THE CHOLERA EPOCH
INQUIRIES FROM HOMOEOPATHIC PHYSICIANS.
We can only give a few extracts from letters of homoeopathic physicians asking Hahnemann’s advice and instruction in special cases of disease, together with a relating to more general questions on this subject, in order not to make this work too voluminous.
Dr. Rummel wrote to Hahnemann:
Merseburg, 15.6.31. Speaking candidly I am not always successful with it [with intermittent fever-R.H.) even with anti- psoric remedies, although some cases subside quite soon with Bryonia and other remedies. What is the reason of it? Chinin, sulph. helps them quickly in all cases, but another attack always follows. We lack here another specific for intermittent fever, such as Aconite in inflammatory conditions.
After Hahnemann’s reply Rummel wrote further:
Merseburg 15.7.31. I have taken to heart your very instructive letter, and since then I have already cured several cases of intermittent fever which were particularly protracted, with Bryonia and Ant. tart. That I cannot always succeed without China or rather Chinin. is due perhaps to the imperfect knowledge I have of the proved remedies, but I think that I shall progress gradually with it. This is of course fraught with great difficulties in my case, as I cannot increase my knowledge from the teaching of a more experienced homoeopath, hut have had to learn everything from books or by experience.
Dr. Franz of Leipsic seeks Hahnemann’s advice, regarding his own health.
Also Dr. Stapf of Naumburg, repeatedly appeals to Hahnemann for the treatment of his daughter, when he is in doubt.
Dr. H. Frankel, of Sondersleben wrote on November 29th, 1833:
I have openly acknowledged my great esteem for you, and I hope that an essay of mine (a parallel between the ancient and the homoeopathic empirical school) which will appear shortly, will convince you more of it. If I judge you rightly you will not blame me, if I do not intend to follow blindly a great man in all things.
There are further letters from:
Dr. Fleischmann of Vienna (with a detailed report of his own illness).
Anton Fischer, Surgeon and Obstetrician of Raigern, near Brunn (Mahren ) who sends, together with some extraordinary reports of cures,
40 Rth. for the hospital Leipsic from Count Joseph Schafgotsche, and 5 Rth. from himself.
Gregor Capdebo of Bazacrhaza in Temesvares Banal.
Bernardin Czervinka, surgeon of the citizenship of Neusatz, near Peterwardein.
Dr. Kurtz, of Biebrich, had already frequently received remedies for himself from Hahnemann, and wrote desiring further treatment on June 24th, 1836:
And now I add a petition, which you said you would grant me in your first esteemed letter, but which you have not mentioned again. It is that you would kindly name the remedies you have given me from the very beginning of my treatment until now, and in what dilution. It is not curiosity on my part, but in the interest of science, that I entreat you for this disclosure, and you will probably get rid of me more quickly by so doing, as they were the correct remedies for the destruction of Psora in my system. You have lain the foundation-stone for the welfare of humanity; let others continue to build upon it and help then with revelations like the one I am begging from you.
(Hahnemann detailed on the letter a list of remedies (8) which he probably communicated to the writer, from Paris.)
Dr. Luther, sen., Ragusa, on April 20th, 1833, asks for help and advice concerning his daughter aged 3 years and 3 months.
Dr. Mosthoff, practitioner at Dirmstein, in Rheinbayern near Frankenthal, asks for advice concerning a 30 years old patient, whom he has treated wrongly, and encloses a report covering 18 quarto folios.
Hofrath Dr. Muhlenbein of Brunswick, frequently puts cases before, Hahnemann for approval-in November, 30; February, 33; June, 33; and in July, 33.
Dr. Schwarze, of Dresden, a private practitioner of 25 years standing, on August 8th, 1833, asked for Hahnemann’s advice regarding his own health. It was a question of gastric troubles which he describes minutely; he expresses at the same time his regret at being unable to undertake the journey to Kothen on August 10th.
I hope that through your help which I venture to claim again to-day, I may benefit so much that I may have the happiness of making your acquaintance, you who are immortal, so that I may assure you from the depths of my soul, of my great veneration, faithful adherence, and deep gratitude. May God grant it! I have often felt very angry that many so-called homoeopaths follow inexcusable by-paths and wrong ways, and I can well imagine how very much it must hurt you to have such experiences with your pupils. Yet there are only a few of these! They will find out how far their blindness will carry them. But when they publish their views and defend them, the least and mildest I can say of them, is that they show the worst ingratitude towards the immortal founder of Homoeopathy, their great teacher!
