Journal of Community Health

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 357–380 | Cite as

The Role of Abraham Lincoln in Securing a Charter for a Homeopathic Medical College

  • Allen D. Spiegel
  • Florence Kavaler


In 1854, Abraham Lincoln was retained to prepare a state legislative proposal to charter a homeopathic medical college in Chicago. This was a complex task in view of the deep-seated animosity between allopathic or orthodox medical practitioners and irregular healers. Homeopathy was regarded as a cult by the nascent American Medical Association. In addition, the poor reputation of medical education in the United States in general, further complicated the project. Lincoln and influential individuals in Illinois lobbied legislators and succeeded in securing the charter. Subsequently, the Hahnemann Homeopathic Medical College accepted its first class in 1860 and with its successors remained in existence for almost sixty-five years.

Abraham Lincoln lawyer homeopathy medical college medical education 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Laws of State of Illinois Passed by the 19th General Assembly Convened January 1, 1855. Springfield: Lanphier & Walker, 1855, 530–533.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    King WH. History of Homeopathy and Its Institutions in America. New York: Lewis Pub. Co., 1905, 1:345, 2:14, 159, 341, 348, 3:213.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Coulter HL. Divided Legacy: The Conflict Between Homeopathy and the American Medical Association. Berkeley: North American Homeopathic Educational Services, 1972, 3:59, 70, 124, 206–209, 304, 460.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Stroup G. Where did homeopathy come from? Http:// Scholar
  5. 5.
    Haehl R. Samuel Hahnemann: Sein Leben und Schaffen. Leipzig: Dr. Willmar Schwabe, 1922, 1:76.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hahnemann S. Organon der Rationellen Heilkunde. Dresden: Arnold, 1810.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hahnemann S. Die Chronischen Krankheiten Ihre Eigenhumliche Naturund Homopathische Heilung. Dresden:Leipzig: Arnold, 1828.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kaufman M. Homeopathy in America. The Rise and Fall of a Medical Heresy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1971, 28, 101, 158, 166.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Numbers RL. Do-It-Yourself the Sectarian Way in Send Me a Lady Doctor edited by R. Abram. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1985, 46.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Andreas AT. History of Chicago. Chicago: A.T. Andreas, 1884, 468–469, 471.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Davis NS. History of the American Medical Association From Its Organization Up to January 1850. Philadelphia Lippincott & Grambo, 1855.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fishbein M. A History of the American Medical Association 1847–1947. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1947, 3.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gevitz N. Other Healers. Unorthodox Medicine in America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Burrow JG. American Medical Association. Voice of American Medicine. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1963, 3.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wilder A. A History of Medicine. A Brief Outline of Medical History and Sects of Physicians, from the Earliest Historic Period: With an Extended Account of the New Schools of the Healing Art in the Nine teenth Century, and Especially a history of the American Eclectic Practice of Medicine Never Before Published. New Sharon, ME: New England Eclectic Pub. Co., 1901, 498.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Haller JS. The People's Doctors. Samuel Thomson and the Botanical Movement, 1790–1860. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jacobi A. The New York Medical College. Annals of Medical History 1917; 1:368–373.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bordley J, McGehee HA. Two Centuries of American Medicine 1776–1976. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1976, 27.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Beecher HF, Altschule MD. Medicine at Harvard. The First Three Hundred Years. Hanover: University Press of New England, 1977, 87, 90.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Eliot CW. Harvard Memories. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1923, 28, 35.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Wershub LP. One Hundred Years of Medical Progress. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 1967, 7.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rothstein WG. American Medical Schools and the Practice of Medicine. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987, 50, 53.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Norwood WF. American medical education from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. Journal of Medical Education 1957; 32:433–447.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    American Journal of Medical Sciences. Medical school advertisements 1849; 18:575.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Flexner A. Medical Education in the U.S. and Canada. A Report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. New York: Carnegie Foundation, 1910, x, 8, 14.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hooker W. Report to the AMA committee on medical education. Transactions of the AMA. Philadelphia: T.K. & P.G. Collins, 1849, 2:298.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Transactions AMA, 1849, 2:298.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Miers ES, Barringer WE, Powell CP. Lincoln Day by Day. A Chronology 1809–1865. Washington, DC: Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission, 1960, 2:103.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Illinois State Register. Notices, July6, 1853.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Duff JJ. A. Lincoln, Prairie Lawyer. New York: Rinehart & Co., 1960, Chp 13, 221–242.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Thomas BP. Lincoln's earlier practice in the federal courts 1839–1854. Bulletin of the Abraham Lincoln Association 1935; 39:3–9.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hoyne T. Historical; Sketch of the Origin and Foundation of the Chicago Public Library. Chicago: Beach, Barnard & Co., 1877.