Medical Liberty: Drugless Healers Confront Allopathic Doctors, 1910–1931

Abstract

Education, medicine and psychotherapeutics offer exemplary sites through which liberty and its dreams are realized. This article explores the social history of medical freedom and liberty in North America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The National League for Medical Freedom (NLMF) and the American Medical Liberty League (AMLL) offered fierce resistance to allopathic power. Allopatic liberties and rights to medical practice in asylums, clinics, courts, hospitals, prisons and schools were never certain. The politics of these liberties and rights represents a fascinating story that neither intellectual nor social historians have fully appreciated.

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  1. 1.

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  2. 2.

    On the NLMF and the AMLL, see J. Colgrove, “‘Science in a Democracy’: The Contested Status of Vaccination in the Progressive Era and the 1920s,” Isis 96 (June 2005): 167–191; N. Davidovich, “Homeopathy and Anti-Vaccinationism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,” in The Politics of Healing ed. R. D. Johnston (New York: Routledge, 2004), 11–28; M. Kaufman, “The American Anti-Vaccinationists and Their Arguments,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 41 (September 1967): 463–478; R. D. Johnston, The Radical Middle Class: Populist Democracy and the Question of Capitalism in Progressive era Portland, Oregon (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 179–206; M. Waserman, “The Quest for a National Health Department in the Progressive Era,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 49 (Fall 1975): 353–380.

  3. 3.

    Within eight unique sites—intelligence tests, medical inspections, physical education and instruction in hygiene, school lunches, hygiene of instruction, school sanitation, clinical psychology, etiology of nervous children and vivisection—in the 1890s and early 1900s developed a well-articulated modern, psychotherapeutic discourse and practice of schooling. S. Petrina, “The Medicalization of Education: A Historiographic Synthesis,” History of Education Quarterly 46 (Fall 2006): 503–531; Idem, “Luella Cole, Sidney Pressey and Educational Psychoanalysis, 1921–1931,” History of Education Quarterly 44 (Fall 2004): 524–553.

  4. 4.

    P. Miller, “The Territory of the Psychiatrist,” Ideology and Consciousness 7 (1980): 63–105; N. Rose, “The Psychological Complex: Mental Measurement and Social Administration,” Ideology and Consciousness 5 (1979): 5–68; idem, “Michel Foucault and the Study of Psychology,” Psycritique 1 (1985): 133–137; idem, The Psychological Complex (New York: Routledge, 1985); idem, “Calculable Minds,” History of the Human Sciences 1 (October 1988): 179–200; idem, “Individualizing Psychology,” in Texts of Identity, eds. J. Shotter & K. Gergan (London: Sage, 1989), 119–132; idem, Governing the Soul; idem, “Engineering the Human Soul: Analyzing Psychological Expertise,” Science in Context 2 (September 1992): 351–369; idem, Inventing Ourselves: Psychology, Power and Personhood (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); See also D. Ingleby, “The Psychology of Child Psychology,” Human Context 5 (August 1973): 557–568; idem, “Professionals as Socializers: The ‘Psy’ Complex,” Research in Law, Deviance and Social Control 7 (1985): 79–109.

  5. 5.

    W. F. Bynum & R. Porter, eds. Medical Fringe & Medical Orthodoxy, 1750–1850 (London: Croom Helm, 1987); E. Caplan, Mind Games: American Culture and the Birth of Psychotherapy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998); R. Cooter, ed. Studies in the History of Alternative Medicine (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1988); J. K. Crellin, R. R. Anderson & J. T. H. Connor, eds. Alternative Health Care in Canada (Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 1997); N. Gevitz, ed. Other Healers: Unorthodox Medicine in America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988); W. Ernst, ed. Plural Medicine, Tradition and Modernity, 1800–2000 (New York: Routledge, 2002); R. D. Johnston, ed. The Politics of Healing (New York: Routledge, 2004); R. Jütte, G. B. Risse & J. Woodward, eds. Culture, Knowledge, and Healing: Historical Perspectives of Homeopathic Medicine in Europe and North America (Sheffield: European Association for the History of Medicine and Health Publications, 1998); S. L. Smith-Cunnien, A Profession of Ones Own: Organized Medicines Opposition to Chiropractic (New York: University Press of America, 1998); J. C. Whorton, Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).

