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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.

Augustus Fitz Randolph Taylor

Augustus Fitz Randolph Taylor was the fourth son of John Taylor, Professor of Mathematics in Union College, and who died of yellow fever in 1800. Augustus was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in the month of March, 1783. He was educated under the vigilant eye of his father, and graduated at Union College the year of his father's death. Although he was gradated before the completion of his eighteenth year, his limited resources had obliged him to devote a part of his time to the instruction of pupils who were preparing for college; but notwithstanding so great a tax upon his hours of study, he received the highest honors of his class.

The same year he went to New Brunswick, and commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Moses Scott, an eminent practitioner of that city. He afterwards became a pupil of Dr. Benjamin Rush, and spent two winters in his office; and, like all the students of that distinguished teacher, acquired for him a love and veneration lasting as life. He received his diploma in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1804, submitting on that occasion a thesis on insanity.

Dr. Rush reciprocated the attachment of young Taylor, and presented him with a pocket case, containing six lancets with pearl handles. This useful gift Dr. Taylor carried with him through his whole life, and they are now held by his son, and highly prized, in evidence of so honored a friendship.

Dr. Taylor returned to New Brunswick and commenced practice, but a large circle of influential friends prevailed upon him to locate in Schenectady, and it was at the second meeting of this Society, in 1806, that he became one of its members.

In 1810, he was induced to return to his native city, where he acquired an extensive practice both in medicine and surgery; but it was in midwifery, however, that he seems to have gained his greatest popularity. His cases for several years amounted to two hundred and fifty per annum, and in 1818 to three hundred; a remarkable number for one engaged in private practice only. It may be inferred that however strong his inclinations, he must have had very little leisure to devote to literary pursuits. He managed to keep a case-book, but it was only for private reference and an aid to his memory.

He was several times President of the Medical Society of the County of Somerset, and in 1824 was elected President of the Medical Society of the State of New Jersey ; an institution organized in 1766. He was afterwards reelected to the same office.

He was repeatedly elected to civil offices, and was for a time mayor of the city of New Brunswick. At the period of his death he was a member of the legislature of New Jersey.

Dr. Taylor had a good knowledge of anatomy; he observed symptoms and their phases with great accuracy, and had considerable facility in forming a correct estimate of the nature and extent of diseases. In later years his business changed, and he was mostly employed as consulting physician in the city and its vicinities, over which his practice had in previous years very generally extended. So great was his reputation, that the old settlers, and many others whom he had at some time attended, were unwilling to die or even recover from a severe illness until he had been called in counsel.

Dr. Taylor's manners were mild and unpretending; his disposition was naturally amiable. He was averse to pretension or affectation in either the rich or the poor, and he was sincere and cordial in his intercourse with everybody. In appearance he was above medium height, quick in his movements, with a ruddy complexion, a large, full, hazel eye, heavy brows, a square, full forehead; a well shaped mouth, and a perfect set of teeth. There was a shade of care in his countenance; but in conversation it lighted up and became expressive of his natural cheerfulness. His dress was plain and remarkably neat. He was liberal to a fault, and sometimes generous in declining to receive pay for his services where he thought it could not be afforded, to the injury of the profession, and not unfrequently to the annoyance of being imposed upon himself, by those who would escape paying a physician.

For many years he was in the habit of engaging in prayer before commencing his daily professional duties; he united with the Presbyterian church a short time before his death. In the month of March, 1841, he had an attack of apoplexy and paralysis, from which he partially recovered, but it recurred, and he died on the 16th August following, at the age of fifty-eight years.

His son, Dr. Augustus F. Taylor, is still a practitioner in New Brunswick, and his brother, the venerable Dr. John Taylor, resided in Lansingburgh.

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