Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 55 of 192)
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 55 of 192)
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H. Booth, Henry Foord, Charles Munger, Frederick A.
Veeder, John Spertzell O'Hara, John Watson, Eliza Ellin-
wood, Amanda Conkling, William M. Gibson.

PRESIDENTS AND SECRETARIES, 1806 TO 1878.

D"te. Presulent. Secretary.

1806 Matthew Brown. David Hasbrouok.

1807 Aiiios U. Hull. " "

1808-9 Francis Guiteau. " "

1810-14 Sewal Hopkins. Sctii Hastings, Jr.

1815-16 Elniitlian Jotld. Charles Babcock.

1817 Amos G.Hull. " "

1818 " " Thomas Goodsell, Jr.

1819 Thomas Goodsell. Ezra M'illiams.

1820-21 Amos G. Hull. Seth S. Peck.

1822-24 Alexander Coventry. " "

1825-26 Luther Guiteau. " "

1827 Alexander Coventry. " "

1828-29 Seth Hastings, Jr.

1830 John McCall. " "

1831 Laurens Hull. John (Jiidley.

1832 •< '< J. p Batchclder.



Date. President. Serretury.

1R33 Laurens Hull. Thomas M. Foote.

18.34 Charles Bahoock. " "

1835 J. P. Batohelder. " ".

1836 A.Blair. Daniel Thomas.

1837 T. Pomroy.

1838 U. H. Kellogg. " "

1839 J.F.Trowbridge. " "

1840 P. B. Peckham.

1841-42 C. B. Coventry. " "

1843 Luther Giteau. "

1844 Medina Preston. John McCall.

1846 F.M. Barrows.

1846 G. H. Pope. D. G. Thomas.

1847 J. Knight.

1848 P. M. Hastings. " "

1849 M. M. Bagg. " "

1850 D. G. Thomas. John McCall, C. S.

1851 F. M. Barrows. M. M. Bagg.

1852 D. P. Bissell. "

1853 J. H. Champion. " "

1854 S. G. Wolcott. " "

1855 J. V. Cobb. J. E. West.

18.56 N. H.Dering. " "

1857 J.S. Whaley. " "

1853 J. M. Sturdevant. W. B. Coventry, C. S.

1859 A. Blair. J. E. West.

1860 W.Smith. " "

1801 D. Larrabee. William Ru.=sell.

1862 C. L. Hogeboom. "

1863 L. Guiteau. " "

1864 C.B.Coventry. " "

1865 W. Booth. " "

1806 D.G.Thomas. " "

1867 L. Guiteau. " "

1808 A. Churchill. " "

1869 Thomas M. Flandrau. Edwin Hutchinson.

1870 H.N.Porter. " "

1871 William Russell. "

1872 Robert Frazier. Walter Keihpster.

1873 Walter Griswold. P. H. Thomas.

1874 John P. Gray. " "

1875 H.G.Dubois. " "

1876 L. A. Tourtellot. " "

1877 Norton Wolcott. Charles P. Russell.

The officers for 1878 are as follows :
President. — Edwin Hutchinson, of Utica.
Vice- President. — E. G. Williams, of Remscn.
Secretary. — Charles P. Russell, of Utica.
Treasurer. — J. K. Chamberlayne, of Utica,.
Librarian. — Alonzo Churchill, of Utica.
Censors. — Jacob Hunt, S. G. Wolcott, W. B. Griswold,
Thomas M. Flandrau, Robert Frazier.

Delegate to Stale Medical Society. — L. A. Tourtellot.

