Madison County History – Commentary by Frank Gillispie 3/26/10
When you approach the old Madison County Courthouse in Danielsville from the south, you will see a marble statue next to the building. Do you have any
idea who it is and why it is there? It is a replica of one of the two statues that represents Georgia in our national capital. It is of Doctor
Crawford W. Long.
Dr. Long, the most celebrated native of Madison County, was born just west of the courthouse square on November 1, 1815. He is known worldwide for being
the first doctor to use an anesthesia while performing surgery on a patient. He was the son of a merchant and planter in Danielsville, Georgia. A transcript
of the first meeting of the Madison County government shows that Mr. Long received a license to sell “spurious spirits” in his store.
While a student at the University of Georgia, Crawford W. Long shared a room with Alexander Stephens, later to be Vice president of the Confederate States of America
during the American Civil War. Long was a cousin of the western legend Doc Holliday.
"Georgia has just suffered a damaging historical and cultural loss. And because of that loss, we are all losers.
Emory University announced Friday, February 13 , that it has changed the name of Emory Crawford Long Hospital to 'Emory University Hospital Midtown.'
The change does a great disservice to Georgia’s history and culture."
--Frank Gillispie, from Crawford Long Name Change: More Ethnic Cleansing?, 2/17/09
As a student, Dr Long had been present when other students were experimenting with several chemicals known as “laughing gas,” including diethyl ether. He
had noticed that when people under the influence of the gas fell down, they experienced no pain. So when James M. Venable came to his office in Jefferson
Georgia to have a tumor removed from his neck, Long exposed him to ether prior to the surgery. Venable reported no pain during the surgery.
Dr. Long then used the technique for numerous procedures from childbirth to amputations. The first event occurred in 1842, but he did not report his success
until 1842 when the results of these trials were published in The Southern Medical and Surgical Journal. Although Northern doctor, William T. G. Morton,
is known for performing a demonstration of ether anesthesia on October 16, 1846 in Boston, Massachusetts, Long is now regarded as the first to have
administered ether anesthesia for surgery.
The marble statue, carved by J. Massey Rhind. was donated in 1926, and is Located in the Crypt area of the capital building. Rhind was an American sculptor
born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and trained in various European centers of art. He is well known for carving monuments of many American Civil War personalities,
but his carving of Crawford W. Long is considered by many to be his best work.
The second statue from Georgia in the hall is of Alexander Stephens, the Vice President of the Confederate States of America. It was carved by Gutzon Borglum
who later became famous for carving Mount Rushmore. I will have more about Borglum’s connection to Georgia in a later column.
Copyright © 2010 by Frank Gillispie
email@example.com, Hull, GA
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Frank Gillispie Online - frankgillispie.com
Crawford Long Name Change: More Ethnic Cleansing? - Frank Gillispie, 2/17/09
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Founding Wisdom - Frank Gillispie
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