Bassett Family Association Database

Doctor John Young Bassett

Male 1805 - 1851  (46 years)

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  • Name John Young Bassett 
    Prefix Doctor 
    Born 12 Jun 1805  Baltimore, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    _UID 200E88819BC1FE48AD427A760716E013C863 
    Died 2 Nov 1851  Huntsville, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Dr. John Young Bassett graduated from Washington Medical College in Maryland between 1824 and 1830. He settled in Huntsville, Alabama. In 1836 he went to Paris attached to the clinic of Velpeauot La Charite.

      Ship Passenger List, Olympia
      Havre, Frank to New Orleans, Louisiana, 28 Nov 1836
      John Y. Bassett, 31, America, Physician

      From an unknown source:
      Dr. Bassett developed tuberculosis, and the last letter in the budget sent to me was dated April 16th, 1851, from Florida, whither he had gone in search of health. He died November 2nd of the same year, aged 46.

      1840 Federal Census of South Half, Madison County, Alabama
      John Y. Bassett 110001-200002
      1MU5, 1M5-10, 1M30-40, 2FU5, 2F30-40

      1850 Federal Census of Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama (16 Dec 1850)
      John Y. Bassett - 46 - M - Maryland - Doctor
      Isaphino - 46 - F - Georgia
      Henry W. - 18 - M - Alabama - Student
      Mathias L. - 15 - M - Alabama
      Alice L. - 13 - F - Alabama
      Louisa - 11 - F - Alabama
      Leanor - 10 - F - Alabama
      John Y. - 6 - M - Alabama
      William D. - 5 - M - Alabama
      Margaret - 50 - F - Maryland

      Bassett, John Young, physician in America and France, was born June 12, 1805, at Baltimore, Md., and died at Huntsville, November 2, 1851, son of Dr. Isaac and Nancy (Davidson) Bassett, the former born March 8, 1763, in the state of Delaware, was a physician, served as ensign in company from Delaware, in American Revolution; ancester, Richard Bassett, was member of constitutional convention, 1787, Federal senator from Delaware, 1789-93, governor of Delaware 1798-1801, died in 1815; mother was first cousin to Robert Fulton; her parents lived in Baltimore. John Y. Bassett was a graduate of Washington medical college; settled in Huntsville; in 1836 went to Paris, was attached to Clinic of Velpeau at La Charite, appointed externe, July, 1836. He was a Mason. Author: contributed to Fenner's Southern medical reports, vols. 1 and 2, 1849-51, articles on "Topography, Climate and Diseases of Madison County, Ala." and in "Condemnation of Doubtful Remedies". Married: April 21, 1831 at Huntsville, to Isaphoena Thompson, born in 1816, daughter of Dr. Asa and Polly (Watkins) Thompson, who lived in Elbert County, Ga., and Huntsville, the former died in 1832, granddaughter of James and Jane (Thompson) Watkins of Elbert County, Ga. Children: 1. Dr. Henry Willis, m. Carrie Neal, died in 1832; 2. Watkins Thompson, killed at Shiloh, April 6, 1862; 3. Alice Lee, M. D.B. Young, died in 1876; 4. Laura; 5. Lenore; 6. Bettina, died in 1844; 7. John Young, died in War of Secession; 8. William Davidson, died in 1897. Last residence: Huntsville.

