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William Beaumont Papers 1812-1959
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Biography

Biographical Note

A native of Lebanon, Connecticut, Beaumont was certified to practice medicine by the Third Medical Society of Vermont in 1812. He served in the army during the War of 1812 and from 1819 to 1839 was an army medical officer. During that time he served at posts in the midwest including Fort Mackinac, Michigan; Fort Niagara; Fort Howard in Green Bay; Fort Crawford, Wisconsin; and Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis. On several occasions from 1825 to 1833, Beaumont studied the digestive process through a gunshot-wound patient he had treated in 1822 and whose wound had never fully healed, leaving Dr. Beaumont with unique access to the patient's stomach. Beaumont is known as the father of gastric physiology. He wrote Experiments and observations on the gastric juice and the physiology of digestion (1833).