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arms of his friends, cried out, “I am shot.” Simler, thinking him frightened, but not harmed, said, laughing, "It was not loaded," or, as another witness testified, “It had no ball in it.' The wound was on the fleshy part of the lest hip, above and behind the trochanter major, about one inch in diameter, and four inches in depth; the integuments were destroyed, and the muscles presented a blackened, mangled mass: it bled but little, and was carefully probed with the finger which readily passed to the bottom of the wound. No untoward symptom arose till the sixth day, when tetanus in its most distressing form, opisthotonos, supervened, and he died on the morning of the seventh.
On a careful post-mortem examination, no foreign substance was found but a minute fragment of woollen cloth, about two inches from the surface, and grains of gunpowder, with which the wound, through its whole extent, was blackened.
Thus it was evident that this fatal wound was caused by the explosion of gunpowder in a pistol of ordinary size; a wound at least four times as large as a ball from the same instrument would have caused; and so mangled were the tissues, through this great extent, that vitality was utterly destroyed. Had the unfortunate young man lived, it must have been through great suffering, necessarily attending the tedions and exhausting sloughing of the dead mass.
At the legal investigation which followed, there was some discrepancy in the testimony in regard to the distance at which the pistol was held when the wound was inflicted, the witnesses differing from one foot to two or three yards; nor is this very strange, as it occurred in the night, in a place not well lighted, and in the midst of a moving throng of some twenty individuals. The patient himself, however, declared his belief that the weapon “almost touched him.” The pistol was said, by Simler, to have had a paper wad; but no wad was at any time found, and the evidence given at the time rendered it quite probable none was used.
Being one of the professional attendants in this case, I was somewhat surprised at the character and extent of the wound; it was obvious no ball could have produced it; nor was it conceiva. ble that a paper wad could have caused snch extensive lesions. A considerable research in works on medical jurisprudence failed to give satisfaction, and though the circumstances forced upon my mind the inference that a heavy charge of powder, exploded near the part, had alone caused the mischief, yet, as young Simler had been bound over for trial before a criminal court, it seemed very desirable to possess farther data in the premises. With this view I sought, and, through the courtesy of the officers of Jefferson Medical College, obtained the facilities for making the following experiments, which were used at the subsequent trial, and are now offered to the public with a hope that they may be useful in future medico-legal investigations of this nature. The pistol-the same used by Simler—was wadded with paper, and has a bore about four inches in depth and six lines caliber.
Experiment Ist.-Pistol with an ordinary charge was held 12 inches from feshy part of hip, the part being covered with one thickness of broadcloth and a twilled cotton cloth under itClothes lacerated, and skin abraded; wad on the flour, on fire.
Experiment 20.--Distance 6 inches; parts covered as before, clothes lacerated; wad lodged one inch and a half below the surface.
Experiment 3d.--Distance 2 inches-wound ragged, blackened with powder, and penetrating to the bone—one and a half to two inches—wad was found immediately beneath the integ1ments, and somewhat on one side of the principal woundparts covered as before.
Experiment 4th.-Distance one and a half inch from the ribs of the right side-10 covering of cloth-penetrated the cavity of the chest, the wad passing through the intercostals between the ribs.
Experiment 5th.--Distance the same-ho covering of cloth, the integuinents removed-wad penetrated the thorax, carrying away u transverse portion of the rib.
The subject, about 35 years of age, a male, not recent, had undergone a preserving process with chloride of mercury, considerably hardening the muscles; it was also much emaciated.
SYDENHAM SOCIETY'S WORKS:- The works of William Hewson,
F. R. S., edited with an Introduction and Notes, by George GullivER, F. R. S., Surgeon in the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards. Svo. pp. 360. London, 1846.
The works of Hewson, which form the first volume issued by the Sydenham Society for the year 1946, ought to be especially interesting to the American reader. Hewson himself died at the early age of 34, and his widow with her two sons and daughter, were induced to come to this country on the recommendation of Dr. Franklin, between whom, Hewson and his wife, great intimacy existed. Hewson's Experimental Inquiries into the Lyinphatic System, were indeed dedicated to Franklin, “ by his much obliged and most obedient humble servant.”
No one at all acquainted with the progress of physiology, especially as regards the blood and the lymphatics, is unaware of the merit of Hewson as a physiologist. Still, as Mr. Gulliver remarks, “his writings have been unjustly neglected,” and are now so scarce that a complete copy of them is not to be found in the store of any London bookseller, nor even in some of the best libraries, as that of the British museum.” Hence, the Sydenham Society have done well to make them a part of their publications, and every one will accord with the editor, that "they will be both an acceptable present to physiological literature, and a just tribute of respect to his memory.”
