Samuel W Durant.

History of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

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Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 54 of 192)
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fitting place in the annals of medicine. Dr. McCall, through
a long life, had been one of the leading men in the society,
by his firmness and decision guarding its interests, and with
zealous ambition striving to give it rank and consideration
among men. Dr. Dering, with a shorter life among us, had
lent his enthusiasm for the medical profession to aid the
society in holding the rank it had obtained among the so-
cieties of the State.

At the annual meeting Dr. Bagg gave his eulogy on Dr.
Dering, and C. B. Coventry on the life and character of Dr.
McCall. The president. Dr. Guiteau, gave an address on
the influences produced by the early settlements of a country,
and the efiects which civilization has over the vital forces
of the human family.

The subject of quarterly meetings was again called up,
and a resolution offered to hold them the second Tuesday
of January, April, July, and October. This resolution was
laid over to the semi-annual meeting in 1869.

At this meeting the resolution became a law of the so-
ciety, and the first quarterly meeting was fixed for April
12, to be held in Utica.

At the annual meeting, July 13, 1869, a committee was
appointed to examine and report the standing of applicants
for admission to membership. But little care had been
taken for several years of the acquirements and standing of
persons admitted to membership, and the committee re-
ported the following : " That applicants be required to file
in the County Clerk's office their diplomas before present-
ing themselves for membership.''

At the second quarterly meeting, heW Oct. 11, 1869,
resolutions were passed condemning the criminal acts of
the abortionist. Really there was no discussion on the
questions involved in the resolution, for a crime so abhor-
rent to the best feelings of human nature could have no
advocates in a society of high-minded medical men, zealous
to maintain the purity of the profession.

At the semi-annual meeting in 1870, January 11, the
deaths of the brothers Drs. H. and G. Pope were brought
to the notice of the society. They had both died of the
same disease, — hypertrophy of the prostate, Resolutions
were passed comraoniorating the positions they had hold, in
the practice of medicine,

At the quarterly meeting held the llth of April, the
amended fee-bill was passed, and one of the meipbers exr
polled for immoral conduct,

The semi-annual meeting in 1871, Jan. 10, could claim
unu.sual interest, for one of the veterans of the society
whose pame graced the roll of the first meeting and the
founding of the society, — now the only survivor, ninety-two
years old, — came to meet with the society once more before



being called to his never-ending home. Time hud touched
him lightly, for after the seventy years since he began the
practice of his profession, he showed few signs of such a
life of toil and exposure.

The quarterly meeting this year, in October, took up the
suhject recommended by the American Medical Association,
and resolved to use its influence to liave half-free scholar-
ships in the New York College of Vetei'inary Surgeons.

At the semi-annual meeting of 1872, delegates to the
American Medical Association were instructed to vote for
the admission of women, properly qualified in the profession,
to membership.

At the quarterly meeting in April, Dr. Flandrau re-
ported a" case of delirium tremens from the use of hydrate
of chloral.

Dr. Gray, at the annual meeting, invited the society to
hold its next quarterly meeting at the Lunatic Asylum,
which was accepted, and the members of the society at the
October meeting, after organizing, adjourned to the. asy-
lum. The members were conducted through many of the
wards of the institution, saw Professor Dick's demonstra-
tions of morbid anatomy, Kernpster's microscopic speci-
mens, and closed the labors of the day by getting fresh
supplies of the necessaries of life from a table of large
dimensions and magnificent supplies! Through the doctor's
exertions the meeting had been a novel and interesting one,
and the members did not fail to give public expression in
the records of the society of the gratification they hud re-

Resolutions were offered and freely discussed at the semi-
annual meeting in January, 1873, asking for an amendment
of the code of medical ethics, so as to allow medical men
to meet all practitioners who had been educated in schools
recognized by the laws of the State. This proposition
seemed to maiiy who had not carefully examined the sub-
ject a striking innovation on the usages of the society, and
it was finally laid on the table. In April a resolution bear-
ing on the same question met the same fate.

