Parker was born in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1804 to an orthodox Congregational family. His parents were farmers. Parker received a B.A. degree from Yale University in 1831, and his M.D. degree from the Yale Medical School, then called Medical Institution of Yale College, in 1834. In January 1834, he completed his theological studies at Yale and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister.
In February 1834, Parker traveled to Canton, where he had the distinction of being the first full-time Protestant medical missionary to China. In 1835, he opened in that city the Ophthalmic Hospital, which later became the Guangzhou Boji Hospital (The Canton Hospital). Parker specialized in diseases of the eye, including cataracts, and also resected tumors. Parker also introduced Western anesthesia in the form of sulphuric ether. He served as president of the Medical Missionary Society of China after his mentor Thomas Richardson Colledge.
In 1844, Parker worked as Caleb Cushing's main interpreter during the negotiations of the Treaty of Wanghia with the Qing Empire. The treaty stipulated that it could be renegotiated after 12 years and in 1856, president Franklin Pierce sent Parker to China in order to revise the treaty and gain more concessions from the Qing Empire, but was eventually unsuccessful in this endeavor.
Lam Qua PortraitsEdit
While in China, Parker also met with Lam Qua, a Western-trained Chinese painter. Parker commissioned Lam Qua to paint patients at the Canton Hospital with large tumors or other major deformities. Some of the paintings are part of a collection of Lam Qua's work held by the Peter Parker Collection at the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library at Yale University. Parker left these portraits to the Pathology Department of the Yale Medical School, which later gave them to the Library.
Peter Parker is the secret identity of Spider-Man, a Marvel comic book superhero.
Peter Parker may also refer to:
- Peter Parker (British businessman) (1924–2002), chairman of the British Railways Board 1976-1983
- Peter Parker (physician) (1804–1888), the first Protestant medical missionary to China
- Sir Peter Parker, 1st Baronet (1721–1811), British Admiral and Member of Parliament, friend and patron of Admiral Nelson
- Sir Peter Parker, 2nd Baronet (1785–1814), English naval officer
- Peter Parker (umpire) (born 1959), Australian cricket umpire
- Peter Parker, the grandson character of Peter's Pocket Grandpa in The Dandy
- Pete Parker, Canadian radio announcer
- Peter Parker Collection Yale University
- Chang, J. A reconstructive surgeon's taste in art: Dr Peter Parker and the Lam Qua oil paintings Ann Plast Surg. (1993)
- Hume, Edward Peter Parker and the Introduction of Anesthesia into China Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (1946)
- Rachman, Stephen Memento Morbi: Lam Qua’s Paintings, Peter Parker’s Patients Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, Vanderbilt University