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Jewish Physician Jacob da Silva Solis-Cohen Signs a Death Certificate
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Jacob da Silva Solis-Cohen served in the Civil War and went on to become a pioneer in the field of head and neck diseases and surgery.

[JUDAICA]. JACOB DA SILVA SOLIS-COHEN. Partially Printed Document Signed, Death Certificate for H. M. Richards, ca. October 10, 1873, Philadelphia, Pa. 1 p., 8¼ x 10½ in.

Inventory #22402       Price: $275


Return of a Death

In the City of Philadelphia.

Physician’s Certificate.

1. Name of Deceased,            H. M. Richards

2. Colour,                                white

3. Sex,                                     male

4. Age,                                     thirty six

5. Married or Single,               married

6. Date of Death,                    October 10th 1873

7. Cause of Death,                  Consumption

                                                                        J. Solis Cohen M.D.

                                    Residence,                   1327 Green St.

Undertaker’s Certificate, in Relation to Deceased.

[remainder left blank]

Jacob da Silva Solis-Cohen (1838-1927) was born in New York City, of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish ancestry. In 1840, his family moved to Philadelphia. There, he attended Jefferson Medical College and the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received his medical degree in 1860. During the Civil War, he served as assistant surgeon with the 26th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and served in Hooker’s Brigade defending Washington, D.C.  He later transferred to the Navy, serving under Admiral DuPont in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron as Acting Assistant Surgeon in the Navy. After the war, he became a pioneer in throat diseases and the founder of laryngology. Through his efforts, Solis-Cohen professionalized a field earlier perceived as quackery, and his education became a model for the training of head and neck surgeons. In 1866, he was the first in the United States to provide regular lectures on laryngology at the Philadelphia School of Anatomy. In 1875, he married Miriam Binswanger, with whom he had eight daughters and three sons. He was a founder of the Philadelphia Polyclinic, which would become the Graduate Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, and was its first professor of throat and chest diseases. Solis-Cohen also helped found the American Laryngologic Association, and served as its president from 1880 to 1882. In 1892, he was the first surgeon in the United States to perform a complete laryngectomy successfully.

Henry M. Richards(1837-1873) was born in Mobile, Alabama. In 1861, he was a clerk for a line of mail steamers. By his death, he was the captain of a ship. He was buried in Mobile.



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