Elisha DeButts

Birth: 1773
Death: 1831, Apr. 3
Occupation: doctor

Associated Counties

  • Baltimore City

Directories

Date Name Occupation Address City
1816 Elisha Debutts doctor Green near Lexington Street, WP Baltimore City
1817-1818 Elisha DeButts doctor Green near New Market Baltimore City
1819 Elisha DeButts doctor office: Church near Charles Baltimore City
1814-1815 Elisha DeButts doctor 7 German Street Baltimore City
1812 Elisha DeButts M.D. 62 N. Liberty St. Baltimore City
1822-1823 Elisha Debutts M.D. Lombard, south side east of Liberty Baltimore City
1824 Elisha Debutts M.D. Pratt south side west of Paca Baltimore City
1829 Elisha DeButts M.D. Lombard, west of Howard St. Baltimore City
1827 Elisha DeButts M.D. Pascault’s rown, Lexington Baltimore City

Additional Information

  • Dates: 1773-1831
    Notes: Elisha DeButts, physiologist and a founder of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, was born in Dublin, of a family among the “Landed Gentry,” in the year 1773. His father, John DeButts, was an officer in the English army. In his youth his family emigrated to America and settled at Sharpsburg in Western Maryland. He attended school near Alexandria, where lived his uncle, Dr. Samuel DeButts, under whom he studied medicine. Later he entered Pennsylvania University and took his M.D. in 1805, the subject of his thesis being “An Inaugural Essay on the Eye and on Vision.” After practising for several years on the Potomac, opposite Alexandria, he settled in Baltimore and was appointed professor of chemistry in the College of Medicine of Maryland in 1809, and held it until his death. He also held the same chair in St. Mary’s College, Baltimore. In 1830 he was sent to Europe by the Board of Trustees to procure chemical apparatus for the University. While abroad he lectured with great eclat before the Royal Institution in London, a copy of his address being requested. He died April 3, 1831, of pneumonia.

    Prof. DeButts was tall and spare; his health never robust, and he had a cast in one eye. Besides his graduating thesis, only two short articles are known: “An Account of an Improvement made on the Differential Thermometer of Mr. Leslie” (1814), Transactions of American Philosophical Society, 1818, pp. 301-306, with plate; “Description of Two New Voltaic Batteries,”Stillman’s Journal, viii, 1824, pp. 271-274. The Baltimore Federal Gazette mentions a highly important discovery in electricity made by him during the session of 1823-24.

    His friend, Bishop Henshaw, of Rhode Island, wrote: “As a teacher of chemistry, whether we look at the learning and perspicuity of the lectures in which he inculcated the lessions and doctrines of philosophy of at the brilliancy and success of the experiments by which he illustrated them, he was, perhaps, unequalled, certainly unexcelled.”

    Dr. DeButts had a soon, John DeButts, who became a physician of Queen Anne County, Maryland, and died in 1894. There are said to be several oil portraits of the father extant. One of these is reproduced in Cordell’s “History of the University of Maryland,” 1891 and 1907.

    Eugene F. Cordell

    University of Pennsylvania Alumni Register.
    Maryland Med. Jour., Sept., 1882.

    Source: Kelly, Howard A. and Burrage, Walter J., American Medical Biographies Baltimore: Norman, Remington Company: 300-301

