THOMAS MACOMB FLANDRAU
Thomas Macomb Flandrau, son of Thomas Hunt and Elizabeth M. (Macomb) Flandrau, was born in New York City on the 8th of July, 1826. His ancestry, though French and Irish, were all Protestants--rather curiously, as both countries are strongly Roman Catholic in their religious tendencies. Jacques Flandreau, the originator of the family in this country, was a French Huguenot driven from France by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV, and with a colony of his compatriots settled at New Rochelle, N. Y., about 1686, naming the town after La Rochelle, a famous Protestant city of France. His descendants still live at New Rochelle, but are not very numerous. Dr. Flandrau is the only physician of the name in the United States; his branch of the family dropped the e from the last syllable. Mrs. Elizabeth M. (Macomb) Flandrau was a daughter of Alexander Macomb, an Orangeman from Belfast, Ireland, who was married in 1773 in Detroit, Mich., where he remained until 1785 when he removed to New York City. There he was for many years actively engaged in business as a shipping merchant. IN 1788 he built No. 39 Broadway, which was occupied in 1790 by General Washington as the President’s home, and which in later years was Bunker’s Hotel. In 1791 he purchased a large tract of land in what are now the counties of Lewis, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Herkimer, Jefferson, and Oswego, the southern boundary of which is now the northern line of Oneida county. It comprised 3,700,000 acres, cost eight cents per acre, and included all the Thousand Islands, except Carlton Island, on which stood Fort Haldiman. The map of “Macomb’s Purchase” and the documents relating to it are in the Documentary History of New York. Mr. Macomb had six sons in the War of 1812, the eldest of whom, Maj.-Gen. Alexander Macomb, was the hero of the battle of Plattsburgh and afterwards commander-in-chief of the United States Army. Thomas Hunt Flandrau, a native of New Rochelle, N. Y., was educated in Oneida County, where he spent the most of his life. He was graduated from Hamilton College in 1819, became a prominent lawyer, and at the time of his marriage and the birth of his son, Dr. Flandrau, was a law partner of the celebrated Aaron Burr in New York City.
Dr. Thomas Macomb Flandrau passed his youth in Georgetown, D. C., and was educated in the private schools and academies of Georgetown and Washington. He studied medicine with Dr. Benjamin S. Bohrer, and was graduated from the National Medical College of Washington, D. C., in March, 1848. After practicing his profession a short time in Georgetown he removed to his father’s home at Whitesboro, Oneida county, N. Y., but on January 1, 1853, settled in Rome, where he was in partnership with Dr. Arba Blair for two years. In 1853 he went to Brockport, N. Y., and remained there until 1863, when he again took up his residence in Rome, where he has since lived. August 23, 1863, Dr. Flandrau was commissioned surgeon of the 146th Regiment, N. Y. Vol. Inf. with the rank of major. This regiment was known as the Halleck Infantry and also as the 5th Oneida, and many of its officers and men were citizens of Rome. He remained with the organization about a year, when he was promoted to the position of surgeon-in-chief of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 5th Army Corps. On the 7th of June, 1864, he was again promoted to the surgeon -in-chief of the 2nd Division, 5th Corps.
The 146th Regiment is entitled to honorable mention in the history of Rome. Lieut.-Col. Jesse J. Armstrong, Adjutant Edward Comstock, and Capt. William A. Walker, besides many of its brave soldiers, were residents of this city, and having been organized on the camp ground in West Dominick street all its officers and men felt a profound interest in the city of its birth. The regiment participated in every battle fought by the Army of the Potomac from the first battle of Fredericksburg in December, 1862, t the final surrender of the Confederate army at Appomattox in April, 1865. It distinguished itself as well by its bravery as by the fearful slaughter of its rank and file in many engagements, especially in the Wilderness, where Col. David Jenkins and Major Henry Curran were left dead upon the field with a large number of men. As surgeon, Dr. Flandrau was present in all of its twenty-five battles, and fortunately escaped sickness and wounds during his three years service at the front. He was discharged at Syracuse, N. Y., in July, 1865, and was made brevet lieutenant-colonel of U. S. Volunteers, holding a commission to that effect “for meritorious services in the field,” signed by President Andrew Johnson, and the great secretary of war, Edwin M. Stanton. The Medical and Surgical History of the War contains the record of many of his surgical operations.
In 1865 Dr. Flandrau purchased his present residence in East Dominick Street and ever since then he has been actively engaged in the practice of his profession in Rome. He is a member of the Oneida County Medical Society and the American Medical Association, and has attended several International Medical Congresses, the last in 1890 at Berlin, Germany, where he made an extended tour though France, Switzerland, England, Scotland, and Ireland. For many years he has been a member of the Board of Health of Rome and for twelve years a member of the Board of Education, of which he was served as president during the e last three years. He has served as physician to the Central New York Institution for the Deaf Mutes of Rome since its organization in 1874. He is medical director of the Rome Hospital and was prominent in its foundation and establishment, making the plans and designs for its construction. His plans were adopted with very slight modification by the architect, George Schillner, who brought them to their final development and is entitled to the credit of its external decoration.
Dr. Flandrau ranks high among the eminent physicians and surgeons of Central New York, and during his long and active practice has won the confidence and respect of a wide circle of warm friends and acquaintances. He has always taken a keen interest in the religious, social, and educational advancement of his city, contributing generously to these and kindred objects, and encouraging every worthy project which promises benefit to the community. He has been a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church for forty years and for over twenty years has served as vestryman and warden of Zion church, Rome.
In 1854 Dr. Flandrau as married in Brockport, N. Y., to Miss Clarissa J. Foote, a native of Vernon, Oneida county, N. Y., who died May 1, 1890. She was a woman noted for her energy, tact, and charitable sentiments, and contributed largely to the building and success of the Rome Hospital, where he name and good work are commemorated by a handsome brass tablet erected by the ladies of the institution. She left three daughters: Miss Elizabeth M. Flandra and Mrs. Dr. H. C. Sutton of Rome and Mrs. George Ethridge, of New York City.
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