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Anatomy & Surgery 1850-1867

MOSES GUNN  was born at East Bloomfield, Ontario County, New York, April 20, 1822, son of Linus and Esther (Bronson) Gunn.  Both his parents were natives of Massachusetts, the father being of Scotch ancestry.  The son received his early training in the schools of his native place, and later began medical studies in the office of Dr. Carr, of Canandaigua.  In 1844 he entered Geneva Medical College and was graduated Doctor of Medicine in 1846.  Here he came under the instruction of Dr. Corydon La Ford, Professor of Anatomy; and between the two there sprang up a lifelong friendship.  Immediately after his graduation he came to Ann Arbor and began his professional career.  In addition to his regular practice he organized classes in Anatomy each year.  In 1850 when the Department of Medicine and Surgery was opened in the University, he was invited to become a member of the original Faculty as Professor of Anatomy and Surgery.  In 1854 the chair was divided, and he chose the chair of Surgery, while his former teacher Dr. Ford, was called to the chair of Anatomy.  Thus they worked side by side for thirteen years, till Dr. Gunn resigned to accept the chair of Surgery in Rush Medical College.  From 1867 to the year of his death he continued to lecture there and to practice his specialty in Chicago.  From September 1, 1861, to July, 1862, he was Surgeon of the Fifth Michigan Infantry and went through the Peninsular Campaign with General McClellan’s army.  He received the honorary degree of Master of Arts from Geneva College in 1856, and the degree of Doctor of Laws from Chicago University in 1867.  He was married in 1848 to Jane Augusta Terry, of Ann Arbor.  The oldest son, Glyndon, was drowned in the Detroit River in August, 1866, aged sixteen.  A younger son, Malcolm, was a student at Ann Arbor for a time, and afterward took his degree at Rush Medical College.  Dr. Gunn died at his home in Chicago, November 4, 1887.  (See page 92)


Burke A. Hinsdale and Isaac Newton Demmon, History of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1906), pp. 224.



MOSES GUNN, A.M., M.D., LL.D.


(An address delivered before the faculty and students of the medical department

of the University of Michigan, on "Founders' Day," February 22, 1906.)

By C. B. G. De Nancrede, A.M., M.D., LL.D.


While perhaps it is appropriate that to the present incumbent of the Chair of Surgery has been deputed the task of presenting to you a few of the salient facts in the life and character of the first professor of surgery in this institution, I cannot but feel that it is most unfortunate that one so little associated with him personally, had to be selected. This man, to whom the medical school owes so much, who in every sense of the word was one of our Founders, can hardly have justice done him by one who never worked with him in those early days when, as be taught others, he learned himself, day by day, how the facts of medical science could best be conveyed; for, as you will see, he was practically without training as a teacher when at one bound he was called upon to fill two of the most important chairs in the Medical Department of the University of Michigan, and that too, in a school depending entirely for its future success upon the ability of its untried faculty. How well he succeeded, it will be my endeavor to show you, and to point out those qualities by means of which this success was achieved.

          The subject of our memoir was born in East Bloomfield, New York, the youngest of the four children of Linus Gunn and Esther Brunson. His parents were of Scotch ancestry, Moses taking after his father physically, the latter being a tall and powerful man. Like other men who have achieved eminence, as a child Doctor Gunn showed some of those traits of character which explain in a great measure his success, especially his love of mechanics, and a distinctly quick- and logical mind that some anecdotes which I shall relate will prove.

The family homestead being located on the main stage route from Rochester to Canandaigua was so conveniently situated that, encouraged by the reputation the Gunns had for hospitality, travelers often stopped there, and clergymen and other men of education made short stays with them. Doubtless, the wits of the young Moses were sharpened and stimulated by frequently listening to the conversation of educated and cultured men, this in some measure accounting for his nimbly acting mind. One day when only a little fellow, he was tinkering at a home made vehicle, and a brother teasingly asked him why he did not hitch up the old dog and make him pull the wagon. Moses replied that he was too old. The brother retorted, "I am going to kill this dog, for he is too old and useless, and takes up too much room," when instantly Moses flashed back, "if YOU are going to kill everything that is too old, you had better go in and kill your grandmother."

