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Full text of "A discourse commemorative of the life and character of Samuel Jackson, M.D., late professor of the institutes of medicine in the University of Pennsylvania"

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A DISCOURSE 



COMMEMORATIVE OF THE LIFE AND CHARACTER 



SAMUEL JACKSON, M.D., 



LATE PROFESSOR OP THE INSTITUTES OF MEDICINE 



UNIYERSITY OF PE^NSYLVAIsIA. 



BY 

JOSEPH CARSON, M.D., 

PROFESSOR OP MATERIA MEDICA AND PHARMACY. 



nJEI^irXHtJED OCTOBEJt 7, 1S72, 



BEFORE THE 



TRUSTEES, PEOFESSOES, AND STUDENTS OF THE USITEESIIY OF PESSSILYAAIA. 



PHILADELPHIA: 
COLLINS, PRINTER, 705 JAYNE STREET. 

1872. 

THE LIBRARY 

T71VTVRRRTTV OF rATTFOWNTA 



CORRESPONDENCE. 



At a meeting of the Medical Class of the University of Pennsylvania, held Oct. 
12th, 1872, for the purpose of requesting a copy of Prof. Joseph Carson's Intro- 
ductory Lecture, Mr. Charles K. I. Miller, of Pennsylvania, was called to the Chair, 
and Mr. AVm. H. Rush, of Philadelphia, appointed Secretary. 

On motion it was 

Resolved, That committees be appointed to carry out the intention of the Class. 

University of Pennsylvania, 

Philadelphia, Oct. 14, 1872. 
Joseph Carson, M.D., Prof, of Materia Medica, University of Fenna. 

Dear Sir : At a meeting of the Medical Class, held on the 12th inst., the follow- 
ing gentlemen were appointed a committee to solicit for publication a copy of your 
address, delivered as an introductory to the one hundred and seventh course of 
lectures, in eulogy of the late Prof Samuel Jackson, of this school. 

Enrique M. Estrazulas, Uruguay, South America. 

John G. Schenck, New Jersey. 

Juan Guiteras, Cuba. 

Edward T. Bruen, Pennsylvania. 

Frank C. Hand, Pennsylvania. 



University of Pennsylvania, 

Philadelphia, Oct. 15th, 1872. 
To Messrs. Estrazulas, Schenck, Guiteras, Bruen, and Hand, Committee of 
Medical Class. 
Gentlemen : I accede with pleasure to the request of the Medical Class, ex- 
pressed through you, that the Eulogy of the late Professor Jackson, delivered at 
the opening of the Session, should be published under its auspices. 

Be pleased to convey to the Class my apprecintion of the feeling expressed by the 
request, and the assurance of my deep interest in your welfare and that of your 
fellow students. 

Very sincerely your 

obedient servant, 

J. CARSON. 



Committee on Publication. 

Guilherme Ellis, S. Paulo, Brazil, S. A. Reuben W. Gulledge, Miss. 

Cyrus A. Loose, Pennsylvania. 

James S. Everton, Pennsylvania. 

Chas. p. Britton, New Jersey. 

Frank Houskeeper, Pennsylvania. 

H. Turner Bass, N. C. 

John S. Bagg, Massachusetts. 

Wm. a. Bell, Virginia. 

Emile S. Bonwill, Delaware. 

Westwood J. Baker, Alabama. 

Herbert R. Carter, N. B. 

John M. Steele, Md. 

Chas. C. Matteson, 111. 

Henry Essig, Mo. 

William Gamble, Conn. 

Wm. p. D. Giltner, Oregon. 

Brady 0. Williams, W. Virg. 

WM. H. rush. 

Secretary. 



Ltcortas B. Hall, Vermont. 
Edward J. Hallum, Texas. 
Joseph C. Hunter, Iowa. 
Francis J. Rogers, R. I. 
Wm. T. Wythe, Cal. 
Herman N. Loeb, Chili, S. A. 
George H. Lamson, France. 
Walter H. Lewis, Ind. 
Richard T. Metcalfe, Nova Scotia. 
Kenkiche R. Mayeda, Japan. 
Abr. a. McDonald, Minn. 
Robert Pillow, Tenn. 
V. Gonzales Salinas, Mexico. 
TiiADDEUs F. Truman, N. Y. 
James F. AVatson, Ky. 
Edward Jeckell, England. 

CHAS. K. I. MILLER, 

Cliairman. 



100 

A DISCOUESE. 



A FAITHFUL record of the lives of men who have borne a 
prominent part in the affairs of the world, who have been 
remarkable not only for their eminence in professional pursuits, 
but for the length of time that they have been engaged in 
them, is of twofold interest. 

Such a record not only exhibits to us the steps by which 
individual success and reputation have been attained ; but it 
is interwoven with the history of the times through which 
they passed. It entails a narrative of events of general con- 
cern, of changes which have exercised an important influence 
upon the progress of mankind, and of improvements and dis- 
coveries which have contributed to the expansion and per- 
fection of positive knowledge. From these alone, when esti- 
mated in their fulness, the evidence can be drawn of the 
advances made by generation upon generation in the march of 
science and of civilization. 

It will be the purpose of the present effort to thus sketch 
the life of the eminent physician and teacher, who, for so long 
a period, was conspicuous before his fellow-men as a promoter 
of professional advancement, and who was especially distin- 
guished as an ornament and sustainer of this school of medi- 
cine. 

Dr. Samuel Jackson was born in the cit}'- of Philadelphia, 
on March 22d, 1787. He was the son of Dr. David Jackson 
of Chester County, Penna., who was one of the first class of 
graduates on whom the degree of Bachelor of Medicine \vas 
conferred by the College of Philadelphia in 1768, and subse- 
quently a Trustee of the Institution. His mother Avas Susan 
Kemper, the daughter of Jacob Kemper, who came to this 
country from Germany in 1741, and settled in New Jersey. 



This lady lived to the age of eighty-eight years ; indeed 
longevity seems to have been incident to the descent, as her 
father lived to the age of eighty-seven years, and her son to 
that of eighty-five.^ She was remarkable for her powers of 
conversation, a trait that, in an eminent degree, was inherited 
by her son. 

Dr. Jackson acquired his classical education in the University 
of Pennsylvania, the institution that had succeeded the College, 
but he does not appear to have taken any literary degrees. 
He began the study of medicine with Dr. James Hutchin- 
son, Jr., but this gentleman, who was remarkable for his me- 
chanical ingenuity, dying shortly after the connection com- 
menced, he was transferred to the office of Professor Wistar, 
with whom he completed his studies. He received the 
degree of Doctor of Medicine from the University, in 1808. 
His Thesis was " Suspended Animation." 

After his graduation Dr. Jackson did not enter upon the 
practice of his profession. His father had been engaged in 
the business of a druggist and pharmaceutist, and, having died 
in 1801, its continuance devolved on his eldest son. Upon 
the death of this brother in 1809, Dr. Jackson continued the 
business, rendered necessary from the dependent state of the 
family. The details of trade, however, were never conge- 
nial to the tastes of our late professor; he was clearly un- 
adapted to such pursuits, and his aspirations took a higher 
flight. He was not in the least endowed with the mercantile 
spirit, and was little fitted to push his fortunes in a remune- 
rative field, whence others have drawn wealth and independ- 
ence. As soon as he could do so he abandoned the occupation 
of a pharmaceutist, and became a candidate for practice and 
reputation in his legitimate profession. To his credit it may 
be stated, that when he retired from business, being deeply in- 
volved pecuniarily, he regarded all his obligations .with a 

1 The longeyity of this family is remarkable. Jacob Kemper died at the 
age of 87 years; Mrs. Morton, his daughter, at 93 years; Col. Dauiel 
Kemper, his son, at 98 years ; Mrs. Jackson, his daughter, at 88 ; Bishop 
Kemper, his grandson, at 81 years ; Mrs. Quiucey, his granddaughter, at 
77 years, and Samuel Jackson, his grandson, at 85 years. 



sense of honor, and subsequently liquidated tliem from bis 
professional earnings, with principal and interest. 

