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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.

Christopher C. Yates

Christopher C. Yates was born in Rensselaer county, about the year 1778. He studied medicine with Dr. Samuel Stringer, a veteran in the profession, and was probably licensed by the Supreme court of the state, in the year 1802, or 1803. For many years Dr. Yates resided in Albany; and at one time created a great excitement in the community by exhuming a half breed Indian, who had died here, for purposes of dissection. The public were incensed by such sacrilege! Dr. Yates braved the storm almost at the risk of his life. But public opinion softens and changes; and now such occurrences are not only expected as a matter of course, but are deemed of too little importance to excite even a comment.

In 1812, a billious epidemic fever appeared in Albany, upon which Dr. Yates wrote an article, which was published in the American and Philosophical Register in 1813. He attributed the prominent characteristics of the disease to derangement of the functions of the liver, and regarded the malady as purely inflammatory in its nature, and the treatment adopted was of the old heroic, practice. The article was reviewed by Drs. Hoiack and Francis. In 1820, he took an active and decided part in the controversy on yellow fever.

In 1832 he published an article on epidemic, Asiatic or spasmodic cholera, as it prevailed in the city of New York, with advice to planters in the south, on the medical treatment of their slaves. This was issued from New York, where he at that time and for several years afterwards resided. He also discussed the symptoms and treatment of cholera in a letter to Dr. Barent P. Staats, the health officer of Albany in 1832, and gave an account of the disease as observed by French authors. These articles are preserved in the State library. While residing in New York, Dr. Yates lost a son, Winfield Scott Yates, a lad of eighteen years, who was extraordinarily proficient in the various branches of learning. He died January 27th, 1833.

Dr. Yates about this time gave his attention to the cure of stammering, as a professional specialty, but there remains no evidence that he was particularly skillful in such cases.

He returned to Albany about 1840, and resided for a few years, when he removed to Parishborough, in Nova Scotia, where he passed the remainder of his days, and died on the 23d of September, 1848.

In personal appearance Dr. Yates was tall, with a slender figure, gentlemanly manners, an intelligent face, and prepossessing address. He was a man well read in his profession, and of considerable intellectual ability and culture, and might have occupied a high rank in his profession. His judgment seemed to have been often at fault. It might be charity to stop here; but it is truthful to add, that in his character and example, there was nothing to admire, but everything to avoid; and that his influence upon the profession, and upon society, was demoralizing.

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