LIST OP THE PRESENT ME.MBERS OF THE SOCIETY.*

Utica. — M. M. Bagg, W. L. Baldwin, Thomas J. Bergen,
W. H. Booth, Judson B. Andrews (State Lunatic Asylum),
J. B. Ammann, J. K. Chamberlayne, Alonzo Churchill,
Wallace Clark, Amanda Conkling, Matthias Cook, Isaac
H. Douglass, W. E. Ford (State Lunatic Asylum), H.
Dwight Gardner, William M. Gibson, John P. Gray (Su-
perintendent of State Lunatic Asylum), Joseph V. Haberer,
B. F. Haskins, Herbert Hastings, Ira D. Hopkins, Jacob
Hunt, J. G. Hunt, Edwin Hutchinson, William M. James,

A. T. Living.ston (State Lunatic Asylum), William H.
Morris, John S. O'Hara, W. B. Palmer, Josiah Rathbun,
Charles P. Ru.ssell, William Russell, Lafayette Rinkie,
George Seymour, Hugh Sloan, Franz Steinhausen, Charles

B. Tefft, Daniel G. Thomas, Thomas P. Henry, Louis A.
Tourtellot, John Watson, Joseph E. West, Samuel Q.
Wolcott, T. A. Veeder.

Rome. — Edwin Evans, Thomas M. Flandrau, Henry
Foord, Charles E. Fraser, Charles E. Fraser, Jr., Eliza M.

® From list in secretary's oflEice.



200



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK,



Ellinwood, E. J. Lawton, H. C. Palmer, C. C. Reid, M. C.
West, J. S. Whaley.

Buonville. — Walter Booth, John B. Nold.

Camden. — H. G. Dubois, Robert Frazior.

Clinton. — A. A. Barrows, F. M. Barrows.

Ciissville. — D. A. Barnuin.

HnUaiul Patent. — Dolos A. Crane, Norton AVoIcott.

OHskany. — W. A. Baboock.

New York Mills.— E. H. Bullock, H. N. Porter.

New Hartford. — W. B. Griswold, A. R. Simmons.

North Bay. — J. W. Cooper.

Nm-th Western. — Robert H. Hews.

Oneida Castle. — Martin Cavaua.
Knoxboro'. — Charles Munger.
Staiiwix. — David Besse.
Sangerjwld. — Medina Preston.

Trenton. — Luther Guiteau, E. W. Radnor.

Taherg. — William H. Nelson.

Walesville. — Wales Buel.

Waterville.—G. W. Cleveland, W. P. Cleveland.

Washington Mills. — David Hughes.

Westcrnville. — H. G. Reid.

Whiteshoro'. — Charles E. Smith.

Whitestown. — Smith Baker.

Westmoreland. — J. B. Drummond.

Wrstern. — Alfred Gillette.

Vernon. — Alvah P. Maine.

Verona. — G. Leroy Menzie.

HISTORY OP HO.MCEOPATirY IN ONECDA COUNTY.*

When homoeopathy was first adopted as a system of
medical practice in Oneida County, and elsewhere, the con-
dition of the philosophy of life forces in human organisms
was in a large measure paralleled by that of inorganic mat-
ter at the close of the last century. iiJt^as then supposed
that matter was destructible. The chemist, therefore, on
finding a portion of his material had disappeared, had a
ready solution, — the matter was destroyed. But, starting
with the axiom that matter was indestructible, all disappear-
ance of material during his operations was chargeable to
their imperfections."

Thus it was that homoeopathy regarded the forces of
human organisms in their normal or abnormal conditions.
It did not propose to create or destroy, only to modify and
control. Homoeopathy simply implied, in its true philo-
sophical interpretation, the conservation of the entire forces
of human organism in medical practice, just as the pliiloso-
phy of forces in the material universe claims tlie conserva-
tion of every grain or fraction of a grain of the material
analyzed by the chemist, just as the dynamization of di'ugs
implies the conservation of their specific forces as distinct
individualities, whether carried to the tenth or ton-thou-
sandth potency.

It implied, also, the correlation of the forces of dynamized
drugs to those of human organisms in disease.

It was a very uninviting field for allopathic thought to
explore. But, be it remembered, there was no visionary
idealism justly chargeable upon the pioneers of homoeopathy



« Pro|in.icd by C. E. Chase, M.D.



in Oneida County. They were most emphatically matter-
of-fact men. They did not regard practical homoeopathy
as a more do-nothing affair, as aifirmed by its opponents, —
like the expectant system out-cropping some years before
from allopathy.

