Sequeyra, John de

views updated


SEQUEYRA, JOHN DE (1712–1795), early American physician. Sequeyra was born in London, scion of a Sephardi family noted for its physicians. He received his medical degree at the University of Leyden, Holland, in 1739 and migrated to Virginia about 1745, spending almost his entire life in Williamsburg. Appointed the first visiting physician to the insane asylum in that town (1773), Sequeyra later was elected to the hospital's court of directors. In 1773 he was called in to treat Governor Botetourt in his fatal illness. Sequeyra first introduced into Virginia the custom of eating the tomato as a vegetable, formerly considered to be poisonous. He wrote a number of medical essays, including "Diseases in Virginia."


W.B. Blanton, Medicine in Virginia in 18th Century (1931), 320–1.

[Robert Shosteck]