Hahnemann’s Removal to Kothen

Cothen is a pretty little town; it lies in a valley through which flows a little river, that gives freshness and beauty to the surrounding country. Wide and beautifully laid out streets together with the castle of the reigning Duke, adorn the town. …


A letter of Hahnemann to Dr. Billig in Altenburg (Saxony). (“Hirschel Zeitschr. f. hom. Klinik,” 1855, Vol. IV, page 198).

Leipsic, 5 February, 1821.

Most Worshipful Obr. (Obr.-Ordensbruder-Member of the Masonic lodge.) Esteemed Friend,

From the public proceedings directed against me by the Saxon medical men, you will have learned (I am sure with grief) how bitterly my method of treatment and its author are persecuted in this country. This persecution has now reached its climax, and I should indeed be bearing a grudge to the beneficient science, and my own life, were I to remain here any longer and not seek protection in some foreign country.

Some propositions of this kind have been made to me from Prussia, but I should prefer to find the protection I need for the few remaining days I have to live (I am an old man of sixty- six) in the country of Altenburg. In a country that is so mildly governed as Altenburg is, and where, moreover, I can still meet with true Masons, I think I may be more comfortably settled, especially as twenty-four years ago I enjoyed great distinction as physician to the dear old Duke Ernst, in Gotha and Georgenthal.

I do not desire to go to the town of Altenburg itself, because dear friend, I do not want in any way to stand in your path, or in that of your colleagues by my presence.

I only wish to settle in some country or village, where the post may facilitate my connection with distinct parts, and where I may not be annoyed by the presumption of any apothecary, because, as you know, the pure practice of this art can only employ such minute weapons, such small doses of medicine, that no apothecary could supply them profitably, and owing to the mode in which he has learnt and always carried on his business, he could not help finding the whole affair ridiculous, and ridicule it to the public and the patients, therefore it would be impossible for this and other reasons to find an assistant in the apothecary for the practice of homoeopathy.

I beg of you my honoured friend, to receive me in your country, under your kind protection, and I should do all in my power to prove to you actively my gratitude and esteem. Please remember me most kindly to our worthy Obr. Hofrath Dr. Pierer.

You will oblige me greatly if you will be so good as to speak of this matter to the President of Government, von Trutschler, to whom I have also applied.

In the meantime accept a triple kiss from my esteem and love, as from your true friend and Obr.




Dr. Peschier of Geneva, who visited Hahnemann in 1832, describes Kothen as follows: (Bibliotheque Homoeopathique, Vol. I, p.378.)

The route from Leipsic to Cothen is neither very interesting nor agreeable, though it is necessary for the driver to be familiar with it; my friend the Baron von Brunnow, who had set out with his sister, lost his way in a cross road and there wandered for more than three hours before he discovered the right way. Cothen is a pretty little town; it lies in a valley through which flows a little river, that gives freshness and beauty to the surrounding country. Wide and beautifully laid out streets together with the castle of the reigning Duke, adorn the town. The castle itself is surrounded by a garden which is open to the public, and in it many rare plants are cultivated with great care.

The dowager Duchess Julie-her husband Duke Ferdinand, who had reigned in Hahnemann’s time, had died in 1830-lives in a pretty house, situated in the middle of the garden which is adorned by a lake on which were swans. The house is situated near the gates of the town and is only separated from them by a broad walk and a few shrubs. The town gates and the old city wall are the relics of the once fortified town. Adjoining the castle is a Catholic church with a high portal and beautiful columns; this church had been built by the deceased Duke who was a Catholic, for the purpose of holding Catholic services.



To Dr. Hahnemann in Leipsic.

I have been using your medicine all the time, and even if I do not feel that I have completely recovered, yet it seems to me, that the vertigo has subsided a little.

I have enough medicine to last until the 27th of the mouth, and therefore ask, what is to happen after this date, if you wish to send me a fresh supply or not.

Moreover, I shall be very pleased to see you here soon.


Kothen, 21 May, 1821.

The following letter is a further proof of the relationship existing between the Duke and Hahnemann, previous to his removal to Kothen.

Cothen, 29 January, 1823.

My dear Hofrath Hahnemann,

While expressing to you my thanks for your medical help this year, and for the past two years, and assuring you of my complete satisfaction, I wish you to accept the enclosed trifle as a slight recompense for your services. May Heaven preserve you in good health for many years to the benefit of suffering humanity.



Gracious Highness, (Concept in Hahnemann’s own handwriting found among his literary remains.)

