Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

Dr. Crawford Williamson Long

Dr. Crawford Williamson Long

Male 1815 - 1878  (62 years)

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    Long, Crawford Williamson
    Long, Crawford Williamson

    Long, Crawford and Mary Swain
    Long, Crawford and Mary Swain

  • Name Crawford Williamson Long 
    Title Dr. 
    Born 1 Nov 1815  Danielsville, Madison, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 19 Jun 1878  Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Oconee Hill Cemetery, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • On his removal from Jefferson, Ga., to Athens, Ga., in the year 1851, Dr. Long, in association with his brother, Dr. H. R. J. Long, and Dr. Hal C. Billups, soon after, became owners of the old drug store in Athens that had been established by Drs. Reese and Ware, situated on Broad street opposite the midway entrance to the university campus.
      It was in this old store that I enjoyed the honor, in my boyhood, of having this great man as my tutor and mentor, while I worked as his apprentice in the pharmacy of Longs & Billups, with the privileges of the laboratories of the chemical department of the University of Georgia, where most of my duties and studies were under the direction of Professor Harry C. White, the present beloved and honored head of the department of chemistry. The gratitude I feel for the guidance and friendly kindness of this distinguished physician and pharmacist during these years, now animates and prompts me to attempt to set down some facts in his life, learned through such association and from data furnished me by his daughters, who have shown their friendship for me during all the years elapsed since my boyhood, and whose devotion their father's fame has brightened and intensified as time deepened the channels of memory.

      From family records I learn that Crawford W. Long, the discoverer of surgical anaesthesia, was of Irish descent, through ancestors who first acquired their American citizenship by settlement in Pennsylvania and Virginia. And his life exhibited every phase and degree of liberality, chivalry and benevolence of times claimed for those of such extraction.

      Both of Dr. Long's grandfathers were soldiers in the Revolutionary War. Edward Ware, his mother's father (1760-1836), and Samuel Long (1781-1853), his paternal grandfather, both emigrated to Madison county, Georgia, and there died, after long lives of usefulness and good citizenship, and their graves have been marked by the U. S. Government as soldiers of the Revolution, at the instance of the Daughters of the Revolution, upon proofs of their honorable records furnished from the Archives at Washington, D. C.

      Crawford Williamson Long, the discoverer, son of James Long and Elizabeth Ware Long, was here born November 1, 1815, at Danielsville, in the house inherited from his grandfather, Samuel Long, who had built the same on his removal from Carlisle, Penn., in 1792. His mother was Elizabeth Ware, whose parents, Edward Ware and Sarah Thurmond, had come to Georgia soon after the peace treaty ending our RevolutionaryWar, from Albermarle county, Va.

      On August 11, 1842, Dr. Long married Caroline Swain. His death occurred at Athens, Ga., June 16, 1878, where he then resided. He had been called to the bedside of a lady in childbirth, and fell unconscious while rendering her medical assistance, and survived but a few hours in the guest chamber of his patient's home. His last words were inquiries about her condition and directions for her welfare.

      Some Early Recollections

      My boyhood recollections of Dr. Long picture him as a mature and dignified man of middle age, then engaged in general medical and sutgical practice in the historic Georgia town of Athens (now a flourishing city), the seat of the first university in the United States that was recognized and supported hy a State of the Union. His office was in the rear of the drug store owned and operated hy himself and his younger brother, Dr. H. R. J.Long (himself a practicing physician), and by their other partner, Dr. Hal C. Billups. This was in 1875, a few years after the War Between the States, and during the period of "Reconstruction".
      He was above medium height and wore conventional black. He was quiet and unassuming in deportment and address, gentle and gracious in manner with all with whom he conversed, but with ever a retiring and modest mien. He was exacting and particular in business dealings for just and honorable results, and required order, cleanliness and system in all the appointments of the store and office. His kindly disposition and quiet good humor attracted many friends to visit and exchange pleasantries when duty allowed a short respite for social exchanges with his friends, who were the leading citizens and business men.

      Having graduated in his academic studies at old Franklin College of Athens, he was always in touch with the affairs of the Alumni Association of the University and always enjoyed the spirit of celebration that pervaded the season at each annual recurrence of "Commencement".

      I remember that amid the many and exacting duties of a large general practice, which it was ever his first and earnest care to fulfil, he yet found time to write, occasionally, a humorous sketch for the newspaper then published in Athens, The Watchman, edited by John H. Christy. These articles were contributed under the nom de plume of "Billy Muckle," and generally portrayed the "sonsie tricks, the failings and mischances" of some local celebrity, but the identity of the person always veiled hy a fictitious name and localities changed, so as to avoid offense. Yet these occurrences and characters were recognized by the doctor's more intimate friends, and he would have to "acknowledge the corn" when they would circle around him and claim discovery of the "target". It was a great pleasure to him, after some laborious season, or "toss wind o' trouble," to collect some of these friends for "rubbers" of whist.

