medical College, which he filled with
distinguished ability up to the time of his last illness. He was elected
vice president of the New York Academy of Medicine, and since then has
been president of the Pathological Society, and occupied many other
positions of trust and honor iu the profession. At the outbreak of the
late war he took an active part in the formation of the Sanitary
Commission, and remained one of its
executive committee until the close of hostilities.
The position of Surgeon-General of
the United States was offered to Dr. Van Buren at the instance of
Secretary Stanton, and it is said to have been through his influence
that Dr. Hammond received his appointment to that position.
Although so busily occupied with the
arduous duties of active practice and professional teaching, throughout
his career he devoted much time to writing, and his contributions to
medical literature have added no little to his substantial fame. Among
his principal works are the English version of Morel's Histology, which
he translated and edited iu 1854, his translation of Bernard and
Hueter's Operative Surgery, which was furnished by the government to the
army surgeons during the war, and his Contributions to Practical
Surgery, published in 1865.
The most enduring monument of his
ripe skill and learning, however, is the well-known and classic work on
genito-urinary diseases, which he wrote iu connection with Dr. Keyes,
and which embodied the results of his special experience and researches
in a field in which for many years he stood facile princeps. The
well-earned title of LL. D. was conferred upon him by his alma mater
a few years ago in acknowledgment of the eminent distinction which
he had won for himself as a teacher and writer.
The estimation in which Professor Van
Buren was held in the community is shown by the fact that his funeral,
which was held on the 28th of March at the new cathedral on Fifth
Avenue, was probably the largest of any medical man ever known in New
York. As many persons may, perhaps, have desired to attend that of the
late Dr. James R. Wood, but the capacity of the church in which the
services were conducted necessarily limited the number present. On the
occasion of Dr. Van Buren's obsequies the whole of the vast cathedral,
by far the largest church edifice in the city, was filled by his friends
and mourners, and among them were many of the most distinguished men iu
every department of life.
the ceremonies the remains were interred in the family vault of the late
Dr. Valentine Mott, in Greenwood Cemetery.
" RULES FOR PRESERVING THE HEALTH
OF THE SOLDIER." by Wm. Van Buren, 1861, excerpt from:
As a rule, cuts, even when
extensive, are less dangerous to life than they seem; the contrary is
true of bayonet and bullet wounds.
Whenever blood is flowing freely from a wound by spirts or jets, there
is immediate danger, and, if the wound is situated in one of the limbs,
a stout handkerchief or band should be promptly tied loosely around it,
between the wound and the heart; a drum-stick, bayonet, ramrod, or
jack-knife is to be then inserted between the skin and the bandage, and
twisted around until the strangulation of the limb stops the flow of
blood, and it should be held thus until the surgeon arrives.
In a less urgent case, or where the wound is differently situated,
pressure applied directly to its surface, and kept up steadily, will
often save life.
Wounded men should always be handled with extreme care, especially if
bones are broken. The medical assistants are always provided with
spirits and anodynes.
It is by no means necessary that a bullet should always be extracted;
they often remain in the body, and do little or no harm, much less, in
fact, than might be done in attempts to remove them.
WASHINGTON, July 12, 1861.
W. H. VAN BUREN, M.D.
From Bellevue Hospital:
Van Buren,* William Holme,
A. B., Yale, 1838; A. M.,l864; M.
D.,Univ. Penn., 1840; LL. D., 1879; Asst. Surg., U. S. A., 1840-46; Memb.
Exec. Com. U. S. San. Com. during War; Prof. Anat., Univ. City N. Y.,
1852-66; Prof. Surg., Bell. Hosp. Med. Coll., 1866-83; house
staff, La Charite Hosp., Paris, under
Velpeau ; Asst. Surg., N. Y. and St. Vincent's Hosps. Author of
"Contributions to Practical Surgery," 1865; " Diseases of the Rectum,"
1870 (2d ed., enlarged and revised, 1882);" Genito-Urinary Surgery"
(with E. L. Keyes), 1874. Died in N. Y. City, 1883, aet. 64; cause,
cerebral hemorrhage. Great-grandson of John Van Beuren (1736- 1765), and
grandnephew of Beekman M. (1765-76).
Surgeon.—Born in Philadelphia, Pa.,
April 5, 1819.—A. B. Yale 1838 ; A. M., 1864. Univ. of Pa., 1840, M. D.
LI,.D. there 1879.—Asst. Surg.
U. S. A. 1840-46. Vis. Surgeon
to N. Y. hosp., 1852-68. Surg. to Bell. Hosp. from 1847—. Vis. and Cons.
Surg. to St. Vincent's Hosp. since its foundation. Con. Surg. to N. Y.
Hosp. and to Bell. 1854-83, and Charity Hospitals.--Member Ex. Com. San.
Com. during the war. —Prof. Anat. N. Y. U., 1852-66. Prof. Princ. of
Surg., etc., in Bell. Hosp. Med. Coll.—Vice-Prest. N. Y. Acad. Med.
Pres. Pathological Soc. N. Y.—Died in New York
City, March 25th, 1883, aet. 64; of cerebral hemorrhage.
personal edited research notes of Michael Echols, the source of which
may or may not be completely documented)