The one hundred and fourth anniversary of the birthday of Hahnemann was celebrated on the 11th ult., under the auspices of the New York Homoeopathic Medical Society, by a dinner at the Lafarge House. About forty practitioners of the school participated in the festivities, among whom were many of the most distinguished in the city. The table was loaded with all the delicacies which the market afforded, prepared in a manner highly creditable to the taste of the caterers of the Lafarge House. Allopathic doses were taken, high potencies not being required for this occasion. Dr. D. D. SMITH presided.
“If the astronomer who, among the world of stars, discovers a new planet is hailed by the world of science with unanimous plaudits; how great should be our praise and reverence for him whose birth day we have met to honor- though the discoverer of no single star, the founder of a grand principle, the discoverer of the great law of cure for the ills of his brother man. Dr. Bayard's remarks were extremely happy, and called forth much applause.
DR. L. HALLOCK, in response, referred to the early history of Homoeopathy in America-the sneers which had met it, and its final achievement of a point where its practitioners were being recognized by the members of the old school of practice, as successful practitioners, as well as honest men.
“Everybody knows,” said the doctor, “how we, who were the first to come out from the old school were persecuted and defamed. The younger practitioners of our system can scarcely understand the many trials and sacrifices necessary to Homoeopaths, in the times of our first beginnings. Those whom we had been accustomed to regard as philosophers, and lovers of truth, and to whom we went with news of this great and unchanging law of cure, in the firm expectation they would at least consider, even if they would not at once receive it, were turned at once from affectionate friends to unreasonable and vindictive enemies-and many a conscientious practitioner of homoeopathy was compelled to struggle against the calumnies of those who had but a short time before, professed to be his warmest admirers.”
DR. S. R. KIRBY recalled memories of Dr. Gramm, who introduced Homoeopathy in America. His remarks were replete with points of humor and happy illustrations of his theme. He referred also to the gradual change of practice by Allopathic physicians, and contended that it was the influence of Homoeopathy which had caused it.
Mr. Chairman: Sir, you have seen, if not, many of my confreres now present have seen, how, for twenty years past I have labored and striven for the maintenance of a pure Homoeopathy. If Paul for the faith of the Gospel which was in him, ” fought with wild beasts at Ephesus,“ so also, for the faith of this Gospel of Healing, which is in me, fought I with wild beasts at Goshen, (laughter) when Orange County contained not another Homoeopathist but myself, and when Homoeopathy in this great State was scarcely known beyond the confines of this city; and how, in derogation of all my efforts and strivings in the past, do we here, in this presence, behold this amalgamation of the pure principles of our Heaven-born Science, with the Allopathic doses of all good things set before us, and I myself an actor promoting the impure connection.
7. The Relative Merits of Homoeopathy and Allopathy-We have tested them both in the school of experience; formerly we prescribed drugs according to a changing fashion, but now we administer them according to a fixed law.
8. Our Brethren of the Old School-Their prejudices and intolerance are yielding to the arguments of our success; and, having appropriated part of our thunder, may they soon arm themselves with it all.
DR. GEORGE E. BELCHER responded. He paid a tribute to the honesty and integrity of the Allopathic school and to their devotion to their calling. The success of Homoeopathy had led them now to become skeptics, which he regarded as a transition step toward recognizing the true law of cure. This was a very happy effort, and evinced a frank manly spirit toward our opponents.-
Dr. B. F. BOWERS, the Physician of the Protestant Half-Orphan Asylum, responded. He gave a history of the introduction of Homoeopathy into the institution, and the success which had attended it in the treatment of cutaneous diseases, opthalmic, &c, contrasting the- same with the results in the institution when it was under the treatment of Allopaths. He read the statistics, a resume of which will be found in Dr. Kellogg's able ''Minority Report to the Governors of the New York Alms House,” in which the facts of homoeopathic success are set forth in figures.
DR. ROGER G. PERKINS made an eloquent response. He accepted the tribute paid to the young practitioners, and predicted that with their integrity, enthusiasm and energy, they would be found worthy to wear the mantle of their seniors. Turning toward the older practitioners he said:
'' To you gentlemen, who have taught us young men the Science and Art we practice:-who, in the beginning of this medical reformation, suffered professional martyrdom-who have borne the real burden and heat of the day, and who have by your success obtained for us younger men the attention and professional regard, which should have been your own long ago, but which you now possess in all its fullness-to you I say, we young men must and ever shall be grateful. You smoothed our pathway for us while you made it plain. As the mantle of Elijah as the prophet departed, fell upon the shoulders of his younger friend and follower, so may it be with us. May we inherit your skill when Heaven assigns us your labors.“Turning to the young men, he concluded.
“For ourselves, gentlemen, we who are especially complimented by this toast, it is for us to remember we are the heirs of the medical wealth of all the ages. This last possession, however, this Homoeopathia, which has come down to us from the very recent past, being the fairest, richest, greatest jewel of them all must receive the noblest setting-its place is in our hearts, there let it rest at once assuring and enobling us.
