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loyal medical heart in the country, it has literally drifted through a generation. Composed of the representatives of wide-spread and independent medical masses, with many-sided hopes and aspirations, many with a freedom of thought and expression peculiar to their latitudes, it has seemed, in turn, to delight in repre. senting every shade of medical politics. But it still lived, and every year its ancient friends met new representatives in council, and renewing their allegiance, lighted again their torches at its altar. The contributions of old and new were printed, and, in a bound book, sanctified to posterity.

It is good occasionally to recall the grand objects its founders hoped to achieve through its instrumentality. They were

First—To give emphatic expression to the views and aims of the medical profession in this country.

SecondTo supply more effectual means than have hitherto been available here for cultivating and advancing medical knowledge.

Third-To elevate the standard of medical education.

FourthTo promote the usefulness, honor, and interest of the medical profession.

Fifth-To enlighten and direct public opinion in regard to the duties, responsibilities, and requirements of medical men.

Sixth-To excite and encourage emulation and concert of action in the profession.

Seventh-To facilitate and foster friendly intercourse between medical men.

Eighth-To take cognizance of the common interest of the medical profession in every part of the United States.

Organized for the achievement of eight distinct purposes, which, in the aggregate, if accomplished, were to confer upon the profession of Medicine in America a glory which the ages had not vouchsafed to it in any country under heaven.

It must be right that the memories of the older members of the Association should be refreshed by occasional recurrence to the grand objects contemplated in the beginning, and that members of more recent date might have definitely set before them to what ends their labors were to be consecrated. With this view, the occasion would invite allusions to these various ob. jects; and

First. "To give emphatic expression to the views and aims of the medical profession in this country.” These views and aims, in all their breadth and depth, twenty-six meetings of this body

have emphasized in an unmistakable manner; nor were the aims and views of any body of men known to history ever stamped with a higher honor or a design more unselfish or exalted.

Second. “To supply more efficient means than have hitherto been available here for cultivating and advancing medical knowledge.” To show that this has been accomplished, we need only point to the splendid library, rich in every department of medicine, of which this organization is at once author and publishera library that will be the wonder of coming ages, recording and preserving the precious thoughts of original American Medical writers, who, many of them, but for this encouragement, had hardly committed them to paper.

Third. "To elevate the standard of medical education." To this, what can we say ?-what shall we say ? Reports upon this

? subject, by committees regularly appointed, are among the most eloquent and philosophical papers of the Transactions of this body. Never did the great and faithful of any calling lavish a greater expenditure of logic, illuminated with genius and learning, to secure its recognition among the noble as worthy of their sympathy and support, than have those to whom the duty was assigned by this body to devise the best means to elevate the standard of medical education. The desire for its accomplishment seemed to be felt by all, but how it was to be accomplished was apparent to none. Not unlike the efforts of the alchymist, the very failure inspired new struggles-the greater the obstructions the more potential the forces invoked to remove them. The Association deserved success. The schools were the janitors at the portals of the professional temple, and their competition and rivalry to secure numbers, measured the standard of medical education. Then sprang up the antagonism between the schools and the Association, which ran through a period of seventeen years. As the efforts of the alchymists were not lost, though the myth of philosophy eluded their grasp, so also the Association triumphed in what was considered a defeat.

Our chivalric fathers abhorred the standard of rebellion, and urged upon king and people, with an eloquence which, for pathos and sublimity, is without parallel in English literature, beseeching only the recognition, upon the part of the Ministry, of the rights and privileges of British subjects. For a maintenance of these a war was forced upon them, that ended in converting a British subject into an American freeman! Our English ancestors, from disputes about privilege and prerogative, flew to arms to establish the equipoise, which ended in the overthrow of the one and an unhealthy augmentation of the other—failed in the establishment of a republic, but broke forever the backbone of insolent prerogative. A clash of ideas in France ended in an appeal to arms. The King was the State. The revolution of 1789 ensued, since which, amid innumerable changes, there has been none that does not make haste to declare that the people are the State! This great good not struggled for, Providence

! has secured to the French, who had vainly waded through blood for the achievement of almost everything else. Short-sighted man has thus overruled, for his good, his most heroic efforts in an opposite direction. In our own short history as a country, within the recollection of us all, stupendous sacrifices solved a problem undreamed of by those who precipitated them, and the history of mankind is luminous with similar examples; and those among us conversant with it are neither surprised nor disappointed that this organization, in all the years it has met and resolved and reported, finds itself as far as ever from the achievement of that desideratum adumbrated, by its initial convention, as the chief end of its creation.