While engaged in business pursuits, the war of 1812 with 
Great Britain was declared. Dr. Jackson had always been an 
adherent of the Jeflerson school of politics, the principles of 
which he imbibed from his father, and, as a member of the 
Democratic party, which had urged on the contest, was its 
zealous advocate. He manifested his patriotism by joining the 
" First Troop of City Cavalry," and with it took part in the 
advanced movements of the troops then raised to protect the 
city of Philadelphia from invasion by the British. The au- 
tumn and early portion of the winter of 181-1 were occupied at 
Mount Bull, in Maryland, in watching the movements of the 
enemy, then in the waters of the Chesapeake, or in riding as a 
vidette between that post and the city. It was after the war 
had terminated, and peace declared in 1815, that Dr. Jackson 
closed his business concerns, and by so doing placed himself 
on a footing with his compeers and brother practitioners in 
his native city. 

Like those of others the fortunes of medical men are various, 
determined by the circumstances in which they may be placed, 
by their tastes, and very largely by their idiosyncrasies of 
character and disposition. It belonged not to Dr. Jackson's 
mental constitution to remain a passive though meritorious 
aspirant for public favor ; his temperament was ardent, his 
mind active and inquiring, and he sought the means of advance- 
ment by his interest in the well-being of his fellow-citizens, 
by the application of his knowledge,, and by the expendi- 
ture of his time in promoting their welfare. Having become 
a member of the Board of Health of Philadelphia, and chosen 
its president, a field of distinction and usefulness Avas presented 
to him, to be cultivated to the utmost extent of his talents 
and industry.^ Events soon proved that the duties of a public 
servant had not devolved on one incompetent or unequal to 
their requirements. The opportunity was soon at hand of 
exhibiting his fitness for his office. 

' He was elected President of tlie Board of Health March 20th, 1820. 
Minutes of Board of Health. 



To tbose who Lave not gone tbrougli the ordeal, there can be 
no full and real appreciation of the alarm and distress created 
in a densely populated city by the sudden appearance of such 
an epidemic as yellow fever. A battle-field has its horrors; 
they are mitigated, however, by the excitement of the struggle, 
and the stern discipline of military training : but the unchecked 
raging of pestilence has unmitigated terrors ; it invades the 
precincts of the family and social circle ; it " walketh in dark- 
ness," and like a destroying angel it hurries to an untimely end 
the dearest objects of love or affectionate association. The 
suddenness of bereavement is appalling and prostrating, and 
men of the coolest heads and of tried courage are panic- 
stricken and helpless. To be calm, collected, fearless, and effi- 
cient in affording aid and assistance to fellow mortals under 
such circumstances is godlike. 

The epidemics of yellow fever in Philadelphia have called 
forth the noblest virtues of her medical men, and tested their 
bravery, their heroic endurance, and their devoted self-sacrifice 
in behalf of humanity. It is not necessary to detail the trying 
scenes through which our profession has gone, in connection 
with the invasion of this scourge, to which so often our city 
has been subjected. The history of its ravages has been drawn 
by professional as well as non-professional pens, and fiction 
even has not exaggerated the delineation. When Dr. Jackson 
was President of the Board of Health in the summer of 1820, 
yellow fever, by its sudden and fatal invasion, impressed that 
body with the weightiness of responsibility that rested upon 
it; and manfully was«this met by its presiding officer and his 
fellow members.^ Dr. Jackson identified himself with the 
efforts of amelioration that were instituted, was a leading coun- 
sellor of his fellow practitioners, toiling day and night in 
thoroughly informing himself as to the nature and character- 

1 The members of the Board of Health were, 

Samuel Jackson, Samuel Volens, from City. 

Joseph Worrall, James West, 

Franklin Bache, John Byerly, from Northern Liberties. 

■William Hawkes, Charles Souder, Spring Garden. 

Jesse K. Burden, Joshua Raybold, Moyamensing. 

Joel B. Sutherland, Southwark. 



istics of the disease, its localities, and its origin and causes ; 
devising, in consultation with his associates, professional and 
non-professional, the best means of limiting its spread ; and has 
left a graphic and important record, which has placed his name 
high among the most distinguished and honored contributors 
to our knowledge of this fearful infliction on the human family. 
In this work of philanthropy he was ably seconded by Dr. 
Jesse K. Burden, who was associated with him on the commit- 
teQ of inquiry, and to carry out such sanitary recommenda- 
tions as were deemed expedient. From exposure to the excit- 
ing causes during their exploration. Dr. Jackson had an attack 
of the disease.^ Should reference be desired to the papers that 
were published by Dr. Jackson on the subject, they will be 
found in the 1st and 2d volumes of the Philadelphia Journal of 
the Medical and Physical Sciences ; and I would further refer 
to the admirable and exhaustive treatise on yellow fever by 
Dr. La Eoche, in which ample justice is awarded to Dr. Jack- 
son's labors and researches. 

Before dismissing this era of Dr. Jackson's life, it may be 
interesting to make a brief summary of his conclusions. The 
questions as regards the imported or non-imported origin of 
yellow fever, and its contagious or non-contagious nature, had 
long been the subjects of litigation and dispute among medical 
men, from which had sprung frequently, in the excited state 
of feeling that was engendered, and from the important in- 
terests at stake, not a small amount of acrimony. They were 

' The following record is on the minutes of the Board of Health, July 36th, 
1830: "Resolved that a committee of three be appointed to inspect the 
present state of the city, included between Arch and Vine Streets, and be- 
tween Front Street and the Delaware, and report upon the probable causes 
of the cases of fever which have been reported as existing in that neigh- 
borhood, to the Board ; and also to take measures to have a daily report of 
the state of health of all persons employed in the sail loft of Messrs. Keen 
& Davis, with full powers to remove all nuisances which may come under 
notice." Messrs. Jackson, Burden and Bache were appointed the com- 
mittee. 

July 29th, 1820, Drs. Jackson and Burden were appointed a committee 
"to remove persons now living on Hodge's Wharf." August 3d, 1833, 
fences were directed to be erected. 

i)r. Burden had charge of the temporary hospital which was opened 
July 21st. He resigned September 1st. 



8 

questions involving not only the safety and happiness of the 
community, but affecting its material prosperity. The inroads 
of death, as well as the increase or decrease of riches, are in- 
separably connected with them. Can yellow fever be checked 
at its commencement ? Can it be stamped out or prevented ? 
These are points affecting the general welfare. Or, is inter- 
course with those who are affected with it dangerous, under all 
circumstances, to the relatives and attendants? — a question 
that penetrates to the very core of social connection. 

It is an interesting fact in the history of the medical pro- 
fession of Philadelphia, that an association sprang up in 1799 
which was called the "Academy of Medicine," and that it had 
as its founders men who advocated the non-imported and non- 
contagious origin of yellow fever. Among these were Physick, 
Dewees, Coxe, Caldwell, and, subsequently, Kush, who had be- 
come a convert. This institution was in antagonism to the 
College of Physicians, in which body the contrary doctrines 
had their warmest supporters. Before the Academy of Medi- 
cine Dr. Jackson read his papers, in 1820. By indefatigable 
perseverance, and by tracing reports and common rumor to 
their very source, he had determined that the epidemic of 1820 
had not been imported, but that its origin was domestic and 
local. At the localities where it prevailed he found abundant 
sources of production in accumulated filth and putrescent 
animal and vegetable material, and could discover that in no 
case where individuals laboring under the disease were re- 
moved did they propagate it by infection, nor by the sick was 
it communicated to attendants or relatives who had not been 
exposed to the same local influences. 

The measures which were adopted under his guidance were 
the removal of all the inhabitants of the infected districts to 
more salubrious positions, the barricading by fences the lo- 
calities in which the disease originated, and, as far as prac- 
ticable, removing offensive matters. In consequence of the 
measures of the Board of Health, the City Councils were in- 
duced, with the aid of the leading medical bodies, to devise 
such sanitary measures as would prevent a recurrence in future 
of this calamity. But once since, in 1853, has yellow fever 



appeared in Pbiladelpliia, and then it was suppressed by prompt 
and effectual measures. 

It may be stated that, while the source and cause of the 
"black vomit" of yellow fever were subjects of conjecture 
rather than of scientific research, at the time Dr. Jackson's 
paper was written, he attributed it to hemorrhage, not to se- 
cretion — a view that in later times has been subjected to the 
full test of chemical and microscopic examination, and has 
acquired the force of demonstration. 