DR. MARTIN FRELIGH responded. He paid a high compliment to the young members of the profession for the energy they had shown in forwarding the movement for a Hospital. He attacked the honesty of the old school physicians in resisting this movement while, at the same time, he alleged that they were daily forsaking their own principles and administering remedies in accordance with the maxim of similia similibus curantur, and that, too, in small doses.
This toast met with numerous responses, as befitted so gallant and chivalrous a company. The most noticeable was that of the chairman, who after a glowing tribute to the sex, closed with proposing the health of DR. GRAY, the president of the Society, who was detained from the festive board by the illness of Dr. HULL.
Several volunteer toasts were then given, among which was one to our German Brethren, responded to by Drs. REISIG and FULLGRAFF, and one to the Pharmaceutists, to which Messrs. RADDE and SMITH made happy replies.
INFLUENCES OF DIET.-The last number of the British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review contains a very interesting paper on the “Food of the People.” The writer cites various countries to show the effects of food upon the characters of a people. The New York Courier and Enquirer has a synopsis of the article published. We copy the following extracts:
The inhabitants of India, who live entirely upon vegetables, a diet of a low sustaining power, are not a progressive people. They are low in science, low in mental and bodily vigor, and subject to great occasional suffering from the sometimes failure of the crops. The Chinese again who reject no article in the way of food, but eat all things clean or unclean, are little advanced in the arts or sciences, and are stationary as regards civilization. Though robust in body, they are deficient in the higher mental faculties. If we look at the mass of the French peasantry, we find them inferior in vigor of body, in longevity, and the ratio of increase to the common people of England. The first subsist principally on bread; and where a people are dependent mainly on one crop, and are not a commercial people, they are subject to years of scarcity, and it is a well established fact that an impoverished diet lowers not only the bodily tone but the mental strength. In Belgium, where the peasantry live in a similar manner to those of France, the large numerical amount of insane persons has been attributed to a poor and deficient diet.
Statistics show that in England the classes that possess sufficient means to enable them to live independent of labor, either of head or hand, and to enjoy the comforts and luxuries of life, generally enjoy vigorous health. Their diet is a mixed one, in which animal food of the best kind largely enters. Their term of life is long, their powers of mind and body high. The diseases they are subject to are of the acute kind. The peasantry who labor hard, when well fed, with a diet consisting of a mixed kind, in which vegetables largely predominate, are generally strong and healthy. In those counties in which they are under fed, the duration of life is less than that of the gentry. They are less healthy, are subject to rheumatism and dyspepsia, and are liable to any prevailing endemic or epidemic disease.
The recent investigations in England in regard to the food of the army, have proved of how much importance is a wholesome diet. The term of the soldier's life as compared with the civilian's was found far inferior. It was also shorter than that of the seaman. In the Royal Navy science has regulated the diet. The rations of the men are of a mixed kind, and on long voyages consist of salt meats and biscuit, flour, peas, rasins, sugar, tea, and coffee. When in harbor or within reach of frequent supplies, the ration consist of fresh meat and soft bread with other additions. By this course those diseases which were formerly so fatal in the royal fleets, have disappeared. During the Crimean war the troops that were well fed were enabled to endure the exposure to the rigors of the climate-those who were under-fed fell victims to disease.
For the benefit of our readers, in the old school, and all such as may have imagined Hahnemann alone in the recommendation of small doses, we offer the following, from the London Medical and Physical Journal, vol. I., p. 195.-1799.
“Mr. Kaufer, a respectable surgeon of Naugardt, in Pomerania, having observed that tubercles of the lungs generally arose from arthritic matter, and that sulphurated waters have frequently been administered with remarkable success in the gout, has lately made the following ingenious proposal.
He advises consumptive patients, whose lungs are supposed to be affected with tubercles, constantly to breathe the atmosphere of such rooms, particularly in hospitals, as are inhabited by no other but psoric patients; or those who use Sulphur internally; so that the vapors arising from the decomposition of that substance in the animal body may have immediate access to the lungs. We sincerely wish, that this apparently well-founded conjecture may not be lost to the medical world; as Sulphur cannot be given to phthisical patients with safety, by the organs of digestion.”
Personal. -It affords us great pleasure to announce that Dr. Perkins' health has been very much improved by his short absence from the city and professional cares. He will probably in a short time be able to continue his series of essays commenced in the REVIEW.
Dr. Dunham's health also has been so much improved by his Winter's residence at the West Indies, that he has returned to the States and, we understand, will shortly resume his practice and we hope also his pen.
We are unable, in the small space left in this number, to pay a sufficient tribute to the memory of one so well known and so universally loved as was he, and therefore reserve for a future number a biographical sketch, prepared by one of his most intimate friends.
|The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 08, 1859, page 379-384
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