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Lente, Frederick Divoux (or Devereaux)

by Rosamond Putzel, 1991

23 Dec. 1823–17 Sept. 1883

Frederick Divoux (or Devereaux) Lente, physician and surgeon, was born in New Bern, the son of Maria Fredericka Devereaux and Christopher Lente, who was in East Indian trade. He was of Dutch descent on his father's side and of Hugue-not descent on his mother's. Lente attended The University of North Carolina, receiving an A.B. degree in 1845 and an A.M. degree in 1848. Two undergraduate papers by him, "The Individual Influence of Studies in College" and "The Discovery of America and Its Influence upon the World," are preserved in the university archives at Chapel Hill. He received a medical degree from the University Medical College of New York in 1849. According to family tradition, he also studied in Paris.

Lente was house surgeon for the New York Hospital from 1848 to 1851, when he was appointed surgeon of the West Point Foundry at Cold Spring, N.Y. In 1870 he was named to the Chair of Gynecology and Diseases of Children at the University Medical College in New York City, where he was also consulting surgeon for the Women's Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital, and the Free Dispensary for Sick Children. Soon health considerations forced him to leave the city, and after 1875 he spent winters at Palatka, Fla., and summers at Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Lente was a founder and first president of the American Academy of Medicine; a founder of the American Neurological Association; a vice-president of the New York Neurological Society; a member of the New York Medical Society, the American Public Health Association, and the New York Medico-Legal Society; and an honorary member of the North Carolina Medical Society. He contributed extensively to medical literature, including pioneer works on sunstroke, the danger of chloroform for anesthesia, the use of morphine to treat puerperal convulsions, and surgical procedures for broken bones. He invented several instruments for the use of gynecologists as well as an early method for blood transfusion.

Lente married Mary Kemble of New York City in 1852. He died of cerebro-spinal meningitis in Cold Spring, Putnam County, N.Y., and was buried there.


William B. Atkinson, ed., Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary American Physicians and Surgeons (1880).

Carolina Magazine 3, no. 4 (January 1884).

Gertrude Carraway, "Early Inventive Genius a Native of Craven City" (undated clipping from New Bern newspaper in possession of Gertrude Carraway).

Daniel L. Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina, 1795–1924 (1924).

New York Times, 12 Oct. 1883.

Richard French Stone, ed., Biography of Eminent American Physicians and Surgeons (1894).

Additional Resources:

"A memorial of Frederick D. Lente," Thomas Herring Burchard:

Lente, Frederick Divoux. Higher education of medical men and its influence on the profession and the public. New York, C. L. Bermingham & co. 1880. (accessed June 18, 2013).


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