Dr. J. Marion Sims Monument | The SC State House

Dr. J. Marion Sims Monument

One of the most majestic and attractive monuments on the State House grounds honors the founder of the science of gynecology, Dr. J. Marion Sims, a native of Lancaster, South Carolina. After graduating from South Carolina Medical College, Sims began practicing medicine in Lancasterville, South Carolina. Shortly after, he moved to Montgomery, Alabama. There, he pioneered new surgical techniques for treating women and invented 71 instruments to aid in the process of childbirth. In 1853, he moved his practice to New York and established the Woman’s Hospital of the State of New York, one of the first hospitals in the country devoted solely to the care of women. Sims also established a cancer hospital in New York, which is known today as the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Leaving New York, Sims accepted a post as surgeon for the Empress Eugenie in France, where he amassed a considerable fortune. On his return to the United States after the Civil War had ended, Sims was greatly distressed by the conditions in his native South Carolina, and he donated large sums of money to help rebuild the state.