Again, dissatisfied with his name he asked why he had been so called, and being told by his mother that it was the name of his grandfather, who was a courteous, amiable old gentleman, whom his parents hoped to have him emulate, he quickly answered, "That is a good reason, but I could just as well have emulated him without his name." When barely five, one Thanksgiving day he was overlooked when some delicacy was handed around. Turning to his aunt he reproachfully said, "Whatever that was you didn't pass it to me." At once the dish was handed him when with sly humor he said, "Oh, never mind, I do not want it, only I like to have folks pass me things when I am around."

Like straws which prove which way the wind blows, these anecdotes show that the quickness of perception, power of logical deduction, and sense of humor which characterized his after life, even at this early age, were unusually developed.

          I would especially ask for the attention of the undergraduate students to the brief remarks I shall make concerning Doctor Gunn's boyhood. Although for a time, as will be seen, seriously handicapped by ill health, enjoying no special advantages over his fellows, yet, availing himself of every opportunity, however unpromising it appeared, he actually converted what would have been obstacles to others, into opportunities for planting his feet on the lowest rungs of the ladder of success. As Longfellow says:


"All common things, each day's events,

That with the hour begin and end,

Our pleasures and our discontents,

Are rounds by which we may ascend.


We have not wings, we cannot soar;

But we have feet to scale and climb

By slow degrees, by more and more,

The cloudy summits of our time."


Sent early to school, from twelve to fifteen years of age he had for his tutor a young theological student, a resident in his father’s house. Finally, entering the Bloomfield Academy, he continued his studies there until attacked by a serious illness, his behavior during which showing how his strong will could compel his suffering body at any cost to obey that which approved itself to him as right. Thus, during part of this illness he rode to school, at times suffering so much that he could only permit his horse to walk, while the pain in his side made it almost impossible for him to sit upright in the saddle, but, recognizing the evils of such an attitude in the young, he sternly resisted the inclination.

Undismayed by his illness he displayed much fortitude. Instead of succumbing and abandoning the hope of completing his education, he accomplished what he could and devoted himself to the recovery of his health. The execution of this project requiring extreme care for two years and finally a change of residence and a sea voyage shows the mental fibre possessed by this youth, and the discipline of patience required must have served to mould his character with finer lines and into more compact form.

A few months after his return from his voyage he commenced the study of medicine under Doctor Edson Carr, of Canandaigua. That the same keenness of observation, and accurate correlation of the facts thus obtained, were as prominent traits of character during his student days as they had been in his childhood is proved by a remark of Dr. Carr evidencing the opinion this shrewd observer had early formed of Gunn. Walking side-by-side one day, the wind blew a corner of the doctor's cloak over Gunn's arm, when the pupil remarked, "How proud I should be if your mantle could fall upon my shoulders." Gazing keenly at him for a moment, Doctor Carr replied, "My boy, you will wear a greater mantle than mine." Doctor Carr enjoyed a high reputation as an operator and was greatly admired by his pupil, yet on one occasion after assisting his preceptor in the performance of an operation, Gunn remarked to a friend that if he ever met with a similar case he would treat it after a radically different method. Years after, in a number of instances, the truth of his youthful previsions were justified by his results. Such independence of judgment coupled with a well-balanced mind such as Gunn possessed, was one of the chief reasons for his early success when sure he was right, he did not hesitate to contravene professional conventions.

A former student of Doctor Carr's, our own Corydon L. Ford, then demonstrator of anatomy in Geneva Medical College, on his occasional visits to his old preceptor was struck by Gunn's "earnestness in whatever he undertook," and especially "his enthusiastic devotion to the study of anatomy.  Upon the observations thus casually made by Ford depended the after life of young Gunn. I am anxious in thus selecting from the mass of material at my disposal the really epoch-making events of Doctor Gunn's life, that students may recognize how at any period of life a., man as he really is, not as he wishes to appear, is often subjected to an unsuspected scrutiny upon the results of which, all unknowingly to himself, his future in great measure may depend.