As a rule, I have confined myself in this history to
notice only those measures which had finally been adopted,
leaving questions which had been proposed, but not adopted,
unnoticed. Tiiis case proposed a measure which had been
thoroughly examined in my investigations for the benefit of
the society. I have been for a long time satisfied that a
change must be made, and wished this society to have the
honor of being a leading power in the transaction. I do
not wish to urge the society to rashly make a change, and
this is not the proper place to bring forward arguments in
behalf of the proposed measure. When it becomes ah es-
tablished fact, it will then belong to the history of the

In 1873 the State Society reported in favor of a coin-
mittee on hygiene in every county of the State. At the
semi-annual meeting iti 1874 the committee made a partial
report, and were continued for further investigations. This
committee, in 1875, were directed to present a petition to
the Common Council of the City of Utica, asking for
large sewers in the eastern part of the city, and another in
the western, which the Council had the good sense to adopt.
In 1875 charges were made against a member for viola-

tions of the code of ethics, in publishing notices in a daily
paper, and in circulars distributed in the surrounding vil-
lages, promising marvelous cures. The author was expelled
frdm the society. At the quarterly meeting in October a
series of resolutions were received from the New York Soci-
ety, relating to the law of the State to prevent cruelty to
animals, which declared that notiiing in this act shall be
construed to prohibit or interfere with any properly- conducted
scientific experiments or investigations. It was the sense
of this meeting that the investigations in physiology and
pathology, by experiments on animals, had been of incal-
culable henefit to the science of medicine, and that they had
been so managed as to be almost entirely devoid of suffer-
ing to the animals so used, and that no investigations could
be allowed by uirprofessional men, who were not qualified to
examine the methods used nor understand the results to be

The large increase in the population of the county and
the multiplied interests of the profession have now made
our quarterly meetings equal, in the regular attendance, to
the annual and semi-annual of former days. At the quar-
terly meeting", April, 1876, thirty members responded to the
call, and the record of the regular attendance is sufficient
proof of the interest taken by the members of the society.
Three prominent men in the society had recently died — Dr.
Bissell, Dr. Preston, and Dr. Coventry. Dr. Bissell was
an energetic, stirring man, prompt and decided, a" good
practitioner, and disposed to mingle in politics. Dr. Pres-
ton, in his early life, held a good and fair position among
medical men, and was a popular practitioner in Sangerfield
and Watorville. Dr. Coventry was too well and widely
known to require more than a passing notice here. His
contributions to the literature of the profession have been
large, and, with his report on the medical jurisprudence of
insanity, delivered at the American Medical Association
at Washington in 1858, have given him rank as an able
writer. TliQ resolutions of the city physicians and those of
the county society, with its memorial notice, attest his worth.
Grouped in the same catalogue, we have to notice the
death of Dr. John McCaD, one of the zealous members of
the society, who was a living example of professional dig-
nity and honor ; of Goodsell, Blair, Guiteau, Whaley,
Sampson, Alexander Coventry, N. H. Dering, and many
others whose names have given character to the profession
in Oneida County. I would gladly enlarge, did time and
space permit. Most of them have their records in the
transactions of the State Society, where their histories have
been preserved, and where all that is worthy of imitation
or that could aid us in the struggles of professional life can
be found to help us onward.

1876 finds the society with its regular meetings, its
interesting topics of hygiene and disease, but nothing no-
table in the passing events of the profession. During the
year of 1877 there does not appear to have been any fall-
ing off of the attendance at the meetings, and there has
been a more regular and increased interest among its mem-
bers, and the quarterlies of April and October were equally
well attended with the January and July meetings.

