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William James MacNevin

MacNEVIN, William James, physician, born in Ballynahowne, County Galway, Ireland, 21 March, 1763; died in New York city, 12 July, 1841. At the age of twelve he was sent to Austria, where his uncle, Baron O'Kelly MacNevin, was physician to the Empress Maria Teresa. He was educated at Prague, and, after a course of medicine in that city, finished his professional studies in the University of Vienna, taking the degree of M. D. in 1784. He then returned to Ireland, where he became one of the leaders of the United Irishmen, and was imprisoned from 1798 till 1802. On his release he went to France, and entered the Irish legion in the army of Napoleon, but, despairing of a French invasion of Ireland, he came to the United States in 1805. Soon after his arrival he began the practice of his profession, in which he quickly attained distinction. In 1808 he was appointed professor of obstetrics in the College of physicians and surgeons, and in 1811 filled the chair of chemistry and materia medico. He was the first to establish a chemical laboratory in New York. In 1826 he resigned his professorship, and, in conjunction with Dr. Valentine Mott, Dr. John W. Francis, Dr. David Hosack, and others, founded a new medical school on Duane street in which he lectured on materia medico and therapeutics till 1830. He was president of "The Friends of Ireland" and a member of nearly every h'ish society in New York city. He published a pamphlet for immigrants entitled " Directions, or Advice to Irishmen arriving in America," and he established a bureau to obtain places for Irish servant-girls. Besides his great professional attainments, Dr. MacNevin was a man of wide learning and rare accomplishments. He was a proficient in the principal modern languages and well versed in their literature. His writings were mainly on medical, scientific, and political subjects, and were commonly in the form of essays and lectures. His principal works are "Ramifies through Switzerland in the Summer and Autumn of 1802" (Dublin, 1803); "Pieces of Irish History," with Thomas Addis Emmet (New York, 1807) ; " Chemical Examination of the Mineral Water of Schooley's Mountain" (1815): and " Exposition of the Atomic Theory of Chemistry" (1819). He also published an edition of "Brande's Chemistry," and was associate editor for three years, with Dr. Benjamin De Witt, of New York, of the "Medical and Philosophical Journal."

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