Dr. H. Bethmann, of Burgk, near Schleiz, wrote on August 23rd, 1831:
To-day thank God, it is love and joy that guides my pen. My good wife has been, since the 15th of this month, the happy mother of a healthy and well-made daughter.
How deeply I am indebted to you, my dearest fatherly teacher and friend, for this sublime joy! Accept the warmest, and most cordial thanks that a feeling human can give.
What a solemn event is the ushering of a human being into the world! What a transition from care, pain and fear, and from anxious depressing expectation to the blessed consciousness of the sweetest joy in our earthly life! New joys, new cares! This event impresses itself deeply and permanently, strengthening me in all that is good, enlarging my knowledge of myself and of my powers of self-control. And what could I give to this child, this beloved being, the pledge of the love of hearts of like sentiment which kept part for years, what else but a good education? A training that will enable her to seek for her own happiness in her innermost self, and she may find it in doing good and growing in grace. Thus it shall be with God’s help!
With deepest veneration and gratitude, H. BETHMANN (Dr. med., chir. et. art. obstetr.).
(See Hahnemann’s letter to Stapf, Supplement 94.)
Dr. Schreter of Leutschau, and later of Lemberg, wrote to Hahnemann, on May 24th, that thanks to his wife having been treated during the whole of her pregnancy, with anti-psorics, she has now a strong and healthy daughter. Out of joy and gratitude he would like to have Hahnemann’s name registered as Godfather. As the same time he asks for advice regarding some cases of disease.
Dr. Schreter wrote later from Lemberg on August 2nd, 1832:
My most sincere and cordial congratulations for the return of the 10th of August, which you have passed in health and enjoyment. A day of importance to all your pupils and admires; may you spend that for many years yet with the same physical and mental vigour that you enjoy now-every month of your life is an immense gain for the truth which now has spread so much.
Dr. Franz Xaver Kinzel of Vienna, wrote on July 29th, 1833:
My dear worthy friend, or I may say my benefactor, Dr. Schmit, encourages me to fulfil my long cherished wish, to introduce myself to you by letter. The 10th of August would give me an opportunity to see my Hahnemann, whom I venerate most among the earth-born, face to face; but an iron necessity whom I venerate most among the earth-born, face to face; but an iron necessity keeps me back in Vienna, and therefore I shall not be able to be present at this festal day in honour of our revered father homoeopathy. May God preserve to us your precious life until you attain the full triumph, general recognition and appreciation of the whole human race for your beneficent doctrine….For 19 years I groped about in a fog, without finding a sure point of support for the benefit of my patients, until thanks to homoeopathy and its founder, I found the light and the path. Since then I am glad to be a physician…. At the same time I would ask you to honour me be including me among your pupils; it will be my earnest endeavour to make myself worthy of that title.
Extract from a letter from Paris of December 10th, 1833:
The well-known Dr. Broussais is competing with four other physicians in openly making experiments with the homoeopathic treatment, in his hospital, Val de Grace, at Paris, urged and encouraged by his friend, the Military physician, Dr. Jourdan, who has been practising homoeopathy in Alsace with great success.
Homoeopathy makes gigantic strides in France generally. The Materia Medica Pura, and von Boenninghausen’s Repertory have been translated into French, and in two months’ time will appear in print through a Society of French physicians.
There is not a single copy of the French translation of the “organon” and the “Chronic Diseases” left in the book-shops, because the young French physicians are very eager to practise the new method of treatment. In a month the French translation of the fifth edition of the “Organon,” by Hr. Thayer, will appear.
And a homoeopathic Journal is also being published in Paris, which will prosper under the administration of well-informed and conscientious men. They are capable physicians from Strassburg, who know French and German equally well.
During the last few weeks a Homoeopathic Society of physicians has been formed in Paris, which already consists of more than 30 physicians. Prof. Mabit in Bordeaux always treats 150 patients with homoeopathy in the large hospital.
Sender unknown. To Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. Cothen, 1834.
INQUIRES FROM ALLOPATHIC PHYSICIANS WISHING TO STUDY HOMOEOPATHY.