In October, 1844, entering the Geneva Medical College, Gunn was at once conceded to be a man of unusual promise, and Dr. Ford's originally high opinion was so justified that, when the latter's health prevented him from conducting his work in practical anatomy, he entrusted to the young undergraduate the instruction of his classmates, thus giving the opportunity Gunn needed. Ford afterwards said that Gunn in performance of these duties evinced so much aptness and skill in instructing others, that his future success as a teacher and operator were clearly foreshadowed. Even at this time young Gunn, encouraged by Ford, and given a chance to show his capacity as a teacher, when talking over the future, indulged the hope that he and Ford might at no distant time be associated in a medical school, Ford as the anatomist, Gunn as the surgeon. To paraphrase the Shakespearean saying, the wish became the father to the thought, and the thought induced Gunn to bend all his energies to translate his thought into a reality.

The quickness with which Gunn availed himself of an opportunity, which most would have failed to make adequate use of, is shown by a circumstance which occurred just before his graduation. The college received, too late to utilize for the session, an unclaimed body for dissection. There being no means for preserving it Doctor Gunn was allowed to use the body for purposes of instruction. He packed the body in a large trunk, and receiving his diploma on Tuesday, left his home for Ann Arbor on the Monday following the day of his graduation. Two weeks after leaving home he made his arrangements and commenced lecturing on anatomy, which proved so successful, that in succeeding years he repeated this course accompanied by dissections and demonstrations. This was the first course on anatomy ever given in Ann Arbor, and probably the first in Michigan. I am credibly informed that these lectures and demonstrations were given in the basement of the old courthouse, which occupied the site of the present building.

In July 1849, Doctor Gunn was appointed to the chair of anatomy in the University of Michigan to which was added the professorship of surgery early in 1850. In 1854 it was deemed advisable that Doctor Gunn should teach only surgery, and in June of this year Doctor Corydon L. Ford was appointed to fill the chair of anatomy. Thus at last the youthful dreams of these two enthusiastic men were realized, one taught anatomy and the other surgery in the same medical school. The year previous to his appointment by the Board of Regents-1848-Doctor Gunn married Jane Augusta Terry, only daughter of J. M. Terry, M. D. The fruits of this union were four children, the eldest of whom Glyndon, was accidentally drowned in the Detroit river in the summer of 1866. The remaining three children survived their father.

In 1853 he changed his place of residence from Ann Arbor to Detroit, where he remained until called, in 1867, to Rush Medical College. From 1853 to 1867 he made two weekly trips to Ann Arbor, during each session, to deliver his lectures on surgery. Recognizing that he should pattern his teaching after the best models, he determined to spend the winter of 1849 and 1850 in visiting the medical schools and hospitals of New York,

Philadelphia, and Boston, before delivering his first course of lectures at Ann Arbor to the entering class consisting of ninety-two students. I cannot refrain from quoting some of Doctor Gunn's keen observations upon the difference in the medical atmospheres respectively of Philadelphia and New York. He justly considered that Philadelphia then was, from the medical standpoint, the Paris of America, and while this visit preceded my student days some twenty-six years, in my time this was equally true. "There is a medical atmosphere which is really refreshing," says he in a letter to his wife. "You see the M. D.'s in this City of Brotherly Love have a kind of hospitality peculiarly their own." This remark was evoked by the hospitality that men who have won great names in medicine accorded this young aspirant for fame, such men as Charles D. Meigs, Joseph Pancoast, John Neill, Professors Mutter and Horner, all insisting upon his accepting numerous social invitations and making him free of their homes, merely because he was a member of the same profession. Doctor Gunn then goes on to say in this same letter, '*The New Yorkers have a good deal of suavity, but the politeness of the Philadelphia doctors is extended in the way of generous hospitality, and almost every member of the profession that I have met seems to be imbued with the same disposition. As I said before, Philadelphia contains a medical atmosphere that is most refreshing, and if you could see the way the doctors do it up here, you would admire the profession more than you now do."

