Board of Medical Censors

By: John Q. Anderson

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: March 1, 2017

The Board of Medical Censors, a forerunner of the Board of Medical Examiners, was established on December 14, 1837, by the Congress of the Republic of Texas for the purpose of granting licenses to practice medicine and surgery in the republic. The law required that the board be composed of one physician from each senatorial district and that the members be graduates of medicine and surgery from authorized colleges and universities. A twenty-dollar fee was collected from those who passed an examination. Without a license, physicians could not collect unpaid fees in court. The first board was composed of Ashbel Smith from Harrisburg and Liberty, A. C. Hoxey from Washington-on-the-Brazos, George W. Hill from Milam, J. M. Neil Stuart from Brazoria, J. P. B. January from San Patricio, Refugio, and Goliad, R. A. Irion from Nacogdoches and Houston, Joel Johnson from Austin and Colorado, Isaac Jones from the Red River district, Thomas Anderson from Mina and Gonzales, A. M. Levy from Matagorda, Victoria, and Jackson, and H. Bissell from Bexar. The board was scheduled to meet once each year, but difficulty of transportation over long distances and Indian attacks frequently prevented annual meetings. The board was discontinued by a state legislative act of February 2, 1848.

Sylvia Van Voast Ferris and Eleanor Sellers Hoppe, Scalpels and Sabers (Austin: Eakin Press, 1985). Pat Ireland Nixon, The Medical Story of Early Texas, 1528–1853 (Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Lupe Memorial Fund, 1946).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

John Q. Anderson, “Board of Medical Censors,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 1, 2017

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