of the private life of Hewson but little, it seems, is known. He was born at Hexliam, in Northumberland, England, on the 14th of Noveniber, 0. S., 1739; where he received the rudidiments of his education at the grammar school. His father was a surgeon-apothecary in the place, and much respected. With him young Hewson acquired his first medical knowledge ; but being ambitious to augment it, he placed himself first under an eininent surgeon in Newcastle, Mr. Lambert, and afterwards resided for some time in London, Edinburgh, and Paris. In the autumn of 1759, he went to London, lodged with John Hunter, and attended the lectures of Dr. William Hunter. His diligence and skill soon recommended him to the favourable notice of the Huuters, and when John went abroad as surgeon with the army, early in 1761, he left to Hewson the charge of instructing the other pupils in the dissecting room. Hewson entered himself also as a pupil at Guy's and St. Thomas's Hospitals, and went to Edinburgh, where he studied until the winter of 1762, when he returned to London, entered into partnership with Dr. Hunter, guve some lectures, and had a share of the profits. In the summer of 1765, he went to France, but returned to London in time for the anatomical lectures. In 1769, on the sea coast of Sussex, he made sundry experiments on fish; and his papers on the lymphatic system of oviparous vertebrate animals were laid before
the Royal Society during the following winter, when he was made a fellow of the Society. To his recommendatory certificate were attached, amongst others, the names of Sir John Pringle, Dr. William Hunter, and Dr. Frankliri.
In 1769, Dr. Hunter finished his well known building in Windmill street, where Hewson had a small apartment assigned him. They continued the lectures in partnership, dividing the profits equally-Hewson giving more of the lectures than he had formerly done. The Windmill street school is no longer in existence, but-as Mr. Gulliver remarks_" it will be preserved from oblivion by the names of the eminent men who lectured there. Among these the future bistorian of anatomy and physiology will liave to commemorate William Hunter, Hewson, Cruikshank, Sheldon, Baillie, Brodie, Charles Bell.” Mr. Gulliver might have added James Wilson-a man of decided, but modest merit, who was much respected by all who knew him, and whose name has been signalized in the “Muscle of Wilson."
In 1770, after his marriage, Hewson took a house near Dr. Hunter, in association with whom he continued to lecture during the winter of 1771. The connexion was soon after dissolved; and in 1772, Hewson began to lecture independently in Craven street, where he had built a theatre adjoining a house which he had destined for the future residence of his family. Before he began this course of anatomy, he gave a lecture on the uses of the spleen and thymus, to which he invited many men of science. His success in his first course of lectures was so great, that he had more than half the number of pupils that Dr. Hunter and he had conjointly.
Early in 1774, he had every reason to be satisfied with his position. “In viewing the situation of our associate at this period,” says Dr. Lettsom--somewhat grandiloquently, the most gratifying prospects presented themselves, where genius and industry were rewarded with success, and domestic amities with felicity. The theatre in which he delivered his lectures and expounded his doctrines, was crowded with men of science, as well as with pupils, to listen to a youth grown sage by experimental researches." "In short," adds Mr. Gulliver, “ Hewson was now surrounded by the bless. ings of life. He had a kind and just wife, who had borne him two lovely sons; his favorite sister lived with him; his success in teaching was no longer doubtful, and his practice in surgery and midwifery had so much increased as to give him the fairest prospect of providing well for his family. But this happiness was soon to end. He was seized with a fever occasioned by a wound received in dissection, which proved fatal on May-day 1774, after a short illness, in the thirty-fifth year of his age.”
His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Stevenson,—and who appears to have been a most exemplary woman,-had been upon terins of the warmest friendship with Dr. Franklin, from the age of eighteen. She was the daughter of a lady with whom the Doctor resided during the fifteen years he passed in London. Miss Stevenson lived mostly in the country with her aunt, Mrs. Tickell, and when Hewson proposed marriage to her, she consulted Franklin on the subject. The winter of 1783-84 she spent with Franklin at Passy. He had taken especial care in the direction of her siudies, and some of his best letters on philosophical subjects were addressed to her. After she lost her mother in 1783, he frequently expressed a desire that she should become his neighbour in America; and in 1786, she proceeded with her children to Philadelphia, where she lived until 1792, and then returned to Bristol, Pennsylvania, where her eldest son William had established himseis, and where she closed a well spent life on the 14th of October, 1795.” “Her second son, Thomas Tickell Hewson," adds Mr. Gulliver, “who was an eminent physician, and her daughter, Mrs. Caldwell, were both living at Philadelphia in 1837. Her son William died at Vera Cruz in 1832. In the hope that some further observations might be obtained from America concerning Mr. Hewson and his descendants, the printing of this sheet has been long delayed, but my inquiries have only elicited, that his son, Dr. Hewson, is at present the respected President of the College of Physicians at Philadelphia.”
Mrs. Caldwell, we would inform Mr. Gulliver, is living; and we are happy to add that the surviving son of Hewson still pursues the career of an honorable, distinguished, but unobtrusive practitioner, esteemed by all who know him, and universally and justly regarded, from a long career of honorable service, as the patriarchial head of the profession in Philadelphia,—the worthy representative of the past and the present. Well does he merit the position of President of the College of Physicians, or of any