Happy 227th Birthday William Beaumont!

Today we celebrate the birthday of our namesake Dr. William Beaumont!

Here are a few facts about Dr. Beaumont that you may not have known:

  • William Beaumont was born November 21, 1785 in Lebanon, Connecticut; the second-born of nine children. Beaumont Highway, in Lebanon, was named in his honor.
  • He taught school for three years before deciding to become a doctor.
  • In September of 1812, Beaumont enlisted in the US Army as a surgeon’s mate. He saw his first combat action in the War of 1812 in April 1813, when his regiment led a charge on York, the capital of Upper Canada
  • He was stationed at Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island, Michigan in 1819.
  • Beaumont began treating Alexis St. Martin, a French Canadian voyageur who had been shot in the upper-left abdomen with a shotgun that accidentally discharged.
  • He became the first person to observe human digestion as it occurs in the stomach. Beaumont tied small pieces of food to the end of a silk string and dangled it through the opening in St. Martin’s stomach.
  • In April 1833, Beaumont published his book, “Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice and the Physiology of Digestion”.
  • He is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.
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