It involved the stern necessity of an intelligent compre-
hension of the fundamental laws of life forces in human
oro-anisms, in their abnormal as well as normal conditions.
It was, consequently, a very exhaustive labor the homoe-
opathic practitioner had to perform in treating his first oases
of acute diseases. No previous experiences in allopathy,
no thought, however intensified (subjectively), could meet
the exigencies of the occasion, independent of therapeutic
antecedents verified by the homoeopathic law of cure.

Hence the early practitioners in Oneida County generally
carried with them in their daily visits to the sick Hull's
" Jahr," or some other standard work of that character. It
is, therefore, proper to suppose that many, if not all, the
early advocates of this system of medical practice were
sound philosophical thinkers. Like the pioneers of homoe-
opathy all over the country, most of them were from the
allopathic ranks and were graduates of allopathic colleges.

The pioneers of homoeopathy had but few books, — no
current literature, no State patronage, and no richly-en-
dowed institutions to commend them to popular favor ; but
were dependent entirely upon the healing effects of their
medicines, and the truth of the laws by which they were
administered. From these effects people were led to be-
lieve that the laws of homoeopathy were deduced from
facts as immutable as the laws of God, and that its phi-
losophy was as profound and certain as the philosophy of
the laws and forces of organic matter. The philosophy
and practical details of the new system, briefly narrated
above, but only partially developed and imperfectly under-
stood at that time by the pioneers of homoeopathy, indicate
the quality of mental activity and moral stamina which
the exigencies of the new era demanded.

It is due, therefore, not merely as a matter of etiquette to
the pioneers of homoeopathy, but to truth, science, and
philanthropy, to respect and highly esteem these men for
their intelligent manliood, and to make some historical
records of their early labors and their persecutions in this
conflict of true medical science with the errors of past
ages.

The new philosophy of the forces of dynamized drugs,
independent of quantitative appreciation, having been ac-
cepted as the basis of practical homoeopathy, it was boldly
and fearlessly affirmed that these forces had a potency in
subduing acute disease — inflammation for example — in
human organisms never before realized, never before at-
tained by the most heroic allopathic treatment. .

The details and generalization of homoeopathic thera-
peutics were soon assumed as postulates of the new law of
cure, and this, too, with but limited post-factuni confirma-
tion in the matter of personal observation. The inference
is plain, therefore, that more than mere professional popu-
larity was at stake ; for if these assumptions were but
visionary idealities, as affirmed by allopathists, then human
life would bo largely sacrificed by this great folly and fool-
hardiness. To treat diseases, especially of the inflammatory



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



201



type, — such as in common parlance are called pleurisies, in-
flammation of the bowels, lungs, etc., — without general and
local blood-letting, without cathartics, without calomel and
antimony, was regarded by many allopathists as an indictable
oiFense before our civil tribunals, legitimately involving a ver-
dict of guilty of manslaughter. But this virulent antagonism
to homoeopathy was not confined to the allopathic medical
profession, neither exclusively to the unlearned or ignorant.
Men of more than ordinary literary culture, men who were
acute thinkei's and sound logical reasoners, were frequently
its most bitter opponents. It may seem incredible, in view
of the present status of homoeopathy, that in some localities
of this county the conventional proprieties of even refined
and intelligent communities were barely sufficient to pre-
vent open violence upon homoeopathic physicians. It may
seem incredible that the spirit of persecution against the
early advocates of this system was closely allied in character
to that of religious intolerance in the seventeenth century,
as recorded in history. It may seem still more incredible
that vigilance committees were gravely hinted at in sotto
voce for the protection of those whom allopathic physicians
said must be bled, and take physio, or die.

Probably no physician in this county has a larger expe-
rience in these matters than Dr. Munger, of Waterville.
Nevertheless, the population embraced in Dr. Munger's
circle of professional business was highly intelligent, in-
cluding many persons of more than ordinary literary cul-
ture and civic popularity. Many of this class (his patrons
while an allopathist) were for a time bitter opponents of the
new philosophy of infinitesimals.

