JOHN KING, M. D.
John King, M. D., was born in New York City, January 1, 1813, and died in North Bend, Ohio, (a suburb of Cincinnati), June 19, 1893. His father was an officer in the New York custom house, and his mother a daughter of the Marquis La Forte, who came to America with the Marquis de Lafayette, to aid the colonists in their struggle for independence. Of a cultured and well-bred family, he received a liberal education. He was an apt scholar, and at the age of nineteen was proficient in five languages, in all of which he delighted to the day of his death, especially in the direction of German and French literature. At the age of twenty-two he delivered a course of lectures in the Mechanics' Institute, New York, on "Magnetism and Its Relations to the Earth, to Geology, to Astronomy, and to Physiology," these being repeated before the New Bedford (Mass.) Lyceum. He was fond of music, and wrote several plays that were successfully staged. A temperate man, he believed in the moderate use of liquor, but despised its abuse. In early life he learned the art of engraving bank notes, which perhaps accounts for his beautiful copperplate handwriting, specimens of which are presented in this Bulletin.
At the age of twenty-five, having studied medicine, he graduated from the Reform Medical School of New York, thus arraying himself with the "Irregulars," and becoming, in the eyes of the leaders of the dominant school, "John King, Charlatan and Quack!" Consequently, during his entire lifetime he was ostracized as a man possessed of no professional existence. Affiliating with Wooster Beach and other reformers of the day, he advocated kindly methods to the sick, and pleasant medication, in contradistinction to the cruelties then rampant, and thus became one of the founders of the Eclectic school of medicine. Indeed, he is often referred to as "The Father of Eclecticism."
In 1846 King moved to Sharpsburg, Ky., where he practiced medicine and contributed to the pages of the Western Medical Reformer, and the College Journal of that period. In 1849 he moved to Memphis, Tenn., filling the chair of Materia Medica in the Memphis Institute, resigning in 1851 to become professor of Obstetrics in the Eclectic Medical Institute, Cincinnati, where, for forty years, until a stroke of paralysis near the time of his death prevented his further instruction in the college. By nature always generous and careful of the rights of others, he was naturally an abolitionist through the eventful period culminating in the freedom of the slaves, and after that time usually affiliated with the Republican party. He gave liberally to all charities, and assisted in the educating of many needing that help. He espoused the cause of labor, and in 1886 wrote a pamphlet, titled "The Coming Freeman," in behalf of the working classes. Regardless of monetary return or personal consequences, he upheld what he considered the cause of the people, and for this reason he always opposed medical laws or class legislation, believing that such were not for the benefit of the people, but to exclude professional competition. So conspicuous a reformer made many antagonists, but Dr. King was never discourteous to any one. His axiom was, "It matters little to you what others say about you, but what you do and say in return."
Dr. King wrote voluminously, and the titles to his many books and journal contributions would more than fill this page. He was a very careful and exacting proofreader, as is evidenced by the fact that he was humiliated by an oversight in his "American Dispensatory," a volume of 1,500 pages, in which "White lard" passed uncorrected for "white lead," as it should have read. Among his many works may be mentioned "The American Dispensatory," 1852, 1,500 pages; "American Obstetrics," 1855; "Women—Their Diseases and Their Treatment," 1858; "The Microscopist's Companion," 1859; "The American Family Physician," 1860, and his celebrated work on "Chronic Diseases," 1866. Many of these and other publications went through many editions.
Dr. King was twice married, his second wife surviving him for a brief period only. The home in which he died, overlooking the Ohio River and the tomb of Ex-President Harrison, stands a conspicuous feature on the heights.
This brief summary concerning this remarkable man can well be closed by an excerpt from a biography contributed by the present writer to the Eclectic Medical Journal in 1894:
"It is surprising that in the face of thoughtless indignities heaped upon him by persons who could not comprehend his ideals, he should have maintained his sweetness of disposition and his charity for those who differed with him. Yet he did so, and never, to my knowledge, said an abusive word in return. He firmly maintained his stand in favor of American medicine, the American materia medica, and medical liberty for Americans."
WILLIAM STANLEY MERRELL, M. D.
William Stanley Merrell, A. M., M. D., whose parents were from New Hartford, Conn., was born at New Durham, Greene County, N. Y., January 8, 1798, and died in Cincinnati, September 4, 1880. He received his primary education in the common schools, studying afterward in Hamilton College, from which he graduated in 1824. At the age of sixteen he journeyed on horseback to Cincinnati to visit his uncle, after whom he was named, Major William Stanley, and returned, in the same manner, to New York State. After his graduation he returned to Cincinnati and opened a preparatory school, his specialty being chemistry and allied sciences. A year later he became principal of a popular seminary at Augusta, Kentucky, but after three years' service resigned to accept the presidency of a female college at Tuscumbia, Alabama.
