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Biographical Sketch of Francis Taylor Fuller, M. D.


Francis Taylor Fuller, M. D., was born in a part of Granville, now Vance county, N. C., June 14th, 1835. At the age of eighteen he began the study of medicine under the direction of the late Dr. W. E. Hicks, of Oxford, and afterwards under Dr. Charles E. Johnson, of Raleigh, and graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in the spring of 1856.

The North Carolina Insane Asylum was opened for the reception of patients in February, 1856, with Dr. E. C. Fisher as Superintendent. The same year, Dr. Fuller was elected Assistant Physician, which office he has held continuously to the present time. In 1882 he was appointed a Director of the Western N. C. Insane Asylum and continued such until 1889, when he resigned. When a Superintendent was about to be elected for that Institution he would probably have been chosen without opposition, had he consented to the use of his name, but he declined, loath to sever his connection with the N. C. Insane Asylum, and remove himself from his relatives and friends in Raleigh, and believing that as a Director there and a physician in the former, he could best serve the insane of North Carolina. To him is due a large part of the credit for all that is good in both.

The State Chronicle of Raleigh, North Carolina, in speaking of Dr. Fuller and his long service in the State Institution there, says, "Dr. Fuller is modest and unpretending to a fault. A man of broad views he has ever been in thorough sympathy with all progress in his profession. All societies and associations for its advancement he is ever ready to aid and encourage in any way.

He is of fine appearance, large brain, unerring judgment, strong determination, keen conscientiousness and with a tender, sympathetic heart.

Truly all of his life has been devoted to the insane. Of him it can indeed he said, "The Asylum is father and mother, brother and sister, sweetheart and wife." No service to the patients, no duty about the Institution has ever been too menial for him. to perform if there were need.

During the late war and the desolation and poverty immediately following it, his struggles for food, clothing, medicines and attention for the inmates of the Asylum would make a story of courage, self-sacrifice and endurance that would do credit to his heart and hand. It is needless to say that with his thirty-three years experience and uninterrupted attention to his profession in all its details few men are his equal in it.

In his intercourse with the insane, kindness, gentleness, patience, and perseverance are his unvarying guides. To each of them his whole bearing is that of an adviser, a comforter, and a friend, and as such they look upon him."

Dr. Fuller comes very near to the description of the model Superintendent, as described by Dr. Ray.

Source:  Sketches of Alienists and Medical Men of the Medico-Legal Society and the International Congress Of Medical Jurisprudence by Clark Bell, Alfred Waldemar Herzog, Medico-Legal Society of New York, Society of Forensic Medicine, National Association of Coroners, 1891.

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