delivered at the Medical School of Harvard University. Clinical Lecture
on Surgery are occasionally given."
Another very strong and popular school was formed by the
combination of Walter Channing, John Ware, George W.
Otis, Jr., and Winslow Lewis, Jr. Later these men were
joined by Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Jackson. The
school was organized as follows :
" Midwifery and Diseases of Women and Children, by Dr. Walter
" Physiology, Pathology, Therapeutics and Materia Medica, by Dr. John
" Principle; and Practice of Surgery, by Dr. Geo. W. Otis, Jr.
" Anatomy, Human and Comparative, by Dr. Winslow Lewis, Jr."
The advertisement says, "The pupils will be admitted to
the practice of the Massachusetts General Hospital, and will
receive clinical lectures on the cases which they witness there.
Instruction by examination or lectures will be given at inter-
vals of the Public Lectures of the University". The fees
were $100 for one year, $75 for six months, $50 for three
months. A room was provided at Channing's house, Tremont
Street, opposite the Tremont House. Channing was Dean
of the Harvard Medial School at this time (1834).
The Tremont Street Medical School was established in
Boston in 1838.* It was designed to give medical students a
* Incorporated 1850.
thorough course of instruction throughout the year. It was
a private school, and had for its first corps of teachers Jacob
Bigelow, on the Practice of Medicine and Materia Medica ;
Edward Reynolds, on Anatomy and Surgery; D. Humphreys
Storer, on Midwifery and Chemistry; Oliver Wendell Holmes,
on Physiology and Pathology. The rooms of the school were
at 33 Tremont Row, over Burnett's apothecary store. There
was also a private dissecting room in the rear of the Savings
Bank on Tremont Street, near Court Street. These rooms
were open to students from 6 A. M., to io P. M. and were
furnished with plates, preparations, articles of the Materia
Medica, etc. The year was divided into two terms : the sum-
mer term, from March i to November i, and the winter term,
from November i to March i. During the winter months
the exercises were held usually in the evening, and comprised
examinations on the subjects of the lectures at the Harvard
School. Special attention was paid to those students about
to present themselves for graduation at the Harvard School.
The summer course consisted of a daily recitation at 12 noon,
upon the subjects on which lectures had been delivered during
the regular term at the Harvard School, together with a series
of lectures upon special subjects, to meet the wants of indi-
vidual students. The fees for this private school were $90
for the summer term, and $10 for the winter term.
The advantages claimed for private schools were that they
substituted a systematic course of instruction for the uncertain
method of "reading" then extensively used; that they divided
the labor of instruction among a number of teachers instead
of limiting it to one, often busy, practitioner; that the stu-
dent could with profit more readily select certain branches
of study during different years; that the student who wished
to pursue a special line, either from choice or on account of
a knowledge of his deficiencies in some branch, was better
supplied with material than he would be by either the appren-
498 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
ticeship plan, or by the short course offered at Harvard.*
There can he little doubt that while the old method of "read-
ing" with a busy practitioner was productive of creditable
results when the student was trained to study, or was com-
pelled by the exigencies of time to make the most of his ad-
vantages, yet in a far greater number of cases it tended to
cultivate the habit of superficial observation leading to imper-
fect knowledge, â€” results which accounted for the frequent
low standard of medical education in this country.
The Tremont School, as it was usually called, was a private
school of the best type. Its teachers were well trained physi-
cians who made sacrifices in order to give young men a
complete course of instruction, without increasing the pecuniary
burden to the student. As time went on, and conditions seemed
to warrant, a larger corps of lecturers and instructors was se-
cured. The private school rooms developed into a supple-
mentary school to that at Harvard, and later still the school
itself became the official summer course of the Harvard Med-
ical School. This fact must not be overlooked, â€” that through
the instrumentality of the Tremont Street Medical School a
continuous course of instruction extending throughout the
year was inaugurated at Harvard, first indirectly, then,
through the summer course directly ; and it is to the existence
of this association that the adoption of a nine months course
as the regular Harvard term was so long delayed, even after
the Chicago Medical School had shown successfully the advis-
ability of establishing a lengthened course upon a graded
The Tremont School did another thing for Harvard. It
* The Medical School of the University of Virginia, organized in 1825,
was the only school in the country where a nine months' course prevailed.