Mr. Merrell returned to Cincinnati in 1830, and engaged in the drug business at Chestnut Street and Western Row, (now Central Avenue), removing thence to Court and Plum Streets. From this time he remained continuously in the drug business, in which his brother was for a time his partner, but his establishment occupied successively several different locations. Thus was founded the well-known manufacturing establishment, William S. Merrell & Co., of Cincinnati, in which his son, George Merrell, and the son of George Merrell, Charles G. Merrell, are yet actively concerned. In our opinion, the efforts of William Stanley Merrell were those partaking of the highest ideals in professional pharmacy. He freely contributed to current knowledge, and to his investigations are due much that current history has thoughtlessly overlooked and not less needlessly forgotten. For example, the alkaloidal American preparations of sanguinaria and hydrastis canadensis were introduced by him; the resin of podophyllum, (discovered by Professor John King, in 1835), was made known to the profession, and thence to the world, (1847), through the efforts of Mr. Merrell, as well as were other members of the "concentration family," now practically obsolete, but which in their day served a useful purpose in the passing along of American medicine.
In closing this brief sketch, the writer takes pleasure in referring to his personal acquaintance with this estimable gentleman, whose work was so earnestly accomplished, whose ideals were professionally so exalted, and whose home life was such as to be exemplary in the eyes of all who came into touch therewith. He was a kindly, courteous, modest gentleman, friendly with whomsoever he came into contact, and affectionate toward those with whom a nearer relationship existed. Especially was he helpful toward apprentices, to whom he always extended a helping hand and gave an encouraging word. The writer of this sketch hopes that in a day to come it may be his opportunity to make a more extended biography of this kindly gentleman, whose efforts did so much to establish American pharmacy and whose personality is so lovely a recollection.
ROBERT SAFFORD NEWTON, M. D.
Robert Safford Newton, M. D., was born near Gallipolis, Ohio, December 16, 1818, and died in New York City, October 9, 1881. At an early age he determined to become a physician, and left his country home to attend the academy at Lewisburg, Va., afterwards studying medicine with Dr. Edward Naret, of Gallipolis. Under the personal care of the principal of the Gallipolis Academy, and of the pastor of the Methodist church of that town, he studied Latin, Greek, philosophy, and mathematics. In 1839 he matriculated in the Medical University of Louisville, Ky., graduating in March, 1841. His medical education being on "Regular" lines, under such authorities as Drake, Gross, Yandell, and Caldwell, was, in his opinion, illogical in theory and cruel in practice. In 1845 his liberal tendencies led him to break those affiliations and unite with the "Reformers," or Eclectics. Surgery being his specialty, he was called to the chair of Surgery in the Memphis Institute, Memphis, Tenn., serving therein from 1849 to 1851. Thence removing to Cincinnati, he taught surgery in the Eclectic Medical Institute until 1862, sharing the leadership of the Eclectics of this section with the distinguished humanitarian, Dr. Joseph Rodeo Buchanan, and during this period he edited the Eclectic Medical Journal. In 1863 he removed to New York City, where he assisted in forming the Eclectic State Society, being instrumental, with Wilder and others, in obtaining the charter, (1865), for the Eclectic Medical College, now so thriftily established in that city. Between that date and 1874 he assisted in editing the Eclectic Medical Review, and the Medical Eclectic.
Dr. Newton was one of the original signers to the call for the Eclectic National Association, in the sessions of which his person and his voice were both prominent. He financially assisted Dr. John King, 1852, in issuing "The American Dispensatory," under the name King and Newton. He published "Chapman on Ulcers," (1853), "Physiological Botany," (1853), "Powell and Newton's Eclectic Practice of Medicine," (1854), "Symes' Surgery," (1856), and "Pathology of Inflammation and Fevers," all of which were popular and passed through many editions.
Dr. Newton was of large stature and of distinguished appearance. He was independent in thought and action, a comprehensive lecturer, and a successful surgeon. His efforts and energy profited American medicine, in the early annals of which he was a conspicuous factor. Dr. O. E. Newton, a brother of Dr. R. S. Newton, was a very active Eclectic, practicing medicine in Cincinnati to the time of his death.
CALVIN NEWTON, M. D.
