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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.

Isaac Hyde

Isaac Hyde was born in Canterbury, Connecticut, in the year 1773. He was the son of Isaac and Sarah (Marshall) Hyde, the ancestry of his mother residing in Windsor, Conn. He fitted for college at Stanfield Academy, but became a pupil in medicine with Dr. Jonathan Hall of Pomfret in the same state. At the age of eighteen years he concluded his pupilage with Dr. Carter of Newport, Rhode Island. After one year in practice he made a journey to England; on the return voyage the vessel was wrecked and he arrived in New York in destitute circumstances. While in New York he met a gentleman from Rensselaerville, Albany county, who represented to him the need of a physician in that place. Dr. Hyde accordingly went to Rensselaerville, where he continued to reside until the period of his death. Dr. Hyde became a member of the Albany County Medical Society in 1808, though from the distance of his residence, and his constant occupation, he seldom met with the society.

Dr. Hyde was an energetic and public spirited citizen, seeking at all times the benefit of the people among whom he lived. The poor were liberally and generously fed from his larder, and supplied from his granaries; the indigent were assisted and encouraged. He was a man of clear mind and of vigorous constitution, and in the practice of his profession in a new and sparsely settled country, the demands upon his powers of endurance were very great. He pursued the even tenor of his way through snow drifts and over rough roads as the case might be, by night or by day, feeling his personal responsibility for the welfare of his patients, and at all times laboring to acquit himself faithfully towards them. His conversation with his patients was cheerful and encouraging, and his visits were hailed with pleasure by the young, and with satisfaction by those of mature life. He possessed considerable skill in surgery, and performed very many operations incident to his practice in his own and adjoining towns.

Dr. Hyde seemed not only to share the confidence of the people among whom he lived, but was beloved by them. His house was the abode of hospitality to those who came from a distance to consult him, to the stranger, and to the ministers of the gospel, who sometimes held services there when there was no church. He was interested in the cause of education, and sought to secure its advantages to the generation rising about him. He was looked to by the community as a disinterested and generous friend, whose better judgment was frequently sought and followed. His manners were plain and simple, his habits industrious and frugal, while his mild eye and calm expression made one feel himself in the presence of a friend.

Dr. Hyde usually had two or three students under his care and instruction, among whom was his successor Dr. Platt Wicks of Rensselaerville, and his son Dr. Lucius Hyde who resided and recently died in the city of Brooklyn.

Dr. Hyde died of dropsical effusion within the cavity of the thorax, on the 9th day of July, 1833, at the age of sixty-one years.

His record is of a life of great usefulness among those whom he lived, and his name is still held in honored remembrance by many whose happiness and virtue he promoted.

He was the agent for the late patroon and largely enjoyed his confidence, and during one of his illnesses was one of his medical counsel.

Lucius Hyde, a son, was born in Rensselaerville, Albany county, on the 13th day of December, 1800. In childhood he had before him the industry and enterprise of his father, the gentleness and affection of a mother who was a woman of simple piety belonging to the society of the Friends, whose example and training were not lost on her son. He graduated at Union College with high honors, and soon began the study of medicine under the direction of his father. He received his degree of doctor of medicine, and removed to the city of Brooklyn in 1825, which at that time was no more than a small village.

Dr. Hyde was actively engaged in the practice of his profession for a period of twenty-eight years. In 1853 he became incapacitated by disease, which at length took on the form of paralysis from which he suffered at intervals with great severity until the period of his death, which occurred on the 11th of September, 1863. At the time of his decease he was the oldest physician in Brooklyn, which had increased full 270,000 people during his residence in it.

Dr. Hyde possessed in a high degree most of the qualities essential to a good physician. He united firmness and gentleness with courage and self-reliance, sobriety of judgment and a calm self-possession, with sagacity of discernment, and honesty of expression. His relation to his patient was that of a friend, and devoid of the coldness of a strictly professional man. He was swayed by neither ambition for fame nor ambition for money, and in the latter respect was scarcely just to himself. He was a man of a large and generous temper, with the utmost regard for the feelings of others, delighting to extol the good in them, and desirous of extenuating as far as possible their mistakes and errors. His mind was likewise unusually free from prejudice. During the slow decay that came upon his body and mind, he bore the affliction with great fortitude and patience. And "through which he exercised a childlike submission, faith, and piety, which showed where he had placed his trust."

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