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DR. CHILDS ON PROGRESS OF MEDICAL SCIENCE.

joining states; and many have been licensed to practice who have had very inadequate means for obtaining the requisite qualifications. Do these facts afford evidence that our medical schools are already too numerous ? Do not the interest and the reputation of Massachusetts, require that the means of medical instruction should be multiplied ? The government have evinced a disposition to co-operate with

you in the support of such a system of measures as are best calculated to advance the science of medicine, and to diffuse through community the many blessings that flow from its improvement.

Graduate then the qualifications requisite for the profession, by the means which you afford the student for their acquisition, and rise higher and higher in your demands as you multiply the facilities of education.

THE END.

NOTICE

OF

TIMOTHY CHILDS, M.D.

A DISTINGUISHED MEMBER OF THE MASSACHUSETTS MEDICAL SOCIETY.

Dr. Childs was born at Deerfield of this commonwealth, in February, 1748. He was entered as a member of Harvard College in 1764, but was under the necessity of taking a dismission at the close of his junior year, by the failure of the funds on which he had relied to carry him through the regular class course of that seminary. From Cambridge he returned to Deerfied, where he studied physic and surgery with Dr. Williams, and from whence in 1771 at the age of twenty-three, he removed to practice in Pittsfield. An ardent and decided friend of civil liberty, he took a deep interest in those great political questions which at that period were agitated between Great Britain and her American colonies. No young man, perhaps, was more zealously opposed to the arbitrary encroachments of the British parliament than Dr. Childs, and as a proof of the confidence reposed in him by the fathers' of the town, it need only be mentioned that in 1774, when the crisis of open hostility was approaching, he was appointed Chairman of a Committee to draft a petition to his majesty's justices of Common Pleas in the county of Berksbire, remonstrating against certain acts of parliament which had just been promulgated, and praying them to stay all proceeding till those unjust and oppressive acts should be repealed This spirited and patriotic petition stands recorded at length in the first volume of the town records.

In the same year, 1774, Dr. Childs took a commission in a company of minute-men, which in compliance with a recommendation from the convention of the New-England states, was organized in that town. When the news of the battle of LexVOL. IV.

9

a

ington in 1775, was received he marched with his company to Boston, where he was soon after appoined a surgeon of colonel Patterson's regiment. From Boston he went with the army to New York, and from thence accompanied the expedition to Montreal. ln 1777, he left the army and resumed his practice in the town of Pittsfield, and continued in it till less than a week before his death at the advanced age of 73.

In 1792, Dr. Childs was elected a representative to the General Court of this commonwealth, and for several years received the same pledge of public confidence. He also held a seat in the Senate for a number of years, by the suffrages of the county in which he lived and died. But it was in his profession he was most highly honoured and extensively useful. He was early elected a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and held the office of counsellor of that society to the time of bis death. Some years ago the University of Cambridge conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Medicine. And recently, when a district society composed of the fellows of the state society, was established in the county in which he lived, he was appointed censor and elected to the office of president.

As a practitioner, Dr. Childs stood high in public estimation, both at home and abroad. For more than thirty years he was the only physician of note in the town, and this single fact strongly testifies to the uncommon estimation in which he was held by those who were most competent to judge of his professional skill and success. He was also highly esteemed and often employed in the neighbouring towns. Dr Childs was always the steady advocate and support of religious institutions, and during the last year of his life he manifested an uncommon interest in experimental religion, and in his last sickness espe. cially, he spoke often of the blood and righteousness of Christ as the only hope of a sinner. Few men have continued in the practice of the profession so long or have held out with such vigilance of body and mind to the last, or have been more useful in their professional and social circles. He died on the 25th

. Feb. 1821, as he lived, honored, respected and lamented.

ARTICLE III.

А

DISSERTATION

ON THE

EXCESSIVE USE OF ARDENT SPIRITS.

BY ROBERT THAXTER, M.D.

Read at the annual meeting, June 5, 1824.

GENTLEMEN,

I PROPOSE to make some remarks on the effects of ardent spirits, and the method of treating those, who indulge in an immoderate use of them. I cannot offer any thing new ; but shall endeavour to select such sentiments as accord most with my own.

The effects of intemperance in drinking are immediate and remote, or such as are of a chronic nature.

The immediate effect is drunkenness, the symptoms of which are almost as various as the subjects, and so generally known, that it is unnecessary to describe them. The first effect of spirit is stimulating, causing pleasurable sensations, and vigour of body and mind with the exception perhaps of judgement and reflection. The last is indirect debility, or exhausted excitability, showing itself by loss of voluntary motion and sense.

The diseases, which are supposed to be immediately caused by a paroxysm of drunkenness, are fearful dreams, hysterics and convulsions, epilepsy, and apoplexy.

The chronic effects of habitual indulgence in ardent or vinous spirit are excitement, and aggravation of every disease, to which the patient is predisposed, and the production of many symptoms, peculiar to those, who so indulge. Such persons are particularly exposed to all acute diseases, as inflammatory complaints and fevers of every description. I think inflammatory complaints are most apt to take place in those persons, who only occasionally indulge and whose constitutions are not much impaired. It has been said, that drunken persons resist contagion, cold, and every exposure more effectually, than sober persons. Though this may be the case during the excitement of intoxication, as soon as that excitement is removed, the system is left more susceptible of the influence of every exciting cause of disease. Dr. Rush

says, in the yellow fevers which have visited the cities of the United States, hard drinkers have seldom escaped, and rarely recovered from them. Seamen, &c., who indulge in this way in hot climates, ,

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