Calvin Newton, A. M., M. D., was born in Southborough, Mass., November 26, 1800, and died August 9, 1853. He received a common school education, including a preparatory course at Framingham Academy, which enabled him, in 1820, to enter Brown University. His studies were interrupted by financial disturbances and by the death of his father, but after completing his junior year in this institution, he went to Union College, from which he graduated in 1829, receiving his A. M. degree in 1829. He studied for the ministry at Newton Theological Seminary, and in 1832, after serving a pastorate at Bellingham, was elected Professor of Rhetoric and Hebrew in Waterville College, Maine. He studied medicine in Cambridge University, and the Berkshire Medical Society, from which latter he graduated, being admitted into the Massachusetts Medical Society, and commencing practice in Worcester. Deprecating the "Regular," or "Allopathic" methods of those days, he became a co-laborer with Samuel Thomson, opposing, however, his methods of introducing his practice, for which reason, although engaged in botanic practice as a "Reformer," he did not affiliate with Thomson or his people. In 1846 he began publishing his "New England Medical Eclectic and Guide to Health." Being ostracized by his Regular associates, he obtained from the Massachusetts Legislature a charter for the Worcester Medical Institute, from which graduated the noted surgeon, Professor Andrew Jackson Howe, M. D.
Dr. Newton naturally became connected with the Eclectic school of medicine, and was made president of the National, at Rochester, 1852. Becoming a professor in the Syracuse Medical College, (Reform), he began to issue text-books, a one-volume work of thoracic diseases being published after his death by Dr. Marshall Calkins.
Dr. Calvin Newton was, to use the words of Professor Felter, (see Eclectic Medical Gleaner, January, 1910), "honest, frank, open-hearted, and unsuspecting." He made enduring friendships, and was well thought of by his follow citizens, who elected him to many positions of trust. He must not be confused with Professor R. S. Newton, or with Dr. O. E. Newton, (brothers), both of whom were (see biography of R. S. Newton, M. D., this Bulletin) active workers in the direction of medical reform.
Grover Coe was born in Warwick, Orange County, New York, July 20, 1825, and died August 4, 1860. He early studied medicine, and at the age of nineteen, on the death of his father, Dr. Elias Coe, successfully assumed the responsibilities of his father's practice, remaining in his native village until 1847, when he moved to New York City. This, however, did not prove entirely satisfactory, and being much interested in botanical work, he returned to the more quiet home of his boyhood. In 1851 he again removed to New York City, practicing therein, as well as writing on professional subjects extensively, until 1859. Then, being afflicted with what proved to be an incurable decline, he moved to Wilmington, N. C., from which place he visited, in rapid succession, the "Allegheny Springs," "Red Sulphur Springs," and "Sweet Chalybeate Springs," all of which were then celebrated, but receiving therefrom no permanent benefit. Two days after arriving at the last named place he expired, his remains being removed to his birthplace, Warwick, New York.
Grover Coe was enthusiastic in medical botany and therapeutics, and it is stated that he was proficient in physiology, pathology, and surgery. He was a pioneer in the direction of the "American Concentrations," in which, however, his efforts were largely at fault, and his progress bitterly contested. According to Professor H. D. Garrison, "His principal fault as an investigator was his ardent zeal and enthusiasm—his haste to be right."
Dr. Coe contributed largely to medical magazines of the botanic school, and wrote profusely on the subject of organic remedial agents, especially (as shown in this Bulletin) on the then notorious "concentrations" and "resinoids." In this direction his book, "Organic Constituents of Plants," published by the American Chemical Institute, of New York City, was devoted entirely to these substances and their therapeutic use.
Naturally, and as indicated elsewhere in this Bulletin, Coe's position on the subject of Concentrations led the antagonists of these materials as a class to indulge in many personalities, in which direction, however, Dr. Coe was found to be a strenuous opponent.
An attempt to take a balanced view of the subject and of this actor in those stormy days would lead us to say that his opinions were such as to indicate his earnestness in the support of the substances he championed. We regret that so much imposition, for which he was not responsible, as concerns the concentrations, prevented him from performing impossibilities in what to him seemed to be a hopeful direction.
EDWARD S. WAYNE, M.D.
