Thomas C. Brinsmade, M. D.
Thomas C. Brinsmade, M. D.

Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

THOMAS C. BRINSMADE, M. D., another prominent physician of Troy who honored his profession with "good works," was born June 16, 1802, at New Hartford, Conn. He studies medicine with Dr. Peet, of New Marlboro, Mass., and in March, 1823, was licensed a practicing physician by the Connecticut State Medical Society. In 1839 the honorary degree of M. D. was conferred on him by Yale College. In the latter part of 1823 he removed to Lansingburgh, and after ten years' practice in that village, removed to Troy. Dr. Brinsmade may be said to have been a life-long student of medicine and hygiene. He industriously applied himself in getting knowledge, both from men and books, which would be useful to him in the duties of his profession.

As said by his eulogist before the Rensselaer County Medical Society, "He practiced medicine with a singleness of purpose never excelled, carefully cultivating every department of the profession, avoiding all tendency to special practice, and yet was the trusted counselor of those whose tastes led them to cultivate special branches. He would be one hour discussing surgical pathology and the propriety of an operation; - the next, perhaps, equally engrossed in grave questions of gynaecology, on each occasion the associate of men devoted to these specialties. In breadth of professional capacity it is safe to say Dr. Brinsmade had few, if any, superiors in the profession."

As a local physician, he was a sedulous observer and investigator of diseases special to this vicinity. In the records of his private practice he has left invaluable data for reference and practical application.

For thirty-five years Dr. Brinsmade made Troy the field of his successful practice, and endeared himself to thousands of families who had secured him as their physician during his life in the city. He was always kindly interested in the professional career of his companions in practice. His memory is hallowed in the hearts of all who knew him.

In January, 1824, he became a member of the Rensselaer Medical Society, and in 1848 was elected its president, serving two years. On his retiring from this office in 1850 he delivered an elaborate address on the medical topography of the city of Troy. This address was published in the "Transactions" of the State Medical Society for 1851. In 1844 he was sent by the Rensselaer Medical Society as a delegate to the State Medical Society, serving for four years, and in 1850 was elected a permanent member of that society, after which time he took a prominent part in its proceedings. In 1857 he was elected its vice-president, and the following year president. In 1858, as vice-president, he delivered an address on the registration of diseases, and furnished the society with an accurate record of his practice for twenty-one years, carefully analyzed and tabulated, covering three hundred pages of the published transactions, and comprising statistics of thirty-seven thousand eight hundred and seventy-two cases. In 1860 he presented another paper on the registration of diseases, including statistics of two thousand and fifty-six cases treated in 1858 and 1859.

He was a number of years health officer of Troy, and chairman of the Board of Health. At a very early date he became a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and was for many years a vestryman of St. Paul's Church, and at the time of his death was filling the office of junior warden. He was also a trustee of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for twenty years, and contributed to it much time and material aid. From 1865 to 1868 he was its vice-president, and in the latter year was elected its president.

While attending a meeting in the Athenaeum building on First Street, on the evening of June 22, 1868, convened to raise funds for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and while reading an important paper, he passed into eternity. The post-mortem examination showed that the cause of death was heart-disease, of which he had for years a well-grounded apprehension.

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