Your Ducal Highness, I take the liberty to humbly ask for permission to take up my residence in your country, and, what is denied me here, to practice unrestrained my healing science, and prepare the necessary remedies with my own hands, and be allowed to give them to my patients. The noble disposition of your Serene Highness which gives free play to the development and promotion of science and arts, an invaluable and so rarely found disposition in rulers, which will weave an unfading laurel in the wreath of your virtues, gives me the hope that you will graciously grant my petition for which, Your Serene Highness, I yearn in deepest submission.


(Signature.) 21st March.


The following document, together with a number of further documentary writings, is in the private archives of the Duke of Anhalt, in Zerbst. Following Dr. Haehl’s direct request to the Duke of Anhalt, all the documents concerning Hahnemann, were kindly given to him to copy, through the kind mediation of Geh. Archivrats Dr. Waschke of Zerbst.

We hereby announce to the Commissioners of the State Administration that we have graciously accorded to Dr. Hahnemann, of Leipsic, upon his humble request, permission to settle here as a practising physician, and to prepare the remedies required for his treatment, and hence the sections 15, 17, and 18 of the Medical Regulations of 1811 have no application to him. In other respects Dr. Hahnemann is subject to all the rules and regulations of State and police; and to all the regulations of our Medical Direction, and our Commissioners of State Administration will arrange all that is necessary, especially in regard to the Medical Direction.


Cothen, April 2nd, 1821.

Dr. Arthur Lutze writes in his “Fliegenden Blatter,” No.7 of April 10th, 1859:

On the first Whit holiday of 1821, Hahnemann removed to Cothen with his whole family, and by a coincidence, he left it again on the first Whit holiday, fourteen years later, with his second wife Melanie, nee d’Hervilly-Gohier, and went to Paris.

While Hahnemann lived with his family for the first few weeks in the great Inn at Cothen, he furnished for himself, the house, then No. 270, now No. 47, on the rounded corner of the Wallstrasse, which he had bought from Dr. Heinrich.

In the “Book of Oaths” of Kothen, of 1729 is entered, Actum Kothen, June 13th, 1821:

His Serene Highness the Duke, by means of a rescript of his Ducal Sovereignty, of the 4th April of this year, has graciously allowed Sam. Hahnemann, Doctor Medicinae, born in Meissen, and lately residing in Leipsic, to settle here, and he has acquired by purchase, the house of Dr. Heinrich, in the Wallstrasse, No. 270. He has to-day in the usual manner been added to the number of resident citizens, on account of the Bill of Sale, at the Ducal State Office, against payment of 9 Rl. and 10 gr. current money.


(From the State Archives of the Ducal House at Zerbst).

Very esteemed friend,

In the decree of His Serene Highness which arrived yesterday concerning Dr. Hahnemann, there have been omitted by accident, just the words on which rests the unrestricted practice of his science. Hahnemann asked for permission: “To prepare with his own hands the necessary remedies, and to be allowed to give them to his patients himself.” The underlined words have been omitted in your High Degree, and it is just this permission which has been denied him in Leipsic, owing to the pressure brought to bear by the Apothecary Guild. He has been allowed to prepare his own remedies, provided he let the apothecary afterwards dispense these remedies to the patients in his own boxes and bottles. In a method of treatment where the results on the patient rest upon infinitesimally small particles of medicine, and which the apothecary might be inclined to view with disfavour on account of his own interests, it naturally depends on the physician having unconditionally a free hand. As Hahnemann himself is recognized as one of the most famous analytical and pharmaceutical chemists of Germany, and for twenty years most physicians and apothecaries have used his Apothekerlexicon as a guide for the preparation of their medicines, there can be no hesitation in granting the permission which has been given to him personally.

Yesterday afternoon Hahnemann hastened to see me with the decree that had just arrived, and said he was urged to make a decision, as the summer was coming; if a more definite statement could not be made with regard to the most important point?

I told him I had done everything I could in this matter; I could not possibly beg for another decree from His Serene Highness.

In my presence and that of Freygang and my son, the tears came into the eyes of this much irritated and insulted man; he declared confusedly that he could not speak in his usual way as his temper was irritable. I must confess that the sorrow of the man touched us deeply; I am convinced that before us sat one of the greatest physicians of the century; whose discoveries will only be appreciated in their full extent, by posterity.

I therefore promised to do all that was possible and to forward his petition, so that His Serene Highness may deign to notify me by a writ from the Cabinet, as follows:

Concerning the further request of Dr. Hahnemann, which you have put before me, I will willingly grant him the assurance, that with the permission for dispensing his own remedies in my country, is to be understood, that he is authorised to give to his patients the remedies necessary for their treatment which he has prepared with his own hands, without the intervention of the apothecaries’ shops.

Hahnemann joyfully declared that the promise of His Serene Highness would set him completely at rest, and therefore I must beg of you, my very esteemed friend, to put the matter before His Serene Highness.