As a matter of history, however, it is due to Dr. Munger
to say that he boldly, fearlessly, and successfully met the
issue single-handed for a time, and was instrumental in
converting many from the error of their allopathic ways
and, like other homoeopathists later in the field, in saving a
multitude from death.

Whether Dr. Munger, Dr. Humphrey and son, Dr.
Wells, Dr. Raymond, Dr. Stewart, and others, at an early
period of their therapeutic experiences, were fully aware of
the profound and abiding philosophy of the dynamization
of drugs, especially the conservation of their specific forces
in high potencies, as recognized at a later period, may be
questioned.

In the winter of 1843—44, Dr. E. Humphrey opened an
office in Utica for the practice of homoeopathy. In 1844-
45 he was joined by his son, Frederick Humphrey. The
details of their successful labors in that city will be found
narrated in their biographies on a succeeding page of this
sketch.

Drs. Raymond and Stewart formed a copartnership and
opened an office in Utica about 1850, and were associated
in business until the death of Dr. Stewart. Drs. Hum-
phrey and Wells commenced practice iu partnership in
1851, and continued together two years. Dr. Pomeroy
formed a partnership with Dr. Wells, in Utica, in 1853.
They were together two years, after which Dr. Pomeroy
remained in Utica until 1861, when he removed to Detroit,
Mich., where he is now in practice. Pure homoeopathy,
key-note and the conservation of the specific individuality
of the powers of dynamized drugs in high potencies, was
26



prospectively accepted by them at an early period of their
medical practice. It may be due in some measure to Dr.
Munger's early experience in this direction that others,
later in the field, were greatly strengthened in their faith
in the efficiency of drugs in the higher potencies.

The rapid change in public sentiment in the city of
Utica which followed the above partnership was due, de
facto, to their curing a multitude of sick people. But the
reasons why they were thus successful so early, when
homoeopathy was comparatively unfledged, must be attrib-
uted, in large measure, to their exhaustive study of the
pathogenesis of drugs, and their intelligent comprehension
of the recently-discovered law of cure. Dr. Stewart's
early decease placed upon Dr. Raymond the responsibility
and labor of practically demonstrating the truth of the new
law of cure, unaided by the counsels and wisdom of his
estimable partner.

Dr. Stewart, of Clinton (from the allopathic ranks),
greatly excelled in di-agnosis and pathology. He was ret-
icent and unaggressive, kind and gentlemanly in his inter-
course with his professional brethren. With his ample
store of antecedents as a basis for subjective thoughts,
especially in matters of diagnosis and pathology, it was
somewhat hazardous for one to express an opinion widely
different from his, under a prospective verification by au-
topsy. In illustration of his peculiar mental characteristics
and professional abilities, the following — some of his early
experience in homoeopathy — is off'ered not merely as a just
tribute to his memory, but as confirming the idea of the
general intelligence of the pioneers of homoeopathy in
Oneida County.

The sudden death of Mr. R., of Paris, Oneida County,
which followed the administration of a single dose of medi-
cine (five pellets, sixth centesimal) by Dr. Stewart, in his
early practice of homoeopathy, created for a time the wildest
excitement in the allopathic ranks of this locality. The facts,
briefly stated, are the following: Mr. R. had been under
allopathic treatment six or eight months for various assumed
chronic difficulties. At times the liver was deemed at
fault, then the stomach, then the nervous system " was run
down." Then '' Mr. R. had no particular disease about
him ; spring or early summer, with its mild weather, and
journeying, would bring him up all right." Under th<se
circumstances Dr. Stewart prescribed for him in May,
giving him a single dose of medicine at nine o'clock p.m.
In about half an hour after Dr. Stewart left, Mr. R. said to
his wife (after somewhat laughing chit-chat about little
pills), " I will now turn over on my right side and go to
sleep, and see what will come from the little pills by morn-
ing." He did so, but his wife soon noticed an important
change in his breathing and general appearance ; her hus-
band was apparently dying ; respiration was laborious, and
the entire surface of the body was livid. He died the
next day.