Urged by patriotic and humanitarian motives, and recognizing the fact that, in modern parlance, the battlefield was one of the surgeon's laboratories, he joined the Army of the Potomac on September 1, 1861, as surgeon to the Fifth Michigan Infantry, remaining in the service until failing health compelled him to resign in July, 1862. Returning to Detroit during a three-weeks' leave of absence, in December and January 1861-62, he crowded into this time his quota of lectures at Ann Arbor and rejoined at Alexandria. Leaving this place with his regiment, Doctor Gunn served through the Peninsular Campaign until his resignation in July 1862.

Like many other men at that time, he was an enthusiastic admirer of General George B. McClellan, and with generous indignation expressed in his letters his opinion of the politicians who, he said, marred the General's plans. This was in accordance with his character, for if, after what he considered sufficient deliberation, he arrived at an opinion, to this he would cling most tenaciously, notwithstanding valid arguments to the contrary. This trait of character I frequently observed in our mutual intercourse. Both as an illustration of his capacity of unburdening his mind in well chosen language, as well as to call attention by his burning words to the unrewarded heroism of the profession you medical students are about to enter upon, I shall quote a portion of one other letter.

"You say that Mrs. R. complains that surgeons are never alluded to after a battle. No, why should they be? Poor, benighted souls; did anyone dream for a moment that a surgeon's field had aught of glory about it? No, the glory consists of carnage and death. The more bloody the battle, the greater the glory. A surgeon may labor harder, must labor longer, may exhibit a higher grade of skill, may exercise the best feelings of our poor human nature, may bind up many a heart as well as limb, but who so poor as to do him honor? There is no glory for our profession. We may brave the pestilence when all others flee; we may remain firm at our posts when death is more imminent than it ever was on the battlefield; but who sings our praise? Does the world know whom the physicians were who fell at Norfolk when yellow fever depopulated that town? Does it know who rushed in to fill their places? And of those who survived can it designate one? Did they survive to receive fame? Yet those men were braver than the bravest military leader, for theirs was bravery unsupported by excitement or by the hope of fame. No, there are none so poor as to do us reverence. And thank God, there are few of us so unsophisticated as to expect it."

While this is lamentably too true, yet it is the glory of our profession that unlike the soldier, striving neither for medical glory nor for promotion, the medical man simply does his duty because it is his duty.

I cannot refrain from citing an incident in order to impress upon the minds of medical students that the welfare of a patient should be paramount to every other consideration. Although what I shall relate happened upon the battlefield, as has just been pointed out, the same, nay a higher kind of courage is often demanded when facing disease, as is daily done by the rank and file of the profession. In a skirmish against one of the hill tribes on the frontier of India, an officer was severely wounded in advance of his troops as dusk was coming on. One of the large arteries was wounded and death from hemorrhage was imminent. The surgeon of the party ran forward and in comparative shelter compressed with his fingers the artery, arresting the bleeding.  While the location of the fire of the enemy shifted, it continued. Doubting the efficiency with which he was compressing the artery, night having now fallen, the surgeon deliberately lit a match, instantly causing a hail of bullets to fall around him, and then finding his patient in great danger of being wounded a second time, arranged an efficient makeshift to take the place of his fingers in arresting the bleeding, picked up his patient at the greatest risk to his own life, carried him to the rear, tied the severed artery, and saved him! What is the rush forward with victorious thousands compared to such an act of heroism? I am glad to say that this British surgeon received the Victoria Cross for Valor, but who receives any recognition, as Gunn says, when deliberately facing death from loathsome disease?

Although much of interest remains concerning Doctor Gunn's life at this time, which would be instructive and interesting, enough has been said to indicate most of his characteristic mental traits, and now it behooves us to briefly consider what additional qualities rendered him so remarkable as a teacher. Although from the purely intellectual standpoint the physique of a teacher should play no part in his success, even now, a stalwart frame, fine voice, an impressive and commanding presence, coupled with enthusiasm, will go far towards securing the attention and winning the confidence of scholars, after which the mental pabulum offered is accepted by them with but little question.

