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Dr. Frank Hastings Hamilton

Born: Sept. 13, 1813 in Wilmington, Vermont

Died: Aug. 11, 1886 in New York City, New York



Dr. Hamilton was the first doctor who examined the skull of Charles Collins one year after his death and determined he did not commit suicide. He was a very famous surgeon that practiced medicine in Auburn, NY and Buffalo, NY.


Hamilton was the son of Calvin and Lucinda (Hastings) Hamilton. Through his mother, he was a descendant of Thomas Hastings who came from the East Anglia region of England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634. Hamilton graduated from Union College in 1830 and received the degree of MD degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1835. After teaching in various colleges he became professor in the Bellevue Hospital Medical College in 1861. He was a military surgeon for two years in the Civil War and was appointed medical inspector with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1863. Among the many positions of honor and trust which he held was the presidency of the New York Society of Medical Jurisprudence. He served as consulting surgeon to various hospitals and asylums and became widely known as an authority on surgery with his three large works having a recognized place in the literature of medical science. They are Treatise on Fractures and Dislocations (1860), Practical Treatise on Military Surgery (1861), and The Principles and Practice of Surgery (1872). In his later years, his place in history was secured by a tragic event. "Almost immediately after President Garfield was shot in 1881, Mrs. Garfield insisted upon sending for Dr. Hamilton. He was telegraphed for, and a special train being provided him, he went directly to the President's bedside. Until the President died, Dr. Hamilton in connection with Drs. Bliss and Agnew was almost constantly in attendance.


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