It would require a good-sized octavo volume to record
all the anathemas, threats of prosecution for manslaughter,
and general abuse meted out to Dr. S. by allopathic phys-
icians and the enemies of homoeopathy in general. The
wicked, contemptible swindle, homoeopathy, was used up.
In this hurricane of indignation Dr. S. maintained his



202



HISTORY OP ONEIDA COUNTY, NliW YORK;



characteristic reticence; uttered no speech in his defense,
merely assuring friends and foes that he gave Mr. R. only
a single dose of medicine, containing not more than the
one-hundred-thousandth part of a single grain of any mate-
rial except the sugar of milk, used as a vehicle. He de-
manded a post-mortem examination of the body. The
writer of this article was present and assisted in the
autopsy.

The homoeopathic physicians present were Drs. Stewart,
Stebbins, and Bishop. The allopathic physicians were Drs.
Babcock, Bligh, Knight, Budlong, Barrows and son, and
May; Dr. Babcock requested Dr. Stewart to state his
views in regard to the caiise or causes of the sudden death,
and also to name the drug he had administered; Dr.
Stewart declined to name the drug, as Dr. Babcock had
questioned the truth of his' assertion that the dose was an
infinitesimal one.

Dr. Stewart would commit to wi'iting his diagnosis and
pathological views, in his first and only visit, if all other
physicians who had been consulted would do the same.
The proposition was accepted, and the record was made by
Dr. Stebbins. Dr. Bligh, his attending physician, stated
that for some weeks before Dr. Stewart was called he had
given him but little medicine ; thought him improving
slowly; had been dyspeptic; there was some fault in the
liver ; but the man was better when he saw hihi last. ■ He
did not think there was any local disease of a serious char-
acter, and expected that warm weather would restore him
to comfortable health. He was strongly of the opinion
that Mr. R. would have been living, and as well as when
he saw him last previous to his death, but for the doso of
homoeopathic medicine Dr. Stewart had administered.

The written opinions of the other allopathic physicians
were substantially the same. Dr. Stewart believed there
had been for a long time a quantity of purulent matter
contained in a membranous sac, occupying some portion
of the left cavity of the chest, or in some way confined
within certain limits, so that respiration had not been seri-
ously obstructed thereby. In regard to the direct cause of
his sudden death. Dr. S. thought that on Mr. R. turning
over in bed, as reported, soon after taking the medicine,
this sac or membrane was ruptured ; consequently the
larger portion of matter therein contained was diffused
through the general cavity, thereby producing the symp-
toms as reported, and causing his death. Furthermore,
that the left kidney was seriously diseased ; to what extent
could not be positive ; possibly in a state of suppuration.
After these preliminaries the post-mortem examination
followed.

On making the necessary cuttings for uncovering the
lungs a large quantity of purulent matter escaped, so offen-
sive that every physician instantly left the room except Dr.
May and Dr. Bishop. The quantity was estimated at tliree
pints. On reaching the left kidney, that organ was found
suppurated, having the appearance of a semi-transparent
sac full of purulent matter. With extreme caution this
sac or suppurated kidney was removed without rupturing.
The contents were like cream. As this report was not
designed to describe, in minute detail, the various phe-
nomena revealed in the examination, this simple statement



of leading facts in the case must suffice for a more elaborate
description of morbid phenomena.

The first homoeopathic medical organization in exi.stence
in Oneida County was the Old Central Now York Homoe-
opathic Medical Society, the first meeting of which was held
at Mechanics' Hall, Utica, in June, 1849 ; present Drs.
Samuel Stewart, Leverett Bishop, J. L. Kellogg, B. A.
Munger, N. Stebbins, F. Humphrey. At this meeting a
society was formed, and a committee was appointed to draw
up a constitution and by-laws. The second meeting was
held at Lennebacker's Hall, Utica, January 7, 1850 ; pres-
ent, Drs. E. A. Munger, S. Stewart, L. Bishop, J. L. Kel-
logg;" L. B. Wells, N. Stebbins, F. Humphrey, Lyman
Clary, E. T. Richardson. At this meeting the constitution
was adapted. The subsequent meetings were held at Syra-
cuse for several years, until it was reorganized. It now
holds quarterly meetings at Syracuse.

