Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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L00MIS, Silas Laurence, physician, born in Coventry, Connecticut, 22 May, 1822. He was graduated at Wesleyan in 1844, after teaching mathematics and natural sciences in Holliston academy, Massachusetts After his graduation he returned to teaching, becoming in 1855 principal of the Western academy in Washington, D. C., and meanwhile was graduated from the medical department of Georgetown college in 1856, and was professor of physiology in that department in 1859-'60. He held the office of astronomer to the United States coast survey in 1857, and in 1860 was special instructor in mathematics to the United States naval cadets while on a cruise. In 1861-'7 he was professor of chemistry and toxicology in Georgetown college, also surgeon on General George B. McClellan's staff in 1862-'3, and acting assistant surgeon on the steamer "State of Maine," and in Patent office, Finley, and Mount Pleasant hospitals in 1863-'5. He became professor of practice of medicine in the medical department of Howard university in 1867, later dean and professor of chemistry and toxicology in that institution until 1872. In 1873 he returned to the practice of his profession, and in 1877 was called to the presidency of the Swede iron and coal company, which he held until 1881. He invented a process for producing a textile fabric from palmetto in 1878, and in 1879 discovered a method by which ores of chromium, which were formerly condemned, have become valuable. Dr. Loomis has also made improvements in various instruments of precision. He has held the offices of president of the Washington scientific association in 1862, and president of the American union academy of literature, science, and art in 1872. Besides various magazine articles and college addresses he has published "Normal Arithmetic" (Philadelphia, 1859) ; "Analytical Arithmetic" (1860); and " Key to the Normal Course" (1867).--His brother, Lafayette Charles, educator, born in Coventry, Connecticut, 7 July, 1824, was graduated at Wesleyan in 1844, and then taught, becoming in 1853 principal of the Irving institute in Tarrytown, New York A year later he was appointed professor of natural sciences in Wesleyan female college, Wilmington, Delaware, and became its president in 1857-'8. He was principal of the Lafayette institute, Washington, D. C., during 1859-'63, and, after being graduated at the medical department of Georgetown university in 1865, was acting assistant surgeon in the Army of the Potomac. Dr. Loomis then held the presidency of the Wheeling female seminary in West Virginia during 1865, and three years later was appointed professor of physiology in Howard university, Washington, D. C. Subsequently he spent several years in travel and study in Europe, and he has also lectured on art. In addition to magazine articles he has published "Mizpah, Prayer and Friendship" (Philadelphia, 1858) ; "Mental and Social Culture" (New York, 1867) ; and "Handbook of Art and Travel in Europe " (1882).
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