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both body and mind, and spent amid scenes of much professional interest, and in contact with men of high professional standing; and contains a record of the early struggles and subsequent career of a man of strong physical powers, of ardent temperament, of determined will, of untiring energy, of remarkable industry, of great system in the distribution of his time, and of indomitable perseverance. Qualities of this nature, exercised during so long a period, necessarily led to the accomplishment of a vast amount of labor, both mental and corporeal, which, had it been more profitably directed would have conferred more benefit upon the world, and have added more to his reputation. The prominent part he bore in the establishment of the Louisville and Transylvanian Universities is well known, and forms a leading feature in his account of himself.
Dr. C. manifested in early life that ambition which was ever his ruling passion,and must have constantlyoffended his contemporaries by the exhibition of that vanity and egotism, and at times of that vindictive spirit, which constitutes such a blemish of the record of himself which he has bequeathed us. The great object of his earlier aspirations was to succeed Dr. Rush in his Chair in the University of Pennsylvania, which he insists that he should have occupied, “had it not been for an unlooked for and insuperable combination of adverse circumstances.” He claims to have been the first teacher of Clinical Medicine in Philadelphia, and to have commenced the clinical instruction, since continued in the Philadelphia Almshouse, now known as the Blockley Hospital. He early denied the doctrine of the contagion of yellow fever, as taught at the time by Dr. Rush, and also advocated the non-contagiousness of plague, and opposed the enforcement of quarantine laws. He awards to Dr. Physick the credit of having been the first to make post-mortem examinations in yellow fever, an undertaking then considered hazardous, even "by physicians, on account of the supposed extremely contagious nature of the disease. He claims to have written more, and on a greater variety of subjects, than any other medical man in our country, and to have borrowed and quoted, in both words and thoughts, less than any other writer in the United States, and indeed less than any other writer with whose works he was acquainted. He says that he never lost a prize for which he contended, either before or after his graduation in medicine, and that his contests were numerous, and sometimes arduous ; nor did he attribute his success, in any case, to the superiority of his intellect over that of his competitors; but principally, if not exclusively, to his superiority in industry and resolution, energy, firmness, and unyielding perseverance, a record which he makes for the encouragement of young men under similar circumstances.
The autobiography of Dr. Caldwell presents many points of interest, and some that are instructive. The reminiscences of some of the friends of his early life afford us an insight into the state of society in those days; and the sketches of Drs. Rush, Chapman, Wistar, Barton, and others of his professional contemporaries of the latter part of the last and the early part of the present century, as well as of others distinguished for science or position, are graphic and spirited; although allowance must doubtless be made, at times, for the influence of the constant and rather sharp collision with some of them which evidently existed. The peculiar character of Dr. C.'s mind, and the vast range of subjects over which he allowed it to wander, instead of concentrating his powers upon some definite points of study, have rendered his labors less useful to posterity, and less available for his posthumous reputation; while his unfortunate taste for controversy, and the too slender justice rendered to the talents and acquirements of others, doubtless narrowed the circle of his friends while alive, and limited the sphere of his influence. Whether the autobiography which he has left us will place his memory in a more enviable light before the world, we must leave for the decision of others more familiar with him and his erratic career than ourselves. The book is well printed, and is embellished with a handsome engraving of Dr. C., which shows him to have been more than an ordinary man. A Practical Treatise on the Diseases peculiar to Women. Illustrated
by Cases derived from Hospital and Private Practice. By Samuel Ashwell, Member of the Royal College of Physicians, London; and late Obstetric Physician and Lecturer to Guy's Hospital. Third American, from the third and revised London edition. Philadelphia: Blanchard & Lea. 1855. Pp. 528.
Nearly eleven years have elapsed since the profession was favored with the first edition of this work, which embodied the results of the experience and research of the author, who had, at that time, devoted more than twenty years to the important branch of medical science of which it treats, under the most favorable circumstances for their study. Its merits, as a judicious and truly practical work, were at once acknowledged, as is shown by the fact that, in less than four years, a third edition was called for, which afforded opportunity for alterations and improvements that has not been neglected by the author. The present reprint of the last London edition may therefore be safely recommended as a reliable guide in the investigation and treatment of female diseases, the more valuable from the fact that its contents are the results of the practice and observation of the author himself, with comparatively sparing quotations from the works of others. The numerous cases introduced give increased value and interest to the work, which is now a standard one among us, so that we need do little more than announce the appearance of this new edition. It is perhaps no small recommendation of the work that it has passed through the Philadelphia press without note, or indorsement on its title-page. The Climate, Diseases, and Materia Medica of the Hawaiian Islands.
