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Charles Guillou – An American Military Physician

914 words - 4 pages

Charles Fleury Bien-aime Guillou was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania in 1813. His father, Victor Gabriel Guillou escaped to America during the French Revolution and settled in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.
Charles attended the military academy and then graduated from University of Philadelphia medical school in 1836. In 1837, he was appointed assistant surgeon for the USS Porpoise, commanded by Lieutenant William Ramsay, in the US Navy. He also served on the USS Peacock, the USS Columbus, the USS Constitution and many others.
In 1840, Charles was aboard the USS Peacock when the first sighting of Antarctica, the southernmost continent encapsulating the South Pole, was documented. Since 98% ...view middle of the document...

The Mexican-American War, an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico, had broken out upon their return to Honolulu so they were then summoned to Monterey, California. While in California, he met a Swiss native and pioneer by the name of John Sutter which led to the California Gold Rush when gold was discovered near Sutter’s mill, an area that would eventually become Sacramento California.
Charles was promoted to Navy Surgeon in 1847 and was then assigned to the USS Constitution, a ship that was named by President George Washington. Once aboard, they were sent on another diplomatic trip to Europe. He met King Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilies, Cardinal Giacomo Antonelli, an Italian cardinal deacon and Pope Pius IX of the Catholic Church while at Gaeta, Italy. Charles was awarded rosaries, inscribed prayer books, a medallion and a plenary indulgence after treating Pope Pius, who became ill during his visit on the USS Constitution, which was considered US Territory.
From 1852-1854, Guillou was stationed at the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard. It’s there that he met his wife, Dinah Postlethwaite, married and had a one child, a daughter named Margaret Acelie. However, in 1854, he returned to Honolulu and attempted to establish a hospital that failed. The Hawaiian Medical Society was founded in 1856 by Charles as well as other well-known physicians.
He was appointed as the Honolulu U.S. Seamen’s Hospital physician in 1857 by Darius A. Ogden, the American Consul to the Kingdom of Hawaii. This was a great success until Commander William E. Hunt of the USS Levant was sent to investigate possible overcharging of the hospital. The Commander never made it due to his ship being lost at sea. The government never got to pursue the complaint due to the...

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