Dr John Warren

Photo added by SJ Corcoran

Dr John Warren

Birth
Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 4 Apr 1815 (aged 61)
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Jamaica Plain, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 25548116 · View Source
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He was a Continental Army surgeon during the American Revolutionary War, founder of the Harvard Medical School and the younger brother of Joseph Warren. Warren was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts and studied at The Roxbury Latin School after which he proceeded to Harvard College where he graduated in 1771. He studied medicine under his elder brother Joseph, later becoming a renowned doctor in Boston. Warren joined Colonel Pickering's Regiment in 1773 as an army surgeon. On June 17, 1775, he was in Cambridge tending to the wounded coming in from the Battle of Bunker Hill on Breed's Hill over four miles away. Worried about his brother, who had joined the fighting and died, Warren went to search for him after the battle was over. A British sentry told John he could not pass and then bayoneted him as a warning, forcing the depressed Warren to go back to Cambridge.

After his brother's death, Warren volunteered for service and was made a senior surgeon at the hospital in Cambridge. He became surgeon of the general hospital on Long Island in 1776 during General Washington's defense there. He also served at the Battle of Trenton and the Battle of Princeton.

Warren returned to Boston in 1777 to continue his medical practices while still serving as a military surgeon in the army hospital there. Warren He became very successful in the years after the war, performing one of the first abdominal operations in America. In 1780 he began teaching a course on dissections and founded Harvard Medical School in 1782. He was known as an excellent teacher, giving "eloquent" lectures. Warren suffered from heart disease for many years[2] but he died on 4 April, 1815 from inflammation of the lungs at age 61. He was buried in the cemetery of St. Paul's Church in Boston. Dr. Warren was a Christian. He was given to bouts of depression, perhaps as a result of his heart disease, to the extent that he lost the will to live to an old age. He was said to be generous and charitable. Personally Warren was of middle height and carried himself with a military bearing of a gentleman, but with an agreeable nature.

Warren was married to the daughter of Governor Collins. His son, Dr John Collins Warren succeeded him as professor of surgery and anatomy.

He was a character in Esther Forbes' 1943 novel Johnny Tremain.


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  • Maintained by: CMWJR
  • Originally Created by: SJ Corcoran
  • Added: 26 Mar 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 25548116
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr John Warren (14 Jul 1753–4 Apr 1815), Find a Grave Memorial no. 25548116, citing Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory, Jamaica Plain, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by CMWJR (contributor 50059520) .