I have put my reasons before you, why I think that it would be of very good purpose at the present moment if we could spread the news, that Dr. Hahnemann who is becoming more and more famous every day in the Prussian State, has found a place of refuge by the liberality of His Serene Highness. It will do them good in Berlin to have something to talk about; I beg of you therefore without regard to my own person, and notwithstanding the fact of my high esteem for Dr. Hahnemann’s many discoveries, to proceed with the explanation before His Serene Highness, in accordance with your own opinion.

To-day the State Newspaper again defends Dr. Hahnemann. I therefore urgently beg of you for a quick reply. Excuse, my very esteemed friend, the form of this letter, due to the haste and rush of business under which it was written.

Remain assured of the unbounded devotion and faithfulness with which I remain.

Your most grateful and obedient, A. MULLER.

Leipsic, 9 April, 1821.

(To Oberhofmeister von Sternegg).

Your Serene Highness, Gracious Lord, etc., etc.,

Dr. Hahnemann went to Cothen yesterday to buy a house. The paragraph in the Nurnberg Correspondent which gives great praise to the Medical Council of Kothen in regard to their conduct towards Hahnemann, caused a great sensation on its arrival here yesterday. I regret that the copy destined for me has not yet arrived, so that I may put it before your Highness.

Etc., etc., I remain with profound veneration and submission, Your Serene Highness’s humble servant, ADAM MULLER.

Leipsic, 26th April, 1821.

(To the Duke Ferdinand of Anhalt-Cothen).


From: “Correspondence between Frederick Gentz and Adam Heinrich Muller” (1800-1829); published by Cotta in Stuttgart, 1857 (page 354).

22 October, 1821.

Hahnemann has recently had the triumph, in Cothen, of completely curing an inflammation of the lungs, without venesection, with homoeopathic minimum doses, which so far has been considered an impossibility. I entreat you not to be deterred by the reasoning of the world, from the resolution, to put yourself in Hahnemann’s care, as long as your strength will allow you to persevere with it. The whole allopathic system, which has so far been experimenting with you is palliative, and one has to pay dearly for the consequences. Remember the mustard seed in the Gospel and how many great things nature develops from the smallest life-germs. One seed grain will grow, but a quantity of seeds thrown together will destroy each other; it is the same with quantities of drugs, with which medical science swamps the organism. One drop of extract of China or Valerian works wonders, that are annihilated by bottles and pints of these divine gifts. If Hahnemann, one of the greatest chemists of the century, had done nothing but banish the principle of cooking and mixing, and re-establishing the rights of simple medicines, after finding out from the healthy body their true effects (and not from the deceptive sick patient) and then introduced the doctrine of the minimum doses, by that alone he would be immortal. The actual medical science has got lost in the materialism of the modern age; he has found it again, has rediscovered it. Do listen to me in this one thing and I in exchange will be your faithful vessel and amanuensis, and will not attempt, write, or undertake anything in politics but what you approve of.


Vienna, December 17th, 1821.

You remember that Hahnemann himself advised me not to take his powders in my present condition. It has remained like that, and I may well say that since the middle of October I have felt so well, as never since May, 1818. If I reach the Spring like this without a new attack I shall gather courage for a long time; should a relapse occur, I shall return at once to Hahnemann’s powders. The (relative) ease and pleasure with which I now undertake all business, is to me the best proof of an important physical recovery, etc.


Friedrich von Gentz, born May, 1764, died June 9th, 1832, was one of the most famous political writers of Germany, who attacked Napoleon most violently. Later he became the tool and assistant of Metternich and his reactionary efforts.

Adam Muller, who was born June 30th, 1779, in Berlin, had studied Protestant theology and jurisprudence at Gottingen, but had gone over to the Roman Catholic Church in 1805 in Vienna; after that from 1806-9 the education in political science of Prince Bernhard of Sachsen-Weimar was entrusted to him. Together with Heinrich von Kleist he published “Phobus” (1808). After he had taken part in organising a revolt in Tyrol, the Emperor Franz drew him into his encourage and he afterwards travelled with him to Paris in April, 1818. From the following year onwards he was Austrian Consul General in Saxony residing in Leipsic. He was present also at the conferences in Vienna (1815) and in Karlsbad (summer of 1819) noted for their reactionary resolutions for the suppression of the so-called `demagogue efforts,” on account of alleged widespread anti-monarchic conspiracies in Germany: he was a reactionary through and through which is shown in one of his works on the necessity of a theological basis for statescraft. In reference to national and political economy he was the most determined opponent of Adam Smith with his doctrine of a free competition in economic power and of the most practical development of work by sharing. Adam Muller was successful in persuading Duke Ferdinand and his wife, who was the daughter of King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia, to go over to the Catholic Church (1825). Muller died in Vienna on January 17th, 1829.