In 1821 the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy entered upon 
its successful career of operation, and instituted courses of lec- 
tures upon chemistry and materia medica, in connection with 
its plan of educating apprentices in the pharmaceutic art. Dr. 
Jackson was appointed Professor of Materia Medica, with Dr. 
Gerard Troost as his colleague in the Chair of Chemistry. The 
latter gentleman resigned his position the year following, to be 
succeeded by Professor George B. Wood. This association is 
worthy of note, when it is recollected that Professors Wood 
and Jackson, in subsequent years, during a full quarter of a 
century, were colleagues in this University. -The selection of 
Dr. Jackson to fill the Chair of Materia Medica in the College 
evidently depended on the estimate of his fitness from his 
former connection with the pharmaceutic profession, the deep 
interest he took in the success of the institution, and his 
share in organizing it. He was the link, as it were, between 
the two professions, and from early training was supposed to 
be perfectly conversant with the requirements of each of them. 
That this was the case, is evident from the whole tenor of the 
Introductory that he delivered upon entering on his duties.^ 

At the period when the College of Pharmacy was organized 
the pharmaceutical profession was at a low ebb not only in the 
city of Philadelphia, but in the United States. When speaking 
of its condition, in the lecture referred to, he makes this bold 
and candid declaration : "As respects drugs and medicines, this 
country, for the last thirty years, has been retrograding rather 

' Dr. Jackson was Chairman of the Committee which presented the 
plan for the foundation of the College, March 13, 1821. He was elected a 
Trustee, March 27, 1821, and was on the Committee to draft resolutions 
for the government of the College. 



10 

than advancing. Abandoned by physicians, pharmacology 
has not been prosecuted as a science by the druggists and 
apothecaries ; no means of instruction were provided for these 
last, no rules or regulations established for their government 
in order to insure a correct dispensation of medicines of the 
most improved and genuine qualities. Individuals engaged in 
the vocation of an apothecary and druggist without a previous 
acquaintance with medicines, ignorant of their properties, un- 
conscious of their responsibility and of the fatal effects which 
might result from their conduct. Anxious to transact business, 
they have sought to attract customers by the lowness of their 
prices. Their success compelled others to come down to the 
same standard, and thus, by successive competition, our drugs 
and medicines are cheaper than those of Europe, but are de- 
teriorated in the same proportion." But this condition of 
things was not solely due to the pharmaceutist. " The great 
body of practitioners, especially those residing in the country, 
knowing medicines only by their names, have been ignorant 
of the very different qualities subsisting amongst them. In 
their purchases,- incapable of making a selection as to quality, 
the lowest price was preferred. Inferior, deteriorated, and so- 
phisticated medicines and drugs met with ready sale, while the 
choicest and most select, because of higher price, could very 
seldom meet with a purchaser." 

The disheartening picture here presented has been erased, 
and that such would be the case was predicted by the lecturer. 
His words were prophetic: "In the United States pharma- 
cology is a aew science. Long repudiated from medical in- 
struction, too feeble to assert its claims, neglected and almost 
forgotten by its more brilliant sister sciences, it has pined in 
obscurity and penury. This reproach and stain upon the 
medicine of our country will soon be effaced." For proof that 
this anticipation has been realized we may proudly survey the 
present condition of this department throughout the length 
and breadth of our extended country. The influence of the 
Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, through its instruction and 
through its Journal, has been felt in every quarter. It was the 
pioneer ; and other colleges of similar organization have sprung 
up, in imitation, at the great centres of wealth and population. 



11 

The people have been instructed as regards their utility and 
importance. Co-operation has been effected, and an association 
among pharmaceutists has been created — the "National Phar- 
maceutical-Association" — which is eminently useful. A Phar- 
macopoeia, whose origin was coeval with the College of Phar- 
macy, and in which the pharmaceutists are as much interested 
as are medical men, has become the national standard. Our 
pharmaceutists may now be ranked among the best instructed 
of the world. 

To whom may be attributed the early planting and nourish- 
ment of this intellectual germ which has yielded so plentifully, 
and has been of such incalculable benefit to the community? 
The record shows that this was due to the talents, learning, 
energy, and industry of two members of the medical profession, 
both subsequently Professors in the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, Samuel Jackson and George B.Wood; and further, 
for the first twenty-five years in the history of the college the 
duty of instructing its pupils was intrusted to members of the 
same profession. I wish not to derogate from the merit of those 
enlightened druggists and apothecaries who were coadjutors 
in the work of founding the College of Pharmacy. They 
well appreciated the abilities of those who only at the time 
could subserve their purpose of instruction, and nobly sup- 
ported them until eminent members of their own profession 
arose to carry on the enterprise so happily inaugurated.^ 

' That tlie College of Pharmacy did not burst forth a success from its 
foundation, is shown from the address of Dr. Wood, to the members of 
the College of Pharmacy, delivered November 16, 1834. The school had 
then been three years in operation. After stating the requirements for 
educating an apprentice in the pharmaceutical profession, and the measures 
that had been adopted, he proceeds to remark : " Professorships on the two 
most important pharmaceutical sciences have also been instituted, and 
regular courses of lectures on chemistry and materia medicai have been 
delivered for the last three winters. It would give me great pleasure to be 
able to tell you that this department of the college is in an equally flour- 
ishing condition, but most of you are aware that such an assertion would 
be an empty boast. The fact is, that, during the last winter more especially, 
the labors of the lecturers were rewarded by little more than the con- 
sciousness that their own share of the necessary duties had not been 
entirely neglected. The slender expenses incident to the chemical course 
absorbed, within a very trifling sum, the whole refeeipts from the students 



12 

With respect to a knowledge of pharmacology being 
necessary to the physician, the language of Dr. Jackson is as 
applicable and cogent at the present day as it was fully fifty 
years ago. " No one who reflects upon the subject can question 
the importance of pharmacological knowledge in the completion 
of a medical education. Of what avail are talents of the 
highest order, and erudition the most profound, to a practi- 
tioner who is furnished with unfaithful remedies and knows 
not how to distinguish them ? A knowledge of pharmacology 
is, then, as indispensable to the practitioner as that of any other 
department of medical science."^ 

Dr. Jackson had now fairly entered upon his career as a 
teacher. Besides holding the chair in the College of Phar- 
mac}', he joined the association which was organized by Dr. 
Chapman, for the instruction of the pupils of the University 
who remained in the city during the recess between the public 
courses of lectures. His first position in it was as teacher of 
Medical Chemistry, which, on the remodelling of the institution, 
was changed to that of Materia Medica and Therapeutics. The 
association alluded to subsequently became the Medical Insti- 
tute, in which were engaged not only Professors of the Uni- 
versity, but some of the most active and rising members of 
the profession.^ In 1829 a special hall was erected to accom- 
modate the class, then having reached beyond one hundred in 
number, and in 1837 a more public and independent char- 
acter was given to the institution by the bestowal of a charter. 

of pliarmficy, and the lecturer was denied the pleasure that he himself 
would have derived from the exhibition of more numerous experiments by 
the apprehension of actual private loss. He might, indeed, be disposed to 
attribute this want of encouragement to his own imperfections as a lecturer, 
but surely the same reason could not be assigned for an almost equal 
desertion of his colleague. The lectures of the Professor of Materia 
Medica have never been accused of deficiency, either as to the value of the 
knowledge inculcated, or as to the manner in which that knowledge is 
conveyed ; he must therefore look to another source for at least a portion of 
this neglect, and may we not find it iu the apathy of a great majority of the 
members of the college?" Addresses, etc., by George B. Wood, M.D. 
LL.D. 

Discourse. 
2 It may be mentioned that the gentlemen thus first united were, Drs. 
Chapman, Dewees, Horner, Bell, Mitchell, Jackson, Hodge, and Harris. 



13 

Dr. Jackson continued his connection with it until in 184-i it 
was transferred to other hands. 

The teaching of Dr. Jackson possessed great attractiveness, 
not only from its warmth and enthusiasm, but from the fresh- 
ness and novelty of his prelections and his practical expositions. 
He exhibited in animated language the ideal entertained by 
him of the true nature of pharmacological investigation, and 
placed its proper objects before the mind of the attentive stu- 
dent. Convinced that this branch of medicine had fallen in 
the rear of its kindred branches, and that a knowledge of it 
was of the highest importance to the medical practitioner, 
his energies were devoted to the efibrt to restore it to its right 
position, and there is no doubt that his exertions contributed 
largely to revolutionize the system of instruction then existing 
in the University, and soon to bring about a change which in 
other hands placed the department of pharmacology in the 
front rank of medical instruction. 

