Godman, John D
Godman, John D.
an American naturalist and physician, was born at Annapolis, Maryland, in 1794, and, being early left an orphan, was bound apprentice to a printer, and afterwards entered the navy as a sailor-boy. At nineteen he commenced the study of medicine, and on completing his studies he settled in Philadelphia as a physician and private teacher of anatomy, and for some time was an assistant editor of the Medical Journal. In 1826 he was elected to the professorship of anatomy in Rutgers' Medical College, and removed to New York, where he soon acquired extensive practice as a surgeon. Ill health, however, obliged him to relinquish his practice, and spend a winter in the West Indies. He died of consumption at Germantown, Pennsylvania, April 17, 1830. He wrote a number of professional works of value; but he is mentioned here because of the fact that, having at one time adopted the infidelity and atheism of the French naturalists of the last century, the death of a friend in 1827 led him to reflection and to the reading of the Scriptures, and he became eminent for Christian piety. An account of him by Dr. T. Sewall is published by the American Tract Society. — Davenport, Biogr. Dictionary; Allibone, Dictionary of Authors, 1:681.