Professor Edward S. Wayne was of Quaker origin. He was born in Philadelphia in 1818, and in his early years was apprenticed to the drug firm of Frederick Klett & Co., Second and Callowhill Streets. Here he became proficient not only as a chemist, but as a mechanical engineer, and while a mere boy superintended the erection of a white lead factory, of which he had the charge for some years. With this firm he remained until 1844, when they opened a branch house in Cincinnati, under the name of Wayne and Pleis. After several years Professor Wayne became chemist with the firm of Suire, Eckstein & Co., Fourth & Vine Streets, and on the death of Mr. Suire he transferred his services to T. S. Burdsal & Co., with whom he remained for some years. He then conducted an analytical laboratory on Fifth Street, where he remained until his health failed, when he returned to Philadelphia, dying in that city December 11, 1885.
During his eventful business career, Professor Wayne was no less active in connected directions. He was awarded a degree by the Ohio Medical College, serving therein as Professor of Chemistry, and becoming an authority with the medical profession, as well as in all things pertaining to pharmacy. He was active in the organization of the Cincinnati College of Pharmacy, holding the chair of Chemistry therein until a year or so before his death, when his failing health led him to resign this for a position in the State Board of Pharmacy, to which he was appointed on its organization by Governor Hoadley, having served as an Examiner, preceding that date, under the special law applying to Cincinnati.
Professor Wayne was an accomplished scholar, reading and speaking German fluently, and he mingled freely with the most cultivated circles of Cincinnati. He was an easy writer, and, between 1855 and 1870, contributed numerous papers to the American Journal of Pharmacy, and to the American Pharmaceutical Association, the titles of these being recorded in these publications, among them being one on "The Gizzard of the South American Ostrich," from which he first showed that a preparation thus obtained could be used as a remedy for dyspepsia. In 1860, when Nicholas Longworth became enthusiastic over the possibility of the Ohio hillsides becoming a national source of grape and wine culture, Professor Wayne united with him, and instituted experiments for making therefrom cream of tartar and tartaric acid. He actively engaged in assaying minerals, and showed that a quicksilver mine in North Carolina yielded 150 pounds of mercury to the ton. He was also the originator of a preparation well known as "Wayne's Diuretic," which was very extensively prescribed.
During the early days he was one of the first to manufacture coal oil from bituminous coal, a business that was wrecked on the opening of the kerosene fields.
Thus he passed his time in assaying, in corresponding, and in lecturing on subjects connected with chemistry and pharmacy, and naturally his attention was attracted to the Eclectic materia medica, in which he took especial interest, being much concerned in the efforts of the Eclectics in those directions, as is shown by the record made in the present Bulletin.
I remember Professor Wayne as one of my early friends, who became much interested in my early efforts in pharmacy, and who, on my account, was much disturbed when, neglecting opportunities in the dominant school of medicine, I began my special work with the Eclectics. I remember Professor Wayne as a medium-sized gentleman of charming personality, easy in manner and a ready conversationalist, exceedingly neat and up-to-date in dress, even to the verge of being dandified. His work as an educator brought him into contact with the young, with whom he was always a favorite, by reason of his delightfully pleasant address, his unquestioned knowledge, his invariable courtesy to all, and his helpful encouragement. From his store of knowledge his students profited, and to him they went as a friend and a close adviser.
To sum up, Professor Edward S. Wayne spent his life in educational work and in contributing to whatever helped mankind in his field of labor. He died loved and honored by one and all who knew him.
ALEXANDER WILDER, M. D.
Dr. Alexander Wilder was the most erudite philosopher it has ever been our pleasure to meet in the ranks of the medical profession. He was born in Verona, New York, May 14, 1823, and died in Newark, New Jersey, September 18, 1908. Of a distinguished line of New England ancestors, he was the eighth of a family of ten. Educated in the district schools of New York State, and precocious beyond his years, he began teaching at the age of fifteen. Always a student, he early mastered Latin, Greek, rhetoric, and similar academic studies, and also became proficient in chemistry, algebra, and the sciences generally. He then began the study of medicine, but his questionings of medical conditions, and his indignation and discouragement over old school methods then prevalent, led him, in 1848, to organize a County Botanic Medical Society. Friendly was he to Thomson, although deprecating many of his methods, and especially lamenting his illiteracy. Naturally, therefore, Wilder became a Beach Eclectic. He subsequently lectured in the Syracuse Medical College, and became a member of the New York and National Eclectic Medical Associations.