But there was another field with which Dr, Jackson was 
occupied, in cultivating which, all the traits of his constitu- 
tional nature and his talents were fully exhibited. In 1822, 
he had been elected one of the " attending physicians of the 
Philadelphia Almshouse," This establishment then, as it 
now does, presented the most extensive opportunities for the 
observation of disease, and for pathological research. Since 
its resources had by enlightened direction a few years pre- 
viously been made available for clinical purposes, it consti- 
tuted an invaluable school of study and improvement, not 
only for students of medicine, but for the rising generation of 
medical men. By Dr. Jackson, such opportunities were seized 
with ardor ; he had become an indefatigable student and reader, 
and he neglected no occasion of verifying his knowledge de- 
rived from books, or of correcting preconceived ideas if not 
borne out by facts presented in his bedside investigation. At 
the time specified, practical medicine was in a state of proba- 
tion, an active inquiring spirit had pervaded every portion of 
it, and the old theories and modes of exploration challenged 
re-examination. If we search into the causes of this activity, 
they must be recognized in the diffusion of intelligence through 
the periodical medical press that had been established, which, 



14 

not waiting for the developments of learned societies, or the 
slow experiences of authors through erudite treatises, scattered 
broadcast the accounts of disease in particular localities, the 
results of even the humblest investigators in science,-gathered 
up communications from foreign sources, and enabled each one 
to inform himself in the speediest way concerning all that was 
pertinent to the immediate subject of his thoughts and require- 
ments. In this species of enterprise our own country had set 
the example.^ 

Without attempting to enumerate all the advances in prac- 
tical medicine that had been brought about, or were being 
inaugurated, we may allude to a few in which Dr. Jackson was 
especially interested, and which he contributed to render 
effective. The mode of arriving at an accurate diagnosis of 
diseases of the chest by means of auscultation had within a few 
years been devised by Laennec. This distinguished patho- 
logist and practitioner, instigated by some passages in the works 
of Hippocrates with reference to employing the ear in the de- 
tection of sounds connected with disease of the lungs, and 
deriving his cue further from the work of Avenbrugger upon 
the availability of assisting diagnosis by percussion, invented 
the method of studying pectoral affections by means of " me- 
diate auscultation."^ To him we are indebted for devising the 
stethoscope, and for all the brilliant results of the discovery 
that a sure and certain method existed by which discrimina- 
tion between such diseases was as practicable as if they were 
submitted to inspection. 

In the light of the present day, when this mode of explora- 
tion has been carried to such refinement of application, it 
would appear extraordinary that it had been overlooked for so 
long a period, and at this the discoverer himself expressed his 
astonishment. In 1818, he read a memoir upon the subject to 
the Academy of Sciences of Paris, and in the same year pub- 
lished his work entitled, " On Mediate Auscultation ; or, A 

« The " Medical Repository," of New York, "was published in 1797. It 
took precedence of the Medical Journals of Europe. See Rev. Dr. Mil- 
ler's Life of Edward Miller, M.D. 

2 He had been a pupil of Corvisart, who was in the habit of listening to 
the sounds of the heart. 



15 

Treatise on the Diagnosis of the Lungs and of the Heart, based 
principally upon this new mode of Exploration." It is not 
necessary to narrate how this revelation was received in Europe; 
the story has been told by the English translator of the work, 
the eminent Dr. John Forbes; it will be more to the purpose 
to exhibit the reception it met with in the United States. . 

When Dr. Jackson became a visiting physician of the Alms- 
house, auscultation was in its infancy, and it became his duty, 
as well as a pleasure, from the extreme interest he took in it, 
to test its value and develop its practical usefulness. With 
the younger men who were associated with him in charge of 
the sick wards, he studied diligently the cases under treatment, 
applied the method of diagnosis that he had introduced among 
them, and where death occurred verified the results of their 
previous estimates of disease by pathological examination. He 
was a student as well as teacher among students. The first 
fruits of this laborious employment were given in the form of 
an Inaugural Essay, printed in the May number of the Phila- 
delphia Journal of Medical and Physical Sciences for 1824, by 
Dr. Edmund Strudwick, of North Carolina, one of the resident 
students of the Almshouse. In this essay he refers to Dr. 
Jackson's guidance. 

We are told, in the life of Laennec by Dr. Forbes, that in Eng- 
land this discovery " was at first received by the profession with 
considerable distrust, and the new mode of diagnosis, and espe- 
cially the instrument, was attempted to be turned into ridicule." 
It has been stated that the discovery of the circulation of the 
blood was not received by any physician of the time of Harvey 
who was over forty years of age, and this may be said 
to have been the case as regards the introduction of mediate 
auscultation in this country. It was opposed by even those 
who from their studies of the vocal apparatus ought to have 
taken a more favorable view of it. It was subjected to derision, 
and a paraphrase of Dr. Johnson's definition of the angler was 
freely circulated : " A patient at one end of a wooden tube and 
a fool at the other." I recollect the case of a gentleman labor- 
ing under phthisis, whose wife was desirous that an examina- 
tion of him should be made with the stethoscope, and on making 
the request of the physician in attendance, he replied he would 



16 

get lier one and she could make tlie examination lierself. But 
this incredulity and ignorance were destined to disappear before 
the advancing march of science. Adepts arose whose skill and 
precision swept from before them all doubt and sarcasm. A 
pertinent illustration of what was then regarded as a triumphant 
vindication of the precision of stethoscopic diagnosis was related 
to me by the late Dr. Samuel George Morton, to which he was 
a witness: a person at the head of the police force of this city, 
a man of great muscular development and robust constitu- 
tion, had so injured his health by dissipation and exposure as 
to present all the rational signs of consumption least expected 
in such a subject ; the attending physicians were no believers 
in physical exploration, and Dr. Jackson was called in to test 
his skill, and see if he could elucidate the real condition of the 
patient. He diagnosticated an extensive vomica and gave its 
"metes and bounds." Post-mortem examination ■ verified to a 
tittle the accuracy of the diagnosis, and auscultation had a new 
significance in the eyes of the spectators. 

Upon the reorganization of the Board of Physicians and 
Surgeons of the Almshouse in 1822, including three professors 
of the University, the system was introduced of delivering lec- 
tures regularly on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the lecture- 
room. These lectures soon became extremely popular, and 
attracted large classes of medical students annually ; their popu- 
larity in no small degree arose from the devoted earnestness 
and lucid expositions of Dr. Jackson. His efiectiveness and 
force as a clinical teacher were maintained throughout the pro- 
longed period that he was connected with this infirmary, from 
which he retired in 18-15, when coerced by more pressing 
duties. His clinical teaching was afterwards confined wholly 
to that service within the walls of the University. Several 
of his clinical lectures delivered in the Philadelphia. (Almshouse) 
Hospital are published in the early numbers of the Medical 
Examiner. 

In 1827 Dr. Jackson was chosen by Professor Chapman as 
his assistant in the University. The Chair embraced the 
" Theory and Practice of Medicine, Clinical Medicine, and the 
Institutes of Medicine." The delivery of lectures upon the 
latter of these subjects was delegated to the assistant. 



17 

The brancli of " Institutes of Medicine" has met with varied 
fortunes as regards its position of subserviency or inde- 
pendence in this school of medicine. It was originally ap- 
pended to the chair of chemistry, having been recommended 
by Dr. Wistar, then a member of the Board of Trustees, 
but elected in 1789 the incumbent of a twofold chair of 
chemistry and institutes. In the arrangement that was ren- 
dered necessary by the coalition of the College and the Uni- 
versity in 1791, it was desirable to accommodate both Dr. Kuhn 
and Dr. Eush, and the theory and practice was therefore appor- 
tioned to the former professor, while the subject of the insti- 
tutes conjoined to clinical medicine was assumed by the latter. 
When Dr. Kuhn resigned, Dr. Rush succeeded to the chair of 
the theory and practice, into which were merged clinical medi- 
cine and the institutes. It thus stood at the time of Dr. Jack- 
son's appointment. 

However brilliant had been the discourses of the eloquent 
Rush, the times had changed as regards the requirements of 
medical teaching, and the development of physiological and 
pathological science demanded additional assistance in doing 
justice to subjects included under so comprehensive a title as 
that held by Professor Chapman. It has been seen how clini- 
cal medicine had been provided for in a school of experience 
where the professor of practice had so able an assistant in Dr. 
Jackson, and now he was selected by the same professor to aid 
him in his collegiate duties. Practical medicine had been car- 
ried to an exalted position in the courses of instruction, but Dr. 
Chapman had found himself unable to meet the requirements 
of a more extended sphere and the institutes were discontinued. 