Dr. Erhardt wrote from Merseburg on July 3rd, 1834:
Several of my chronic patients, who were not being cured after many year’s treatment, and who frequently heard others speak of the successful cures accomplished by homoeopaths, demanded to be treated homoeopathically. From love of truth and from their repeated requests, I wished to see my patients treated by the much more perfected system of homoeopathy, and I became the intermediary and correspondent between them and homoeopathic physician who live away from here. At the same time I studied by degrees the sources of their knowledge, and completed my medicine chest of which Dr. Wislicenus laid the foundation before going to Eisenach, and I bought the works of Ruckert, Weber, and von Boenninghausen, which had meanwhile been published, and so made the work much easier; in addition I kept studying you classic work on Chronic diseases. But I was most strongly urged on by the world-renowned and brilliant results in the homeopathic treatment of cholera, which had resisted every allopathic endeavour, and so completely exposed the weakness and uncertainty of the old school. This gave me courage to overcome the difficulties which at first seemed insurmountable. Notwithstanding wretched hardships and struggles, with God’s help. I have for the last three years accepted the new teaching, and celebrated, on the 10th of August, two years ago, my initiation and reformation festival, and am now glad of the victory achieved…. If at any time I have difficult and obstinate cases to deal with, I apply to those of our science who have more experience. Out of modesty I have not dared so far to trouble you, highly Master with such cases, which are always bound to arise with a beginner, in order not to take up your short and valuable time. Yet I have one case which is of great importance to me, and must seek your advice and counsel for it.
(Then follows four closely written pages with a description of the symptoms).
Dr. C.L. Braun, district physician at Schlitz, near Fulda, in the Grand Duchy of Hessen, wrote to Hahnemann on the following matter, July 28th, 1832:
Several families intend to be treated homoeopathically in the future, and what especially decided them in favour of this treatment, was the successful cures by an Austrian physician, who is said to have achieved miracles in cases of cholera. As, so far, I have not studied any homoeopathic literature, I would like to ask you, Sir,
I. To name the book (or books) which teach me most accurately the treatment of acute diseases:
2. The book (or books) for which I could learn most accurately the treatment of chronic diseases;
3. The Materia Medica which would acquaint me most thoroughly with the effects of medicines, as I would like to become quite familiar with homoeopathy.
If experience should teach me that homoeopathy surpasses allopathy, I shall not fail to acquaint you with the fact.
Then : Schlitz near Falda, November 29th, 1832.
I have since studied your teaching thoroughly, and have ordered the necessary medicines from Neudietendorf, and hope to be able shortly to start treating in accordance with your teachings…The public here, especially the better educated classes, are very pleased with my grasp of the subject, and put their whole trust in the new treatment. One of the chief reasons why it is difficult for your teaching to find acceptance among the physicians may possibly be that the gentlemen lack diligence necessary for the new studies. One can see that in Fulda. Many a one who is convinced of the excellency of your teaching, dare not show it, as otherwise he might have stones thrown at him. If you chill kindly allow me. I will let you know from time to time of my activity as a homoeopathic physician, and according to circumstances beg for your kind advice.
Your pupil who esteems you highly, DR. E.L. BRAUN, District physician.
I.F.P. Schonfeld, a medical practitioner, wrote from Winschoten, Province of Groningen, Holland, on September 27th, 1832:
Since I purchased your works, read them through, and studied them as far as my occupation would allow it, I have become convinced, that the teachings expounded in them contain the only correct method. While reading your writings I was very amazed to think that the truth could remain hidden so long, and now that it has come to light, that it could be so much misunderstood. This unfortunately is also the case in my country, and as I am a keen supporter of your teaching, I do not get any approbation from my professional colleagues, and cannot consult with them in important cases, therefore I venture to address myself frankly to you, with the request that you will kindly honour me with a reply to a few questions.
(The first question concerns poisoning by Arsenic, with fatal result, where the questioner concludes from the post-mortem findings, that arsenic may possibly be a prophylactic to cholera, which shows similar symptoms of disease – R.H.)
Dr. Kiessel, battalion medical officer, Wisebaden, wrote on October 14th, 1834:
I venture to address myself to you as physician and patient, as you, by your method, which has already partly conquered and will still continue to conquer, have become the benefactor of humanity. God has ordained you to disclose the long hidden truth, which is sorely needed in our time, so over-run by diseases and physicians… In my 19th year I went to the University of Heidelberg, and studied there natural science, medicine, surgery and obstetrics….I saw cures-it was in 1825 that I began my activity at the bedside-with and without medicine, where the cases did better without medicines, where the case did better according to my observation, than with them.
