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degree of A.B., in 1844, spent one year in the medical school of Harvard University, and received his medical degree from Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, in 1846. On June 12, 1855, he married Francis Ellen, daughter of John W. Sullivan, Esq., and niece of General Dix. During the Crimean war he served as medical officer in the Turkish army, receiving, at the end of the war, a medal from the Turkish government in recognition of the value of his services. On his return from Europe he resumed practice in Brookline, where he soon acquired a distinguished popularity. From his boyhood military life possessed a charm for him, and at the very commencement of the rebellion he was among the first to offer his services to the State. On May 22, 1861, he was commissioned as Captain of Company A, First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers. He served in the regiment at the first battle of Bull Run, and in the Peninsula Campaign under General McClellan. At the second battle of Fair Oaks he was severely wounded in the right hand, and returned home disabled. Before his wound was healed he was commissioned successively as Major and Lieutenant Colonel of the Thirty-second Massachusetts Volunteers, and on the 11th of August, 1862, was commissioned Colonel of the Thirty-fifth Regiment, which had recruited under his direction. On the 22nd of August, the regiment, one thousand strong, left the State with Colonel Wild at its head, his arm suspended in a sling, and on the 14th of September following, at the battle of South Mountain, where he led his regiment with the greatest bravery, he was again severely wounded, in the left arm, which was first amputated at the middle third and afterwards at the shoulder. Most persons would have felt that they had sacrificed sufficient to their country, as for some time his life was in great danger, but, recovering from his wound, with determined will he brought into service his almost useless right hand, and on the 23rd of April following he was commissioned Brigadier General of the United States Volunteers. After assisting in raising the Fiftyfourth and Fifty-fifth Massachusetts regiments, composed of colored troops, he assumed command of the organization known as Wild's African Brigade. He served under General Foster in North Carolina, and under General Butler in the Army of the James, and in May, 1865, was ordered to report for duty in Georgia, under Brevet-Major Saxton, Assistant Commissary the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands. Finally, by an order of the department, dated December 28, 1865, he, with 122 general officers, was honorably mustered out of the service of the United States. His long and severe military service unfitted him, in his own opinion, for a return to the medical profession. He became interested in the mines of Nevada Territory, and, with varying fortunes, spent many years of his life, replete with adventure and hardship, in the wildest regions of the West. Long.continued hardship and exposure brought on a premature age, which was graced by a dignity and nobility of bearing rarely equaled, but quenched not the fire and daring of his early life. Although his health was impared, yet he engaged in an undertaking, with a party of civil engineers, to make surveys for a railroad from the Magdalena river to the city of Medellin in South America, for the government of Antioquia. The party sailed from New York on July ist, 1891, and after a hard journey reached Medellin about the last of the month. Severe sickness came upon him, and he died at Medellin, on the 28th ot August, 1891, in the sixtysixth year of his age. During his entire sickness he received distinguished care and attention, and, as a “General of a friendly nation," General Wild was buried with military honors. A company of soldiers escorted his body to the cemetery, while the bells of the cathedral tolled, and the governor of the province, secretary of the treasury and other goverment officials, as well as the employés of the railroad company attended the funeral services of the distinguished dead.
Although the military career of Dr. Wild formed a very important part of his life, still his ardent, enthusiastic, persistent and enduring temperament, had he continued therein, would have made a lasting imprint upon the medical profession. He was deeply interested in all pertaining to it - in its literature, its institutions, and all that served for its advancement. With the poorest child he would sometimes sit for hours, watching the effect of a carefully-selected remedy. He was a firm believer in homeopathy, and an active member of our medical societies. He joined the State society in 1853; was a member of some of its most important committees, and in 1860 he deiivered the annual oration, in which he dwelt upon the occult power of mind over matter. He became a member of the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1859, and had been eight years a Senior at the time of his death,
1. T. T.
NEW-ENGLAND MEDICAL GAZETTE.
Contributions of original articles, correspondence, personal items, etc., should be sent to the publishers,
ANOTHER WORD ON “VERIFICATIONS.” The New York Homeopathic Materia Medica Society, through its secretary, Dr. A. R. McMichael, has done the GAZETTE the honor to reply, somewhat in extenso and very courteously, to the GAZETTE's editorial note, of a few months ago, on the Society's methods and purposes. We take great pleasure in reproducing this letter in full :
"THE NEW YORK HOMEOPATHIC MATERIA MEDICA SOCIETY. To the Editor of the New-England Medical Gazette :
SIR, — The June number of the New-ENGLAND MEDICAL GAZETTE, in referring to the New York Homveopathic Materia Medica Society, has, in the form of a criticism on the object of the Society, evidently been led astray as to its true intent and purposes. The object, in part, of the Society, as set forth in the February number of the North American Journal of Homeopathy, is briefly as follows:
To collect and preserve all verifications, not only of reliable pathogenetic symptoms, but clinical as weil, from every source extant. At the end of each year a value is to be given to each symptom, whether pathogenetic or clinical, should it reach the standard imposed by the Society. This standard will likely be similar to the following:
If a symptom has been verified ten times it will be considered a grand characteristic of that drug ; should five verifications be found it will stand as a characteristic, pathogenetic or clinical, as the case may be; the two being kept apart, and printed in the collaborator's report as such. All symptoms that do not reach the standard at the end of each year will go over and occupy the
VOL. XXVII. -- No. 9.
same place, and have the same relation and value as those previously considered.