  • Dates: 1773-1831
    Notes:
    Source: Quinan, John Russell, Medical Annals of Baltimore from 1608 to 1880, including Events, Men and Literature to which is added a Subject Index and Record of Public Services Baltimore: Press of Isaac Friedenwald: 90-91
  • Dates: 1773-1831
    Notes: Born near Dublin, Ireland, 1773. Emigrated to Maryland in his youth; M.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1805; practiced first at Alexandria; then moved to Baltimore; Professor of Chemistry, College of Medicine and the University of Maryland, 1809-31; Dean, University of Maryland, 1816 and 1822-24; Orator, Medical and Chirurgical Faculty, 1818; Lectured before the Royal Institute, London, 1830; Professor of Chemistry, St. Mary’s College, Baltimore. Died at Baltimore, April 3, 1831.
    Source: Cordell, Eugene Fauntleroy, Medical Annals of Maryland 1799-1899 Baltimore: The Medical and Chirurgical Faculty for the State of Maryland: 374
  • Dates: 1809
    Notes: “The College of Medicine has a class of (eighteen?) (Aiken), graduates (five?). Dr. Elisha DeButts elected vice Jno. Shaw deceased, to chair Chemistry; Dr. Sam’l Baker to chair Materia Medica.”
    Source: Quinan, John Russell, Medical Annals of Baltimore from 1608 to 1880, including Events, Men and Literature to which is added a Subject Index and Record of Public Services Baltimore: Press of Isaac Friedenwald: 25
  • Dates: 1809-31
    Notes: Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine
    Source: Cordell, Eugene Fauntleroy, Historical Sketch of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (1807-1890), with an Introductory Chapter, Notices of the Schools of Law, Arts and Sciences, and Theology, and the Department of Dentistry, and a General Catalog of Medical Alumni Baltimore: Press of Isaac Friedenwald: 210
  • Dates: 1810-12
    Notes: Served as Attending Physician, Baltimore General Dispensary, 1810-12
    Source: Quinan, John Russell, Medical Annals of Baltimore from 1608 to 1880, including Events, Men and Literature to which is added a Subject Index and Record of Public Services Baltimore: Press of Isaac Friedenwald: 251
  • Dates: 1810-1812
    Notes: Attending Physician, Baltimore General Dispensary
    Source: Baxley, C. Herbert, ed., A History of the Baltimore General Dispensary Baltimore: Baltimore General Dispensary Foundation, Inc.: 110
  • Dates: 1814, Jan. 26
    Notes: “Beneficial Society for the prevention of Hydrophobia organized by Drs. H. Wilkins, James Smith, Wm. Donaldson, Baker, Page, and DeButts.”
    Source: Quinan, John Russell, Medical Annals of Baltimore from 1608 to 1880, including Events, Men and Literature to which is added a Subject Index and Record of Public Services Baltimore: Press of Isaac Friedenwald: 27
  • Dates: 1814/01/26
    Notes: Beneficial Society for prevention of hydrophobia founded by Drs. Henry Wilkins, James Smith, William Donaldson, Samuel Baker, James Page and Elisha DeButts (January 26).
    Source: Cordell, Eugene Fauntleroy, Medical Annals of Maryland 1799-1899 Baltimore: The Medical and Chirurgical Faculty for the State of Maryland: 680
  • Dates: 1816, 1822-24
    Notes: Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine
    Source: Cordell, Eugene Fauntleroy, Historical Sketch of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (1807-1890), with an Introductory Chapter, Notices of the Schools of Law, Arts and Sciences, and Theology, and the Department of Dentistry, and a General Catalog of Medical Alumni Baltimore: Press of Isaac Friedenwald: 209
  • Dates: 1817, Feb.
    Notes: “The Medical Society of Maryland incorporated. Charter members are Drs. E. DeButts, Sam. Baker, Tobais Watkins, Ezra Gillingham, John B. Caldwell, and James Middleton. First meeting, November 1.”
    Source: Quinan, John Russell, Medical Annals of Baltimore from 1608 to 1880, including Events, Men and Literature to which is added a Subject Index and Record of Public Services Baltimore: Press of Isaac Friedenwald: 28
  • Dates: 1817, Jan. 16
    Notes: “Legislature grant Lottery Scheme of $100,000 to Drs. Davidge, Potter, Baker, Gibson, McDowell and DeButts, and others, for the benefit of the Medical University.”
    Source: Quinan, John Russell, Medical Annals of Baltimore from 1608 to 1880, including Events, Men and Literature to which is added a Subject Index and Record of Public Services Baltimore: Press of Isaac Friedenwald: 28
  • Dates: 1817/01/16
    Notes: Legislature grants lottery scheme of $100,000 to Drs. Davidge, Potter, Baker, Gibson, McDowell and DeButts for benefit of the University (January 16).
    Source: Cordell, Eugene Fauntleroy, Medical Annals of Maryland 1799-1899 Baltimore: The Medical and Chirurgical Faculty for the State of Maryland: 683
  • Dates: 1817/02
    Notes: Medical Society of Maryland incorporated, Dr. N. Potter, President, and other charter members Drs. E. DeButts, Samuel Baker, Tobias Watkins, Ezra Gillingham, John B. Caldwell, James Middleton, Maxwell McDowell, R.W. Hall and Thomas Hall (February); first meeting held November 1.
    Source: Cordell, Eugene Fauntleroy, Medical Annals of Maryland 1799-1899 Baltimore: The Medical and Chirurgical Faculty for the State of Maryland: 683
  • Dates: 1818
    Notes: Description of the Medical College of Maryland.
    Source: Niles’ Weekly Register (Baltimore), 1818
  • Dates: 1826/03/08
    Notes: “Board of Trustees of Maryland Unversity (Medical Department) meet and organize, and reappoint Drs. Davidge, Potter, DeButts, Hall, Baker, and McDowell, who accept their positions, and they also Dr. John Buckler as Adjunct Professor of Anatomy.”
    Source: Quinan, John Russell, Medical Annals of Baltimore from 1608 to 1880, including Events, Men and Literature to which is added a Subject Index and Record of Public Services Baltimore: Press of Isaac Friedenwald: 33
  • Dates: 1830?
    Notes:

    MARYLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY LIBRARY
    
    ---------------------------
    RECORD
    ---------------------------
    
    Corporate Author
    University of Maryland (1812-1920). School of Medicine.
    
    Title Statement
    Memorial of the professors of the Medical College to the legislature of
    Maryland.
    
    Published
    [S.l. : s.n., ca. 1830?]
    
    Description
    4 p. : ; 22 cm.
    
    Title Statement
    Memorial of the professors of the Medical College to the legislature of
    Maryland.
    
    Subject
    Medical colleges --Maryland.
    
    Name Added Entry
    De Butts, Elisha, 1773-1831.
    
    Name Added Entry
    Potter, Nathaniel, 1770-1843.
    
    Call Number
    PAM2957
    
    Location
    Main Reading Room
    

    Source:

  • Dates: 1831
    Notes: Deaths: Drs. N. Hammond, at Easton, aet. 36; John Harper, at Baltimore, January; Elisha DeButts, at Baltimore, April 3, aet. 57
    Source: Cordell, Eugene Fauntleroy, Medical Annals of Maryland 1799-1899 Baltimore: The Medical and Chirurgical Faculty for the State of Maryland: 692
  • Dates: 1831
    Notes: “Dr. Elisha DeButts ob. aet. 57.”
    Source: Quinan, John Russell, Medical Annals of Baltimore from 1608 to 1880, including Events, Men and Literature to which is added a Subject Index and Record of Public Services Baltimore: Press of Isaac Friedenwald: 34

Bibliography

  • DeButts, Elisha, An inaugural essay, on the eye, and on vision. Submitted to the examination of the Rev. John Andrews, D.D., provost, (pro tem.) the trustees and medical professors of the University of Pennsylvania, on the 5th day of June, 1805. For the degree of doctor of medicine. Philadelphia: Printed for the author, by John H. Oswald. 40 p. 21 cm.
    Thesis — University of Pennsylvania
  • DeButts, Elisha, An account of an improvement made on the differential thermometer of Mr. Leslie. Communicated by B.S. Barton. Read, June, 1814. [In American Philosophical Society. Transactions.] Philadelphia: n.pub..