By John Uri Lloyd, Phar. M.
This Bulletin, carrying as it does the biographies, by Professor H. W. Felter, M. D., of three olden-time friends and fellow workers, appeals to me more than has any other Bulletin issued by the Lloyd Library. Seemingly historical, it is to me more than this, because each page brings to mind a multitude, of incidents connected with the lives of the three self-sacrificing humanitarians herein portrayed.
In the winter of 1863-4, Dr. John King, whose kindly face graces the opening biography, was, in the prime of his life whilst yet I was an apprentice in pharmacy. Began then an acquaintance, which to me was idealistic. From that date we were constantly together, working hand in hand as we saw life's necessities and life's opportunities in behalf of improved medicine and kindly medication.
A volume would be required were I to attempt even to summarize concerning that eventful period, in which the luster of Dr. King's record shines increasingly as the years pass. He was, a friend to humanity in other lines than idealistic medical reform; a statesman and exponent of doctrines far ahead of his period was he, as is shown in his plea for justice, titled "The Coming Freeman." To his position in science and the profession such authorities as Dr. Charles Rice, thrice chairman of the Committee of Revision of the Pharmacopeia of the United States, have testified; but yet few can look upon the portrait of Dr. John King with the veneration of the writer of these introductory words.
It is therefore with more than a passing interest that I read, in the biography Dr. Felter has presented of this, scientist and investigator, the references to my own self as a friend of this man, whose name I hold in such reverence and esteem.
The next biography is that of Andrew Jackson Howe, no less renowned in surgery than was Dr. King in materia medica. I considered Dr. Howe a power in a field (surgery) that, connected with the science of pharmacy, materia medica, and practice, was yet somewhat separate from them. A more than conspicuous surgeon was Dr. Howe, a wonderfully representative man was he. Turn to his portrait and note the firmly set features, and intellectual face so admirably reproduced as a companion to his biography. Shortly following my acquaintance with Dr. King came That with Dr. Howe, whom I esteemed almost with adoration, but with whom, naturally, I was less often thrown. A powerful figure, a commanding personage was that of Andrew Jackson Howe, who in educational directions had an advantage few physicians enjoyed. No field in the natural history section of science was too recondite for the pen of this man, whose specialty was that of surgery, in which for many decades he held an enviable reputation and created a national record.
Into the lifework of these two men came as a co-laborer the subject of the next biography contained in this Bulletin, an enthusiastic actor in the betterment of medicine, John Milton Scudder, M. D., whose portrait faces the opening page of his biography. Hand in hand with the closing energies of John King, whose efforts had been spent, largely in the evolution of the primitive American materia medica and practice, came at an opportune moment this wonderfully gifted therapeutist, Scudder. Grasping the problem of therapeutic progress as it had not before been comprehended, Scudder threw his whole life and energy into the evolution that may appropriately be called an epoch-feature in American medication. Close friends, were we, made doubly so by necessity, for the success of the principles that Scudder enunciated, namely, small doses of pleasant medicines, selected for their specific action, depended largely upon the care, attention, study, and research devoted by myself in the direction of the pharmacy of the remedial agents of the American materia medica. Very close were we in this crusade in behalf of clean medicine, clean surroundings, and kindness to the sick (now fairly consummated). At that date, the most crucial period of the evolution of the American practice of medicine and the American materia medica, we together worked, sacrificed, and were contented.
And thus, as I turn the pages of this Bulletin of the Lloyd Library and meet the faces of these comrades of old and read that which is written by and about these three men, my mind turns back into those troublous times. Uprise again, not, only the faces herein pictured, but those of others concerned in historic incidents and events that besprinkled the strenuous paths of those who, comprehended by few, made lifelong sacrifices in the people's behalf.
The Bulletins of the Lloyd Library reach the majority of the Academies, of Science, as well as the scientific associations and libraries of the world, and it may perhaps occur to some not conversant with the American professional past to ask why the names of such men as these have been so long unrecognized in the biographies of American physicians, where, not unfrequently, pages are devoted to others who made little record, either in print or action. This is not the place to do more than state that, in all earnestness, good men of the dominant school once considered all outside it as linked with charlatanism and quackery. Such men as King, Howe, and Scudder were most pronounced dissenters from what was considered authoritative in "Regular Medicine" of that date, and hence could not be named in connection with the very least of the dominant school, nor recognized as physicians. The three men portrayed herein aggressively resisted the rulings of those in authority and were consequently ostracized, as though they were ignorant pretenders. To have included them, even by name, in any biography of "Physicians" at that date would have been to subject the biographer to the severest criticism and the work perhaps to authoritative censure.
And now I will take the opportunity of referring to the editor of these biographies, Professor H. W. Felter, M. D., who has so admirably portrayed the histories of these pioneers in the cause of American medicine and has also, through his painstaking research, gathered many rare illustrations, in themselves expressively useful. Furthermore, the introductory passages to each of the reproduced articles are more than headings, in that with each, diverting or connecting phases are presented to the reader. Without the knowledge of Professor Felter, I also present his portrait as a frontispiece to the entire Bulletin, together with the following biography taken from the History of the Eclectic Medical Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1902. To this may be added the fact that for years Professor Felter has been the editor of the Lloyd Library publication known as the Eclectic Medical Gleaner, in which the accompanying biographies of Drs. King, Howe, and Scudder originally appeared, and that from the date of his first connection with medicine (seemingly but yesterday) no greater pleasure has been his than the making of contributions such as this Bulletin embraces.