When Doctor Gunn commenced teaching, in this country an instructor had first to be a man whom manly men could admire, mere intellectual force alone being decidedly at a disadvantage, having slowly to win attention instead of compelling it. Gunn and men of his stamp commanded attention and confidence, the students unconsciously placing themselves en rapport with an instructor so bounteously endowed physically. The same was true of almost all the great teachers of surgery of Doctor Gunn's generation, such men as the elder Gross, Hunter McGuire, David Yandell, Edward H. Moore and others I could mention.

I shall never forget how I was impressed by my first sight of Doctor Gunn twenty-three years ago. Sauntering along the street a half block away I saw the striking figure of a man considerably over six feet in height, well proportioned, with an erect military carriage, clad in a snugly-fitting, carefully-buttoned-UP black frock coat, his head surmounted by a black silk hat. He had long gray side-whiskers, a heavy drooping mustache, and curling gray hair resting upon his coat collar. He frequently raised his gold-rimmed eyeglasses to note the architectural peculiarities of each house he approached, every street incident, every passer-by, and then the eyeglasses were allowed to swing from their long gold chain to be quickly readjusted should anything seem worthy of attention. Altogether he presented an impressive figure of a man of physical and mental power, of one who must investigate everything presented to his senses, who quickly observed, classified his impressions, deciding upon the respective merits and proper relation even of passing events, a man of an alert and enthusiastic temperament, ready and eager to digest new ideas, yet one whose judgment restrained his zeal within due bounds. The essentials of these impressions were instantaneously photographed upon my mental retina and I subsequently found them to be accurate. A man thus opulently endowed by nature and trained by a life of continuous effort to excel, could not fail to command at the very outset the attention and confidence of any audience, and to exert an actively compelling influence over them.

The modern student can only have a faint conception of the stress laid, forty or fifty year ago, upon the manner, as well as the matter of a lecture. At the present time, almost any form of expression is permissible that the speaker believes will convey his ideas, so the naked truth, or what is too common, truth clad in ill-fitting, actually distorting verbal garments, disgusts or fails to impress the hearer, or more often, an entirely wrong idea is conceived. Slang, catchwords, anything will do. Clear-cut thoughts neither will be nor can be expressed in crude, slovenly language. A careless, loose mode of expression, no effort being made to clothe ideas in appropriate and decorous speech, is always an evidence of ill-digested, loose thought; nay more, it inevitably leads to less and less effort being made to think or observe clearly.

Gunn and his contemporaries recognized and avoided these pitfalls. Careful deliberation was employed in deciding exactly what information was to be given, but an equal effort was put forth in securing fitting language to convey with exactness the facts to be considered. Let none think that it was pedantic or an unnecessary refinement to mentally alter or recast phrases before giving them verbal utterance, because this is a necessary part of any good lecturer's work. Gunn and his successful contemporaries understood the necessity of so lecturing that the audience did not become dulled by constantly listening to nearly the same phraseology employed to convey different ideas, and. thus lose all the subtler differences in scientific values because of the lack of nice discrimination in the language employed by the speaker. Happy is he who at the outset possesses a large vocabulary, but he must never lose an opportunity to add to his store of words. A lecturer who conscientiously searches out the exact word or phrase to correctly convey a given idea will find his mental vision wonderfully clarified, and will rarely have to answer questions propounded by his mystified class. Let me give you an illustration of the plan pursued by another of our great teachers of the past, Doctor Francis Gurney Smith, professor of physiology in the University of Pennsylvania, when I was a student.  Two hours of the evening preceding the lecture was spent in consulting authorities and refreshing his mind as to experiments, et cetera. At 1 o'clock the next afternoon he went to his room at the medical school, read over the stenographic report of this same lecture delivered during a previous course, saw that the vivisections demonstrated what he desired, or, that the experimental apparatus was working properly, and then, the last three quarters of the hour preceding his 5 o'clock lecture were devoted to selecting the most fitting language to employ in recapitulating the previous lecture, and for the lecture about to be delivered.

