Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GRIFFITH, Robert Eglesfield, physician, born in Philadelphia, 13 February, 1798; died 26 June, 1850. He was graduated in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1820, and was physician to the Philadelphia board of health in 1834-'6. He became professor of materia medica in the University of Maryland, Baltimore, in the latter year, and in 1838 accepted the chair of medicine in the University of Virginia. Dr. Griffith became noted as a botanist and conchologist, and gave a large collection of shells to the Philadelphia academy of natural sciences, of which he was vice-president in 1849-'50. He was a member of many other learned societies, wrote many articles on botany, conchology, and medicine, and published" Medical Botany" (Philadelphia, 1847), and "Universal Formulary" (1848; 2d ed., edited by Robert P. Thomas, M. D., 1856). He edited Christison's "Dispensatory," with annotations; Taylor on "Medical Jurisprudence" and on "Poisons"; Muller's "Principles of Physic" (1847); Ryan's and Chitty's works on "Medical Jurisprudence "" and Ballard and Garrod's "Materia Medica." At the time of his death he had begun an extensive work on conchology, and had planned one on "The Botany of the Bible," which he was urged to write by Professor Asa Gray and other noted botanists.
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