Dr John Douglass

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Dr. John Douglass was born in Salem County, South Carolina on 14 August 1795 and graduated from Medical School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1805. He returned to South Carolina to practice, and was renowned for his early brain surgery. He was the first to successfully remove a kidney. John Douglass was elected to the South Carolina House and Senate, and served as a delegate to the Nullification Convention of 1822-23. All four of his sons became physicians. John, the eldest, died in 1855, but the father and all three surviving sons served during the Civil War. Tommie was captured and imprisoned at Johnson's Island, Ohio; Wade was killed at Wilcox Station, near Petersburg; and Wes came through unhurt.

Dr. Douglass married Mary Letherd Lunsford, the only child of Swanson Lunsford of Virginia. Swanson Lunsford came South as a Captain in Lee's Legion during the Revolution. He is buried on the State House grounds in Columbia.

"As early as 1836 Dr. John Douglass, of Chester, S.C., trephined for epilepsy in a lad 12 years old, the result of a blow on the head- the convulsions stopped and returned later. In 1839 he trephined a boy aged 16 for mental derangement, the result of a blow on the head fifteen years before. The relief in this case was permanent. In 1847 he again operated for convulsions with entire relief. . . . Dr Douglass consequently deserves to be ranked among the first of those who trephined for the cure of this disease, not only in South Carolina, but in America, and as such deserves great credit, which has not hitherto been accorded to him." North Carolina Medical Journal, 15 June, 1893.

"Dr. John Douglass of Chester is said by tradition to have first removed a kidney." Article by E.H. Hines, "Comments on Medical Pioneering in South Carolina", Southern Med. & Surg. Vol 96, p.51. 1934.

He died on 24 August 1870 in Blackstocks, South Carolina, USA.

Family:
He was the son of John Douglass, born 1760 and Sarah Dunn, born 1763 in Camden District, South Carolina.

He married Mary Letherd Lundford, born 14 Aug 1798 in Richland County, South Carolina on 8th May 1817. They had 10 children.


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