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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ELLIOTT, Samuel Mackenzie, oculist, born in Inverness, Scotland, 9 April 1811; died in New Brighton, Staten Island, New York, 1 May 1873. He was graduated at the College of surgeons in Glasgow in 1828, pursued original investigations into the anatomy of the eye and the effects of climate on that organ, and in 1833 emigrated to the United States, and continued his medical studies in Cincinnati and Philadelphia. In 1835 he opened an office in New York City, and devoted himself to the cure of eye diseases, He gained a high reputation in this specialty, but the medical profession considered him an irregular practitioner, and accused him either of charlatanism or of unprofessional conduct in keeping his medical discoveries a secret. He accordingly obtained a diploma, after an examination in the New York medical College, and in a course of lectures explained his methods of practice. He exhibited eccentricities, but his scientific attainments and professional skill obtained recognition, and his amiable characteristics and generous charities gained him many friends. At the beginning of the civil war he was lieutenant colonel of the 79th regiment of New York volunteers. During the first battle of Bull Run his horse was shot and fell upon him, so injuring his spine as to in capacitate him for further active service. He afterward raised the Highland brigade, and at the close of the war was mustered out as brigadier general. He continued to practice his profession until 1874, when he retired to his residence on Staten Island.
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