Silas Weir Mitchell letter to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Identifier: MSS 2/241-02
Scope and Contents
Letter, 1911 Mar. 26, naming John Shaw Billings as custodian of Benjamin Rush watch (later part of Abbe Cabinet of College of Physicians of Philadelphia), following Mitchell’s death. Note from College Secretary John H. Girvin indicating, since Billings’ death preceded Mitchell’s, Simon Flexner appointed next custodian.
- Mitchell, Silas Weir (Person)
Biographical / Historical
Silas Weir Mitchell, Philadelphia neurologist, novelist, and poet, was born on 15 Feb. 1829. He was a son of physician John Kearsley Mitchell. Mitchell married Mary Middleton Elwyn (d. 1862), in 1856, then Mary Cadwalader, in 1875. He had two sons from his first marriage and a daughter from his second. S. Weir Mitchell died of pneumonia on 4 Jan. 1914. Mitchell received an M.D. from Jefferson Medical College in 1850. He then studied in Paris with Claude Bernard. During the Civil War, he was an assistant surgeon and studied gunshot wounds. Mitchell was a pioneer in the development of the rest cure to treat nervous disorders, toxicology, physiology of the cerebellum, and opium research, and was closely associated with the Philadelphia Orthopaedic Hospital and Infirmary for Nervous Diseases. He was elected to fellowship in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1856 and twice held the office of president.
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