Smith, Azariah, Md

Smith, Azariah, M.D., a minister of the Congregational Church, was born in Manlius, N.Y., Feb. 16, 1817. From a very early age he was kept. at school; studying, in addition to the ordinary branches, algebra, Latin, and Greek. In the spring of 1834 he entered the freshman class in Yale College. In 1835, during a revival, he was the subject of converting grace. Soon after his conversion he became interested in the subject of missions, and made his impressions known to Dr. Armstrong, one of the secretaries of the American Board. Immediately after graduation he went to Geneva, N.Y., where he pursued the study of medicine in the office of Prof. Spencer, attending six lectures a day. He engaged in Sunday school work and was secretary of the village Tract Society. In 1839 he went to Philadelphia, where.he spent three months, enjoying, under the special favor of Prof. Hodge, access to the Pennsylvania Hospital and also to the dispensary and almshouse. In October he entered the Theological Seminary at New Haven. During the winter he kept up his medical as well as theological studies, and received from the medical school connected with the college the degree of M.D., Jan. 24, 1840. He also, day by day, attended the lectures of the law school on Blackstone's Commentaries. His was not a mere smattering; but his application was such that he thoroughly mastered what he undertook. On Aug. 30. 1842, he was ordained at Manlius, and he embarked for Western Asia in November following, arriving at Smyrna after a voyage of fifty- three days. After residing at Brusa and Constantinople for a few months, he proceeded to Trebizond, where he remained five months, spending the most of his time in studying Turkish and practicing medicine. In 1844 he visited Smyrna, Rhodes, Cyprus, and Beirft, and made a tour in the interior to Aleppo, Orfa, Diarbekir, and Mosul. He was at Mosul when Botta was disentombing one of the palaces of Nineveh; he also traveled for a time with Mr. Lavard. At Mosul it was his sorrowful privilege to attend the dying couch of the excellent Dr. Grant. This year he made a trying and dangerous tour in the mountain Nestorian districts of Kurdistan, going, through much peril, as far north as Julamerk, returning to Mosul, and thence to Alexandretta. In 1845 he traveled extensively after visiting- Constantinople, including a visit to Trebizond and Erzerum, where he remained a year and a half. This year he was mobbed for affording protection to an Armenian priest who had fled to his house, but by his determined courage and perseverance the offenders were punished and damages were recovered from the Turkish government. His travels were extensive, and he often went many miles out of his way to administer medicine for the cholera at different missionary stations. What was so widely known and extensively used in this country in 1849 as "Dwight's Cholera Mixture" was his own preparation. Once he was attacked with this disease in the wilderness, his only attendant forsaking him through fear; but after two days' suffering he recovered sufficiently to proceed on his journey. At length, in 1848, he arrived at Aintab, seventy miles north of Aleppo, which he made his missionary home. It had a population of Armenian Christians amounting to 12,000, twice that of the Mohammedan "residents a field large enough to wear out the most untiring energy. He returned to America the same year, was married, and went back to his field. Everything he knew, he knew thoroughly; and everything he did, it was with all his might. As the author of valuable papers on meteorology, Syrian antiquities, and natural history, published in the American Journal of Science, he at once took rank with the best scholars of his own land, thus confirming the declaration that "none have made richer contributions to the material of the naturalist and geographer than are being made by the missionaries of the Cross." He who lived and labored so faithfully for others was not forgotten by his Lord in the trying hour. When death came, June 3, 1851, it found him prepared. In the midst of painful struggles which amounted almost to agony, he uttered, in Turkisih his last words — "Joy, joy! praise, praise!" (W.P.S.)

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