Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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DAVIS, Nathan Smith, physician, born in Greene, Chenango County, New York, 9 January 1817. He was graduated at the medical College in Fairfield, New York, in 1837, established himself in practice at Binghamton, contributed notable papers on the nervous system to medical journals, and was instrumental in establishing the National medical association, of which he was president in 1864'5. He removed to New York in 1847, assumed the editorship of the "Annalist" in 1848, and in 1849 went to Chicago, Illinois, to take the chair of physiology and pathology in the Rush medical school. In 1850 he assumed charge also of the department of practice of medicine. He assisted in organizing a state and a City medical association, and was one of the principal founders of Mercy hospital. His connection with the medical College continued until he assumed the editorship of the Chicago "Medical Examiner" in 1860. He also conducted for more than twenty years the "Northwestern Journal," of which he took charge in 1855. He was one of the founders of Northwestern University, the Chicago academy of sciences, and the Washingtonian home for the reformation of inebriates, of which he was chosen president. This office he resigned, and also gave up the editorship of the "Medical Examiner."
In 1883 he was appointed editor of the " Journal of the American Medical Association." In May 1886, he was elected president of the International medical congress. In the Chicago medical College, the medical department of the Northwestern University, he assumed the professorship of the principles and practice of medicine and of clinical medicine, and is also dean of the faculty. His principal published writings are an "Essay on the Philosophy of Medicine"; " Medical Education and Reform"; "Remedial Value and Proper Use of Alcoholic Drinks": "History of Medical Education in the United States";" An Experimental Inquiry concerning the Functions of Assimilation, Nutrition, and Anireal Heat" ; " Clinical Lectures" (1873); the chapter on " Bronchitis" in the " American System of Practice of Medicine"; "Lectures on the Principles and Practice of Medicine" (Chicago, 1884); and an article on "Insanity from Acute and Chronic Alcoholism" in the " Handbook of Medicine" (New York, 1886).
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