AVe have now gone over the history of this society from
its organization in 1806 to the present time, 1878. We



have endeavored to reproduce as little as possible of the
nairatives of Drs. Basg and Porter. They have both gone
over the records to the year 1870, and, in order to keep up
a connected history, I have often had to trespass upon their
details and blend the three histories into one. They have
left tables of attendance and receipts, and from those two"
sources we have judged of the prosperity of the society.
These tables covered the periods when we had only two
meetings a year. The average attendance from 1843 to
1850 was 16, and from 1836 to 1843 about the same.
From 1829 to 1836, 34, and from 1822 to 1829, 24.
From 1850 to 1857, about 18. From 1857 to 18G4, a
fraction over 24, and the next seven years is about 25. A
new era dates from the beginning of the quarterlies in 1869,
and the average is a fraction over 22 at each meeting,
showing a marked increase in attendance per annum. An
attempt had been made to have quarterly meetings as early
as 1843 or 1844, but there was not enthusiasm enough to
keep them up, and the failure was so decided that many
members who had been engaged in the first effort were at
first unwilling to engage in the proposed change. The first
quarterly was held in April, and the large attendance and
interest manifested in the proceedings gave promise of a
fair measure of success.

The item of receipts has been an important element in
the society, — the index of its growth and decline. No
regular reports were made by the treasurer until 1822.
From that time his accounts were regularly presented and
examined, and the amounts he had received yearly care-
fully recorded until 1855, when there was an interruption
of ten years, or until 1865.

From 1822 to 1S29, average receipts, $117 per annum.
From 1S29 to 1S35, " SO "

From 1S:{6 to :S42/ " 68 "

From 1843 to 1849, " 35 "

The records of the treasurer have been lost, and as the
secretary foiled in his reports to name the amount collected,
we are not able to give the yearly amounts received. It
will be .seen that for a few years after the regular reports of
the treasurer were made to the society, the amount annu-
ally received was large, — one year being S159, and one 8181,
so that the seven years' average was over 8117. The next
seven years it declined to 858, and ran down to a mere
trifle in 1849. One reason for the large amounts from
1822 forward was the income from fines and giving
diplomas. It is interesting to note that as the society grew
remiss in collecting its dues, and repealed one after another
of its sources of revenue, the attendance declined, and, with
its declension, professional interest and enthusiasm were
lost. When reaching its lowest ebb, with an empty treas-
ury, bills unpaid, and a scanty attendance, there was but
one step more to dissolution, and the prestige of the Med-
ical Society of the County of Oneida would be lost forever.
Efforts were made to meet this unfortunate condition, and
to bring the society back to its normal state ; but appeals
were useless. Like many tottering institutions, the first
great need was money. To obtain this a new order of
management was necessary, and a change in the treasurer's
department, when enforced payment of the taxes (for all
other sources of revenue had been cut off) was made the

law, and in a few years, with a replenished treasury and
increased interest and attendance, the society started on a
career of prosperity that has rivaled the most sanguinis
expectations of its palmy days.

We have now traversed the records of seventy-two years'^
of this society's history. For forty-six years I have taken
a more or less active part in its transactions. During that
time I have joined with its prominent and leading meinbers
in a warfare for its preservation, and in spite of all difficul-
ties to so manage its manifold interests that it might hold
a prominent position and have no rival in' the societies of
the State. It has been the source of rnaiiy important
measures in the science of medicine. It has had a fcW
leading men in its ranks who sought to tuild up the pro-
fession, and were ready to make sacrifices for the welfare of
the whole. No association can last long whose members
surrender its interests to the cravings of personal ambition.
A standard has been raised and adopted, fixing the remu-
neration for medical services, and it is the duty of every
member to sustain its prices. But when men who claim to
be in full communion in such association, seek and obtain
business (from those abundantly able to pay) by agreeing
to a reduced percentage on the regular prices of the society,
the binding cohesion of time-honored principles has been
outraged, and the honor and dignity of a noble profession
has been lost in the groveling acquisitions of individual

To elevate its character and the character of its members
it has purged itself from the stain of unbridled passion, the
criminal actors of ante-natal murder, and the selfish pursuits
of the charlatan and nostrum vender.