Can you wonder that it was a rare treat to listen to such a speaker's smoothly-flowing sentences, and that we exactly apprehended what he strove to teach us? And this expenditure of five or six hours in the preparation of each lecture was not only made when Doctor Smith commenced teaching, but after twenty-five years of practice. Let no one think that it is unnecessary to thus cut, alter, and recast phrases, for to such precautions do I attribute much of the successful teaching of years ago.

No experienced lecturer thinks it beneath him to search until he finds the exact word or phrase to convey a given idea, even if he has to restate that which he has already presented more obscurely to his audience. I firmly believe that if some of the present opponents of so-called didactic lectures as a means of conveying scientific knowledge, could have listened to the really great teachers of the past, much of their opposition would be withdrawn. But to attain such skill is no easy task, even for those starting with unusual endowments, the aspirant for laurels as a speaker cannot indulge in careless, inaccurate language in ordinary conversation, or in his correspondence. These faults were conspicuously absent in Doctor Gunn. I have read many letters of his, portions of some of which you have listened to, and the same happy lucidity that illuminates his more pretentious writings characterizes his family correspondence. He thought clearly and took the trouble to always employ that phraseology which compelled his readers or hearers to apprehend him exactly. Doctor Gunn as a lecturer was so clear in his rapid, emphatic statements that he impressed his auditors with his thorough mastery of his subject. He was a scholarly and accurate speaker, one of the best examples of the old method of preparing and delivering didactic lectures. Punctuality in the lecture room was one of his articles of religion. His superb figure and commanding presence at once centered the attention of the class upon him. Doubtless some of his facility as a speaker and writer was due to his connection as editor with the Monthly Independent and its successor, the Peninsular and Independent Medical Journal. His public clinical work was his chief delight and his reputation was largely due to these lectures and his operative skill, his contributions to literature, as we shall see, unfortunately being few indeed. Full of fun and anecdote, which he often most skillfully employed to fix in the minds of his auditors certain facts he was discussing, he was never known to indulge in an unclean joke or allusion, such being utterly abhorrent to his nature. If the occasion demanded some mention of the errors of another physician, this was done in the kindest, most unobtrusive manner. He was absolutely considerate of others in a consultation and was never known to speak unkindly, professionally, of another physician. He was a most skillful diagnostician, and arrived at his conclusions with startling rapidity, so much so that he was unjustly accused of being careless. Exactly the reverse was true, but his accuracy of observation and the rapidity of his mental processes explain the ease and speed of his diagnoses. As a clinician he was above everything painstaking. Every step of an operation was carefully traced out; every possible complication and its remedy foreseen and provided for; every instrument or appliance was mentally as it was later actually set aside in its place; everything was accurately mapped out. This studious observation of minute details secured the remarkable success, which crowned his efforts. His frankness in dealing with patients was conspicuous. He never made disingenuous or misleading statements, nor would he consent to deceive his patients as to their true condition. He was free from any taint of dishonesty with patient or practitioner. On one occasion a consultation was being held over an obscure case, Doctor Gunn being present. When asked his opinion, he replied: "Gentlemen, I have practiced surgery long enough to learn that it is a wise thing in a doubtful case to be modest in expressing an opinion. I do not know what this tumor is, and I think it had better be let alone." Duty well done, his whole duty to his patient, seemed his sole guiding motive. When once asked in a note handed to him while lecturing, "What is a doctor's best road to success?" he replied with great earnestness and solemnity, "Young man, your best road to success is to deserve to succeed."