He became interested in politics in the days of the Abolitionists, and engaged in editorial work on the New York dailies. From 1867 to 1895 he served as secretary to the National Eclectic Medical Association. Dr. Wilder was tall and spare of person, of striking intellectual appearance, with massive head and piercing eyes. He spoke fluently, always off hand, and from his great fund of information enjoyed a discursive opportunity well recognized by his opponents. His passion for knowledge, and his unlimited intellectual capacity, enabled him to read omnivorously, and to remember in detail the most recondite subjects, this even to the decline of very old age. His articles on "Platonic Philosophy," being a continued magazine series, were broken by the death of the author. His "History of Medicine" carries a marvelous fund of information. His articles on metaphysics, education, philosophy, and the higher sources of knowledge, as well as of current medicine, are treatises that can well be cherished, but many of them are so recondite that scholars only can comprehensively read them. To give the titles only of his various writings would require pages of this volume.
This writer is so fortunate as to be possessed of a large number of personal letters from Dr. Wilder, embracing a great variety of subjects, a few only of these being referred to in this publication on the American Concentrations. These letters will be deposited with Wilder's publications in the archives of the Lloyd Library, and in future will serve a purpose in many useful directions.
WILLIAM TULLY, M. D.
William Tully, M. D., was born in Saybrook, Conn., and died in Springfield, Mass., in February, 1859. He graduated from Yale in 1806, studied medicine with Drs. M. F. Cogswell and Eli Ives, attended two courses of medical lectures at Hanover, and in 1819 received the honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine from the Medical Department of Yale. In 1811 he began practicing at Enfield, thence removing to Middletown, becoming, in 1824, Professor of Theory and Practice in the Vermont Academy of Medicine, where he was elected president of the college. In 1825, together with Professor Alden March, an eminent surgeon, he removed to Albany, N. Y., where he practiced medicine until 1829, when he was appointed to the chair of Theory and Practice of the Medical Department of Yale University. Here he lectured for twelve years, including in his courses the subject of Botany. His lectures were inspiring to his students, with whom he was a great favorite. He was actively engaged to the time of his death in both practice and teaching.
In 1823, in connection with Dr. Thomas Miner, Dr. Tully issued a volume of essays on fevers and other medical subjects, comprising 484 pages. He also contributed many papers to medical and other journals, and assisted Drs. Webster and Goodrich in compiling Webster's Dictionary of the English Language, editions 1840 and 1847. At the time of his death he was engaged in writing a work on "Materia Medica, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics," Volume I, 1,534 pages, in twenty-four parts, appearing between November, 1857, and February, 1858.
Professor Tully was a liberal teacher, willing to learn from others, and ready to impart his knowledge to others. Thus he became a correspondent of Professor John King, and thus, by reason of the bond of intellectual friendship, the two men, respecting each other's ideals, worked together for the benefit of humanity and the profession of medicine. It gives us much pleasure to pay this late tribute to the memory of this talented and conspicuous teacher and author, who has been so strangely neglected by the historians of the Regular school of medicine, in whose histories and biographies of American physicians we have as yet failed to find any mention, even of the name, of Professor William Tully, M. D.
Portrait of William Tully, M. D., loaned by Yale University, through the courtesy of J. C. Schwab, Librarian, and Prof. Herbert E. Smith, Dean of the Medical School.
JOHN COAKLEY LETTSOM, M. D.
Dr. John Coakley Lettsom was born in the Virgin Islands, West Indies, in 1744 , and died in 1815. When six years old he went to England, and came to the notice of the celebrated preacher Samuel Fothergill, by whom he was sent to college. He was next apprenticed to Abraham Sutcliff. Thence going to London, he became a pupil of the celebrated Dr. John Fothergill, a brother of the aforenamed minister. In St. Thomas's Hospital he attended the lectures of the renowned Dr. Fordyce, Benjamin Cowen, the surgeon, and others. Marvelous was his progress after graduation, for within six months he cleared ten thousand dollars. Then he went to the University of Edinburgh, and studied under the celebrated Doctors Cullen and Home. Thence he traveled, and practiced medicine, joined medical societies, and was made honorary member of associations and societies without number; this because of his literary activity, his scientific qualifications, his remarkable success in practice, and his general reputation. He wrote many biographies, was a contributor to the Gentleman's Magazine, and left large volumes of manuscript lectures on medicine. Lettsom was one of the founders of the Medical Society of London, where his name is commemorated in the "Lettsomian Lectures." In 1812 he became president of the Philosophical Society of London. He warmly supported Jenner's claims for vaccination. He wrote on industrial and agricultural subjects, among others making a study of the Mangel-wurzel and the history of the tea tree, for which latter he was complimented by Linnaeus on account of his botanical description. These and other works and prints too numerous to mention stand to the credit of John Coakley Lettsom, who, without any special opportunity, passed from an obscure home in one of the West Indian Islands to such conspicuity that his name was familiar to every reader of his day.