In the discourse that was delivered by Dr. Jackson, when 
entering upon the duties of his appointment, he indicated the 
topics falling properly within the circle of the institutes, and 
laid down the principles upon which rational medicine is based. 
Physiology, pathology, therapeutics, symptomatology, semeio- 
sis, diagnosis, prognosis, and hygiene are designated as the sub- 
jects comprised in this general term of institutes, in the discus- 
sion of which adherence to a rigid system of philosophic reason- 
ing is strictly to be maintained. He pointed out the difiterence 
2 



18 

between theory and hypothesis, and indicated the true value of 
experience. His axiom must be admitted to be correct: " Ex- 
perience combined with sound discriminating observation fur- 
nishes the facts from which theory is derived, while the truth 
of theory can be alone determined by experience and observa- 
tion," This embraces the true elements of the Baconian sys- 
tem. In endeavoring to carry out his ideal conceptions of the 
task he had undertaken, he drew his materials from all the 
available resources at his command, and spared no pains or 
labor to render his efforts effectual. I was one of those who 
attended his first course of lectures, and can fully testify not 
only to its entire acceptableness to those who listened to him, 
but to the pleasure that was derived from his earnestness of 
address and his eloquent style of delivery. Eestricted as he 
was for time, as only two lectures a week were allotted to him, 
and that in a session of but four months' duration, this course 
was but the foreshadowing of what his lectures became in sub- 
sequent years, when occupying the position of full professor. 

At the time that Dr. Jackson had fully entered upon his 
career as a medical teacher, there arose a brilliant light in 
the firmament of medical science in the person of Broussais. 
This distinguished innovator has been overshadowed and 
has almost been forgotten in the advances that have been 
made in the last thirty years ; but we must refer to him as 
one who was all potent in swaying the opinions and in influ- 
encing the practice of those who were the recipients of his 
instruction, or w^ho, through his numerous publications, be- 
came convinced of the correctness of his innovations. At 
the present day the idea of Broussaisism is connected with 
gastro-enteritis as the source of all febrile diseases, and with 
leeches and gum-water as remedies to be employed in combat- 
ing them. No such impression can be more erroneous. Brous- 
sais was a philosopher as well as an innovator, and, as the 
founder of what has been termed the "Physiological System of 
Medicine," he is entitled to the highest respect and admiration. 
His " Researches upon Hectic Fever," but more especially his 
"History of Chronic Inflammations," which had reached its 
fourth edition in 1826, had placed him in the front rank of 



19 

medical observers.^ But his "Treatise on Physiology applied 
to Pathology,"- and his " Examination of the Medical Doctrine 
generally adopted, and the Modern Systems of Nosology," had 
placed him still higher as a systematic inquirer into the 
general principles on which our science is founded. His 
efforts were directed to break down the Ontology that existed, 
and to establish in its place a system of demonstration and 
reasoning founded on the structure and vital operations of the 
organs, their modes of impressibility, and their relations to one 
another. With him originated the expression that life was 
" organism in action ;" and he asserted that this action was 
maintained through the excitability pertaining to the tissues 
and organs — that morbid excitability was irritability, and 
morbid excitation was irritation. 

It is not possible for us to trace out in detail the full bearing 
of the doctrines of Broussais, or the influence they have had 
upon the medical mind ; but we must admit the correctness 
of the estimate that has been given by one of his biogra- 
phers with respect to his services to medical science, when 
he states, that, while his eftbrt to establish a system was a pure 
conception of his mind, his glory originated from another 
source, the practical impulse that he gave to the researches of 
the new medical generation, by reason of which he has led 
us all to the study of organic lesions, to the search for local 
diagnosis, and the true interpretation of symptoms.^ Dr. Jack- 
son was deeply imbued with the importance of Broussais's 
teachings, and he gave in his adhesion to the "School of 
Physiological Medicine." He not only taught medicine in 
accordance with the inculcations of this philosophy, but advo- 
cated in debate the truthfulness of the developments that had 
been made by it.'' 

' This book was translated from tlie French by Isaac Hays, M. D., and 
R. Egglesfield Griffith, M.D., 1831. 

2 This work was translated from the French by John Bell, M. D., and 
R. La Roche, M.D., Philadelphia, 1826. 

» Eloges lus dans les Seances Publiques de I'Acadcmie, par E. Fred. 
Dubois (d' Amiens), Paris, 1864. 

* In the "Philadelphia Journal of the Medical and Physical Sciences" 
for 1826 and 1827, Tfill be found a series of essays by Dr. Jackson, in which 
he gives, first, an admirable account of the progress of the doctrine of irri- 



20 

The winter of 1830-31 was remarkable for the interest that 
was awakened by the public discussion of medical topics in 
the "Medical Society of Philadelphia." This Society was com- 
posed of senior and junior members, — the latter consisting of 
students of the two medical schools. The champions of oppo- 
sing views were Dr. Jackson, and Dr. Daniel Drake, late of 
Cincinnati, who for a season held the chair of Institutes and 
Practice of Medicine in the Jefferson Medical College.^ From 
week to week expectation was on tiptoe as each one read his 
paper, and in the debate which followed met the objections 
and criticisms of his antagonist. It was the school of the 
philosophers renewed. Dr. Jackson there exhibited his pro- 
found knowledge of his subject, his erudition and broad views 
of medical science, supported by his own clinical experience 
and deductions, and he came out of the encounter with en- 
hanced reputation, although it was sustained with one of the 
most accomplished and practiced debaters that have ever arisen 
in the medical profession. It was no mean distinction to have 
triumphantly maintained his positions when Professor Drake 
was in opposition. While all who were listeners were deeply 
interested, the enthusiasm of the juvenile portion of the audi- 
ence was at its acme. 

It is not to be understood, however, that Dr. Jackson was a 
blind partisan of the school of Broussais; his appreciation of 
him was modified by a correct knowledge of the scope of 
medicine. In speaking of this leader, he remarks : " The doc- 
trine of Broussais, evolved by his extensive pathological re- 
searches and clinical observations, combined with a method 
often of rigid induction, allies the principle of Brown with the 
general anatomy of Bichat. This doctrine in its fullest extent 
can be considered, however, as no more than the physiology 
and philosophy of irritation. This great and extended pheno- 

tability from the earliest times. He then presents the different character- 
istics assumed by irritation in the several tissues and organs of the economy, 
and traces the laws by which it is governed. At the time these papers 
were published they were invaluable, not only as an exposition of the stage 
at which medical knowledge had arrived, but from the suggestive thought 
contained in them. 

' Dr. Jackson was one of the Vice-Presidents of the Medical Society. 



21 

menan, productive of so many cind diversified consequences, 
he has appreciated more clearly and developed more fully than 
any who have preceded him. This system is, however, not 
perfect ; it is not universal. Physiological knowledge lies far in 
the rear of that state of perfection to which it will arrive; the 
mysteries of vital phenomena, the laws of vital activity, no 
one can pretend are spread before us in a blaze of light, leav- 
ing no doubt, no hesitancies, no difficulties as to their nature. 
For no system of physiological medicine can there be claimed 
the attributes of infallibility and perfection. The system of 
Broussais contains many and important truths, but it is not all 
true, nor does it compass all truth. It is enforced by its author 
in too dogmatical a spirit."^ 

At this time pathological investigation had another notable 
promoter in the person of Louis. This remarkable man was 
the opposite of Broussais in characteristics, for he was quiet 
and unassuming; long reticent as regards the results of the 
inquiries that occupied him, when they had been attained he 
gave them to the world to be judged by the only true test of 
discovery, their confirmation or disproval by others. Louis 
was no litigant; by long toil and patience he had rent the veil 
which concealed the correct pathology of typhoid fever, and 
with his former master, Chomel, gave such a comprehensive 
detailed account of the disease as to carry conviction to the 
minds of all impartial pathologists that the imputation of ob- 
scurity existed no longer. It could not be denied that the 
structural lesions of the "slow nervous fever" of Huxham, of 
the " mucous fever" of Stoll, and of the " lingering remittents" 
whose persistency and phenomena had for so long a time em- 
barrassed the practitioner, and baffled his attempts at speedy 
cure, had been at last determined.^ 

* Preface to the Principles of Medicine, p. ix. 

2 The book of Louis is entitled — 

"Recherches Anatomiques, Pathologiques et Therapeutiques svu'le Ma- 
ladies eonnues sous les noms de Gastro-Enterite, Fievre Putride, Adyna- 
mique, Ataxique, Typhoide, etc., par P. Ch. A. Louis, M.D., etc. etc., 
1829." Louis informs us in his preface that he was engaged in gathering 
together his materials for this work from 1823 to 1827. It Avas published 
two years afterwards. 