      John Young Bassett
      (12 Jun 1805 - 2 Nov 1851)
      Source unknown
      John Young Bassett, surgeon, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Isaac Bassett and Nancy Davidson. The extent of his early education is not known, but he received an M.D. from Washington Medical College in Baltimore in 1830. Following completion of medical school lectures, he and his brother Frank, an apothecary, went to Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, where they began to operate a drug store. There, without a fortune or family influences, John Bassett began to build a medical practice. Prospering modestly, on 21 Apr 1831 he married the daughter of a local physician, Isaphoena Thompson; they had five children who reached maturity.
      By 1835 Bassett had made enough money to travel abroad to improve his medical knowledge and surgical skills. In January 1836 he embarked for Liverpool, England. Upon arrival, he began a six-week tour of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, and Dublin. While in Edinburgh, he visited the Museum of the College of Surgeons and the Royal Infirmary, where, in the company of the professor of anatomy, James Syme, Bassett observed an operation performed by William Ferguson, who in the 1840's would become widely known as the founder of conservative surgery. After a two-week tour of London, he left for Paris.
      Bassett attached himself to Alfred-Armand-Louis-Marie Velpeau, surgeon to La Charite and professor of clinical surgery at the Paris Faculty. In Paris, he studied anatomy by dissecting and surgery by attending clinical lectures and the daily hospital rounds of Professor Velpeau. Although he spent the majority of his days preparing himself for a surgical practice when he returned home, he also benefited from lectures and practical training in midwifery and lectures in medicine.
      On 10 July 1836, in a letter to his wife, Bassett wrote, "This morning I received the appintment of Externe in La Charite under Valpeau... it is a real benefit and came unsolicited" (quoted in Osler, p. 8) This position, in which he gained valuable practical experience in the management of surgical patients, was a coveted appointment, but he had already spent seven months in close study and attendance on the hospital wards. After spending three more months on Velpeau's service and becoming anxious to see his wife and family, he left in mid-October 1836 to return to the United States.
      Soon after Bassett resumed practice in Huntsville, professional colleagues recognized his recently acquired knowledge of surgery and medicine gained in Paris, the center of French medical teaching. His experience there with many surgical patients and his practical anatomical studies had gained him greater confidence, finer technique, and better results with his surgery than that of many of his contemporaries. An example of Bassett's advanced knowledge is shown in his 1847 treatment of a case of osteomyelitis of the tibia, in which he successfully operated on the patient whose painful extremity was cured without the usual practice of amputation. The success described in accounts of his surgical treatments of osteomyelitis is in sharp contrast to that of medical therapy at the time, and his reputation extended throughout north Alabama and adjacent counties in Tennessee.
      From the beginning of his practice, Bassett had kept case records, as well as meteorological data to discover a possible relationship between epidemic disease and changes in the weather. Based on his recorded observations and experience, he contributed two papers to Southern Medical Reports (1849-1850, 1850-1851), a short-lived publication of Erasmus Darwin Fenner, a New Orleans, Louisiana, practitioner who had founded this and two other medical journals and organized the New Orleans School of Medicine.
      Having contracted tuberculosis, Bassett sought restoration of his health in Florida early in 1851; however, with no improvement, he soon returned to his family in Huntsville and died at his home. Perhaps Bassett's greatest significance lay in his being one of the very few antebellum southern disciples of the French clinical school.

      University of North Carolina libraries
      John Y. Bassett Papers, 1822-1871
      Letters relating to medical, financial, and family matters of Dr. John Young Bassett, physician of Huntsville, Alabama, and family correspondence of his wife, Isaphoene (Thompson) Bassett. The correspondence includes letters from editors Theodore Parker and William Gilmore Simms, 1859-1850, criticizing Bassett's articles on race ethnology. After her husband's death in 1852, there are letters to Mrs. Bassett from her children, including sons Watkins and Henry William. Watkins wrote from Waco, Texas, where he was living with his uncle. Henry joined the Confederate Army and wrote from camps in Mississippi until his death at Shiloh. 153 items.
    Person ID I47  8B John Bassett of Hunterdon County, New Jersey
    Last Modified 28 May 2012 

    Father Doctor Isaac Bassett, Sr.,   b. 8 Mar 1763, Wilmington, Delaware Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jul 1809, Baltimore, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 46 years) 
    Mother Daniela aka (Ann) (Nancy) Davidson,   b. Feb 1769, Philadelphia, PA or Baltimore, MD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sep 1832, Huntsville, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 63 years) 
    Married Abt 1790 
    Family ID F3  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Isaphoena Thompson,   b. 1816 
    Married 22 Apr 1831  Madison County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    +1. Doctor Henry Willis Bassett,   b. Abt 1832,   d. 20 Nov 1882, Huntsville, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 50 years)
     2. Watkins Thompson Bassett,   d. 6 Apr 1862, Shiloh Find all individuals with events at this location
    +3. Alice Lee Bassett,   d. 6 Apr 1877
     4. Laura Bassett
     5. Lenore Bassett
     6. Bettina Bassett,   d. 1844
     7. John Young Bassett
     8. William Davidson Bassett,   d. 1897
    Family ID F18  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S6] EAM.