  6. 6.

    See, e.g., S. Chase & F. J. Schlink, Your Moneys Worth: A Study in the Waste of the Consumers Dollar (New York: Macmillan, 1927); A. J. Cramp, Nostrums and Quackery, Volume I (Chicago: AMA, 1911); Idem, Nostrums and Quackery, Volume II (Chicago: AMA, 1921); Idem, Nostrums and Quackery and Pseudo-Medicine, Volume III (Chicago: AMA, 1936); W. W. Bauer, Health, Hygiene and Hooey (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1938); M. Fishbein, The Medical Follies (New York: Boy & Liveright, 1925); A. R. Hale, These Cults (New York: National Health Foundation, 1926); S. Holbrook, The Golden Age of Quackery (New York: MacMillan, 1959); R. M. Lawrence, Primitive Psycho-Therapy and Quackery (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1910); F. B. Leitz, The History of Medicine in Relation to Cults and Fads (University of Wisconsin, M.D. Thesis, 1928); L. S. Reed, The Healing Cults: A Study of Sectarian Medical Practice (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1932); J. J. Walsh, Cures: The Story of Cures that Fail (New York: Appleton, 1924); J. H. Young, The Toadstool Millionaires: A Social History of Patent Medicines in America before Federal Regulation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961); Idem, American Self-Dosage Medicines: An Historical Perspective (Lawrence, KS: Coronado Press, 1971).

  7. 7.

    Leitz, The History of Medicine, 18; Osborne, “On Antimedicine,” 44.

  8. 8.

    C. A. Reed, “The Medical Inspection of Schools and Medical Freedom,” Journal of Proceedings and Addresses of the National Education Association 50 (July 1912): 273–278.

  9. 9.

    Prospectus of the NLMF, 1910, NLMF/533/09, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; Organization of the NLMF, 1910, NLMF/533/09, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; “Insurgent Healers of Men,” The Sun (16 May 1910): 1; “To Fight a National Bureau of Health,” New York Herald (16 May 1910): 1; “Do You Want the ‘Doctors’ Trust’ to be Able to Force its Opinions on You? New York Herald (16 May 1910).

  10. 10.

    For the Owen bill, see J. L. Bates, “Medical Freedom,” in Hearings to Establish a Department of Health and for Other Purposes, US Congress, Senate, Committee on Public Health and National Quarantine, 61st Cong., 2nd Sess. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1910), 178, 176; W. J. Schieffelin, “Work of the Committee of One Hundred on National Health,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 37 (March 1911): 77–86; Waserman, “The Quest;” F. A. Bangs, “Extracts from the Address of Frederick A. Bangs Before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,” in First Report of the NLMF, 1910, pp. 14–15, NLMF/533/09, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; For Lydston quote, see ibid, 15 and Exhibits, 1911, NLMF/533/09, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; “U.S. Government Doctors all Allopaths,” Medical Liberty 1 (July 1911): 2. On the NLMF’s portrait of the AMA and the Owen bill, see Medical Medievalism in the Twentieth Century, 1911, NLMF/533/09, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; B. O. Flower, Evils of a Health Bureau, 1911, NLMF/533/09, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; “Some Reasons Why You Should Oppose the Owen Bill,” Medical Freedom 3 (October 1913): 10; “The Owen Bill Which Creates a Department of Health,” Medical Freedom 3 (October 1913): 11.

  11. 11.

    On allopathy, see C. B. C[oventry], “Medical Convention,” New York Journal of Medicine and the Collateral Sciences 8 (1847), 372; S. Hahnemann, Organon Of Medicine, 6th, ed. and trans. W. Boericke (Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1810/1922), para. 54; K. E. Gundling, “When did I Become an Allopath,” Archives of Internal Medicine 158 (November 1998): 2185–2186; For history of medical liberty and licensing, see B. O. Flower, Progressive Men, Women, and Movements of the Past Twenty-Five Years (Boston: The New Arena, 1914), 298–316; J. H. Warner, “Medical Sectarianism, Therapeutic Conflict, and the Shaping of Orthodox Professional Identity in Antebellum American Medicine,” in Medical Fringe & Medical Orthodoxy, 1750–1850, ed. W. F. Bynum & R. Porter (London: Croom Helm), 234–260; Whorton, Nature Cures, 133–139; Flower, Progressive Men, 314.

