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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Amariah Brigham

BRIGHAM, Amariah, physician, born in New Marlborough, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, 26 December, 1798; died in Utica, New York, 8 September, 1849. He lost his father early in life, and was taken in charge by his uncle, a physician in Schoharie, New York, who intended to educate the boy for his own profession. But his uncle's death forced young Brigham, then about fourteen years old, to rely upon himself, and, making his way alone to Albany, he obtained a place in a book-store, where he remained three years, acquiring a great fondness for books. Returning to New Marlborough, he spent nearly five years, first in preparation for the study of medicine, and then in its prosecution, teaching school, meanwhile, during the winter months. Beginning practice about 1821, he lived two years in Enfield, Massachusetts, and then removed to Greenfield, where he became widely known as a surgeon. In June, 1828, he visited Europe, where he spent a year in Great Britain, France, Italy, and Spain, attending occasional lectures and studying in hospitals and other public institutions. Returning to Greenfield, he remained until April, 1831, when he removed to Hartford, Connecticut, and soon became eminent. At this time infant schools were in high favor in Hartford, and frequent revivals were in progress there. Dr. Brigham, deeming both injurious, published his views on the former in a work entitled "Influence of Mental Cultivation on the Health" (1832; 3d ed., Philadelphia, 1845), and on the latter in "Influence of Religion upon the Health and Physical Welfare of Mankind" (Boston, 1835).

These outspoken opinions of Dr. Brigham's, together with his politics, which were strongly democratic, prejudiced many worthy people against him. In 1837 he delivered a course of lectures before the College of physicians and surgeons in New York, and in 1840 was appointed superintendent of the Hartford retreat for the insane, notwithstanding strong opposition from many of the directors on grounds stated above. In 1842, having accepted a similar place in the state lunatic asylum at Utica, New York, he removed to that place, and remained there until his death. Here, as at Hartford, he was successful, both as a business manager and in his care for his patients. Besides having personal supervision of about 500 insane persons, he delivered popular lectures, was often called to testify in the courts as an expert, and established, in 1844, the quarterly "Journal of Insanity." This strain upon him was one of the causes of his death, which a trip through the southern states, in the spring of 1848, was unable long to postpone. Dr. Brigham published, besides the works already mentioned, a "Treatise on Epidemic Cholera" (1832); "Diseases of the Brain" (Utica, 1836); and "Asylum Souvenir," a small volume of maxims for the use of those who had been under his care (Utica, 1849).

--BEGIN-Charles Henry Brigham

BRIGHAM, Charles Henry, clergyman, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 27 July, 1820; died in Brooklyn, New York, 19 February, 1879. He was graduated at Harvard in 1839, and on 27 March, 1844, was ordained pastor of the first Congregational church in Taunton, Massachusetts. He became pastor of a Unitarian church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1866, and in the same year was chosen professor of biblical archaeology and ecclesiastical history at Meadville (Pennsylvania) theological school, where he lectured twice a year for ten years. He also organized in Ann Arbor a Bible-class especially for the students of Michigan University. In 1877 ill health forced him to give up his work. He was a member of the State board of health, of the American oriental society, the Philological society, and the American association for the advancement of science, contributed much to periodical literature, and published "Letters of Foreign Travel" (2 vols.) and "Life of Rev. Simeon Daggett." A collection of his papers, with a memoir by Rev. E. B. Willson, appeared after his death (Boston, 1881).

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