By LUTHER H. GULICK, M. D. New York : 1855. Pp. 46.
This pamphlet, which appeared in the New York Journal of Medicine for March, 1855, is from the pen of a clergyman, a medical graduate of the University of New York, a native of the Hawaiian Islands, now a missionary in the employ of the American Board of Foreign Missions; and presents much information respecting a portion of the world daily increasing in interest and importance, which will be gladly received.
Few are probably aware of the remarkably equable nature of the climate of these islands. The mean annual range of the thermometer at Honolulu during twelve years was 370; and during the years 1837 and 1839. was 240; while that of St. Augustine is stated to be 53°, that of Key West, 370, and that of Madeira, 230. The mean annual temperature of the West Indies is 790 to 810; on the leeward side of the Hawaiian Islands, about 750; and on the windward side about 72o. Dr. Judd remarks that the natives seldom speak of the weather, and have no word in their language to express that general idea. This uniformly mild temperature makes these islands well suited to those inclined to phthisis, and will, doubtless, in course of time, render them a favorite resort for health as well as for pleasure. Phthisis is said to be entirely absent among both the foreign and native inhabitants; and some who have gone there laboring under pulmonary affections, which it was supposed would prove fatal bad they remained in this country, have been restored to good health. All seasons of the year, however, are not equally favorable for health, nor all parts of the islands.
Dr. Gulick gives a brief sketch of the leading diseases met with in the islands, and enters at some length upon the subject of syphilis, which is well known to have proved such a scourge there. He contends however, and apparently for sound reasons, that the physical deterioration of the race, which has been so palpable since the introduction of that disease by Captain Cook, should be attributed to other causes than that disease alone. But our limits will not allow us to follow him in the details of his statements and arguments. Dr. G. deserves the thanks of the profession for this first attempt to present, in a systematic manner, the facts of medical interest connected with the Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands, and gives earnest of what we may hope from him in future labors in this way. He has collected much valuable information from many and most reliable sources, and will, we trust, give us still further proof of the “literary capabilities” of the natives of these islands. They certainly present a large and valuable field for study in a professional as well as a general point of view. We understand that the pamphlet of Dr. G. is for sale at the medical bookstores. A Paper on Protracted Valvular Diseases of the Heart. Read
before the Society of Statistical Medicine. By John W. Corson, M. D., Physician to the New York Dispensary ; late Physician to Brooklyn City Hospital. (From the N. York Journal of Medicine for May, 1855, pp. 28.)
The principal object of Dr. Corson's paper (first published in the New York Journal of Medicine for May last), is to investigate the prognosis and circumstances which modify the prognosis of valvular disease of the heart, by means of an analysis of original and selected cases of this affection of at least three years' duration.
Of these he has given us a valuable table of forty-one cases, which includes all cases of this kind definitely recorded, that he was able to find in text-books or journals, for the last twenty years. This is the first attempt of the kind to furnish such a table, which presents also an abstract of all the leading items in the cases, with the authority for each. Of the valves diseased in these forty-one cases, they were the aortic alone, in twenty ; the mitral alone in nine; the aortic and mitral, in seven; the aortic, mitral, and tricuspid, in two; the mitral and tricuspid, in one; the pulmonic, in one. The cases are also carefully analyzed, and a general view presented of the subject of valvular disease of the heart, which will be found very useful for reference as well as for study. An interesting, and we may add unexpected result is furnished by this analysis, as to the encouragement we are permitted to give, at least in some cases, to those suffering under this unfortunate condition of the heart. The average duration of these fortyone related cases reaches, as Dr. Corson says, “ the extraordinary term of nine years.” He adds that, allowing for the probable continued duration of the lives of eleven patients still living at the time of the report, we might perhaps be safe in rating the probable average duration of these forty-one favorable cases at ten years. The average duration of nine cases ofaortic obstruction was ten and a half years; of eight cases of aortic obstruction and regurgitation, eight and one quarter years; nine of mitral regurgitation, eight and a half years; seven of aortic and mitral, ten years; six of miscellaneous, six years ; three of right and left simultaneousİy, four years. Statistics shew that aortic valvular disease is in general the most favorable form. A short but judicious summary of treatment of valvular disease of the heart follows a clear and full account of the means of their diagnosis and rules of prognosis, and the pamphlet closes with a series of conclusions drawn from the cases thus tabulated and analyzed.