His judgment as an operator was excellent. He possessed a cool head, steady, iron muscles, which yet could wield a scalpel like an artist's pencil, and above all, a most minute and accurate knowledge of anatomy. With such endowments and that supreme self-confidence born of past successes, and full preparedness for any emergency, Gunn was a bold, rapid, brilliant, and at the same time neat operator. Although the boldest of the bold when occasion arose, as we have seen indispensable details without which disaster so often must come. He never ceased to feel the burden of responsibility and when operating would permit of no levity of manner. As he once said to another physician, "I never can, although I often wish I could, divest myself of anxiety and responsibility in dangerous, or more especially troublesome cases; they keep me in a painful state of concern." His mechanical ability was pronounced; as some one said, "His instrumental paraphernalia, straps, and splints and bandages, always fitted the variety of the species, and not merely the class and order."

As a writer Doctor Gunn wielded a facile pen, which lacked neither force nor point. He employed nice discrimination in the selection of words, so that he was a remarkably clear writer, while his style, instead of consisting of the short, staccato sentence, which is the only style some men can employ to make themselves understood, was a decidedly flowing one, pleasant to read, yet most lucid. He possessed to an eminent degree that indefinite something we call grace of diction. He thought so rapidly and accurately that of necessity he was compelled to employ a large number of words, and in perusing his articles the reader usually overlooks the exceptionally large vocabulary employed, and wonders why he understands so readily sentences that sometimes contain over fifty words. His thorough reading and speaking knowledge of German, and an excellent acquaintance with French, added to the range of his literary acquisitions, hence the appropriateness of his illustrations and citations, when rapidly pouring forth a flood of language, was remarkable.

It is much to be regretted that the great Chicago fire destroyed the manuscript of a work on Surgery, which Doctor Gunn had nearly completed. Upon the Programs you will find the titles of the papers and addresses which, with numerous editorials published in the journals of which he was editor, and discussions of the papers of others read before the American Surgical Association, comprise all the literary remains bequeathed to us by Doctor Gunn. Of their value none can doubt, and especially those upon the "Philosophy of Certain Dislocations of the Hip and Shoulder, and their Reduction." As Doctor Senn remarked, "He left us no encyclopedia of medicine but his little pamphlet of less than twenty-five pages contains more than many others have compiled in bulkier form."

During the winters of 1851-2-3 Doctor Gunn made numerous dissections which proved that the untorn portions of the capsule in dislocations of the shoulder and hip were the cause of the characteristic attitudes assumed by the limbs, and furthermore were the true obstacles to reduction. He further demonstrated that the return of the dislocated bone to its socket "can be easily affected by putting the limb in such a position as will effectually approximate the two points of attachment of that portion of the ligament which remains." Doctor William H. Reid, of Rochester, New York, on May 8, 1850, had described a method of reduction by manipulation, which was essentially one procedure, which is yet employed, but he failed to point out correctly the obstacles to be overcome and the mechanism of the reduction. Doctor H. J. Bigelow, of Boston, was doubtless familiar with Reid's method, which had been published, in connection with a controversy excited by Reid's original paper, in the Boston Journal about 1851-2. Doctor Bigelow continued to reduce dislocations on the cadaver before the medical class by a method of manipulation from 1854 until 1861, believing with Reid that the muscles caused the fixed attitude of the limb, et cetera. Then, as Doctor Bigelow says, "In the spring of 1861, having been lead to expose a joint, the luxation of which had been the subject of a lecture, I was agreeably surprised to observe the simple action of the ligament,-a simplicity which subsequent experience has confirmed, and which strikingly explains the phenomena observed in the living subject." Had Doctor Bigelow deigned to cast his eyes over the Peninsula Journal of Medicine, Ann Arbor, 1853-4, Volume I, pages 95-100, he could have learned all the facts that he needed to know, which had been deliberately sought for and discovered by the obscure young western surgeon, not accidentally seen, as Doctor Bigelow states was the fact with regard to his own discovery.

          There can be no question that to Gunn belongs the priority of discovery as to the causes of the characteristic attitude of limbs dislocated at the shoulder-and hip-joints, what the obstacles to reduction are, and the simple principle of relaxing these unyielding structures by position and inducing, without force, the bone to retract the course it pursued when escaping from the socket. Although everything that Gunn wrote was of distinct value, his reputation as an investigator and original writer must depend upon this admirable piece of work.