This school started with four professors, and inaugurated the recitation
and demonstration method.
t The Chicago Medical College was founded in 1859, for this express
developed a group of brilliant young teachers whose services
later at Harvard were conspicuous. Such teachers as Oliver
Wendell Holmes, Henry J. Bigelow, Storer, Agassiz and
Jeffries Wyman were among the early teachers. The course
of lectures usually consisted of Anatomy : Recitations heard
by Reynolds and Holmes : a course of lectures on Surgical
Anatomy by Holmes, and demonstrations by a regular demon-
strator ; Surgery : A complete course of eighty lectures, in-
cluding diseases of the eye and ear, by Reynolds; Chemistry:
Recitations and instruction by Storer; Physiology and Path-
ology : Lectures and recitations by Holmes, including a spe-
cial course on auscultation and percussion; Midwifery: Reci-
tations by Storer, with practical instruction on the application
of obstetric instruments upon the machine and model ; Theory
and Practice of Medicine, and Clinical Instruction, as well
as Materia Medica, by Bigelow. These courses were given at
the School rooms, at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the
Eye and Ear Infirmary, the Dispensary, and the Children's
The Tremont School opened in September, 1838, with seven-
teen pupils. With its gradual development we find its scope
widening, while the corps of teachers increased. Agassiz gave
lectures on Embryology and on Anatomy; Wyman on Com-
parative Anatomy; Gordon on Diseases of the Skin; J. B. S.
Jackson on Pathological Anatomy; Henry J. Bigelow on Sur-
gical Pathology; George A. Bethune on the Eye; and Charles
T. Jackson on Chemistry. O. W. Holmes gave special instruc-
tion in Auscultation and Percussion, as well as lectures and
demonstrations upon Microscopical Anatomy, making use of
the achromatic microscopes and other new instruments intro-
duced by him.
Gradually the interests of the Tremont Street School and
those of the Harvard Medical School grew together, and the
annual announcements of the former came to refer to the
500 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
arrangement of the course of lectures as combining the asso-
ciation of the two schools. The Tremont School Catalogue
of 1856 thus describes the "Relations of the Tremont Medical
School to the Medical School of Harvard University".
' The summer term of the Tremont Street Medical School begins at
the close of the lectures of the Massachusetts Medical College and con-
tinues until the commencement of those lectures in November. The in-
structors are all teachers in the College, and it is their intention to carry
out as far as possible the course of instruction adopted in that institution.
During the summer term they will give instructions by recitation and
otherwise upon the subjects on which lectures are delivered in the winter,
and during the winter will hold examinations upon the public lectures of
the College. The plan of instruction which is proposed for the ensuing-
year, and which is a modification of that which has hitherto been fol-
lowed, has been selected with special reference to the courses of public
lectures at the College. The connection of the two schools affords an
annual system of instruction which it is believed will be of the greatest
value to students, and meet the demands of the Frofession for the highest
grade of medical instruction."
A schedule of a course of studies covering the period of
two years, and another schedule showing how the studies of
both years might be combined in a one-year course, is given
on page 538.
The growth of the Tremont School is best shown by com-
paring the number of students with those at the Harvard
School (hiring corresponding years: Tremont. Harvard.
1838-39 attendance 1 7 85
1839-40 " 20 74
1840-41 " 20 88
1841-42 " 20 118
1842-43 " 20 117
1843-44 20 154
1844-45 â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢ 33 157
1845-46 30 159
1846-47 â€¢â€¢ 44 164
1847-48 " 48 139
1848-49 43 129
1849-50 36 117
1850-51 48 116
1851-52 46 126
Another private school in Boston during the time that this
system was at its height, was one conducted by H. I. Bow-
ditch, H. G. Wiley, G. C. Shattuck, Jr., and S. Parkman.