I have annexed a table of the names of the members
and the dates of their admission to membership. Most of
them who have died have had eulogies prepared under the
direction of the State Society, whilst others have had fitting
memorials recorded in the annals of the County Associa-
tion. It is always easy to look back and see what might
have been done. A wise management of the finances of
the society, more stringent laws, and a continued imposition
of fines for neglected duties, with a larger annual tax, if
necessary, would have yielded a revenue which could have
been used for founding a medical hall for the use of the
society, — a fit place for holding its meetings, to preserve its
addresses and dissertations, its varied collections in patho-
logical anatomy, its library, its records, and all that would
give it interest in the eyes of the profession. Had such a
plan been organized, and a painstaking effort been instituted
to accomplish this object, men of means in our profession,
and friends of the vocation, might have felt it their duty to
give material aid to a movement that was destined to accom-
plish so much good. I have on a former" occasion alluded'
to a similar plan, but it fell lifeless to the ground ; and, for
the future, I can see no chance for such an action to be set
forward, unless some of the physicians who have been
blessed with a grand patrimony, or others whose resources
have brought them gold in untold measure, can fall into
the current of improvement, and, with cheerful heart, give
to the founding of an institution whose blessings will last
for all coming time. If we could catch the enthusiasm
that has moved the Freemasons to found and maintain



their halls for public services, or the less noble organization
of Odd-Fellows, and others of a kindred nature, where the
spell or enchantment of secret rites has been powerful
enough to bring forth gold to lavish in adorning .halls and
in gaudy vestments and the various orders of those institu-
tions, we might have filled the picture I have thus unskill-
fully drawn.

I have now discharged the duty imposed on me by the
resolution of this society in July, 1877. My labors in the
interest of this society have been faithfully discharged.
Since my admission to membership in 1832, age has in
some measure diminished the enthusiasm of those early
years, and the sad realities of professional life have thrown
a dark shadow over the glowing prospects of youthful am-


Present at first meeting, held at Rome, July 1, 1806. —
Amos Gr. Hull, Sewal Hopkins, David Hasbrouck, Seth
Hastings, Jr., Caleb Sampson, Francis Guiteau, Matthew
Brown, Jr.', Welcome Sayles, Elnathan Judd,' Sherman
Bartholomew, Marcus Hitchcock, Isaac Weston, Thomas
Hartwell, Laurens Hull, Zenas Hutchinson, Alexander
Whaley, Morris Shannon, Paul Hutchinson, Jr., Eliphaz
Bissell, Seth Capron, Daniel Avery, Johti Fitch, Enoch
Alden, Stephen Preston, Arba Blair, Thomas G. Hooker,
Norton Porter, Seth Hastings, Samuel Frisbee.

Admitted in 1806. — Solomon Wolcott, Nathaniel Rose,
Isaac Goodsil, F. Deming, Earl Bill, Lucius Kellogg, Syl-
vester Nash, Joel Rathbun, Joshua Ransom, Chester Gay-
lord, Jamin Tyler.

1807. — Andrew French, Luther Guiteau, Samael Snow,
Waitstill W. Wolcott, Spalding Pierce.

1808. — Amasa Trowbridge, Henry Smith.

1809.— William Fitch. (Interim to 1813.)

1813. — Isaac Cushman, Ira Cross, Erastus Cross, Lem-
uel L. Chester, Ezra Williams, Nathaniel CJieever, Lewis
Riggs, Campbell Waldo, Moses D. Campbell.

1814.— John M. Watson, Charles Babcock, Rosweli P.
Hayes, Wilbur Tillinghast, Josiah Noyes, Benjamin Rus-
sell, M. Wright, Peter B. Basse, Daniel Barker, David
M. Hale.

1815. — Leverett Bishop,* Medina Preston,* Eliashib
Adams,*, Anson Hayden, W. M. Coventry.

1816. — John Young, Morris T. Jewell, Jonathan B.

1817. — Abiram Parker, Lyman Huntley, Samuel Wil-
lard, Thomas Goodsell, John Brown.*

1818. — James L. Palmer, Jonathan Snow, Emery Bis-
sell, Moses Bristol, Silas West, Ariel Norton.

1819. — George Brown, David M. Richards.

1820.— Seth S. Peck, Luther Spalding, Anson Jones.*

1822.— Alexander Coventry, John McCall, Theodore
Poineroy, Edmund Allen, Medina Preston, Simon Z.
Havens, John F. Trowbridge, Hezekiah Gates.

