John Gorham (physician)

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John Gorham (24 February 1783, Boston, Massachusetts - 29 March 1829, Boston) was an American physician and educator.


He graduated from Harvard in 1801, with a B.A., and later received two medical degrees there (M.B., 1804, after serving for three years as an apprentice to John Warren, whose daughter Mary he married in 1808,[1] and M.D., 1811). Between his medical degrees, he studied chemistry privately in London with Friedrich Accum, and then with Thomas Hope at the University of Edinburgh. He opened a medical practice in Boston in 1806, and maintained it throughout his academic career.[1] In 1809 he was appointed adjunct professor of chemistry and materia medica in Harvard, and in 1816 was made professor of chemistry and mineralogy. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1810.[2]

Gorham resigned his academic position in 1827 to give more attention to his thriving medical practice. He was librarian (1814-1818), treasurer (1818-1823) and recording secretary (1823-1826), for the Massachusetts Medical Society.[1]


  • Inaugural Address (1817), which prompted a letter of commendation from John Adams
  • Elements of Chemical Science (1819)
  • “Contribution on Sugar” in Thomas's Annual Philosophy (1817)
  • “Chemical Analysis of Indian Corn,” The New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery, 9(1820):320-28.

He was a founder, and for 15 years an editor, of The New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery, where he published several papers.


  1. ^ a b c Horrocks, Thomas A. (1999). "Gorham, John". American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  2. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter G" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved September 9, 2016.