22 

It is interesting to review the time when what is now among 
the settled truths of pathological science was passing through 
the period of rigid scrutiny; when awakened inquirers were 
struggling for enlightenment. Of this great discovery Dr. 
Jackson was not unmindful, but he had not disabused him- 
self of the purely gastro-enteritic origin of fevers ; he had not 
taken in the true fact, that the glands of Peyer and Bruner 
were the seats of the organic lesions in this form of febrile dis- 
ease. I recollect at the commencement of my novitiate, as 
resident physician of the Philadelphia Almshouse in 1830, that 
Dr. Jackson, standing by the bedside of a patient, whose dis- 
ease was a persistent fever, and descanting upon its probable 
pathology before a class of students, referred to the views and 
the investigations of Louis, and remarked that in this disease 
that observer had determined an inflammation more particularly 
restricted to the caput coli. With these hints, and with the 
works of Louis and Chomel that soon came into our hands, we 
were not slow by practical investigation in realizing the truth 
of their statements.^ Through the guidance of these authorities, 

' The occurrence of ulcerations in the intestines in connection with fever 
had been noticed by a number of observers. In 1814 Petit & Serres published 
an account of a form of fever, called " fievre entero-mesenterique ;" they 
noticed the ulcerations. Trolier of the Hotel Dieu, of Lyons, refers to ulcers 
in the intestines in cases of fever (Archives]Generales, Sept. 1825, Vol. IX.). 
Bretonneau, having observed the same lesion in the intestines, gave to it the 
name of "Dothinenterite." (Archiv. Gen., and K A. Med. and Surg. 
Journ., July, 1826.) Dr. George B.Wood refers to a case of perforation of 
the ileum, and ulceration in typhus mitior. (Art. on Oil of turpentine, etc., N. 
A. Med. and Surg. Journ., April 1826.) Dr. Hewitt, of London, noticed ulce- 
ration of the intestines without attributing more importance to the fact than 
as complicating fever. (Lond. Med. Phys. Journal, Aug. 1827.) Dr. Geo. 
Bettner reported " Cases of ulcerations of the intestines in connection with 
fever," observed by him when a resident of the Philadelphia Almshouse. 
(N. A. Med. and Surg. Journ. 1828.) In his "Clinical Illustrations of fever, 
1830," Dr. Alexander Tweedie notices the ulceration in "typhus fever" and 
specifies 16 cases out of 54 dissections ; he also alludes to the enlargement 
of the mesenteric glands. In the systematic treatises on the practice of 
medicine, no reference was made to the pathology of typhoid fever. Gregory 
who piiblished in 1828-29, Southwood Smith in 1830, and Eberle whose 
work was issued in 1831, made no allusion to the ulceration of the intestines. 
Until the appearance of the work of Louis in 1829, and that of Chomel in 
1834, there was no recognition of the fact that in typhoid fever there existed 
an essential form typical as regards symptoms, course, and anatomical 



23 

the lesions of "typhoid fever" became perfectly famihar to us, 
and I need only. further state that with this foundation per- 
fected by a service with Louis himself in Paris, my late lamented 
colleague,' Dr. Gerhard, most conclusively drew the distinction 
between bilious, remittent, typhus, and typhoid fevers. His 
conclusions have become the settled facts of medical science.^ 

In 1832 was published the " Principles of Medicine founded 
on the structure and functions of the animal organism." This 
work has been subjected to varied criticism, occasionally 
severe, according, for the most part, to the preconceived 
views and fixed opinions of the reviewer. It is necessary, 
therefore, to give an account of the circumstances under 
which it was issued. At the time Dr. Jackson undertook 
the task of teaching the institutes of medicine, the subject 
was in a disarranged condition. A new foundation for 
the prosecution of physiological and pathological inquiry had 
been laid by the labors of Bichat at the commencement of the 
century, and the spirit of research that was engendered, while 
it bore ample fruits, as we have seen in the contributions of 
Laennec and Broussais, was equally prolific of revelations 
through the genius and untiring devotion of Andral, of Chomel, 
and of Louis. The " Anatomic Gdn^rale" of Bichat was ex- 
tended by the zeal and faithfulness of Meckel and Beolard, while 
special experimenters endeavored to comprehend the uses of 

intestinal lesions, which had been partially depicted by Huxham as the 
" slow nervous fever," the typhus mitior of other writers. An account of 
typhoid fever was published in the American edition of Mackintosh's 
Practice in 1835, written by Dr. Carson. It is due to the memory of the 
late Dr. James Jackson, Jr., of Boston, to state that, when in 1833 he re- 
turned from Paris, he recognized, in an epidemic of what was supposed to 
be typhus, the same lesions he had seen when a pupil of Louis. (Memoir 
by his father, Dr. James Jackson.) Ulceration of the intestines was ob- 
served in New England by Dr. Bartlett and other physicians. (Bartlett ou 
Typhoid and Typhus Fever, 1843.) 

' Upon his return from Europe, Dr. Gerhard undertook the task of de- 
termining the identity of the typhoid fever of this country and that of 
France, and also of ascertaining the true pathological distinction between 
it and the bilious, remittent, and typhus fevers. This he did in the Penn- 
sylvania Hospital, and in the Philadelphia Hospital (Almshouse). His 
papers are contained in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, 
Feb. 1835; Feb. 1837; August, 1837. 



24 

the several tissues and organs, their relations and dependence 
upon one another, and their laws of operation. Magendie, Sir 
Charles Bell, and others had made new discoveries, which had 
shed a flood of light upon the obscure processes of life, and 
materially changed the conceptions entertained with respect 
to the phenomena of disease. Nor was this all ; the physicists 
and chemists, directing their attention to the natural forces, and 
to the chemical changes of the material elements of the body, 
had opened a field of exploration and research which gave a 
new aspect to practical medicine. Of what avail were these 
to the student of medicine? They were as a dead letter for 
want of the medium of acquirement and comprehension. 
We had no comprehensive text-books then, as now, in every 
department of medical science. We were dependent upon our 
lecturers alone for leading us into the right paths of study and 
reflection. The attempt of Dr. Jackson was to co-ordinate 
all the materials at his command that bore upon the subject for 
the instruction of his pupils, to lay a foundation for their subse- 
quent progress in the acquisition of knowledge, and when, after 
a few years of experience in teaching, he printed his lectures, 
he did a good work in the cause of educational advancement. 
Students felt this, although mature practitioners were annoyed 
and perplexed at the "jargon of the schools" which has since 
become a living nomenclature. 

The work of Dr. Jackson performed its mission : it was an 
elementary book of general scope, and when scores of laborious 
systematic compilers had spread their productions broadcast, 
and the student was no longer at a loss for condensed sources 
of knowledge, the necessity of revising and continuing it no 
longer existed. From the advance of science, to have revised 
this work would have been to rewrite it, and he permitted it 
to be superseded. 

There is one point on which I would desire to fix attention. 
The fact of reflex action existing as a power in the structure 
of the nervous system, and the demonstration of its manifes- 
tations, being due to Marshall Hall, of England, to Mliller, 
of Germany, and to our own countryman Campbell, are well 
known to the profession ; yet it is satisfactory to present an 
evidence of how far an elementary work of* 1832 recognized 



25 

this physiological principle. After giving the phenomena upon 
which the evidence is based, Dr. Jackson remarks: "In these 
examples is manifested an excitement transmitted by nervous 
communication from one organ in which it is developed to 
another organ to which it is transported — to which it is im- 
parted. It may then be regarded as a positive fact that the 
nervous tissue possesses, as a functional capticity, the power of 
transmission, a species of radiation, by the action of which an 
impression, a stimulation, a mode of activity imparted to a 
tissue or an organ is communicated to distant organs." 