  12. 12.

    On the R. C. Flower Medical Company, see NLMF/534/04 and 534/08 AMA Archives, Chicago, IL. A. J. Matusow, “The Mind of B. O. Flower,” New England Quarterly 34 (December 1961): 492–509, on 504; B. O. Flower, “The Menace of Medical Monopoly,” Arena 9 (February 1894): 409–413, on 409; Idem, “A Conversation with Alexander Wilder on Medical Freedom,” Arena 26 (December 1901): 631–641; Flower, Progressive Men, 314;

  13. 13.

    A. Harsch, First Report of the NLMF (New York, 1910), 6. For numbers of alternative and allopathic physicians, see A. A. Erz, The Medical Question (New York: Dr. Benedict Lust, 1914), 555; E. G. Jones, “Drugless Healing Vs. Medicine in the U.S.,” Wisconsin Medical Recorder (1909): 278–280; O. Garceau, The Political Life of the AMA (Hamden, CT.: Archon Books, 1961), 132.

  14. 14.

    For the AMA’s Propaganda Department, see M. Fishbein, “The American Medical Association’s Work for Consumer Protection,” Law and Contemporary Problems 1 (December 1933): 50–54; J. H. Young, “Arthur Cramp: Quackery Foe,” Pharmacy in History 37 (October 1995): 176–182. On the Biologics Control Act of 1902 and the Pure Food Act of 1906, see R. A. Kondratas, “Biologics Control Act of 1902,” in Early Years of Federal Food and Drug Control, ed. J. H. Young (Madison, WI: American Institute of Pharmacy, 1982), 8–27; C. C. Regier, “The Struggle for Federal Food and Drug Legislation,” Law and Contemporary Problems 1 (December 1933): 3–15; P. Temin, Taking Your Medicine: Drug Regulation in the United States (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980), 18–37; J. H. Young, “Federal Drug and Narcotic Legislation,” Pharmacy in History 37 (April 1995): 59–68; “Tetanus from Anti-diphtheria Serum,” JAMA 37 (1901): 1255; Propaganda Department, “NLMF,” 1910, p. 3, NLMF/534/04, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL.

  15. 15.

    On “The Great American Fraud,” see J. H. Cassedy, “Muckraking and Medicine: Samuel Hopkins Adams,” American Quarterly 16 (Spring 1964): 85–99; Holbrook, The Golden Age, 14–28; R. J. Valuck, S. Poirier & R. G. Mrtek, “Patent Medicine Muckraking,” Pharmacy in History 34 (October 1992): 183–192; Young, The Toadstool, 205–225; Young, American Self-Dosage, 15–32. “Medical Freedom,” New York Times (18 May 1910): 10. For a helpful, succinct description of proprietary and patent medicines at the time, see R. L. Caplan, “The Commodification of American Health Care, ”Social Science Medicine 28 (1989): 1139–1148; J. P. Swann, “Sure Cure: Public Policy on Drug Efficacy Before 1962,” in The Inside Story of Medicines, eds. G. J. Higby and E. C. Stroud (Madison, WI: American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, 1997, 223–262.

  16. 16.

    “Medical Freedom,” Science 31 (3 June 1910): 860; “The AMA Called a Trust,” JAMA 54 (4 June 1910), 1876; “The League gets Another Defender,” JAMA 55 (30 July 1910), 408; “The Organization of Ill Health,” JAMA 55 (13 August 1910), 421; “Opposition to a National Department of Health,” American Medicine 5 (July 1910): 339–343, on 342; “Schools of Medicine,” JAMA 38 (1 February 1902): 328; Schieffelin, “Work of the Committee,” Taft quoted on 86.

  17. 17.

    A. Flexner, Medical Education in the United States and Canada: A Report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Bulletin No. 4 (New York: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1910), 156, 158; Whorton, Nature Cures, 226.

  18. 18.