This puzzled me and made me doubtful, although since the year 1828, when I was appointed physician, I treated successfully at the University when I limited my activities to removing all harmful influences…. At Whitsun, 1831, I was sent from my place of residence which I abhorred, by our Government, to treat the nerve-fever in the Wetterau district of Reichelsheim…. I was successful in my treatment of those who had been affected, but caught the infection myself and was in bed for 6 weeks. I gave and used very few medicines, and there I heard from the public of favorable results achieved by homoeopathy. Being curious, even although I considered it impossible after that I had been taught at the University…. I journeyed, after I had recovered sufficiently to be able to travel, to Giessen to Hofrath Rau, to hear his views on homoeopathy. I gained confidence from his expositions, but the whole matter was clear to me. I began to study homoeopathic works and yours among them; I dare not treat with it, although I plainly see everywhere the harm that is caused by the rough treatment of the allopaths… Last year I was promoted to be battalion medical officer, and have…since the year 1831 felt inclined and decided for homoeopathy; for the study and observations made at the beside with remedies prepared according to homoeopathic methods, have completely convinced me for the last year.
(Then follows a description of his own case.)
Dr. Wenzel, of Nordhausen, was from 1815 until 1819 “Famulus” of the medical faculty of Leipsic. He wrote on October 15th, 1831, that he:
More and more feels confidence in homoeopathy, and in future he intends to make himself more familiar with this system.
He asks for advice concerning a friend who has been takes ill, or for a communication as to which of the two Leipsic homoeopaths he should consult, Dr. Haubold or Dr. Hartmann, both of whom had been his fellow-students.
THE STUDY OF HOMOEOPATHY.
Heinr. Wiesecke of Berlin, wanted to study homoeopathy. Hahnemann replied that he must first go to a University, before he could commence the actual study of homoeopathy. Wiesecke wrote to Hahnemann in answer on November 22nd, 1831:
Your acceptable last letter has given me great pleasure as a letter from you, but its contents have shattered considerably all my too hastily conceived sand beautiful hopes. I will willingly confess that I do not feel I have courage and patience to face four long years of study, which from its very nature I consider I must reject as useless, and much of which as regards its value I may have to forget later on.
But as he would like to become a homoeopathic physician, he desires to frequent, in Dresden, a kind of school of surgery, which surgeons and second rate doctors use for their practical training. He will attend there a course as an amateur, and acquire the necessary education for an anatomist and operator, and with the necessary certificates from this “Academy,” and after the diligent study of Hahnemann’s writings, will to go the Ecole de la Medecine to Paris, in order to acquire the requisite concession as physician, after which he will visit patients under the supervision of a homoeopathic physician residing there, and gradually assert himself as a homoeopathic physician.
It is not known that Hahnemann replied but according to his own note he did reply to the letter.
Very esteemed Master,
Your star has also risen for me and I follow its light! I have tried to become acquainted with homoeopathy for some time, and for the last four months I have made it my only study. Now I am disgusted with the method of treatment (allopathy) which I have persevered with for the last 27 years; but at present I feel too weak to come forth as a homoeopath.
My most ardent with is to come and see you at Cothen, and train myself, under your guidance in homoeopathy. My inquiry is: will you allow it? and my petition is: do grant it to me. Do not sen d me to one of your pupils, for I would really like very much to drink from your pure spring.
I am ready to start on the journey at any time and await your consent.
With deep veneration I sign myself, Your most humble servant, BREDENOLL, Dr. Medorrhinum
Erwitte, Duchy of Westphalia.
Jany. 27th, 1833.
Dear Doctor Bredenoll,
My time is very limited on account of the large number of patients. But, in order not to drive away an eager student, such as you appear to be, I will allow you to come. I hope that you will be satisfied with the time that I can give you. And you will not omit to repay me for my efforts with a monthly fee.
In the meantime I remain, Yours, S.H.
Feby. Ist, 1833. Bredenoll wrote again later: Erwitte, April 5th, 1833.
I arrived back safely to my family on March 15th and immediately began my practice; already in Paderborn I had patients, and the number treated, or still under treatment is 203. Of these 5 have died, and of the others, some have recovered and others are still under treatment.
According to this, the course with Hahnemann must have lasted a little more than a month.
Hahnemann wrote to Boenninghausen:
Cothen, March 9th, 1833.
The physician from Bremen, who inquired from you about our method of treatment, was perhaps Dr. Hirschfield, who stayed with me for seven days. I expect great deal of good from this skilful and eager convert. A less important one from Erwitte, near Soest, will also do some efficient work; he has already been here a fortnight. However I made a wonderful acquaintance within three days, in the person of Geh. Hofrath Dr. Kramer, physician-in- ordinary to the Grand Duke of Baden, who took lessons for two months from one of my good pupils of Leipsic (Hornburg) and was instructed by him in the practice of homoeopathy. To my great pleasure he was really well initiated and instructed in his 60th year. He will gain great advantages for our science in Baden.,