"An irritation or stimulation, the excitation of the organic 
actions, awakens the activity of the transmitting faculty of the 
nervous tissue and is conveyed and repeated in the nervous 
centres, disturbing their mode of existence, and consequently 
through them is reflected into other organs or tissues with which 
these centres are in communication. This fact is displayed in 
convulsions, which may be induced in highly sensitive indi- 
viduals by excessive tickling." Here, then, is the expression, 
though in general terms, of an association between the organs 
through the medium of the reflex capabilities, which, in expla- 
nation of the energies and sj^mpathies, has been experimen- 
tally illustrated and defined with precision by the researches 
of Hall, Miiller and Bernard, of Schiff and Brown-Sdquard, 
and their co-laborers.^ 

The year 1832 was another remarkable one in the medical 
annals of Philadelphia, and indeed it may be stated of this 
continent and of Europe. For several years previously 
Asiatic cholera had been pursuing a steady and fatal course 
from east to west over the fair and populous countries of the 
globe. Early in 1831 it had prevailed in Eastern Europe, 

' With respect to tlie phenomenon of reflex action noticed by Marshall 
Hall in the tail of an eel, when separated from the body, that writer says : 
" I soon found similar observations had been recorded bj'' various pliysio- 
logical writers, Redi, Whytt, Prochaska, Mr. Mayo, etc. But I observed 
that in their hands they had remained useless and sterile, having led to no 
conclusions, having neither been traced backwards to any phj^siological 
principle of action, nor forward to any function of the animal economy. I 
conceived it impossible that any such phenomenon should exist in nature 
without such connections, and I resolved to pursue the subject." First 
Memoir read before the Royal Society, 1833. Second Memoir in 1837. 



26 

and, slowly progressing, by the commencement of the follow- 
ing year it had included France and England in its stretch, 
and awakened with the people of America anxious forebodings 
of its invasion. Here, the public mind was fully aroused 
to the threatened danger, and in April a communication was 
addressed by the Board of Health to the Philadelphia Medical 
Society, recommending the appointment of a committee "to 
institute an examination into all the facts in relation to the 
epidemic cholera, and to report in detail the result of their 
investigation, for the benefit and satisfaction of the unpro- 
fessional as well as the medical part of the community." In 
accordance with this request a committee was appointed, con- 
sisting of Drs. Condie, Emerson, Hays, Jackson, Bond, Horner, 
and Huston. The report which was submitted by these gentle- 
men was deemed so valuable that it was ordered to be printed 
and extensively circulated. But the action of the authorities 
did not stop here. In anticipation of a visitation of the disease, 
which had now reached the American continent, a Sanitary 
Board of Councils had been appointed, which, on June 22d, 
18B2, passed the following resolution : " Eesolved, that it is 
expedient that three physicians of eminence be appointed to 
proceed forthwith to Montreal or Quebec or both, at their dis- 
cretion, to ascertain the true nature of the disease prevailing 
there, and to obtain such further information in relation 
thereto as they may deem necessary, and to make their com- 
munication as early as practicable to the Board." 

" The Board appointed Samuel Jackson, Charles D. Meigs, 
and Eichard Harlan." 

The commission proceeded immediately to the perform- 
ance of their delegated duty. They visited Montreal and 
thoroughly investigated all the circumstances connected with 
the outbreak of the disease in that locality. They designated 
the disease as " malignant cholera," and observed its phases 
and their peculiar phenomena. The information collected by 
them was embodied in a report which bears the date of July 
8th, 1832. It was none too early for its beneficial influence, 
for the pest had already reached New York, and in the closing 
period of the month began to desolate this city. 

In the fierce encounter with this new invader of the peace 



27 

and prosperity of tlieir fellow-citizens the members of the 
medical profession evinced their courage and endurance ; the 
part enacted by them constitutes the story that has been told 
by the historians of the period. The school-houses and places 
that could be found suitable in convenient portions of the city 
were converted into hospitals, under the charge of the leading 
prominent physicians, while their younger colleagues shared 
in the care, the fatigue, and watching entailed upon them. 
Each of the members of the commission referred to had a 
position in chief in connection with these establishments, and, 
as the services rendered were gratuitous, received, with others, 
as a token of gratitude and of commemoration from the city, 
a silver pitcher, on which was engraved a fit record of the 
purpose of the donation and of the occasion of its bestowal. 

Dr. Jackson had charge of City Cholera Hospital No. 5. 
He published two elaborate papers on the subject of Malignant 
Cholera, in the February and May numbers of the "American 
Journal of the Medical Sciences" for 1833. They are of a 
practical character as regards the nature of the disease, and 
its pathology and treatment, and illustrated by the report of 
thirty-three cases. 

In 1835 changes were made in the organization of the Uni- 
versity. The chair of Materia Medica having been vacated, 
and a new Professor elected in the person of Dr. Wood, it 
was deemed expedient as well as just that the chair of Insti- 
tutes should be re-established, and that branch again be placed 
on an independent footing. This was due to Dr. Jackson, who 
had made his record while assistant lecturer ; and now the way 
was clear before him for the enlarged display of his eminent 
abilities, and for the increase of his popularity and usefulness. 

Science and knowledge cannot be stationary ; no matter how 
stagnant the sources may become at certain periods, choked 
as it were by supine apathy, or the influence of dogmatic au- 
thority, there are latent natural powers always in existence 
which must sooner or later be put in operation to restore the 
purity and freshness of the current. This has been the case 
in medicine. At the termination of the last century, experi- 
mental investigation was at a stand ; the authority of Cullen 
had superseded that of Boerhaave, and vital solidism had uui- 



28 

versally been accepted in place of the mechanical philosophy. 
But a new era was at hand, for John Hunter had not ex- 
hausted or even gone to the depths of experimental truth ; by 
Bichat and Nysten life was exhibited from new stand-points; 
and then came forth those brilliant revelations that have placed 
the name of Magendie among the leaders in physiological 
science. The humoral system had assumed a new and more 
rational aspect under the moulding hand of expert chemists. 

When Dr. Jackson entered upon the functions of his chair, 
physiological science had so far advanced as to render the ex- 
planation of the connection between the organs by unmeaning 
sympathy no longer tolerated. The direct agents of commu- 
nication between them had been made so clear and demon- 
strable as to command conviction, while the direct influence 
of agents upon the animal economy, by their absorption, so 
long denied, was proved beyond the possibility of cavil ; and 
further, microscopic research was shedding anew its wonderful 
disclosures, not only as regards healthy structural formation of 
the tissues, but as to their pathological metamorphoses.^ The 
business of the Professor of the Institutes was to gather up, 
from all available resources, everything that elucidated the 
nature of life-actions of the organism ; to search into the laws 
that governed them, and then to place a distinct account of 
the facts and principles he had gleaned before his pupils. As 
year upon year rolled by, this duty he continued faithfully 
and eloquently to fulfil, and never fell behind the knowledge 
which the fertile spirit of inquiry was constantly imparting. 

A feature that was prominent in Dr. Jackson's mental con- 
stitution was openness to conviction ; he was not permanently 
wedded to any preconceived opinion or hypothesis, for he was 
willing to modify and even change his views in accordance 
with discovery. In the early enunciation of his ideas upon 
medicine, it is evident his bias was towards the vitalistic doc- 

' In a communication entitled "Thoughts on Sympathy, in a Letter 
from Charles Caldwell, M.D., to N. Chapman, M.D.," in the third volume 
of Philadelphia Journal of the Medical and Physical Sciences, the ex- 
periments and their results upon absorption then in progress were stig- 
matized as "efforts to reinundate the world with the foul tide of humoral 
doctrines," 



29 

trine; but, as facts accumulated and thought expanded under 
the declarations of the physicists and chemists, he found that 
exclusiveness did not comport with trutli, and he fully recog- 
nized the value of their labors. Let me elucidate by reference 
to the " correlation of forces." 

The hypothesis that life actions are intimately associated 
with and dependent upon physical forces, although traceable 
through bygone times of medical history, has received new 
importance from the experiments of physical explorers with- 
respect to the connection between the forces of nature them- 
selves. These forces are everywhere in operation, and con- 
stitute the moving powers of inorganic as well as of or- 
ganic matter. The identity of these forces, or, in other words, 
their mutual conversion, has been propounded, and evidence 
adduced to sustain the supposition of the production of one 
through the instrumentality of another. In this line of in- 
quiry and speculation, Biot, Arago, Herschel, Faraday, Matte- 
ucci, and Grove have been distinguished. The extension of 
the same mode of resolving movements has been ingeniously 
applied to the organic world. In 1845 Mayer, of Hilbron, pub- 
lished his paper, in Germany, upon the correlation and iden- 
tity of physical and vital forces ; and in 1850 the subject was 
ably discussed by Dr. Carpenter, in a communication to the 
Eoyal Society of London, It is worthy of note, that as early 
as 1821 a paper on this subject was published in this country 
by the late Dr. Godman, entitled " Some observations on the 
propriety of explaining the actions of the animal economy by 
the assistance of the physical sciences ;" to the correlation of 
forces, however, no allusion is made. 