      But it was in the family circle, on winter's evenings, that, perhaps, his chief delight found expression, where, in the presence of his adored wife and his sons and daughters, then a "beauteous seraph sister-band," with also, perchance, a few of their neighbor friends, was read some book selected from the classics or standard English literature. I am assured by all his daughters now living at Athens that at the period of his prime of manhood such fireside evenings, whenever an active medical practice would permit, continued during all the years of their girlhood spent at home, and that their father made for them a varied course of belle lettres, leading them from Homer, to the latest approved productions of the press. They have told me that his father had a wonderful collection of old books, so he was reared in a literary atmosphere. He never tired of Shakespeare's plays and frequently quoted from them. In looking over the book in which he recorded his daily visits, under the name of one of his patients was written: "Richard III?First scene," when Richard woke from his dream, tormented by his conscience. He was the safe repository of a great many secrets. In another place is a quotation from Tennyson. He was fond of Burns, Byron, Coleridge, Shelley and Keats as poets; Macaulay as an historian; Scott, Dickens and Thackeray as novelists, and also Wilkie Collins, whose Moonstone enthralled him until he solved the mystery of its disappearance. The impressions made by any one upon his intimates give, perhaps, the best portraiture, and I here record the description furnished me by his daughter, Mrs. Francis Long Taylor, now of Athens:

      Personal Characteristics

      "He was six feet in height, rather slender, when a young man, but in middle life weighed from one hundred and sixty to one hundred and seventy pounds. He was finely proportioned, with broad shoulders, but with small feet and hands, with very thin arid tender skin. His forehead was high, broad and full; eyes very blue, well developed nose, somewhat aquiline. Very dignified in manner,, his whole appearance betokened the gentleman. He maintained a slight reserve, except among intimates and congenial people, or with the sick, absolutely free from all duplicity, never thrusting his opinions upon people, but when expressing them, was frank and fearless. He scorned boastfulness, pretension or any manner of deceit. Cheerful in the sick room, he always inspired his patients with confidence. His perfect self control, kindliness and fine judgment gave him great influence and he was appealed to in many cases to arbitrate.

      "Dr. Long dressed well; he generally wore what was called a frock coat. A very dark dahlia was his favorite color; also black and dark gray. His suits, generally, were made to order by the best tailors, generally of broadcloth. He was particular in all his personal habits. I never knew him to go to a meal without first washing his hands.

      "He was a very fine whist player, playing, generally, at home with a few friends or his family. He often engaged in a game of draughts with his wife. He was fond of hunting and fishing, and was a wonderful shot with the rifle and pistol. He was fond of good horses and enjoyed, without betting, the races at the county fairs. His wife's carriage horses were from Kentucky. His children were given ponies as soon as they were old enough to ride. He was a good business man, but his heavy practice forced him to leave his drug store in the hands of others much of the time; likewise his two plantations. He had for that day, very advanced ideas in agriculture.

      "As a young man he was fond of dancing, and all of his life, of the theatre and opera, demanding the best acting and music, although he enjoyed a good minstrel show. He had a correct eye for form and taste in colors. Whenever he made a business trip to New York he returned with handsome gifts and expensive silks for his wife and sisters, and was a very close observer of ladies' dress. His children were trained never to wear imitation jewels or laces. He hated shams of every kind.

      "Dr. Long and Alexander H. Stephens were lifelong friends. In the last public speech ever delivered by Mr. Stephens, made in Savannah, Ga., a few weeks before his death, he insisted that Georgia should place the statues of Crawford W. Long and James Oglethorpe in Statuary Hall, Washington. Since then the Georgia legislature passed a bill that Mr. Stephen's name should be substituted for that of Oglethorpe.

      "Dr. Long often visited Henry Clay when a student at Lexington, Ky.

      "His was the old-fashioned Southern hospitality. Guests would frequently spend days, weeks, even months with the family, making a gay household. Sometimes there were formal entertainments. Nothing gave him so much pleasure as the happiness of his family.

      "I know of no eccentricities he possessed. He was a singularly well rounded character. He was sensitive, refined, and considerate of others; free from envy, malice and all uncharitableness, with quick, high temper, but under control."

