Warren, John, 1753-1815

Alternative names
Birth 1753-07-27
Death 1815-04-04

Biographical notes:

Warren (Harvard, Hon. M.D. 1786) attended Harvard College (A.B. 1771) and studied medicine with his brother Joseph and with Edward Augustus Holyoke in Salem, Mass. He then served as medical surgeon during the Revolutionary War. He was appointed professor of anatomy and surgery from 1782 to 1791 and Hersey Professor of Anatomy and Surgery from 1791 to 1815 at Harvard Medical School and through his career was associated with the school and with Massachusetts General Hospital. Warren had a large private practice and was at his death recognized as the leading surgeon in the Boston area. He was one of the founders of the Massachusetts Medical Society and belonged to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Humane Society of Massachusetts (established 1785).

From the description of Papers of John Warren, 1782-1812 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 281435220

The Harvard Medical School was founded on September 19, 1782. The first professors were Dr. Warren, Professor of Anatomy; Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, the Professor of Theory and Practice of Physic; and Dr. Aaron Dexter as the Professor Chemistry and Materia Medica. Courses were initially given in Harvard Hall in Cambridge until 1810 when the School moved to Boston. From 1816 until 1846, the school was known as the Massachusetts Medical College of Harvard University.

John Warren (1753-1815) was born in Boston, Massachusetts on July 27, 1753. He attended Harvard College, where he received an AB in 1771, and subsequently studied medicine with his brother, Joseph. He would receive an honorary MD degree from Harvard in 1786. Warren moved to Salem, Massachusetts in 1774 and practiced medicine there until 1775, when he returned to Boston and served as hospital surgeon during the siege of Boston and then in the New York-New Jersey campaign of the Revolutionary War. From 1777 to 1782, Warren was in charge of the Continental Army hospital in Boston; during that time he also delivered anatomical lectures to the Boston Medical Society, which he had helped found in 1780. From 1783 until his death in 1815, Warren also served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School, which he was also instrumental in founding; he was its first Hersey Professor of Anatomy and Surgery. He continued to practice medicine and surgery, in addition to his teaching and administrative responsibilities, throughout his career. His son, John Collins Warren (1778-1856), replaced him as Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School upon his death. John Warren died in Boston on April 4, 1815.

From the description of History of medical school of Cambridge, ca. 1811. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 741450169


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  • Medicine, Military
  • Medical education
  • Education, Medical
  • Anatomy--education
  • Medicine Study and teaching (higher)
  • Anatomy--Study and teaching
  • Medicine--Study and teaching
  • Medicine--Study and teaching (Higher)--18th century
  • Medicine--Societies, etc
  • Medicine
  • Schools, Medical--History--Sources
  • Physicians
  • Public health
  • Surgeons


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  • Massachusetts (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Massachusetts--Boston (as recorded)