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Medical Pioneer S. S. Satchwell

An image of Satchwell from the N.C. Museum of HistoryOn November 9, 1882, Solomon S. Satchwell, physician and founding member of the Medical Society of North Carolina, died in Burgaw.

During the 1850s, Satchwell became one of the preeminent physicians in the state. In 1852, he reported to the Medical Society on his malaria research, determining that the disease was the number one killer of people in the South. He recognized the correlation between bodies of stagnant water and the disease, but did not surmise that the disease was transmitted by mosquitoes.

From 1854 to 1856, Satchwell served as the Society’s secretary and later president, and, in 1858, he was one of the main proponents for the publication of the Medical Journal of North Carolina. The following year he successfully lobbied the state legislature for the authorization of a state board of medical examiners. Throughout his career, he worked diligently to improve the status of the medical profession in North Carolina.

During the Civil War, Satchwell served as the head surgeon at the Confederate hospital at Wilson. After the war, he opened a private practice in Pender County. He remained working in the medical field until his death, and he is buried in Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington.

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