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This biography is from ANNALS of the Medical Society of the County of Albany, 1806-1851, by Sylvester D. Willard, M. D.

Henry T. Spencer

Henry T. Spencer was a son of the Hon. Joshua A. Spencer of Utica, N. Y., a gentleman of vigorous intellect, of large literary attainments, who acquired great distinction as an eloquent advocate, and profound jurist, and who died at Utica, in 1857, at the age of seventy-seven years.

Henry was born in Lenox, Madison county, New York, on the 30th of October, 1826. After suitable preparation he entered Hamilton College, where he was graduated in 1847. Shortly afterward he began the study of medicine with his relative, Dr. T. Rush Spencer, of Geneva; but his brother-in-law, the Rev. Dr. Kennedy, residing in Albany, he came to this city, where he entered the office of Dr. Hun, and the winter ensuing he attended the lectures at the Albany Medical College. Before the close of the term, an opportunity not easily to be resisted presented, and he went with Messrs. Campbell, of Albany, civil engineers, to Chili, South America, as surgeon to a railroad company. He was absent on this attractive expedition for two years; an expedition full of novel interests, calculated to develop self-reliance, and a knowledge of the world; alike important to the*success of the professional novice. It was not therefore until 1852, that he received his degree from the Albany Medical College. Having spent six months as interne at the Albany Hospital, he began practice in the city. In 1854, he was appointed physician to the alms house, a position he held until nattering inducements occurred, that occasioned his removal to Bloomington, Illinois. Two years later, in 1857, he removed to Palmyra, in his native state. When the war broke out his name was placed on the list of surgeons for a commission, but for some reason, he never entered the service. In the winter of 1861, by the occurrence of a fall, by which the back of his head struck a stone step, he suffered a partial paralysis, and in hopes of benefiting his health thus impaired, in December, 1862, he took a voyage to Liverpool, on board the Manhattan—since which he has never been heard from. After waiting some weeks for news of the vessel, letters were addressed to the mayor of Liverpool, and to the banking house through which remittances had been made, and from both replies were received. One stated that Dr. Spencer was enrolled as surgeon of the ship, and had sailed with her; the other party stated that Dr. Spencer appeared at the office of the constable of Liverpool, and signed articles of agreement to serve as surgeon of the vessel. The vessel in due time left Liverpool, for New York, but nothing has ever been heard of her crew, or of her passengers. The conjecture is that, the Manhattan struck an iceberg, and went to the bottom with all on board.

Dr. Spencer was a noble fellow, open, generous, manly; a splendid scholar, an expert surgeon, a skillful physician, a sincere friend. While he resided in Albany, I knew him as an intimate friend, and can add a sincere and grateful testimony to his worth and virtues. His position in his profession was honorable, and the prospects of none, more flattering.

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