      A Wife's Loving Tribute

      I have been permitted to read some of the descriptive and reminiscent writings of Dr. Long's wife; notably a sketch of their home and married life in Jefferson, Ga., during the period before the War Between the States, and an account of a summer outing spent in the mountains of North Carolina, the "Land of the Sky," and they display, besides a most charming native sensibility, a literary finish doubtless acquired at the family gatherings. Perhaps no more touching tribute to the virtues of this great man could be presented, than to offer the glimpses of his home life as depicted by his wife in the following lines, taken from her journal, written in 1886, eight years after his decease. The scenes are laid about the time of the great discovery:

      "We had prospered in this world's goods, had a lovely home, and sweet, pleasant children, two sons and three daughters. My husband was the leading physician, fine looking, a devoted husband and father, a kind, judicious master, beloved and respected by all classes. Our home was a paradise where our 'olive plants' throve apace. A large and lucrative practice enabled us to live handsomely, without entrenching on other sources of revenue. Our olive plants became more numerous, but it mattered not?we had a welcome for all. They made us very happy.

      "About sundown when 'papa' usually returned, we were out on the veranda watching for him. A shout went up, when he appeared, then such racing to meet him. Of course he waited patiently for all to climb in the buggy, with two or three clinging on the outside. If on horseback, she strung as many on Charlie in a row as could be safely put astride, while those less favored, trotted in as near to him as possible. Then comes the time for a kiss for 'little wifie,' and then he grasps the baby, tosses it in the air, crowing and reaching out its little arms and papa dearly loves babies.
      "Yes, we had an earthly paradise, that of perfect love and harmony. Never did a palatial home contain a happier couple than ours beneath the locust trees whose fragrant flowers hung pendant above the shady green lawn, the latticed porch a bower of beauty, covered with pink multifloraroses, flowers on the window sills, humming birds darting out and in the open windows, where I so often sat with a book or some light sewing, watching for a 'solitary horseman'. For his dear presence, loving words, fun and frolic, I lived.
      "The laborious life of a village doctor, with an extensive practice in the adjoining country and villages and towns, without railroads is hard to conceive now. To reach his patients, swollen streams had to be crossed at the fords amid dangers, winter's cold and summer's heat disregarded, with loss of sleep and exhaustion the consequence.

      "Just at this time the striving village doctor was on the eve of a great discovery, successful anaesthesia in surgery. It occupied his mind so much that he took time to write for publication in 1849 his experiments in the use of sulphuric ether in surgery. He used this method whenever he could induce his patients to submit to the 'dangerous drug'. The effort to establish his claims as such discoverer has finally succeeded, and I rejoice that his declining years were gladdened by deserved recognition. It was very sweet to this toiling man, this long delayed and hotly contested honor; but this honor was less to his tender heart than the fact that he had bequeathed to the world a remedy or palliation as a means of preventing human suffering.

      "But returning to my pleasant window, I yet see him dressed in a light blue summer suit, collar and cuffs black, tan colored silk gloves, wide brimmed white hat, sitting superbly on his dapple-grey charger, firm, dignified?he rides like one to command.'

      "During these earlier years of his practice the doctor was growing mentally in his chosen profession. His practice, already large, was extending; his fame as a surgeon acknowledged by the most eminent practitioners of that day; they often sending for him long distances to assist in difficult operations. His hands were remarkably supple and shapely in appearance, their extreme sensibility to touch being of great advantage in certain kinds of practice. His ideals were noble and lofty, causing aspirations to make the most of himself for the good of mankind. For this he loved, labored, suffered and died."
    Person ID I10713  Dickinson
    Last Modified 29 Nov 2013 

    Father James Long,   b. 4 Apr 1771, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Mar 1853, Danielsville, Madison, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Elizabeth Ware,   b. 22 Mar 1789, Amherst County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 May 1856, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 8 Dec 1813  Madison County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F2940  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Caroline Swain,   b. 14 Dec 1825, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Sep 1888, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Married 11 Aug 1842  Jackson County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Sarah Frances Long,   b. 1846, Danielsville, Madison, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Jan 1930, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)  [Birth]
     2. Florence Cornelia Long,   b. Nov 1853, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Jul 1919, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 65 years)  [Birth]
     3. Edward Crawford Long,   b. 11 Jan 1854, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jul 1934, San Antonio, Bexar, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)  [Birth]
     4. Eugenia A Long,   b. 21 Aug 1856, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jul 1940, Fulton County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years)  [Adopted]  [Birth]
     5. Arthur Beauregard Long,   b. Jul 1858, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1908, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 49 years)  [Birth]
     6. Emma Mitchell Long,   b. 28 Oct 1859, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Jul 1935, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)  [Birth]
     7. Maud Eudora Long,   b. 28 Feb 1863, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Apr 1882, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 19 years)  [Birth]
    Last Modified 29 Nov 2013 
    Family ID F2942  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1 Nov 1815 - Danielsville, Madison, Georgia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 11 Aug 1842 - Jackson County, Georgia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 19 Jun 1878 - Athens, Clarke, Georgia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Oconee Hill Cemetery, Athens, Clarke, Georgia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S336456] Some Personal Recollections and Private Correspondence of Dr. Crawford Williamson Long, Joseph Jacobs, (Atlanta, Georgia: 1919), 3-7.