Physicians And Medical Societies.
place the name it still has was located in Ridley previous to that year.1 Hence from the number of physicians, or "practioners of physick," already shown to be present in the colony previous to the year 1698, the remark of Gabriel Thomas was hardly true even at that time, that "of lawyers and physicians I shall say nothing, because this country is very peaceable and healthy. Long may it so continue, and never have occasion for the tongue of one nor the pen of the other, both equally destructive to men's estate and lives, besides, forsooth, they hang-men like have a license to murder and make mischief."
Dr. John Goodsonn was a physician in Chester in 1681.2 He was termed "Chirurgeon to the Society of Free Trader," came from London, and settled in Upland for a short time previous to the first visit of William Penn. He subsequently removed to Philadelphia. Dr. Smith states he "was probably the first practicing physician in Pennsylvania."3 In this remark, however, the author quoted is incorrect. In 1694, Dr. Goodsonn was appointed Deputy Governor under William Markham, his commission being signed by William Penn. He resided in Philadelphia in 1690, for his letter to William Penn is dated from that city, 20th of Sixth month of that year.4 Prior to 1700, Joseph Richards is mentioned as a physician at Chester, where he owned real estate.5
1 "Amasland was first called Amma's land. A midwife formerly lived at the place where Archer's farm now is, hence that place, and subsequently the whole tract around it, received the name of Amman's Land, now Amas Land." - Acrelius' History of New Sweden, p. 204; Record of Upland Court, p. 65.|
2 Colonial Records, vol. i. p. 429.
3 Smith's " History of Delaware County," p. 465.
4 Penna. Mag. of Hist., vol. iv. p. 192.
5 Martin's "History of Chester," p. 495.
The records of the physicians who practiced in this county during the last century can only be gathered from old letters or accounts filed in estate in the Orphans' Court, where sometimes the physician's name is given among the claims paid.
Isaac Taylor, who had been formerly sheriff of Bucks County in 1693, and was a noted surveyor in primitive days, "at the time of his death was a resident of Tinicum Island, practising the art of surgery." The statement of Professor Keen, just quoted, is directly opposed by that of Gilbert Cope,6 who tells us Dr. Taylor died in Thornbury in 1728. Dr. Isaac Taylor's son John we know was a surveyor and physician, as his father had been, but in 1740 he embarked in the iron business, erected the noted Sarum Forge, at the present Glen Mills, on Chester Creek.
|6 History of Chester County, p. 738.|
We learn from a petition on file in West Chester that in November, 1736, Alexander Gandonett was located in Chester, and he describes himself as a "Practioner in Physyck." He asked the court to grant him a license for the sale of liquor. He states:
"Your Petitioner, by way of his Practice, is Obliged to Distill several sorts of Cordiall writers and it being often Requested by several of the inhabitants of this County to sell the same by small measure your Petitioner Conceiving that the same be of absolute necessity by way of his Practice yet that it may be Considered to be within the Act of Assembly for selling liquor by small prays your honours for the premises."
His application was recommended by Joseph Parker (the clerk of the court), John Salkeld, Thomas Cummings, Joseph Hoskins, John Wharton, and thirteen others, most of whom resided in Chester, or close in the vicinity of the borough, and were all prominent citizens. The court, however, did not immediately take action on the petition, for it is indorsed, "Referred to further Consideration." After this we learn nothing further of the fate of his "Cordiall waters." The doctor we know was in practice in Chester in January, 1747, for at that time he asked payment from the province for medicine and attendance on the sick soldiers of Capt. Shannon's company quartered there.
John Paschall, who is said to have been born in Darby, about 1706, was never regularly educated for the profession, but he acquired considerable medical and chemical knowledge, which made him conspicuous in his day. He practiced medicine in the county, residing at Darby, and prepared a nostrum called "The Golden Elixer," which was widely advertised as "Paschall's Golden Drops." He died at Darby in 1779, aged about seventy-three years.
Dr. Jonathan Morris was born in Marple, May 17, 1729. He studied under Dr. Bard, of Philadelphia, and after he had graduated located in Marple, where he practiced until near the close of his life, which was extended until within one month of his ninetieth year.
In St. Paul's churchyard, in the city of Chester, is a slab of marble lying lengthwise, which bears this inscription:
PAUL JACKSON, A. M.
He was the first who received a Degree
In the College of Philadelphia.
A man of virtue, worth and knowledge.
Died 1767, Aged 36 Years."
Paul Jackson, whose remains repose in the vault covered by this slab, was not only prominent as a physician, soldier, linguist, and chief burgess of Chester at a time when that office was one of great honor, but in his short life had become distinguished as one of the most accomplished scholar in the colony. He was of Scotch-Irish parentage, and became Professor of Languages in the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania). "His Latin compositions, which were published, secured for him a reputation for correct taste and accurate scholarship."7
His studious application impaired his health, and when Gen. Forbes led the expedition against Fort Du Quesne he was appointed, May 11, 1758, captain of the Third Battalion of the Pennsylvania Regiment (Governor William Denny, colonel).8 His active life as a
7 Penna. Mag. of Hist., vol. ii. p. 59 (note).|
8 Penna. Archives, 2d series, vol. ii. p. 564.