In this way, drugs that have reliable provings will have their symptoms verified, not only by one individual, but by many; and drugs that have not been proven, but clinical symptoms many times verified, will assume a practical value, if not scientific.
It is true that many reported cures, or verifications of symptoms, will be found which are unreliable; but if the final standard of value be made sufficiently high, allowance can be made for reports which otherwise would not stand the test of scientific investigation.
It is also true that drugs that have not been proven can be used intelligently; if their clinical symptoms are verified sufficiently by close observers our prescriptions then would savor less of empiricism, and would not detract from the scientific value of well-proven drugs. Very truly yours,
A. R. McMICHAEL, M.D." We cannot but suggest, though with all possible respect, and under correction, that the pith of our former comment seems here to be somewhat missed. That point was — and is — that to gauge the value of a clinical “verification ” by the number of times it is found reported, here or there, may be, with the best intent, to do science a grave mischief by securing the survival of the unfittest. For, unhappily
For, unhappily — speaking broadly and in the rough-the most confident reports of "verifications” are usually the least reliable. It is the novel, the unproved, and frequently the inert, or the wildly impossible drug with which the ardent enthusiast in therapeutics loves best to experiment, and from which he is most certain to report triumphant cures. As tales of these cures spread abroad through the journals more ardent enthusiasts experiment with the drug (sic), and more cures are reported; and not ten, but a hundred “clinical verifications" thus press forward in support of the claims of a substance which even cautious empiricists look at askance, and for which homoeopathists, as such, can have no possible use, since the substance in question has no pathogenesy. It is a humiliating fact that "clinical verifications” are of very little more value, as found in medical magazines, than are “testimonials ” to patent medicines, in the columns of daily newspapers. Both may be honest; both may stand for the fact that certain results may scem to follow the administration of certain substances, and the
value to science of both is nil. Yet lac caninum may, because of its hundreds of clinical verifications,” be respectfully catalogued by scientific gentlemen who would smile compassionately at the “clinical verifications," in the homely vernacular called "testimonials," offered by “Paget's Pain Palliator.” Yet after all, what sound testimony to values is there in the one case that there is not in the other?
The scientific mind can recognize but one condition under which “clinical verifications” can be of value; namely, when they outnumber clinical nullifications of the same drug, when compared with these in parallel column. Which is to say, that when the sphere of homeopathy is deserted for that of empiricism which is done whenever we deal with the action of drugs having no reliable pathogenesy - we should at least adopt the best methods of empiricism, and seek records of the cases in which the drug has been unsuccessfully administered, and cases under which recovery from the disease-condition has been made when no drug was administered. It is only when such cases are put in comparison with the "verifications" that the latter can claim any solid value.
Homeopathy stands so sadly to-day in need of the best service of her best minds — service in building up a clean and strong drug-pathogenesy on which, and on which alone, scientific homeopathic practice can safely and proudly rest — that for homeopathy's best minds to lend themselves, though ever so little, to the service of empiricism, by methods to whose fallacy the whole history of old-school practice bears age-long testimony, seemed a risk over which the GAZETTE, from the depths of a friendly heart, ventured to sigh. And if this sigh has voiced itself in phrase too frank, the friendliness which breathes through it all must plead excuse.
EDITORIAL NOTES AND COMMENTS.
"WHAT'S IN A NAME?” may, in good-humored irony, be asked of the gentleman who, judging from a recent communication to the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, seems to be under the impression that to change the name of a medicinal agent will alter the facts of its history. The gentleman in question is Dr. Kenelm Winslow; and the drug, on whose properties he discourses, is glonoin. With a reasonableness akin to that of the head-hiding ostrich, this writer refers to our old homeopathic stand-by under the extraordinary and meaningless name of glenoine ; thereby proving his timorous conviction that to call the drug by the name bestowed upon it by the famous homeopathist who introduced it to America, were to expose, too flagrantly, his own absurdity in treating of the drug as a recent and valuable discovery by allopathy. This caution comes too late ; since, apparently unknown to him, authoritative writers of his own school Robert T. Edes and Farquharson, for example — have already accepted and employed in good faith the name glonoin, recognizing, doubtless, the sound, scientific reasons which influenced Dr. Constantine Hering in thus christening the substance which he had the honor of introducing to the medical profession nearly fifty years ago. These reasons it may not be uninteresting for us to recall in Dr. Hering's own words:
“But above all things the child required a name. Sobrero had not considered one necessary, and the gun-cotton had not even been chemically christened, so I coined a name from the components -- glycerine, or hydrate of glycyl-oxide with nitrosulphuric acid gave the product. The sulphuric acid and the water remaining, our substance was Glycyl Oxyd and Nitrogen Oxygen, the latter perhaps as nitric acid, and the elements of the first transferred to alkalies. All this we did not even know how to investigate, and were obliged to wait for adepts to discover it. But the name could not wait, so to Gl. O. N. O. inum was added, to designate what is derived, abbreviating which we had the euphonic and significant name of glonoin, the i long and accented.'
Some years later Hering wrote: "Since analysis has shown that it is not a compound of nitric acid and glycerine, but a newformed combination, the name nitro-glycerine ought to be left to exploders and their working-men. The name glonoin is formed according to the custom of all the great explorers, from the initials of the elements and compounds in combination, like aldehyde, and several others.
Petty puerilities are many in the history of the relations of the old school and new, in the way of efforts to ignore, in all imaginable ways, the credit due homeopathy for its contributions to