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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GODMAN, John D., physician, born in Annapolis, Maryland, 20 December 1794; died in Germantown, Pennsylvania, 17 April, 1830. He was left an orphan at an early age without means, and after he had been a short time at school was apprenticed to a printer in Baltimore. In the autumn of 1814 he enlisted as a sailor in the flotilla stationed in Chesapeake bay, and was present at the defense of Fort MeHenry. In 1815 he began the study of medicine under Dr. Luckey in Elizabethtown, whence he soon afterward removed to Baltimore, studied under Dr. Davidge, filling the place of his preceptor, who was professor of anatomy in the University of Maryland, while the latter was disabled by sickness. After he was graduated in February, 1818, he practiced successively in New Holland, Pennsylvania, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. In October, 1821, he removed to Cincinnati, where he became professor of surgery in the Medical College of Ohio, and began the publication of the "Western Quarterly Reporter," a medical periodical projected by Dr. Drake, of which only six numbers were issued. In 1822 he removed to Philadelphia, lectured on anatomy to a private class, and devoted himself more exclusively than before to scientific pursuits. He became in 1824 one of the editors of the "Philadelphia Journal of Medical Sciences," and was appointed professor of anatomy and physiology in Rutgers medical College, New Jersey, in 1826. In 1827 he resigned on account of failing health and went to the West Indies, and on his return lived in Germantown until his death. As a lecturer on anatomy and as a naturalist he had but few equals among his contemporaries in the United States, and he was also well versed in the Latin, French, arid German languages. Dr. Godman had adopted the materialistic views of the French naturalists; but, having witnessed, in 1827, the death of a medical student who died a Christian, he changed his views and was ever afterward devoutly religious. He wrote articles on natural history for the "Encyclopedia Americana" to the end of the letter C, and contributed to the " American Quarterly Review" and to other periodicals. He published "American Natural History," "Rambles of a Naturalist," "Account of Irregularities of Structure and Morbid Anatomy," " Contributions to Physiological and Pathological Anatomy," "Bell's Anatomy," with notes; a translation of Levasseur's "Account of Lafavette's Progress through the United States," "Anatomical Investigations" (1824). His biography by Dr. Sewall. has been published by the Tract society.
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