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Home North Carolina Tyrrell County City of Columbia Historical Markers Edward Warren

Edward Warren

Main Street, Columbia, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 55' 4.7964", -76° 15' 0.3312"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Born in Tyrrell County, 1828, Surgeon General of N.C., 1862-65, Professor of Surgery in Maryland, Chief Surgeon of Egypt, Died in Paris."
     Edward Warren, surgeon general of North Carolina and senior medical officer to the Egyptian khedive, was born on January 22, 1828 in Tyrell County, the son of Dr. William C. and Harriet J. Alexander Warren. As the son of an Edenton physician, Warren had the importance of education instilled in him at an early age. After boarding schools in North Carolina and Virginia, he attended the University of Virginia, where he graduated in 1850. The following year he received a medical degree from Jefferson Medical College.

     Warren practiced medicine briefly alongside his father before departing for Paris, where he continued his studies at the University of Sorbonne. While there he served as a correspondent for the American Journal of Medical Sciences. Warren returned to Edenton in 1855. Two years later he became editor of the Medical Journal of North Carolina. In 1860 shortly after his wife, Elizabeth Johnston Warren, was diagnosed with malaria, Warren took a position as a professor of medicine specializing in the study of malaria at the University of Maryland.

     At the outbreak of the Civil War, Warren returned to North Carolina to serve the Confederacy. He held numerous appointments throughout the war years including chief medical officer of Confederate naval forces in North Carolina, medical director of the Confederate Department of the Cape Fear, and surgeon general of North Carolina. When the war ended, he returned to Maryland where he helped organize the College of Physicians and Surgeons, which absorbed the Washington University School of Medicine.

     In 1875 Warren accepted the position of chief of medicine for the Egyptian khedive, governor or lord of the province. He was one of a number of former Confederate officers who did so, including North Carolina-born William W. Loring. Given the honorary title of “bey” for his successful removal of a tumor from the chest of Kassim Pasha, the Egyptian minister of war, Warren remained in Egypt for two years before contracting ophthalmia, an inflammation of the eyes.

     Warren left Africa for Paris in 1877 seeking treatment for his eyes. Advised by his physicians against returning to Egypt, Warren established a practice in France. His wife, who was six months pregnant at the time, joined him, but died shortly thereafter. Warren remained in Paris until his death on September 16, 1893. He was survived by his two daughters.

     In addition to his many accolades in both North Carolina and Egypt, Warren was also a licentiate of the University of France and was awarded the Cross of the Legion of Honor of France. He was also made a Knight of the Order of Isabella the Catholic by the Spanish government, and received an honorary LL.D. from the University of North Carolina. An avid writer, Warren left a library of works, ranging from poetry to medical articles concerning the use of hypodermic medication. In 1885 his autobiography, A Doctor’s Experience in Three Continents, was published.

William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, VI, 124-125—sketch by Dorothy Long
Edward Warren, A Doctor’s Experience in Three Continents (1885)
Hubert A. Royster, The Adventurous Life of Edward Warren Bey (1937)
John Dunn, Khedive Ismail’s Army (2005)
Related Themes: C.S.A., Confederate States of America, Confederacy
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Edward Warren Historical Marker Location Map, Columbia, North Carolina