In an introductory lecture published in 1837, Dr. Jackson 
thus expresses himself: "All the phenomena of organization, 
physiological or pathological, are thus referable, like all other 
phenomena of nature, to a small category of general laws. 
Physical phenomena, according to the class they belong to, 
are referred to a few simple laws, as of gravity, caloric, of 
affinity, of galvanism, of electricity, of magnetism, alio/ which 
it can now he scarcely doubted, are themselves hut modifications of 
one great lata of force. The force producing physiological or 
organic phenomena may be no more than a modification of 



30 

tlie same ruling power displaying its activity in organized 
matter ; strong analogies could be advanced to sustain this 
view." 

In a subsequent lecture (1851) this subject is discussed by 
him in extenso. In this he draws the distinction between 
pure life force and the physical forces, and maintains that the 
special character of organic or " radical force of life" is mo- 
dality, or the power of creating organic forms, tlie instruments 
and mechanism of life. " It possesses none of the attributes 
of the physical forces in its actions and influences. It has 
no identity with them, yet there is undoubted correlation." 
" Germ force and organic force are identical." He dissents from 
the views expressed by Dr. Carpenter in his admirably 
suggestive discussion of life forces, that "just as beat, ligbt, 
chemical afl&nity, etc., are transformable into vital force, so is 
vital force capable of manifesting itself in the production of 
light, heat, chemical afl&nity or mechanical motion." Dr. Jack- 
son maintained the separate and independent existence of a vital 
force, operating on and obeying the influences of the physical, 
but not identical with or convertible into them ; with him the 
dependence of life force upon physical forces, to maintain its 
existence, and to secure the metamorphic changes connected 
with typical permanency and evolution of organic structure, 
constitutes the correlation. 

In addition to membership in the societies that have been 
referred to, Dr. Jackson was also a member of the College of 
Physicians, and of the American Philosophical Society. In 
1836 the "Academic Eoyale de M^decine" of France conferred 
on him the honor of corresponding membership. 

In 1863 Dr. Jackson resigned his professorship, after having 
performed its duties for twenty-eight years, and having been 
connected with the University during the long period of thirty- 
six years. During the latter half of his life his constitution 
was not robust, nor were his physical powers vigorous. He 
had for many years been the subject of neuralgia, which sub- 
jected him to great suffering, and ultimately loss of locomo- 
tor capability was so decided as to become ataxic. But he 
toiled on to the last moment of bodily endurance; and when 
only old age coerced retirement from active scenes he with- 



31 

drew entirely from tbem. In the latter epoch of his life the 
maxim of Cicero appears to have been adopted by him. " Pug- 
nandum tanquam contra morbum, sic contra senectutem." His 
last medical communication was written in 1870. He died 
April 4th, 1872, at the age of eighty-five years, 

I have thus endeavored to sketch the career of one who, 
while engaged in the great drama of this world's concerns, 
played a conspicuous part. His memory should be cherished 
not solely for his effective co-operation in the work of medical 
education, and his hearty sympathy with the scientific impulse 
of the time, but for his good deeds, and for his whole-souled 
devotion to the claims inseparable from humanity. "With the 
graduates of the University of Pennsylvania, who knew his 
worth and loved his virtues, there must remain the tenderest 
recollections of their preceptor and their friend. 



PAPERS PUBLISHED BY DR. JACKSON. 

An Account of tlie Yellow or Malignant Fever wliicli appeared in the 
city of Philadelphia in the summer and autumn of 1820, with some Obser- 
vations on that Disease. By Samuel Jackson, M.D., President of the Board 
of Health. Philadelphia Journal of the Medical and Physical Sciences, 
vol. i. No. 2, vol. ii. Nos. 1 and 2, 1820-21, three papers. 

On the Condition of the Medicines of the United States, and the means 
of their reform. An Introductory Lecture delivered in the Philadelphia 
College of Pharmacy. Phil. Journ. of Med. and Phys. Sciences, vol. v. 
No. 2, 1822. 

Case of Pulmonary Disease attended with some anomalous Symptoms, 
ibid., vol. 7. 1823. 

Case of Effusion into the Chest, in which Paracentesis was performed, 
ibid.. New Series, vol. 1, 1825. 

On Vitality and Vital Forces, ibid., vol. 13, 1826. 

The Doctrine of Irritation, ibid., vol. 13, 1826. 

Laws of Irritation, a continuation of the preceding, ibid., vol. 10, iv. 
1827. 

On James's Fever Powder. Journal of the Philadelphia College of 
Pharmacy, May, 1826. 

Cases of Nervous Irritation exhibiting the efflcacy of cold as a remedy. 
North American Med. and Surg. Journal, vol. 2. October, 1826. 

Statement of the Effects of Swaim's Panacea, appended to a Report of 
the Philadelphia Medical Society. North American Med. and Surg. Journ., 
vol. 5, Jan. 1828. 

Clinical Reports of Cases treated in the Infirmary of the Almshouse of 
the city and county of Philadelphia. American Journal of Med. Sci., vol. 
i., Nov. 1827. 

Case of Gastro-Meningeal Irritation, caused by Metastasis, ibid. , May, 
1828. 

Case of Amnesia, ibid., Feb. 1829. 

Clinical Reports of Cases treated in the Infirmary of the Almshouse of 
the city and county of Philadelphia, ibid., Feb. 1829. 



UNIVERSIT OR' 



\R' 



Case of Tetanus. Respiration performed by one lung, etc., ibid., 
Feb. 1829. 

Cases of Cynanclie Tracliealis, ibid., Aug. 1829. 

On Absorption, ibid., Feb. 1830. 

On the Pulse and its Modifications, ibid.. May, 1830. 

Observations on Hematosis, Avith two cases in which this function was 
imperfectly performed, ibid.. May, 1830. 

On the Pathology or Abnormal State of the Circulation, ibid., Aug. 1830. 

Personal Observations and Experience of Epidemic or Malignant Cliolera 
in the city of Philadelphia in 1832, ibid., Feb. and May, 1833, two papers. 

Case of Intussusception, ibid., Aug. 1833. 

On Medical Education, ibid., Feb. 1834. An Introductory Lecture. 

Preface to Cases of Yellow Fever. By E. B. Harris, M.D., of New 
Orleans, ibid.. May, 1834. 

Case of Purpura Hasmorrhagica, ibid.. May, 1834. 

Obscure Pericarditis, Dilatation of the Heart, Peculiar Species of Tumor 
on the Eight and Left Ventricles and Left Auricle, CEdema of the Fauces, 
Larynx, and Glottis, Death from Suffocation, ibid., Feb. 1835. 

Observations on Hydropliobia, with Cases, in one of which Chloroform 
was administered with a favorable result, ibid., April, 1849. 

Case in which a large quantity of Chloroform was used, ibid., April, 
1849. 

On the Influence upon Health of the Introduction of Tea and Coffee in 
large proportion into the Dietary of Children and the Laboring Classes, 
ibid., July, 1849. 

Digestion of Fatty IMatters by the Pancreatic Juice, ibid., Oct. 1854. 

A Discourse commemorative of Nathaniel Chapman, M.D., late Professor 
of tlie Theory and Practice of Medicine and of Clinical Medicine ; delivered 
before the Trustees, Medical Faculty, and Students of the University of 
Pennsylvania, October 13, 1854. 

On the Functions of the different Parts of the Internal Ear, Am. Joum. 
Med. Sciences, April, 185G. 

On Starch as a Product of the Liver, and on the Amyloid Degeneration 
of the Liver in Yellow Fever, ibid., vol. 34, new series, Oct. 1857. 

On Therapeutic Applications of the Solution of Permanganate of Potash 
and Ozone, ibid., vol. 49, Jan. 18G4, N. S. 

On the Uses of Sugar and Lactic Acid on the economy, ibid., vol. 49, 
April, 18G5. 

Cases of Inflammation occurring under Peculiar Conditions, with some 
Thoughts and Reflections on the Nature, Constitution, and Purposes of this 
organic process in the Animal Organism, ibid., vol. 55, Jan. 18G8. 

Case of Derangement limited to a single moral sentiment, occurring 
periodically, that sentiment being in a perfectly normal condition during 
the intervals, ibid., vol. 55, April, 18G8. 

On Consciousness and Cases of so-called Double Consciousness, ibid., 
vol. 5G, Jan. 1869. 

A Rare Disease of the Joints, ibid., vol. GO, July, 1870. 



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