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hoyne T. Biographical Memoir of the Hon. George Manierre. Chicago Historical Society, April 16, 1878.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Hoyne T. The Early History of Illinois. Chicago: E.B. Myers & Co., 1884.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Higginson GM. Papers of Thomas Hoyne 1817–1883. Chicago Historical Society, 1883.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    In Memoriam. Sketch of the Life and Character of Thomas Hoyne, LLD, with the Proceedings of Public Bodies on the Occasion of His Death and Memorial Addresses. Chicago: Barnard & Gunthorp, 1883, 88.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Hoyne TS. Classification of a Few of the “New Remedies” According to the Parts of the Body Acted Upon: After the Plan of Bonninghausen. St. Louis, MO: H.C.G. Luyties, 1868.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Hoyne TS. Hoyne's Annual Directory of Homeopathic Physicians in the State of Illinois for the Year 1873. Chicago: Sinclair & Blair, 1873.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Hoyne TS. Clinical Therapeutics. Chicago: Duncan Brothers, 1878–1880.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Hoyne TS. Venereal and Urinary Diseases. Chicago: Halsey Brothers, 1883.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Pamphlets.Homeopathic, 1850–1893. Bradford Collection, University of Michigan, 3,4.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Chicago City Manual, 1911, 46; 1916, 202.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Chicago Historical Society. Memorial Addresses Commemorative of the Lives and Characters of Hon. Isaac N. Arnold... and Hon. Thomas Hoyne Delivered October 21, 1884. Chicago: Fergus Printing Co., 1884.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Edwards E. Sketch of the Life of Norman B. Judd. Chicago: Norton & Leonard, 1891, 8, 19.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Basler RP. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953, 4:187.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Lueckenhoff SK. A. Lincoln, a corporate attorney and the Illinois Central Railroad. Missouri Law Review 1996; 61:393–425.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Starr_JW. Lincoln and the Railroads, A Biographical Study. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 25, 112.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Brown CL. Abraham Lincoln and the Illinois Central Railroad, 1857–1860. Illinois State Historical Society Journal 1943; 36:121–163.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Holloway LM. Medical Obituaries: American Physicians' Biographical Notices in Selected Medical Journals Before 1907. New York: Garland Pub., 1981, 429.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Zeuch LH. History of Medical Practice in Illinois. Chicago: Book Press, Inc., 1927, 242.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy. Proceedings 1910; 2:179, 189; 14:19, 21; 16:84; General News 1924; 17:652.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Blake JB. Homeopathy in American history: a commentary. Transactions and Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia 1981; 3:83–92.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    American Medical Association. History of Medical Schools, 20th Edition. Chicago: AMA, 1958, 37, 146.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Starr P. The Social Transformation of American Medicine. New York: BasicBooks, 1982, 98.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Hahnemann Medical College. First Annual Announcement. Chicago: Hyatt Brothers, 1860, 9–13, 15.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    The Press Tribune. Hahnemann Medical College, October 15, 1860, 1.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    New York Times. Medical education in New York, October18, 1860, 4.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Reese DM. Humbugs of New York: Being a Remonstrance Against Popular Delusion: Whether in Science, Philosophy, or Religion. New York: J.S. Taylor, 1893.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Cooke NF. Valedictory Address to the Graduating Class of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, Delivered February 15, 1865.Chicago: Beach & Barnard, 1865.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Ludlam R. Valedictory Address to the Graduating Class of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, Delivered March 19, 1874. Chicago: Sinclair & Blair, 1874.Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Karst F. Homeopathy in Illinois. Caduceus 1988; 4:1–33.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Rogers N. The proper place of homeopathy: Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital in an age of scientific medicine. Philadelphia Magazine of History and Biography 1984; 4:179–201.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Philadelphia Inquirer.Medical parade disrupted, October 29, 1893.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Bittinger BF. Historic Sketch of the Monument to Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1900.Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Journal of the AMA.Statistics of medical colleges in the U.S. and Canada 1922; 79:651; 1923; 81; 563.Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Spiegel AD, Kavaler F. Abraham Lincoln's suit against a medical imposter who assaulted his client. Journal of Community Health 2001; 26[5]: 383–401.Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Spiegel AD. A. Lincoln, Esquire: A Shrewd, Sophisticated Litigator in His Time. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press 2001.Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Spiegel AD. Abraham Lincoln and the insanity plea. Journal of Community Health 1994; 19[3]: 201–220.Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Spiegel AD, Kavaler F. Abraham Lincoln, medical jurisprudence, and chloroform induced insanity in an 1857 murder trial. Caduceus 1994; 10[3]:145–160.Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Spiegel AD, Kavaler F. Chicken bones, defense lawyer A. Lincoln and a malpractice case. Lincoln Herald 1997; 99[4]: 156–171.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allen D. Spiegel
    • 1
  • Florence Kavaler
    • 1
  1. 1.Preventive Medicine and Community Health, SUNYDownstate Medical CenterBrooklyn11203

Personalised recommendations