The Colleges, borrowing a word from the politicians, and recognizing the Association as National, opposed, through their accredited organs, any centralizing tendency. Medical schools multiplied, and each, while adopting the Code of Ethics suggested by the Association, and proud of being represented in it, was unwilling to concede to it any power over its local affairs, and thus, for a quarter of a century, they seemed antagonizing forces. The natural rivalry of the schools would suggest the power of the Association to aid ends honorably labored for, which would as naturally stimulate opposition. If one school sought to strengthen itself and augment its classes by obedience to the behests of the Association, its rival was as certain to oppose change as evidence of decay, and thus strengthen itself by a recognition of the landmarks of the fathers, and a determination to deepen their footprints by walking in them.

Meanwhile the Association, in vibrating now towards one, and anon to the other of these extremes, seemed attempting that difficult equestrian feat of riding, at the same time, horses running in opposite directions. The schools, while denying the authority of this body to prevent them doing as they pleased, were not


indisposed to invoke its countenance in favor of any peculiarity to which any of them committed themselves. While its Transactions, therefore, exhibit it as a gallant ship, struggling to make headway when directly opposed by the wind, with its prow, during the effort, turned to every point of the compass, yet the skilful navigator knew, notwithstanding, that she was edging up slowly but certainly in the right direction; and the belief of this truth has sustained its friends from the beginning, and secured their cheerful attendance, when the less observing could see no future from which the clouds did not shut out the light of heaven. Such did not stop to consider how vast was the country here represented, and how widely different the outward circumstances of the men that constituted the Association at any one meeting—one from a Western wilderness, who, like Fanny Fern's father-in-law, would have to ride through the rain six miles, along a bridle-way, of a dreary December night, and pull a tooth for twenty-five cents, sitting beside a “brother" whose knife took to blood at a hundred dollars a drink a long time ago, and now wants more, and who visits his patients on silken cushions, housed in his two-horse coupé, along thoroughfares as smooth as a marble-top table. No representative body on earth is composed of men who, while all good and true, yet like this, presents to the outward world aspects so diversified, so unlike, so seemingly opposite. To secure an esprit de corps among such representatives requires more than a year, more than a decade, more than a generation. The country which they represent is yet in its infancy, and its population, like its language, after a good Anglo-Saxon foundation, is mixed in its composition with the representatives of all the countries under heaven, and a blending, fusion, and consolidation of their descendants into that homo. geneous nationality adumbrated by its motto—"out of many, one" -must occur before its higher civilization can avow itself American.

A departed member of this body has eloquently shown how that process has been going forward in what he delights to call the Great Interior Basin of North America, from the beginning, and which must be completed before we can present a national type which shall distinguish the North American, as the Spaniard or the Frenchman is distinguished. The diversity which characterizes a community in general must apply equally to any special calling, as its preachers, its lawyers, and its doctors. His. tory reveals to us the tenacity of traditions, and that many succeeding generations rise, flourish, and go down to the tomb, unable to resist them, while not in words acknowledging their teachings. Communities thus compounded will find the same want of harmony among those they consecrate to special professional life as exists among themselves.

We offer this apology for any absence of persisting effort in one direction that may be chargeable to this body, composed, as it is, after its permanent members, by representatives annually chosen, and the bulk in attendance living nearest the place of meeting. These things considered and allowed, our meetings have been as harmonious as could be reasonably expected. Still, to return to the ship, that universal metaphor, the ocean it navi. gates knew rather more of storm than calm, and thinking men cast about for some Jonah on board, who, pitched into the surging sea, might prove as oil to its troubled waters.

At Nashville, eighteen years ago, amid a storm of school representatives in this Association, a resolution was introduced to so change our Constitution as to keep the representatives of schools and hospitals, as such, out of this body. Under the rule, it must wait a year for consideration. It was called up the next year at Washington, after great excitement about hospital representatives, and was lost by almost a unanimous vote. In 1869, at New Orleans, the same proposition was made. A greater storm at the meeting in Washington, in 1870, from school repre. sentatives, caused deeper thought upon the subject, and at Detroit, last year, seventeen years after the Nashville resolution, to the unspeakable joy of many, the Constitution was so amended as to give a permanent quietus to this disturbing element, and assurance of a calmer future.

As in the structure of our National Constitution concessions were necessary to secure its adoption, which insured subsequent disaster, only second in importance to its defeat, yet, as that defeat was to insure the overthrow of the temple of liberty then being erected, the most exalted patriotism did not hesitate, hoping that a little time would so consolidate its elements as to make it impregnable to any assault invoked by the very weaknesses neces. sary to secure its existence; so with our organization: but for the important concessions made to schools and hospitals in the begin. ning, it might never have existed, but, life being thus infused into it, each succeeding year contributed to its unity and power,

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