    “Factories for the Making of Ignorant Doctors,” New York Times (24 July 1910), 1–2; Flexner, Medical Education, 15, 17. For consequences of the Flexner report, see E. R. Brown, Rockefeller Medical Men: Medicine and Capitalism in America (Berkeley: University of California Press); M. Kaufman, “Homeopathy in America: The Rise and Fall and Persistence of a Medical Heresy, ”in Other Healers: Unorthodox Medicine in America, ed. N. Gevitz (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988), 99–123; G. Rosen, The Structure, of American Medical Practice, 1875–1941 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983), 62–65; N. P. Colwell, Medical Education, 1918–1920, Bulletin No. 15 (Washington, DC: Bureau of Education, 1921); US Supreme Court, Collins v. Texas, 223 US 288 (1912); L. P. Crutcher, “Can Be No Sects or Schools in the League,” Medical Freedom 1 (December 1911), 10. On the regulation of psychotherapeutic practice, see “Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association,” Psychological Bulletin 13 (February 1916): 49; S. I. Franz, “Activities of Clinical Psychologists,” Psychological Bulletin 14 (June 1917): 224–229; J. V. Haberman, “Psychic Therapy, Clinical Psychology, and the Layman Invasion,” Medical Record 87 (24 April 1915): 680–683, on 689; S. Petrina, “‘The Kingdom of Evils’ in the Boston Psychopathic Hospital, 1912–1918,” (unpublished manuscript, 2008).

  19. 19.

    N. Hapgood, “A Bad Bunch,” Colliers 47 (6 May 1911): 1; idem, “Liberty,” Colliers 47 (3 June 1911): 1; idem, “Our Statement,” Colliers 47 (10 June 1911): 9; H. E. Lesan, The Facts About Colliers Attack on the NLMF, Box 533–09, AMA Archives, Chicago, Il; E. V. Cooke, “A Letter to Collier’s,” Medical Century (August 1911): 247–249; H. E. Lesan, Colliers Rebuked: Edmund Vance Cookes Reply to Colliers Attack on the NLMF, Box 533–09, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL.

  20. 20.

    “Medical Freedom Championed,” Medical Freedom 1 (November 1911), 5; “The National League for Medical Freedom,” American Medicine 6 (December 1911): 626–628; L. P. Crutcher, “An Open Letter to Dr. Francis M. Kellogg,” Medical Century (September 1911): 279–282, on 281; R. Baker, Address of Hon. Robert Baker at NLMF Mass Meeting, Carnegie Hall, October 24, 1911, pp. 5–6, 11–13, Box 533–09, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL. On life insurance companies, see “Compulsory Health Insurance: ‘Next Great Step in Social Legislation’,” Journal of American History 56 (September 1969): 290–304.

  21. 21.

    B. O. Flower, “Address Given by B. O. Flower of Boston at the Ladies Literary Club,” 16 January 1912, p. 16, NLMF/534/04, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; J. Howard Snively to John D. Works, 3 February 1912, pp. 2, 16, NLMF/534/06, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL.

  22. 22.

    “Medical Inspection in Public Schools a Failure,” Medical Freedom 3 (October 1913): 6–7; “Bureau of Education Shows Favoritism Toward Medical Trust,” Medical Freedom 5 (September 1915): 8–9. For Boston data, see T. F. Harrington, “Medical Supervision Versus Medical Inspection of Public Schools,” Boston Medical and Surgical Journal 156 (23 May 1907): 664–667; J. T. Sullivan, T. J. Murphy & M. J. Cronin, “Medical Inspection of Schools from the Standpoint of the Medical Inspector,” Boston Medical and Surgical Journal 159 (17 December 1908): 815–820. For Flower and Fisher debate, see “National Health and Medical Freedom,” Century Magazine 85 (February 1913): 512–514. See also A. S. Condon, “The NLMF and Their Subsidized Newspapers, the Great Industrialized Iconoclasts of the Century,” Northwest Medicine (December 1912): 1–13.

  23. 23.