The following list of names are subscribed in a body on
several pages of the Record, without dates, but they were

^^ Date of license.

written previous to 1833. They also include many of
those already given :

Arba Blair, Seth S. Peck, Seth Hastings, Jr., Laurens
Hull, Elnathan Judd, Alexander Coventry, Thomas Good-
sell, Chester Gaylord, Norton Porter, Emery Bissell, John
McCall, Silas West, Theodore Pomeroy, John F. Trow-
bridge, John M. Watson, Edmund Allen, Hezekiah Gates,
Simon Z. Haven, Charles Babcock, Medina Preston, Lev-
erett Bishop, Uriel H. Kellogg, John Fitch, Jr., Herman
Norton, Luther Guiteau, George Brown, Nathaniel Chee-
ver, James L. Palmer, Zenas Hutchinson, Almon Beards-
ley, Abraham Diefendorf, Abram Chase, Levi Buckingham,
Stephen Winchester, John S. Llvermore, Henry Smith,
Alexander Whaley, Welcome Sayles, Eliphas Bissell, Wil-
liam Jones, Robert C. Wood, Earl Bill, James Douglas,
Samuel Tuttle, Francis Guiteau, Lemuel L. Chester, Levi
Beardsleyj Horatio Gates, Gerrit P. Judd, C. B. Coventry,
H. Hastings, Edward Aiken, Samuel Hastings, Newel
Smith, Welcome A. Clark, Stephen Preston, John Stevens,
J. A. Paine, Caleb Burge, H. Storrs, Benjamin P. Cross-
man, Luther Guiteau, Jr., Sewall Hopkins, W. P. Cleve-
land, Frederick B. Henderson, Lemuel Boomer, 0. L. B.
Main, A. McAllister, G. E. Harral, P. B. Peckham, Pat^
rick McCraith, David Ely, Benjamin Earl Bowen, Nathan-
iel Rose, Ely Botsford; Ezra Herton, Parker Sedgwick,
George H. Wright, 0. K. Cook, Jeremiah Knight, Covell
Lee, Royal S. Sykes, William Abell, J. N. Meacham, Al-
fred Gillet, John D. Bancroft, Thomas M. Foote, Ralph
Lord, Nathaniel Sherrill, John Gridley, Elijah Ward, Na-
than North, M. Hitchcock, Harold H. Pope, William C.
Warner, W. S. Lobdell, W. Wadsworth, Isaac H. Doug-
lass, Jared W. Fitch, John W. Hitchcock, Husea Palmer,
Whiting Smith, Rufus Priest, A. W. Marsh, Lewis Yale,
Helon Fay Noyes, J. P. Batchelder, S. Cooper Benjamin,
Daniel Thomas, Asahel Grant, James G. Douglas, Charles
Porter, Isaac Freeman, John Morrison, Edward Loomis,
James S. Whaley, George W. Cleveland, George H. Gard-
ner, John Staats, Reuben Luce, Ichabod Davis, Jr., W. H.
Peckham, A. W. Lothrop, S. W. Stewart, William Giles,
David V. Bradford, Lewis Yale, William W. Tefft, John
P. B. Sloan, Sidney H. Blossom, L. F. Henry, F. Howes,
Daniel Brainard, Orville P. Laird, E. A. Munger.

The following list comprises those who have subscribed
to the by-laws adopted in July, 1833. Many of these also
appear in the former list :

Patrick McCraith, John R. McKibbin, Samuel W.
Stewart, George W. Gardner, Medina Preston, Leverett
Bishop, Isaac Freeman, Warner Wadsworth, Samuel
Hastings, Charles Porter, Charles Babcock, Uriel H, Kel-
logg, Eli Botsford, David Larabee, Jeremiah Knight,
Joseph S. Whaley, Gustavus W. Pope, C. B. Coventry,
Edward Loomis, L. L. Chester, J. M. Fuller, Thomas M.
Foote, Aaron B. Bligh, Almon Beardsley, Lyman Buckley,
William Kirkwood, Giles I. Sheldon. Charles Barrows,
Justin B. Colwell, A. S. Bradley, Joseph R. Newland,
Almond Pitcher, John McCall, Daniel Thomas, A. Blair,
Lemuel Boomer, T. Pomeroy, J. H. Champion, P. B.
Peckham, J. P. Batchelder, Thomas Goodsell, Barrilla
Budlong, William H. P. Davis, Jabez V. Cobb, Lyman
H. Wilson, P. D. Knieskern, W. H. Wiser, Simon Z.



