East New Market


The Times (Washington, DC)

4 May 1901 - The Death of Dr. Rosse

A Well-Known Washington Physician Expires Suddenly.

The End of a Life of Adventure - A Prominent "Writer, Scientist, and
Sportsman - Had been a Surgeon in the Army - His Extensive Travels.

Dr. Irving Collins Rosse, a well-known Washington citizen, and a figure especially prominent among physicians and scientists, died yesterday morning at Providence Hospital. Dr. Rosse was taken ill quite suddenly and his death resulted from a hepatic obstruction. He
is survived by a widow and one child.  Mrs. Rosse was in New York when her husband became ill, but was telegraphed for and came to Washington immediately.
Dr. Rosse was a man of intense character and remarkably wide interests.  There was hardily a field of science into which he had not dipped deeply. He was a litterateur and a newspaper man. His writings cover a most diverse list of subjects, from sporting articles for magazines to most learned treatises on the psychology of emotions and the physiological aspects of Insanity. He was a good athlete and took a special interest in all kinds of games, having written several treatises upon the beneficial effects of exercise. He was an extremely
popular man socially, and took quite a prominent part in the doings of Washington's society, particularly during the first few years after his marriage, which took place about twelve years ago. His wife was a Miss James, of New York, a grand daughter of General Worth.
Among Washingtonians he is specially remembered because of his ability as a, specialist on nervous diseases and diseases of the brain. He was considered one of the best expert witnesses in the country and was called in on all important criminal cases where insanity was
set up as a plea. He was on the stand during the trial of Guiteau, who assassinated President Garfield. His opinion was also asked in the Bean murder trial about six years ago, and more recently in the Horton case.
The latter years of his life were spent in Washington, but while a young man he traveled a great deal, and filled a great many positions. As a traveler he was known chiefly because of his two excursions in the Corwin to the North Pole in search of the survivors of the ill
fated Jeanette expedition. He had gone all over the United States as a surgeon in the army, and had circumnavigated the entire coast line as contract surgeon in the revenue cutter Chase.
His full name was Irving Collins Rosse, and he was born in East New Market, Dorchester County, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, October 2, 1842. His family was Anglo-Scotch, connected with several of the best families in Scotland and England. His education was all directed toward n life in the medical profession.  After taking the common school education in his county schools he attended St. John's College, Annapolis, for three years. Leaving there he went to West Point, where he was a cadet In 1863 to 1864. He took up his first serious study of medicine under Dr. Alexander H. Bayley, of Cambridge, and graduated at the University of Maryland in 1866. He was an A.M. of Georgetown University, and had honorary degrees from a number of institutions in Europe. The deceased studied abroad, in London, Berlin, and Paris, for many years, but he began his work as clinical assistant in the Baltimore infirmary.  In 1866 he was made medical officer in the United States Army, and until 1874 served with the army in various posts throughout the West and the South. He was quarantine officer of Georgia, and was present on Tybee Island during the outbreak of cholera. He was also quarantine officer at Brazos Santiago, Tex.
During the Ku-Klux troubles he was on the staff of Gen. Henry Hunt in North Carolina. Dr. Rosse's literary work began with his assisting in the preparation of the "Medico-Surgical History of the Rebellion," and he was in charge of the force that made an index to the library of the Surgeon General. In the latter months of 1874, he left the army and became an examiner in the Pension Office, but he left that position in 1877, to take the place of surgeon in the Revenue Cutter Service. He traveled extensively while in the service, and was in Africa during the Zulu war.
As a member of the crew of the Corwin he went to seek and rescue the survivorsof the Jeanette, and during the excursions into the frozen north made himself famous by being the first to climb the so-called inaccessible Herald Island, and the first man to set foot on Wrangle Island. For thes exploits he was made a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He was an executive officer or the Red Cross Hospital Association in Washington in I887, and a juror to the Paris Exposition in 1889. His newspaper work was done as a correspondent of the "New York Herald" and the "San Francisco Examiner" and his scientific contributions on nervous diseases, athletics, and the like, were published in all the Important medical journals.
No arrangements have yet been made for the funeral. The flag on the Metropolitan Club was lowered in recognition of his death.