The Oneida County Homoeopathic Medical Society was
organized October 20, 1857. The homoeopathic physicians
of the city of Utica held an informal meeting at the office
of Dr. L; B. Wells, October 6, 1857, for the purpose of
taking the preliminary steps for the permanent organization
of a county homoeopathic medical society. It was decided
to invite the homoeopathic physicians of Herkimer County
to unite with their professional brethren of Oneida County
in organizing a Society, and Dr. Thomas F. Pomeroy was
requested to issue a call for a meeting to be held for that
purpose, at the mayor's office, in the city of Utica, Tues-
day, October- 20, 1857 ; present, Drs. Pomeroy, L. B.
Wells, J. C. Raymond, and W. H. Watson. In compli-
ance with this a call was issued to the homoeopathic physi-
cians of both counties.

First Meeting of the Society. — The first meeting was
held at the mayor's office, in Utica, October 20, 1857, the
following physicians being present : Drs. John A. Paine,
L. B. Wells, J. C. Raymond, W. H. Watson, Thomas F.
Pomeroy, H. E. Dykeman, of Utica; E. A. Munger, of
Waterville ; H. M. Paine, of Clinton ; and W. B. Stebbins,
of Little Falls. On motion of Dr. Watson, a temporary
organization was effected by the appointment of Dr. J. A.
Paine as chairman.

Dr. J. C. Raymond stated the object of the meeting to
be the formation of a county homoeopathic medical society,
in accordance with an act of the Legislature, passed April
13, 1857.

Drs. Watson, Raymond, and Munger were appointed a
committee to prepare a constitution and by-laws for the
society.

Dr. E. A. Munger was the first president, Dr. Stebbins
the first vice-president, and Dr. Pomeroy the first secretary
and treasurer.

The biographies of the early pioneers of homoeopathy in
Oneida County are full of interest, but we have space for
only a .short abstract of them. The physician who had the
honor of first introducing homoeopathy into Oneida County
was Dr. Erastus Humphrey. He was born at Canton,
Conn., in 1784, and received his diploma from the State
Medical Society of Connecticut in 1808. He was asso-
ciated with his preceptor. Dr. Solomon Everest, fot two
years, and then removed to Marcellus, Onondaga Co., N. Y.,



HISTORY OF ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



203



in 1810. He at once assumed a prominent pcsition in
the profession in that county, and from thence removed
to Auburn, Cayuga Co., N. Y., in 1823. Here he enjoyed
a large practice, and was regarded as one of the most in-
fluential and skillful medical men of his day. He was
several years president of the Cayuga County Allopathic
Medical Society^ and was for some years surgeon of the
Auburn State-prison. In 18-10, Dr. Horatio Robinson
came to Auburn, Iiaving some knowledge of homoeopathy,
and a stock in trade consisting of a small round paper
snuff-box, in which were eleven vials of homoeopathic pel-
lets, each vial about the diameter of a goose-quill and
one and one-half inches in length ; also a copy of Dr.
EppS' " Domestic Homoeopathy." He explained to Dr.
Humphrey what he had heard and some things which he
had seen of the new practice. He failed, however, to in-
spire Dr. Humphrey with any confidence in the syiStem,
and the subject was dismissed for a time. Dr. Humphrey
h£»ving urgent business in New York, and Dr. Robinson
being entirely without business, the latter was left tem-
porarily in charge of the business of the former during
an absence of three weeks, without any intimation that
homoeopathy would be introduced or experimented with.
No sooner, however, had Dr. Humphrey left than Dr.
Robinson, having sent to Dr. A. Beigler, then practicing
homoeopathy in Albany, for another book, Dr. J. Jeans'
" Practice of Homoeopathy^'' and a new stock of medicines,
opened fire on all comers with the little pills. When Dr.
Humphrey returned, it was to find a crowd of patients at
his. office, and homoeopathic pellets in great demand on
every side. Among the patients, he had left two children
of an influential family, who had been carried through
scarlet fever according to the usual mode of practice, and



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 55 of 192)