In 1856 Geneva College conferred on him the Honorary degree of M. A., and Chicago University that of LL.D. in 1877. At the time of his death Doctor Gunn was an active member of the American Surgical Association, of the American Association of Genito-Urinary Surgeons, of the Illinois State Medical Society, of the American Medical Association, of the Chicago Medical Society, and had been a member of several of the Congresses of American Physicians and Surgeons. He served as surgeon on the active and consulting staffs of a number of charitable institutions, notably the Cook County Hospital, Saint Joseph's Hospital, Saint Luke's Hospital, and especially the Presbyterian Hospital, intimately connected as this was with the Rush Medical College, where he held the Chair of Surgery for nearly twenty full years.

On the fourth of November 1887, after an illness of some weeks, this noble physician passed beyond the veil to his well-earned reward. He was a lifelong, consistent and faithful member of the Episcopal Church, belonging to the old-fashioned high-church school. Despite the materialism of many of his fellow-doctors, he said, "I often doubt terribly, but I say to myself, I looked this thing all over once, I went through the arguments and I decided that the immense balance of testimony was in favor of Christianity, and I cannot take time to go all over it again."

Doctor Gunn's tenderness to his child patients and their love in return for him was very striking. His fondness for animals, flowers and natural beauty was strongly developed and freely indulged. Unlike too many physicians, he did not permit his profession to absorb and narrow him, if for no other reason, lest his powers as a practitioner and teacher should be crippled thereby. In addition to the study of foreign languages and the literature of our own tongue, Doctor Gunn was at one time a most enthusiastic and well-informed astronomer, thus providing himself with a resource which, when drawn upon, could bear him away from his daily worries, rest his mind, and serve to elevate his thoughts from material to spiritual things. Well would it be if every one of us would strive for some form of knowledge and culture alien to that of our profession. Doctor Gunn was fond of and shone in society as a conversationalist, now one of the nearly lost arts.

I have apparently striven thus far to present you an idealized picture of a flawless man, which none of us believes to exist. . It remains for me in my peroration to point out some of the glaring defects inseparable from a character such as I have endeavored to depict. He was imbued rather too strongly with a sense of self-respect, allied to, but something far nobler, than conceit. Conceiving the idea that he was born to govern in many things he sometimes aspired to command outside of his legitimate sphere. He was intolerant of argument on almost any subject, and often did scant justice to his opponents. He could be bitingly sarcastic, and resort to ridicule, which, as I once told him, was not argument, and totally out of place in a scientific discussion. He was prompt and sharp in his dealings with the blunders and shortcomings of anyone who failed to do what he considered was their best. In some things he was radical to the point of being revolutionary. He never catered for popularity by shading his expressions of opinion, but struck as hard as it suited him, without regard for consequences. In his determination to be absolutely honest in the expression of his opinions he sometimes appeared harsh, when he was really actuated by the best motives. While tenacious of professional opinion, he never claimed to be able invariably to correctly diagnose the innumerable conditions presented for his consideration, often quoting to the students, the saying, "if your foresight was as good as your hindsight you would not make so many mistakes by a _______sight." He was an ideal consultant, never by word or action criticizing the attendant before the patient; if he had anything uncomplimentary to say, it was said to the physician, as it always should be, in private.

To sum up, then, Gunn was a notable and noble figure of a man, one of whom the profession and especially this school have good reason to be proud. An honest, high-toned, unselfish, Christian gentleman; a hater of shams in any form; a good son, husband and father; an example of devotion to the noblest of professions, and through it a benefactor of humanity; our most illustrious Founder, one whom every student present should strive to emulate.

And now, shade of a most gallant and knightly physician, whose shield was so often successfully interposed between his intended victims and the Grim Destroyer - Death, farewell. May the example of your life shine as a beacon light to lead us on to nobler endeavor, and may the voice of your teachings long continue to "echo through the corridors of Time."