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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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Austin Flint

FLINT, Austin, physician, born in Petersham, Massachusetts, 20 October 1812; died in New York City, 13 March 1886. He studied at Amherst and Harvard, and was graduated at the medical department of the latter institution in 1833. His professional career began in Northampton, and was continued in Boston until 1836, when he removed to Buffalo, and remained there till 1844. He then accepted a call to the chair of the institutes and practice of medicine at the Rush medical College in Chicago, but a year later returned to Buffalo. In 1846 he established the "Buffalo Medical Journal," which he subsequently conducted until 1856. In connection with Dr. James P. White and Dr. Frank H. Hamilton, he founded, in 1847, the Buffalo medical College, in which, for six years, he was professor of the principles and practice of medicine, and clinical medicine. In 1852 he was called to fill a similar chair in the Louisville University, but in 1856 returned to Buffalo and became professor of pathology and clinical medicine. From 1858 till 1861 he spent the winters in New Orleans as professor of clinical medicine in the school of medicine there, and visiting physician to the Charity hospital. In 1859 he removed to New York, and two years later was appointed professor of pathology and practical medicine in the Long Island College hospital, in which relation he continued until 1868. At the same time he became professor of the principles and practice of medicine in the Bellevue hospital medical College, and also visiting physician to the hospital itself. These offices he held until his death.

Dr. Flint was also consulting physician to the Charity hospital, to the Hospital for the ruptured and crippled, to St. Mary's hospital, and to St. Elizabeth's hospital. In 1872 he was elected president of the New York academy of medicine, and held that office until 1885, when he resigned, on the adoption of the medical code sanctioning consultations with physicians of other than the "regular" school, and he was president of the American medical association in 1884. Besides being a corresponding member of numerous medical societies abroad, he was connected with many American medical and scientific bodies, and his name was on the rolls of the County and state medical associations from the time they were organized. In 1876 he was a delegate to the International medical congress which ,net in Philadelphia, and delivered an address on "Medicine." He attended the medical congresses held in London in 1881 and in Copenhagen in 1884, and had been elected to preside at the congress to be held in Washington in 1887. His contributions to medical literature were very large, and his essays "On the Variations of Pitch in Percussion and Respiratory Sounds " and " On the Clinical Study of the Heart Sounds in Health and Disease" received the first prizes of the American medical association in 1852 and 1859. His larger works include " Clinical Reports on Continued Fever" (Buffalo, 1852); "Clinical Report on Chronic Pleurisy" (1853); "Clinical Report on Dysentery" (1853); "Physical Exploration and Diagnosis of Diseases affecting the Respiratory Organs " (Philadelphia, 185(;; 3d ed., 1868); " Practical Treatise on Diseases of the Heart" (1859; 2d ed., 1870); "Treatise on the Principles and Practice of Medicine," of which more than 40,000 copies have been sold (1866; 5th ed., 1881); " Contributions Relating to Camp Diseases" (New York, 1867); "Essays on Conservative Medicine and Kindred Topics " (Philadelphia, 1874); "Phthisis, its Morbid Anatomy, Etiology, Syruptomatic Events and Complications, Fatality and Prognosis, Treatment and Physical Diagnosis" (1875); "Manual of Auscultation and Percussion" (1876);" Clinical Medicine, a Systematic Treatise on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Diseases" (1879);" Physical Exploration of the Lungs by Means of Auscultation and Percussion" (1882); and "Medical Ethics and Etiquette" (New York, 1883).

His son, Austin Flint, physician, born in Northampton, Massachusetts, 28 March 1836, accompanied his parents to Buffalo, where he received his early education. He entered Harvard in 1852, but left at the end of his first year, and spent some time in the study of civil engineering. In 1854 he began his medical studies in Buffalo, continued them in Louisville, and was graduated at the Jefferson medical College, in Philadelphia, in 1857. Subsequently, until 1860, he edited the " Buffalo Medical Journal," which afterward was transferred to New York and merged in the " American Medical Monthly." In 1858 he was appointed one of the attending surgeons of the Buffalo City hospital, and during the same year was appointed professor of physiology in the Buffalo medical College. He came to New York in 1859, was elected to the chair of physiology in the New York medical College, and to a similar chair in the New Orleans school of medicine in 1860, but resigned the latter at the beginning of the civil war.

As a student in Louisville, he had developed a special taste for physiology, mid had experimented on living animals with Professor Lunsford P. Yandell. While in New Orleans he experimented on alligators, and developed some important points with reference to the influence of the pneumogastrie nerves upon the heart. Dr. Flint was the first physiolgist in the United States to operate on the spinal cord and the spinal nerves in living animals, arm early in 1861 spent several months studying in Paris under Charles Robin and Claude Bernard. On the organization of the Bellevue hospital medical College, in 1861, he became professor of physiology and microscopic anatomy, and also secretary and treasurer of the faculty. For eight years he delivered lectures on physiology in the Long Island College hospital. In 1874 he became surgeon general of New York state, His experimental work has received high praise. In 1862 his investigations on "A New Excretory Function of the Liver" was presented to the French academy of sciences for the Monthyon prize, and in 1869 it received honorable mention and 1,500 francs. He published in 1869 an elaborate review of the history of the discovery of the motor and sensory properties of the roots of the spinal nerves, in which the discovery was ascribed to Francois Magendie instead of to Sir Charles Bell, who has generally been regarded as its author. During the same year he conducted a series of experiments upon the glyeogenic function of the liver, in which he endeavored to harmonize various conflicting observations, and is considered to have settled the question. Dr. Flint is a member of medical and scientific societies, has been a large contributor to medical journals, and has published numerous monographs, he was the author of articles in the "American Cyclopaedia," and his works include "The Physiology of Man" (New York, 1866'74);" Manual of Chemical Examination of the Urine in Disease" (1870; 6th ed., 1884); "Textbook of Human Physiology" (1876: 3d ed., 1881); "' On the Source of Muscular Power" (1878); and "On the Physiological Effects of Severe and Protracted Muscular Exercise" (1871).

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