Another was by John C. Warren, John B. S. Jackson, Robert
W. Hooper, and J. Mason Warren, who offered "every facility
for obtaining a complete medical education".
The Boylston Medical School was incorporated by the Mas-
sachusetts Legislature in 1847. This private school was un-
dertaken by a number of young physicians who were seeking
reforms in the profession. Their standard was high, if we can
judge from the statement sent out :
'The object is to give as complete a course of instruction by recitation,
lectures, and practical study as can be given in this country. The in-
structors will spare neither time nor expense to accomplish this object.
* * It is the desire of the instructors to send out none but thorough
students, and with that view they have adopted a new plan of medical
study. The profession of Medicine is not an easy one to master. It re-
quires time and the most devoted attention on the part of the student.
Even three years of persevering effort is a short time for preparatory
work. It is the aim of the Instructors to instil into the gentlemen of
their school an ardent love for their profession, as well as to make them
practically acquainted with it. Deeply impressed themselves with the im-
portance of a wider foundation for the profession of medicine, they advise
no student to enter upon it who has not acquired sufficient knowledge of
the languages and natural philosophy, to enable him to take that position
as a man of science which is the duty of every physician."
One must regret that the season for sowing such seed was
not more propitious. The physicians conducting this School
were John Bacon, Jr., Charles E. Buckingham, Edward H.
Clarke, Samuel Kneeland, William Henry Thayer, John B.
Walker, â€” all Harvard men, three of them afterwards con-
nected with the College.* The School building was located
at the corner of Essex and Washington Streets. The course
*John Bacon, A. B. 1837; M. D. 1840; Prof. Chemistry. Charles E.
Buckingham, A. B. 1840; M. D. 1844: Adj. Prof. Theory and Practice of
Medicine; Prof. Obstetrics and Medical Jurisprudence. Edward 11.
Clarke, A. B. 1841 ; M. D. Univ. Pa. 1846; Prof. Materia Medica ; Overseer.
502 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
of study was divided into a Junior, Middle, and Senior year.
This was the first New England Medical School, and one of
the few in this country, offering a three years graded course.
The first or Junior year was devoted to Anatomy (practical
and general). Physiology and Microscopical Anatomy, Chem-
istry and Toxicology; the second or Middle year: Principles
and Practice of Surgery, Anatomy, Obstetrics, Diseases of
Women and Children, Materia Medica and Therapeutics; the
third or Senior year : Pathology, Legal Medicine, Theory
and Practice, thorough review of Anatomy, Physiology and
Principles of Surgery, Dissections. The winter term extended
from September to March, and the summer term from March
to September. "During the four months of November, De-
cember, January and February, the course of instruction at
the School is somewhat interrupted by the public lectures of
the Harvard Medical School." The fees were $100 for each
The instruction was given by John Bacon, Jr., in Chem-
istry and Toxicology; Charles E. Buckingham in Obstetrics
and Diseases of Women and Children; Edward H. Clarke in
Materia Medica and Therapeutics, also in Aural Surgery ;
W. Henry Thayer in Pathology and Legal Medicine, also
Auscultation and Percussion; Henry G. Clark in Principles
and Practice of Surgery; Henry W. Williams in Principles
and Practice of Medicine, and in Orthopedic Surgery ; George
H. Gay in Anatomy; John C. Dalton, Jr., in Physiology and
Microscopy. Special courses were given by H. W. Williams on
the Eye; E. H. Clarke on the Ear; H. G. Clark on Minor Sur-
gery and Bandaging; H. I. Bowditch on Auscultation and
Percussion ; Joel Parker, Royall Professor at Law, gave lec-
tures on Medical Jurisprudence.
The advantages of the Massachusetts General Hospital, the
Marine Hospital, Durkee's Infirmary for Disease of the Skin,
The House of Industry, and the Eye and Ear Infirmary were
offered by this group of teachers.
This School had its proportion of students, but it never
reached the growth attained by the Tremont School. In 1854
it petitioned the Legislature for power to give regular courses,
and to grant degrees in Medicine. The Harvard Medical
Faculty opposed this petition, and the following "Reply to
the Remonstrance" was sent by the Boylston School to the
"Boston, March 31st, 1854.
