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John W. Francis
Date: 1789 - 1861
Remarks: Francis, a noted doctor, teacher, and author, was the son of a German immigrant grocer in New York. He attended Columbia College, graduating in 1809, and two years later became the first graduate of the newly established College of Physicians and Surgeons. His long and highly successful career as professor of forensic medicine and obstetrics began with his appointment to a lectureship in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, which later merged with the medical school of Columbia University. Between 1810 and 1814 he assisted Dr. David Hosack in editing The American Medical and Philosophical Register. He was one of the founders of the New York Academy of Medicine and was elected its second president; he was instrumental in the establishment of a state asylum for inebriates; Francis was also librarian of The New-York Historical Society from 1812 to 1818 and its corresponding secretary in 1817-18. His anniversary lecture, presented before the Society on November 17, 1857, was expanded and published in 1858 under the title of Old New York, Reminiscences of the Past Sixty Years.