Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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COMEGYS, Joseph Parsons, senator:, born in Cherbourg, Kent County, Del., 29 December, 1813. His ancestors, who were Hungarians, came to this country about 1670. His father, Cornelius P. Comegys, was governor of Delaware from 1837 till 1840. He was admitted to the bar in 1835, in 1843 and 1849 was chosen to the legislature, and in 1852 appointed one of a committee of three to revise the statutes. He was appointed by the governor to fill the vacancy in the United States senate caused by the death of John M. Clayton, and served from 4 December, 1856, till 3 March, 1857. He was a delegate to the Philadelphia national union convention of 1866, and on 18 May, 1876, became chief justice of Delaware. The University of Pennsylvania gave him the degree of LL.D. in 1886.--His brother, Cornelius George, physician, born in Cherbourg, Kent County Del., 23 July, 1816, was educated at Dover academy, Del. After embarking unsuccessfully in business in Indiana, he began the study of medicine, and received his diploma from the University of Pennsylvania in 1848. He went to Cincinnati in 1849, and in 185J studied in London and Paris. He became professor of anatomy in the Cincinnati College of medicine in 1852, but resigned to accept the chair of the institutes of medicine in the new Miami medical College. This was united with the Medical College of Ohio five years later, and Dr. Comegys retained his chair till 1868, with the exception of the years 1860-'4. In 1857 he became lecturer on clinical medicine in the Cincinnati hospital, where he has introduced important improvements. Dr. Comegys delivered an address before the alumni association of the University of Pennsylvania in 1875, in which he maintained that a healthy brain is necessary to a free will. He is in favor of reform in medical teaching, holding that bedside instruction in hospital wards should be given to advanced students, and that instruction given to large classes by means of lectures is inadequate. Dr. Comegys for many years has been a director of the board of education, was active in developing the Cincinnati public library, secured the organization of the University of Cincinnati in 1869, and was one of the founders of the Cincinnati academy of medicine and its president. Dr. Comegys claims to have been the first to announce the correct theory of counter-irritation. He is a member of various medical associations. Of his numerous medical papers, two have attracted much attention, that on "The Pathology and Treatment of Phthisis" (1854) and that on "Cool Bathing in the Treatment of Entero-Colitis" (1875), in which he is said to have introduced "one of the most life-saving improvements in modern therapeutics." He has translated from the French Renouard's "History of Medicine" (Cincinnati, 1856).
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