    For medical inspections in Boston, see G. Badger, “The Physical Welfare of the Public School Children,” Boston Medical and Surgical Journal (BMSJ) 156 (23 May 1907): 667–669; S. D. Brooks, “The School Hygiene Department of Boston, Mass.,” Psychological Clinic 2 (April 1908): 251–252, on 251; idem, “Report of the Director of School Hygiene,” Superintendents Report (1908): 102–148, Boston Archives and Records Management Division; W. F. Coues, “The Medical Inspection of Schools in Boston,” BMSJ 160 (10 June 1909): 746–748, on 748; S. H. Durgin, “One Year’s Experience in the Medical Inspection of Schools,” BMSJ 134 (9 April 1896): 360–361, 366–368; J. G. Hanson, “Medical Inspection on Public Schools,” BSMJ 163 (11 August 1910): 242–245; Harrington, “Medical Supervision,” 665; idem, “Medical Problems in Education: The Responsibility of the Medical Profession,” BMSJ 171 (3 December 1914): 839–845; E. P. Seaver, “The Medical Visitors,” Superintendents Report (1895): 76–79, Boston Archives and Records Management Division; S. D. Brooks, “Report of the Director of School Hygiene,” Superintendents Report (1908): 102–148, Boston Archives and Records Management Division; J. F. Rogers and F. M. Phillips, Progress and Prospect in School Health Work, School Health Studies No. 10 (1925); Sullivan, Murphy & Cronin, “Medical Inspection.” For history of medical inspections, see L. H. Gulick & L. P. Ayres, Medical Inspection of Schools (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1913); J. Duffy, “The Early Days of the School Health Movement,” Conspectus of History 1 (October 1981): 43–54; M. Gleason, “Race, Class and Health: School Medical Inspection and ‘Healthy Children’ in British Columbia, 1890 to 1930,” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 19 (January 2002): 95–112; G. Rosen, A History of Public Health (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1993), 340–341.

  24. 24.

    M. R. Albert, K. G. Ostheimer & J. G. Breman, “The Last Smallpox Epidemic and the Vaccination Controversy, 1901–1903,” New England Journal of Medicine (1 February 2001): 375–379, on 378; J. Duffy, “School Vaccination: The Precursor to School Medical Inspection,” Journal of the History of Medicine and the Allied Sciences 33 (July 1978): 344–355; For anti-vaccination, see R. J. Altenbaugh, “Where are the Disabled in the History of Education: The Impact of Polio on Sites on Learning,” History of Education 35 (November 2006): 705–730; Davidovich, “Homeopathy;” B. O. Flower, “The Battle for Medical Freedom,” Twentieth Century 4 (1911): 656; M. Kaufman, “The American Anti-Vaccinationists and Their Arguments,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 41 (September 1967): 463–478; Johnston, The Radical, 177–217; Idem, The Politics of Healing (New York: Routledge, 2004), 259–286.

  25. 25.

    For antivivisection in Boston, see W. W. Keen, “The Influence of Antivivisection on Character,” BMSJ 166 (2 May 1912): 651–658, 687–694, on 694; “The Anti-Vivisection Exhibit,” BMSJ 166 (25 April 1912): 639–640, on 640. For the vivisection of children, see D. Belais, “Vivisection Animal and Human,” Cosmopolitan 49 (July 1910): 267–273; S. Lederer, “Hideyo Noguchi’s Luetin Experiment and the Antivivisectionists,” Isis 76 (March 1985): 31–48; Idem, “Orphans as Guinea Pigs: American Children and Medical Experimenters, 1890–1930,” in In the Name of the Child: Health and Welfare, 1870–1940, ed. Roger Cooter (New York: Routledge: 1992), 96–123; Idem, Subjected to Science: Human Experimentation in America Before the Second World War (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), 40–46, 79–85; S. Lederer and M. Grodin, “Historical Overview: Pediatric Experimentation,” in Children as Research Subjects, eds. M. Grodin and L. H. Glantz (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 3–28.

  26. 26.

    “Chicago Boy is Arbitrarily Excluded from School by a Medical Inspector,” 1913, NLMF, Box 0534-01, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; “The Chicago Campaign Against Compulsory Medical Inspection,” Medical Freedom 3 (December 1913), 4; “Medical Examination in Chicago,” Medical Freedom 3 (December 1913), 5; Lewis P. Crutcher, “Political Medicine in the Public Schools,” Medical Freedom 3 (December 1913), 1; “Compulsory Examination of School Children a National Issue,” Medical Freedom 3 (December 1913), 1. See also “Fooling the People,” Medical Freedom 5 (October 1915): 1; “Opposition to Medical Examinations in Chicago Schools,” Medical Freedom 5 (December 1915): 54–55; “Health Commissioner Robertson Says Must Have Parent’s Consent,” Medical Freedom 5 (January 1916): 72–73. On striping students, see “Strip Children in Public Schools for Medical Examination,” Medical Freedom 5 (September 1915): 5–6; “Strip Children in Public Schools for Medical Examination,” Medical Freedom 5 (September 1915): 5–6; “Resolutions Condemn Regulations to Strip School Children,” Medical Freedom 5 (January 1916): 75; “How Medical Inspectors Jeopardize Chicago Public Schools,” Medical Freedom 5 (March 1916): 110–111.

