COMMEMORATIVE OF THE LIFE AND CHARACTER
SAMUEL JACKSON, M.D.,
LATE PROFESSOR OP THE INSTITUTES OF MEDICINE
UNIYERSITY OF PE^NSYLVAIsIA.
JOSEPH CARSON, M.D.,
PROFESSOR OP MATERIA MEDICA AND PHARMACY.
nJEI^irXHtJED OCTOBEJt 7, 1S72,
TRUSTEES, PEOFESSOES, AND STUDENTS OF THE USITEESIIY OF PESSSILYAAIA.
COLLINS, PRINTER, 705 JAYNE STREET.
T71VTVRRRTTV OF rATTFOWNTA
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
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
Very sincerely your
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.
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,
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-
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-
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
2 It may be mentioned that the gentlemen thus first united were, Drs.
Chapman, Dewees, Horner, Bell, Mitchell, Jackson, Hodge, and Harris.
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,
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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-
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
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
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-
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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-
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
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
tlie same ruling power displaying its activity in organized
matter ; strong analogies could be advanced to sustain this
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-
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.
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,
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.
Case of Tetanus. Respiration performed by one lung, etc., ibid.,
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,
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,
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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