Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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EVANS, Thomas Wiltberg, Jr. dentist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 28 December 1828. He received a common school education, and, at the age of fourteen, entered the employ of a silversmith, who was also a maker of dental appliances. In 1841 he entered the office of Dr. John D. White, of Philadelphia, with whom he remained two years, meanwhile following a regular course at the Jefferson medical College. He established himself as a dentist in Maryland, and afterward in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he acquired an extensive practice. His early familiarity with metals, and especially with gold foil, enabled him to fill cavities, which up to that time had been considered impracticable. He filled many teeth that would otherwise have been extracted, and he made an exhibition of his achievements at the Franklin institute in Philadelphia.
About 1848 he went to Paris, where, under the patronage of Napoleon III., he became distinguished, and in time he treated many of the crowned heads of Europe. Dr. Evans was active in the establishment of the Red Cross society, and in organizing the American ambulance corps that was sent out under its auspices with the French army in 1870. At the downfall of the empire in September 1870, he aided the Empress Eugenie to escape, and, although the story is told in several ways, it is generally accepted that the empress, after leaving the Tuileries, was taken to Dr. Evans's residence for refuge. She was hurried into his carriage and driven beyond the walls of the City, while he held in front of her face an open newspaper, which he was apparently reading. Dr. Evans's fortune is estimated at many millions, including a valuable collection of souvenirs, which he has received from his titled patients. He is the proprietor of the "American Register," a weekly journal issued in Paris, and has recently purchased a daily, which is now (1887) published in the English language in that City. He has published several books, including "The Memoirs of Heinrich Heine" (London, 1884).
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