Hiiven, Parker Sedgwick, Nathan North, Fitch Howes,
John F. Trowbridge, Brock McViekar, James S. May,
Luther Guiteau, Jr., Rufus Priest, B. A. Hunger, Herbert
Hastings, William Morris, Erastus King, William J. Olm-
stead, Jonathan Hurlburt, Edward Trask, M. M. Bagg, J.
T. Teller, Hosea Hamilton, De Witt C. Hamilton, Welcome

A. Babcock, George Brown, Herman Norton, John A.
Paine, A. Brigham, P. M. Hastings, Theodore Dimon,
Joseph W. Harmon, F. M. Barrows, NicoU H. Deering,
Daniel P. Bissell, B. Philleo, Ulic Burke, Samuel G. Wol-
cott, Gustavus W. Pope, Jr., Dwight C. Dewey, Thomas
M. Flandrau, H. N. Porter, J. E. West, F. T. Henderson,
Jacob Hunt, J. M. Sturdevant, William Russell, Thomas
Spears, A. Cornish, Henry Brown, C. K. S. Millard,
Aristus Brown, J. P. Huntley, James Elias Jones, S. B.
Valentine, Walter R. Griswold, W. B. Coventry, Thomas
S. Virgil, Robert Frazier, D. A, Crane, H. W. Carpenter,

B. J. Lawton, Charles L. Hogeboom, John D. Hall, I. D.
Hopkins, Thomas W. Hall, David Terry, Edgar C. Bass,
Charles E. Smith, Alonzo Putman, Abram G. Brower, M.

C. West, George Seymour, Austin A. Barrows, Louis A.
Tourtellot, Walter Booth, H. Lloyd Williams, Thomas Pell,
Isaac J. Hunt, Ogden M. Randel, Albert Bickford, Samuel
E. Shantz, Medina Preston, Jr., C. C. Reed, Evan G.
Williams, Francis Jones, Jr., John Russell, Charles W.
Hamlin, Norton Wolcott, Frank L. Stone, Hugh Sloan,
E. G. Howland, Henry W. Caldwell, Rev. B. Sutton, J.
W. Cooper, C. N. Palmer, Matt. Cook, H. G. Dubob>, B.
Frank Pope, E. Hutchinson, Joshua M. Fiske, H. B. Day,
John A. Jenkins, Thomas J. Bergen, Robert S. Dryer, J.
C. Darling, William L. Baldwin, Wales Buel, Judson B.
Andrews, Walter Kempster, William H. Nelson, D. A.
Barnum, H. 0. Palmer, Timothy E. Wilcox, Joseph V.
Haberer, B. H. Thurston, Henry G. Reid, Charles H.
Bailey, H. B. Maben, G. Le Roy Menzie, G. H. Wheelock,
J. K. Chamberlayne, W. M. James, S. P. Uhlein, Daniel
H. Kitchen, Edwin Slvans, David H. Lovejoy, James G.
Hunt, Martin Cavana, P. H. Thomas, William S. Whit-
well, Jr., Smith Baker, Benjamin F. Haskins, Alfred T.
Livingston, W. E. Ford, Charles P. Russell, W. B. Palmer,
R. H. Hews, C. E. Fraser, Jr., Ed. E. Smith, E. H. Bul-
lock, Franz Steinhauzen, William Kuhn, D. C. Besse, J. B.
Nold, A. R. Simmons, David Hughes, Alva P. Maine,
Wallace Clark, E. W. Raynor, J. B. Drummond, Wilbur

Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 54 of 192)