Poissonnier, Peter Isaac

, a celebrated French physician, was born at Dijon, July 5, 1720. After studying medicine, he succeeded M. Dubois in 1746 as protessor of physic in the college de France. He was one of the first who gave a course of chemical lectures in Paris. In 1757 he was appointed first physic‘an to the French army, and the year following went to Russia to attend the empress Elizabeth in her illness. He remained two years in Russia, and assisted at the famous experiment relative to the congelation of quicksilver, of which he afterwards gave an account (inserted in their memoirs), to the Academy of sciences at Paris, who had elected him a member. Soon after he returned to France he was promoted to the rank of counsellor of state; and in 1764 was appointed inspectorgeneral of physic; surgery, and pharmacy, in the ports and colonies of France. His ingenious method of procuring fresh from sea-water, by distillation, procured him, in 1765, a pension of 12,000 livres a-year from the French government. In nil, he resigned his chair at the college of France; but, in conformity ’to an unanimous vote of the professors, continued to preside at their public meetings as long as his health would permit. M. Laiande says, that he did honour to this office “by a grand and striking figure: by the dignity of his speech the nobleness of his manner and the deservedly high estimation in which he was held by the public.” He was, during the reign of terror, imprisoned, with his whole family, by Robespierre but was liberated on the death of that monster. He died in September 1797 or 179S. He is said to have left behind him a very valuable collection of natural history, medals, | and other curiosities. He wrote several treatises belonging to his profession, viz. on the fever of St. Domingo, the diseases of seamen, an abridgment of anatomy, &C. 1