' The medical schools in this Commonwealth, during the time when a
license to practice was necessary, and a degree gave this license, were
divided into the two classes of schools which gave degrees, and those
which did not. The distinction of public and private has never been known
among incorporated schools : and that of larger and smaller is accidental ;
for the schools which are largest today may very soon be smallest. At
this time, however, a degree is only a testimonial, indicating the holder's
education, but conferring no rights; and any man (or woman) may prac-
tice medicine, who can find persons to practice it upon.
" As a practical distinction, therefore, none exists between the two
classes of schools ; as an honorary distinction hitherto, one has existed.
The medical department of the University at Cambridge (by Courtesy, of
the Massachusetts Medical College) has given medical instruction and,
under the corporate power of the University, has conferred degrees. The
Berkshire Medical Institution is a second pubiic incorporated school con-
ferring degrees. The Boylston Medical School is a public incorporated
institution, which has not granted degrees. It now asks to do this, by
legislative authority ; and after having held its place long enough to be
tested by the public, it believes thai it is as competent to distribute the
honors as it has been to discharge the labors, of medical instruction.
" It was established for two reasons : First because its founders be-
lieved that two schools were necessary in Boston ; and secondly because
they believed that a system of instruction, almost universal in Europe,
should be introduced into Massachusetts, and could be introduced only
by a second school. It now asks additional powers, because seven years
have shown these conclusions just; and that new powers, and more capital
can be usefully employed.
"The Tremont School (recently incorporated) consists of the classes
of professors in the Massachusetts Medical College, instructed by them in
vacation. Under these circumstances it is, of course, numerous ; but the
Boylston Medical School carries out a system of instruction not only
504 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
unlike that of the Tremont School, but so hostile to that system, that, if
founded on true principles it must, at some time, quite supersede it.
" In the present state of science, a single school, however endowed, will
not most actively advance the medical profession, in a large city ; but from
natural and obvious causes, whatever the merit of its instructors, their
zeal and success must sometimes fall below the institutions of other dis-
tricts, where the stimulus is greater.
'The Boylston Medical School is self-supporting; and only asks of the
Legislature to be placed on the same footing with the elder institutions,
without other aid, and hopes in reasonable time, to equal them in numbers
and endowments. Their petition now seeks leave to increase their grow-
ing museums to that which is said to be the present value of those owned
by the Massachusetts Medical College.
' The number of physicians all admit to be too great. The Boylston
School asks not to make physicians more numerous, but better. And
they claim that by raising the standard, they shall not raise the num-
ber. Any great increase in the number of medical institutions, also, it
believes, would injure medical education. But it is thought that their
total restriction may depress it as much. The best endowed and most
enlightened monopolies have always proved incumbrances. And it may
perhaps be doubted, whether a healthy emulation would prove such an
injury to the Massachusetts Medical College, as its friends now apprehend.
' The Boylston School cannot assent to the position implied by the re-
monstrants that Boston is not a great centre of medical education. It is
for this purpose the natural centre of New England, and the supply schools
and of Anatomical material is quite sufficient to maintain two schools
without any inducement, but the love of knowledge, to entice students from
one to the other. They make this statement with regard to an ample
legitimate supply of bodies for dissection, as that of an ascertained fact,
and beg leave to refer to the municipal authorities of Boston who will
sustain it. They would take no steps which should compel the remon-
strants, or themselves to infringe the anatomy law; and the suggestion in
the remonstrance was the first they have known of it being likely ever to
want the full respect of the profession. Were it otherwise, however, as
the Boylston School, including the department of anatomy, is already, by
the aid of the Legislature, in full operation, they do not see the relevancy
of this argument nor that more bodies will be needed for dissection by
students who will have degrees, than by those who will not have them.
