February 13: Frederick Dawes (1852)

Dr. Frederick Dawes was a physician of ability, and enjoyed an extensive practice in the nation’s capital for many years. He was one of the founders of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia. Following his death in 1852, he was buried from the Church of the Epiphany, then in its tenth year of existence. The following description of Dr. Dawes is excerpted from Samuel Busey’s Personal Reminiscenses and Recollections.

Frederick Dawes was an Englishmen, and a graduate of some English institution. He was a man of erudition and scientific attainments, and especially noted for his astuteness in the diagnosis of disease. He was one of those who studied with great care the tongue in disease, and attached great importance to the observations. Dr. Dawes was a heavy-built man, with a broad, round face, and very ruddy complexion, looking like a man who knew the good things of the world and how to enjoy them. He was usually neatly, but very plainly dressed, and very simple and unassuming in manner. He was a slovenly snuff-fiend, and carried it loosely in the right-hand pocket of his vest, from which he would take it with his fingers, and, with great nonchalance, snuff it into his capacious nostrils. His horse and buggy were badly kept, and he jogged along the streets as unconcerned as if no care disturbed his equanimity. He seemed to be always happy, and content to accept everything as he found it.

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