Dr. Corson regards impulse as the true pulse of the heart, and when feeble, as indicating need of support; and thinks that the most valuable tonics to sustain a failing heart are, first, strychnine or nux vomica, in from one-fourth to one-third the usual minute doses, long continued ; and next, preparations of iron, with mild sedatives and bitters. He shows himself a careful and conscientious inquirer after the truth, and is well known as a zealous and industrious student as well as a caresul practitioner, and has furnished a paper which we think will be read with interest, and which we trust will prove a forerunner of others of the same nature, materials for which are constantly accumulating. Quarterly Summary of the Transactions of the College of Physicians of
Philadelphia From March 7, 1855 to April 4, 1855, inclusive.
Three-fourths of this number are occupied with the report of Dr. Ruschenberger on the Meteorology and Epidemics of Philadelphia, and the Table of Mortality for the year 1854. Tables are also given of the annual aggregates of the mortality from diseases of the lungs and airpassages, of the nervous system, of some organs of nutrition, of the urino-genital organs, and from fevers during the last five years, and statements of the ratio of mortality of different diseases to the total mortality. It also contains an interesting case of disease of the heart, with hypertrophy and dilatation of the left ventricle, ossification of the aortic valves,
and aneurism of the aorta, by Dr. Wister, with the autopsy, and valuable remarks; and Remarks on a case of Diabetes which recovered under treatment by benzoic acid, by Dr. Rand, with speculations as to the modus operandi of this article; and closes with a short discussion of the question whether iodine can revive mercury latent in the system, respecting which opposite views were expressed by different members. We notice that at one of the meetings, the librarian reported donations of books to the library, amounting to one hundred and twenty-four volumes, ninety-one of which were quartos, mostly from Fellows of the College-an example well worthy of imitation elsewhere.
DOMESTIC.-Crosby Street College.-In our March number we mentioned incidentally, that a most eligible site for this iostitution had been procured on the corner of 4th avenue and 22d street. Owing to unforeseen difficulties, this site has been abandoned; but one more advantageous has been procured on the N. E. corner of 4th avenue and 33d street, and the new edifice is already in progress. It will be a spacious buildiog, fronting on 23d street, ex. tending over nearly three lots of ground; on the 4th avenue, the basement story will be occupied by stores, the rent of which will, it is presumed, be a source of large revenue; these will not, however, interfere with the unity of the front on 23d street. We are not familiar with the details of the internal arrangements, but are assured that they will be upon the most improved model. The entire cost of the building, &c., will amount to $80,000. This change of location, from a narrow by-street to a most commanding position at the junction of two great thoroughfares, and in the immediate vicinity of Bellevue Hospital, cannot fail largely to increase the prosperity of this time-bonored institution. N. Y. Med. College, Thirteenth street.-Dr. Henry G. Cox has been appointed Professor of Theory and Practice in this institution, and Professors Peaslee and E. H. Parker have exchanged Chairs; Dr. Horace Green is, however, yet the President, and Professor of Diseases of the Respiratory Organs, and Dr. Barker in the Chair of Obstetrics. - Albany Medical College.-Dr. Howard Townsend has retired from the Professorship of Obstetrics, and Dr. E. V. Quackepboss has been appointed to fill the vacancy.- Pennsylvania University --Op the 3d April, Professor Wm. Gibson (for thirty-seven years Professor of Surgery) resigned. Dr. H. H. Smith, of Philadelphia, has been appointed his successor; the title of Emeritus Professor has been conferred by the Trustees upon Professor Gibson.- Virginia Medical College, Richmond.-Professor Brown-Sequard having resigned the Chair of Medical Jurisprudence and Institutes of Medicine, Dr. L. S. Joyoes has been appointed. Dr. A. E. Petticolas, for many years Demonstrator of Anatomy, bas been appointed to the Chair of Anatomy in place of the late Professor Carter P. Johason, lost in the Arctic. Rush Medical College - The Chairs of Physiology and Pathology, and of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, are now vacant; application may be made to Dr. Brainard, Pres. ident, at Chicago, until 15th June.- University of Michigan,—The statement published in several journals (not in ours) that a Professor of Homeopathy had been appointed in this institution, is not correct. The legislature, at its recent session, recommended to the Regents that such an appointment should be made ; but no appointment has been, or is likely to be made,