  27. 27.

    H. B. Anderson, “Medical Examination of School Children a Failure—Federal Authorities Refuse Fair Discussion,” Medical Freedom 4 (September 1914): 11–16, on 16; A. F. Stephens, “Compulsory Examination of School Children an Outrage,” Medical Freedom 4 (August 1915): 185–186, on 186. Compare with A. F. Stephens, A Medico-Political Outrage, 1911, NLMF/533/09, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; R. C. Cabot, “Diseases of the Mouth, Throat and Chest,” BMSJ 166 (25 April 1912): 621; “Proposed Clinics for Public Schools,” Medical Freedom 2 (October 1912): 6–7; “Objects to using Children as ‘Clinical Material’,” Medical Freedom 5 (February 1916): 95; “Physicians Profit from Inspection of School Children,” Medical Freedom 4 (May 1915): 137; “Medical Lectures in the Public Schools,” Medical Freedom 4 (August 1915): 179; B. O. Flower, The Compulsory Medical Inspection of School Children," 1912, p. 13, NLMF/533/09, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL.

  28. 28.

    Petrina, “The Medicalization of Education.”

  29. 29.

    A. A. Erz, “Medical Laws vs. Human Rights and Constitution,” Naturopath and Herald of Health 18 (1913): 438–472, 513–544, 585–597, on 438; idem, The Medical Question; “Compulsory Medical Inspection Defeated by Popular Vote,” Medical Freedom 5 (October 1915): 21; “The Closing of the League,” Medical Freedom 6 (September 1916): 1.

  30. 30.

    American Medical Association, Nostrums and Quackery, Volume I (Chicago: Author, 1911), 7; Propaganda for Reform Department, “The American Medical Liberty League,” JAMA 79 (29 July 1922): 395–397; A. J. Cramp to F. E. Stewart, 6 January 1920, AMLL/50/02, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL.

  31. 31.

    “The Ensign Remedies,” 1921, Ensign/236/05, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; When a Cure is not a Cure, 1904, Ensign/236/05, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; The Ensign Theory, 1915, Ensign/236/05, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; How and Why we Cure, 1915, Ensign/236/05, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; “Promise Cure for Anything,” Detroit Saturday Night (26 July 1913): 1; A. J. Cramp to W. O. Owen, 8 January 1919, Ensign/236/05, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL.

  32. 32.

    For Little’s biography, see Johnston, Radical Middle, 192–213; L. C. Williams Little, “Autobiographical,” Liberator 6 (January 1905): 95–96; idem, “Strictly Personal and Confidential,” 1918, AMLL/49/15, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; idem, “The Overshadowing Menace of State Medicine,” Medical Freedom 52 (June 1913): 9–10; Idem, “Liberty and Love of Liberty Fast Slipping From Us,” Medical Liberty 5 (July 1916): 165–167.

  33. 33.

    Lora Little to Dear Friend, 22 August 1919, AMLL/116/10, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; Central Health Committee, 22 August 1919, Constitutional Resolution, AMLL/116/10, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; Lora Little to J. A. Lusk, 9 June 1920, AMLL/50/03, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; F. E. Stewart to Geo. H. Simmons, 6 January 1920, AMLL/50/02, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; A. J. Cramp to F. E. Stewart, 12 January 1920, AMLL/50/02, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL. On the Public School Protective League in California, see Chester H. Rowel, “Medical and Anti-Medical Legislation in California,” American Journal of Public Health 11 (1921): 128–132.

  34. 34.

