Daniel, Ferdinand Eugene (1839–1914)

By: Diana J. Kleiner

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

Ferdinand Eugene Daniel, physician and medical journalist, the son of R. W. T. and Hester Jordan (Adams) Daniel, was born in Emporia, Greenville County, Virginia, on July 18, 1839. He was educated at Vicksburg, Mississippi, where his family moved in 1845, and read law for a time before he turned to medicine at Jackson, Mississippi, where his family settled in 1852. He enlisted in the Confederate Army in May 1861 at Jackson as a private in Company K, Eighteenth Mississippi Infantry, Jones's Division, Beauregard's Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, and served at the first battle of Bull Run. He left the service under President Jefferson Davis's order to release young men studying medicine, completed his medical degree at the New Orleans School of Medicine, and after graduation in 1862 was commissioned a major by Secretary of War George W. Randolph. During the war he participated as a surgeon in the battles of Perryville and Mumfordsville and was in charge of hospitals at Chattanooga, Tennessee; Marietta, Kingston, and Covington, Georgia; and Lauderdale, Mississippi.

He practiced medicine and surgery at Galveston, Texas, from 1866 to 1872 and in 1867–68 was professor of anatomy and surgery at Texas Medical College. He returned to his Mississippi plantation and practice at Jackson and in 1879 served as sanitary inspector for the National Board of Health in Mississippi. He stayed in Jackson for five years before returning to Texas in 1880 to live first at Sherman and then Fort Worth. In 1884 Daniel's wife died, and in 1885 he retired and founded first the Texas Courier Record of Medicine and then the Texas Medical Journal. From 1892 to 1898 he was secretary of the Texas quarantine department and in 1905–06 president of the American International Congress on Tuberculosis. Dr. Daniel served as secretary of the Texas State Medical Association (see TEXAS MEDICAL ASSOCIATION) from 1886 to 1892 and American secretary of the dermatology section of the Ninth International Medical Congress. He was a member of the American Public Health Association, the American Medical Association, the Association of American Medical Editors, and several state medical organizations. He wrote two books, Recollections of a Rebel Surgeon (1899) and The Strange Case of Dr. Bruno (1906). In "Castration of Sexual Perverts" (1893) he suggested a substitute for capital punishment in cases of rape related to mental illness. In 1897 he delivered a lecture on "Crime and Pauperism" and in 1898 published an article on "Criminal Responsibility of the Insane." He published other papers in the Transactions of the Mississippi State Medical Association.

Daniel married Minerva Patrick on July 5, 1863. They had one son before Minerva died with an infant daughter in the yellow fever epidemic of 1867. Daniel married Fanny Ragsdale Smith on October 10, 1872, and they had six children. In 1881 he moved to Sherman, Texas, where in 1884 his wife died. He subsequently moved to Austin and, on June 3, 1903, married Josephine Draper. Daniel died at his home in Austin on May 14, 1914.

Ellis A. Davis and Edwin H. Grobe, comps., The New Encyclopedia of Texas, 4-vol. ed. Who Was Who in America, Vol. 2. Mamie Yeary, Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray (McGregor, Texas, 1912; rpt., Dayton, Ohio: Morningside, 1986).
  • Health and Medicine
  • Education
  • Educators
  • Founders and Pioneers
  • School Founders
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Surgeons
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Authors and Writers

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

Diana J. Kleiner, “Daniel, Ferdinand Eugene,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/daniel-ferdinand-eugene.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994

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