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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Pittman, Newsom Jones

by William S. Powell, 1994

9 Aug. 1818–14 May 1893

An engraving of Newsom Jones Pittman published in 1892. Image from the Internet Archive.Newsom Jones Pittman, physician, surgeon, and gynecologist, was born in Halifax County, the son of John and Catherine Jones Pittman. He was graduated in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1839 and in 1849–52 studied in medical clinics in Europe, primarily in London, Berlin, and Paris. While in Paris he was president of the American Medical Society of Paris. Pittman practiced in Falls of Tar River (Rocky Mount) until he left for Europe and afterwards until his death in Tarboro. Active in the North Carolina Medical Society, he served as vice-president (1852–54) and president (1860–61).

In medical annals Pittman was noted for successful operations in five cases of lithotomy and one of lithotrity. In 1861 he was appointed surgeon in Lawrence O'B. Branch's brigade and served until he was captured with the Confederate forces that surrendered at New Bern the following year. In 1866 he was elected chairman of the State Medical Board of Examiners, a post he filled for six years. His professional publications appeared in the Transactions of the North Carolina State Medical Society. In 1877 Pittman was first vice-president of the American Medical Association (AMA), and in 1881 he was a delegate to the International Medical Congress in London from the AMA. Also in 1881 he was a delegate to the British Medical Association. He was a member of the Society of Science, Letters, and Art in London.

Pittman was also engaged in agriculture and livestock raising and developed large herds of Shropshire sheep and Devon and Jersey cattle. He was a Master Mason and an Episcopalian. His first wife, whom he married in 1858, was Mary Ann Streeter. They were the parents of two daughters, Kate (1859–73) and Minerva (1860–1940). Mrs. Pittman died in 1861, and in 1867 he married Mrs. Mary Eliza Battle Dancy. They were the parents of Eliza (1868–89) and Cornelia (1874–1954), who married John W. B. Battle. Pittman was buried in Calvary Episcopal churchyard, Tarboro.

Surgical tools of Dr. Newsom Jones Pittman. Image from the North Carolina Museum of History.References:

North Carolina Medical Journal (1893).

Pittman Family Papers (possession of Dr. Newsom Pittman Battle, Rocky Mount).

Tarboro Southerner, 18 May 1893.

Transactions of the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina 17 (1886), (1894), (1917).

Additional Resources:

McCrady, Edward. "N.J. Pittman, M.D." Cyclopedia of eminent and representative men of the Carolinas of the nineteenth century. Madison, Wis.: Brant & Fuller. 1892. 282-283. Internet Archive. (accessed September 6, 2013).

Newsom Jones Pittman Papers (#500). East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. (accessed September 6, 2013).

Newsom J. Pittman Fee Book, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary. (accessed September 6, 2013).

Image Credits:

Kernan, F. G., engraver. "N.J. Pittman, M.D." Cyclopedia of eminent and representative men of the Carolinas of the nineteenth century. Madison, Wis.: Brant & Fuller. 1892. 282. Internet Archive. (accessed September 6, 2013).

"Surgical tools used by Dr. Newsom Jones Pittman of Tarboro, believed to have served in the North Carolina infantry brigade." Health and Healing in North Carolina: An Interactive Timeline. North Carolina Museum of History.