" In fine, it is respectfully submitted, that the full organization of a
second medical school, in Boston, with the advantage of the European
system and of instruction by recitations throughout the year, will benefit
medical education in New England ; and that in order to benefit medical
education, it is not necessary to multiply institutions, increase the number
of medical men, impoverish museum, nor disturb the sacredness of the
Â£ rave - " Charles E. Buckingham
" Edward H. Clarke
" Henry G. Clark
" Committee of the Boylston School."
This petition was favored by the legislature.
When Harvard enlarged its Faulty and adopted the plan
of a continuous whole-year session, it won over Bacon, E. H.
Clarke, Buckingham, and others to its teaching staff". This
fact so crippled the Boylston Medical School that little is
heard of it afterwards.
The plan upon which all these private schools was carried
on demonstrated that the community was now ready for a
more systematic course of medical studies than had hitherto
prevailed. The establishment of Medical Schools had sup-
plemented the old method of acquiring a medical education,
and the development had gone onward. The private schools
in a degree supplemented the university schools, until, in
turn we find Harvard absorbing all that was best of teachers
and plans, and establishing a summer course to complete its
scheme, giving medical students the advantages of a whole
year of continuous instruction under the same teachers. This
move took place in 1857, and was an important step in Har-
NORTH GROVE STREET BUILDING,
NEW MEN, STATUTES,
1847 TO 1854.
3 â€” '
.~~ â€¢*â€” *
r 2 Id
â– = 3
NORTH GROVE STREET BUILDING 509
NORTH GROVE STREET BUILDING. WARREN MUSEUM.
NEW MEN. STATUTES.
1847 T0 J 854-
The year 1846-47 is a landmark in the history of the Har-
vard Medical School. A new generation was beginning to
assume control of affairs, and the last of that group of men
who had carried the school forward since 18 10 was to' retire.
At the end of 1845, with an audience of 157 students, the
Faculty found sufficient reason thus to congratulate them-
" The Faculty are willing to consider the increased number of pupils in
this Institution, which has doubled within the last five years, as an evi-
dence that the advantages which they offer to the candidates for medical
degrees are becoming appreciated by the community, and it gives them
pleasure to add that they believe a greater number of teachers for the
different medical schools in the United States in proportion, have been
taken from their graduates than from any other medical Institution in
this country. They think that they have a right to regard this as some
evidence of the success of their endeavor to give a thorough course of
Early in 1846 (February 28) a communication to the Cor-
poration had been received from the Medical Faculty urging
the erection of a new building, and informing the Corporation
that George Parkman had very generously given a lot of land
on North Grove Street in Boston for the purpose. The Cor-
poration voted April 11, 1846, to sell the Mason Street estate
and use the funds for the erection of a new building for the
510 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
Medical School on the land presented by Parkman. It was
further voted : *
" That in case the proceeds of the sale of the estate in Mason Street
shall not be sufficient to complete the new building on Grove Street
according to the plans adopted, the treasurer be, and he is, hereby author-
ized to spend a further sum not exceeding five thousand dollars for the
purpose, provided that the Professors of the Medical School shall by a
suitable instrument in writing signed by them pledge to the College such
portion of the fees received by them from the Medical Students as shall
be sufficient to pay the interest on said sum advanced by the Treasurer
beyond the proceeds of the Mason Street estate, at the rate of 6 per centum
per annum payable semi-annually until the said sum shall be reimbursed
to the College Treasury.
" Voted That the Treasurer be instructed to make it one of the condi-
tions of the sale of the Mason Street estate that the land shall not be used
at any time hereafter for the purposes of a Medical School or College, or
for lecturing or giving instruction in any manner or form whatsoever on
any branch of Medicine, Anatomy or Surgical science or Art."
This restriction was altered July 18, 1846, so as to apply
only to the building, and not to the land.
The Treasurer's report of April 3, 1847, sa Y s :
" Whereas the erection of the new Medical College has from various
causes, cost more than was originally contemplated, and sundry further
expenditures are yet necessary for its completion beyond the amount which
has been raised from the sale of the estate on Mason Street, from sub-
scription and the vote of the Corporation passed April 11, 1846,
" Voted, That the Treasurer be, and he is hereby, authorized to spend
such further sum as may be necessary to complete the Medical School, not