Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MEANS, Alexander, clergyman, born in Statesville, North Carolina, 6 February, 1801; died in Oxford, Georgia, 5 June, 1883. He was educated at the academy in Statesville, but removed to Georgia about 1822, and, after teaching for four years, attended medical lectures at Transylvania university. In 1826 he began the practice of medicine in Covington, Georgia, and in 1828 was licensed to preach by the Methodist Episcopal church. He was called to the charge of a manual-labor school near Covington in 1834, and on the organization of Emory college, at Oxford, in 1838, he was chosen professor of physical sciences, which chair he held for eighteen years. In 1840 he was appointed professor of chemistry and pharmacy in the Medical college of Georgia, at Augusta, delivering the regular course of lectures there during the winter months in addition to his duties at Emory. He was made president of the Masonic female college in 1853, and in 1854 called to the presidency of Emory, but in 1855 resigned to accept the professorship of chemistry in Atlanta medical college, which he held for twelve years, including the period of the civil war. He was a member of the Georgia state convention in 1861, and opposed the ordinance of secession, but on the passage of that act promptly identified himself with the south. After the civil war he became state chemist of Georgia at Savannah, and resumed his relations with Emory college as professor of natural philosophy. He received the degree of M. D. from the Medical college of Augusta in 1841, that of D. D. in 1854, and that of LL.D. in 1858 from Emory. His publications include papers on chemistry in the "Medical and Surgical Journal " and other southern monthly periodicals.
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