    AMLL, “Second Annual Meeting and Banquet Program,” 1920, AMLL/49/15, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; “Books and Pamphlets Sold by AMLL,” 1925, AMLL/49/15, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; Lora C. Little, The Baby and the Medical Machine (Chicago: AMLL, 1919), 6; AMLL, Why Doctors Should not be Health Officers (Chicago: AMLL, 1920), 1. For “medicalizing” quote, see AMLL, “Annual Report for the Year Ending September 30, 1924,” 1924, pp. 6–7, AMLL/49/15, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL and AML, “Platform,” 1926, p. 2, AMLL/49/15, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL. The Peril and the Truth-Teller referred to the AMA as an octopus on numerous occasions. This quote is from K. M. Roberts, “The ‘Health Insurance’ Idea for Connecticut,” Truth-Teller (December 1918), 2. See also “Some Interesting Clippings,” 1919, pp. 4–5, Ensign/236/05, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL. “The medical octopus is building up a powerful political ring... For ten years I have been patiently watching the operations of this medical octopus, thinking that perhaps I was unduly alarmed but they have become bolder and bolder until they have over-reached even my fears.”

  35. 35.

    F. L. Hoffman, “American Mortality Progress During the Last Half Century,” in A Half Century of Public Health, ed. M. Ravenal (New York: American Public Health Association, 1921), 94–117; F. C. Kelly, “Is Better Health Due to the Doctors?”, Current History 18 (April 1923): 48–53; R. W. Wilbur, “The Doctor’s Service to Humanity,” Current History 18 (May 1923): 223–236; “Is Better Health Due to the Doctors?”, Current History 18 (June 1923): 484–486; H. Emerson, “Health: First Day of the Conference,” Survey 50 (15 June 1923): 331–332; P. De Kruif, “Our Medicine Men,” Century Magazine 104 (1922): 416–426, 593–601, 781–789, 950–956; B. C. Keller, “The Laity’s Idea of the Physician,” Illinois Medical Journal 44 (July 1923): 13–20; I. Arthur, “The Medical Profession and the People,” Journal of the Indiana State Medical Association (November 1923): 369–372; E. Beardsley, “Why the Public Consult the Pseudo-Medical Cults,” Journal of the Medical Society of New Jersey 9 (September 1924): 275–281.

  36. 36.

    AMLL, “Platforms and Resolutions of the AMLL,” November 1928, AMLL/49/15, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; Lora C. Little to Herbert Hoover, 20 March, 1929, AMLL/50/03, AMA Archives, Chicago, IL; George Soule, The Future of Liberty (New York: Macmillan, 1936), 83–85, 165–166; F. Rudolph, “The American Liberty League, 1934–1940,” American Historical Review 56 (October 1950): 19–33.

  37. 37.

    M. Foucault, The Birth of the Clinic, trans. A. M. Sheridan Smith (New York: Vintage, 1973/1994), 32, 69, 45.

  38. 38.

    For definition of medical liberty, see AMLL, “Annual Report for the Year Ending September 30, 1924,” 6–7; A. Petersen, “Governmentality, Critical Scholarship, and the Medical Humanities,” Journal of Medical Humanities 24 (Winter 203): 187–201; Osborne, “On Anti-Medicine;” Idem, “On Liberalism;” Burchell, “Peculiar Interests,” 139; T. J. Kaptchuk & D. M. Eisenberg, “Varieties of Healing 1: Medical Pluralism in the United States,” Annals of Internal Medicine 135 (2001): 189–195.

  39. 39.

    For cognitive liberty, see the Center for Cognitive Liberty (http://www.cognitiveliberty.org), which defines the concept as “the right of each individual to think independently and autonomously, to use the full spectrum of his or her mind, and to engage in multiple modes of thought.” See also R. G. Boire, “On Cognitive Liberty (Parts 1–4)” Journal of Cognitive Liberties 1–4 (1999–2003): 7–13, 7–20, 7–22, 15–24; and J. Ruiz-Sierra, “Is it Time for a Cognitive Liberty Social Movement?”, Journal of Cognitive Liberties 4 (2003): 53–62.

Acknowledgement

I am grateful for comments and advice provided by Robert D. Johnston on earlier drafts of this article, for the archival assistance of the staff at the American Medical Association Archives, and for research assistance from Franc Feng.

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Petrina, S. Medical Liberty: Drugless Healers Confront Allopathic Doctors, 1910–1931. J Med Humanit 29, 205–230 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10912-008-9063-3

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Keywords

  • Medical freedom
  • Cognitive liberty
  • Pluralism
  • History of medicine
  • Psychotherapeutics and education
  • Politics of medicine
  • Vaccination
  • Medical inspection
  • Allopathy
  • Alternative medicine