Thomas Hepburn Buckler was born at Evergreen, near Baltimore, Maryland, on January 4, 1812, and was educated at St. Mary’s College, Baltimore. He took his M.D. in 1835 with a thesis on “Animal Heat.” He practiced afterwards in Baltimore as physician to the City Almshouse. From 1866 to 1890 he and his family lived in France where he became a Paris physician under a license from the French government.
He was best known as a teacher and writer. His views were independent and original – some said original even to eccentricity. The “Medical Annals of Baltimore” gives a list of thirty-two of his writings, a great many of them on sanitary and social subjects, among other things, the filling up the “Basin” or Inner Harbor of Baltimore, with the dirt from Federal Hill, and the introduction of the waters of the Gunpowder River for the supply of Baltimore. The latter of these recommendations was carried out many years later.
He introduced phosphate of ammonia for the treatment of gout and rheumatism. He also introduced hydrated succinate of the peroxide of iron for the prevention of gallstones. He laid great stress in the pathology of the vessels in the cervix and the resulting malnutrition of the organ. More elaborate works are his history of the “Cholera Epidemic of 1849” and a treatise on “Fibro-bronchitis and Rheumatic Pneumonia,” 1853.
Dr. Buckler was a man of striking personal appearance and was much sought after on account of his brilliant conversational powers and wit. He never had a large practice; in fact never sought one, and lacked the steadiness and plodding perseverance of his brother, John D. Buckler. He was twice married, the second time to Eliza Ridgley of the old Maryland family which owned the Hampton Mansion, just north of Baltimore. He left a son, William H. Buckler. He died in Baltimore, April 20, 1901.The portrait was painted by Julius LeBlanc Stewart, known as the “Philadelphian in Paris.”