Dr. Crawford Williamson Long was born in Danielsville on 1 November 1815. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1839. While in college, Long participated in what were known as “ether frolics”, obtaining a slightly altered state by the use of nitrous oxide. This led him to believe there was a possibility that a similar application could be used to alleviate pain during surgery. Upon returning to Georgia, he began a practice in Jefferson. Since he couldn’t procure nitrous oxide in rural Georgia he began experimenting with sulfuric ether. On 30 March 1842 he used sulfuric ether to render patient James M. Venable unconscious for the removal of a tumor. When Venable regained consciousness, he felt no pain. This was the first use of sulfuric ether as an anesthetic and Long went on to become nationally recognized for his pioneering work. He later moved to Athens, where he continued a thriving practice. He died there on 16 June 1878. Long County, in southeast Georgia, was named in his honor in 1920.
In 1926, a statue of Long by Scottish-American sculptor J. Massey Rhind was placed in the National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. This is likely contemporary to that date and appears to be a copy. The base of the large statue contains general biographical information and this quote: “My profession is to me a ministry from God.”