To Dr. Hahnemann of Leipsic We reply to his request of the 21st of this month: that We willingly give him permission to establish himself in Our town of residence, Kothen, as a practising physician. Also in consideration of the fact that in Our country all scientific research is given free play, as an exception to the general rule, We wish to grant him the privilege of preparing with his own hands the remedies required for his treatments, and to give them to the patients under his care. Otherwise We remark that Dr. Hahnemann must submit himself to all other Laws and Police regulations of the country, and will therefore have to obey the directions of Our Medical Direction, from which, however, like all Our subjects he has the right of appeal to Us.

We conclude with the desire for the happiest results in all the treatments of Dr. Hahnemann, so that his wide-spread reputation may increase, and give Us the opportunity of giving him proofs of Our special esteem and good-will.

FERDINAND, Duke of Anhalt.

Kothen, April 2, 1821.

To Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in Leipsic.

Regarding the date at the end of this answer, “April 2” (in the text itself an error must have crept in, as naturally it must mean 21st of last month and not of this month) it is to be assumed that comparing it with the later date of the Consul General, April 9th, the dating in advance had been purposely carried out by the Government Office. The recipient of the writing was to feel as if the more propitious and liberal exposition of the Cabinet letter was issued immediately after, or perhaps before, the drafting of the curt letter of the Government, from the Duke’s own decision, therefore not through Hahnemann’s remonstrances, and mediation from Leipsic. The wording and contents of the documents show irrefutably that the more liberal and welcome interpretation of the patient for residence, came from the Ducal Cabinet after the petition of the Consul General.



are in the official “Catalogus Lectionum” of the University indexed as follows:

W.S. 1812-13. (Winter Session) D. Sam. Hahnemann, bin. dieb. h. III historiam medicinae enarrabit secundum schedas suas, gratis; quat. dieb. h. III institutions artis morbos hominum sanandi duce libro: Organon of the Rational Art of Healing.

S.S. 1813. (Summer Session) D. Sam. Hahnemann, bin. dieb. h. II, Institutiones praxeos medicae gratis tradet, sequuturus librum suum (Organon of the Rational Art of Healing); quartern. dieb. h. II historiam medicinae docebit gratis.

W.S. 1813-14.

D. Sam. Hahnemann, quat. dieb. h. II Institutiones medicinae; bin. dieb. h. ead. historian medicinae gratis tradere perget.

S.S. 1814.

D. Sam. Hahnemann, horis constituend. artem sanandi docebit, et bin. dieb. h. II historiam medicinae tradere perget.

W.S. 1814-15.

D. Sam. Hahnemann, dieb. Lun. et Mart. Institutiones medicinae, dieb. Jov. et Ven. historiam medicinae pragmaticam, utramque gratis tradere perget.

S.S. 1815.

D. Sam. Hahnemann, quat. dieb. h. II Institutiones medicinae homoeopathicae secundum Organon of the Rational Art of Healing tradet.

W.S. 1815-16.

D. Sam. Hahnemann, bin. dieb. h. II Institutiones medicinae homoeopathicae, secundum ejus Organon of the Rational Art of Healing tradet gratis.

S.S. 1816.

D. Sam. Hahnemann, bin. dieb. h. II Institutiones medicinae homoeopathicae, secundum suum Organon of the Rational Art of Healing tradet gratis.

W.S. 1816-17. D. Sam. Hahnemann, bin. dieb. h. II Institutiones medicinae homoeopathicae, secundum suum Organon of the Rational Art of Healing tradet gratis.

S.S. 1817.

D. Sam. Hahnemann, bin. dieb. h. II Institutiones medicinae verae secundum suum Organon of the Rational Art of Healing tradet gratis.

W.S. 1817-18.

D. Sam. Hahnemann, bin. dieb. h. II Institutiones medicinae verae secundum suum Organon of the Rational Art of Healing tradet privatissime.

S.S. 1818.

do. do.

W.S. 1818-19.

do. do.

S.S. 1819. D. Sam. Hahnemann, bin. dieb. h. II Institutiones medicinae verae secundum suum Organon of the Healing Art, edit, secund. 1819, tradet privatissime.

W.S. 1819-20.

do. do.

S.S. 1820.

D. Sam. Hahnemann, bin. dieb. h. II artem morbos sanandi secundum suum Organon of the Healing Art, (edit. secund. 1819) tradet privatissime.

W.S. 1820-21.

do. do.



We, the Chancellor, Professors, and Doctors of the University of Leipsic, record and acknowledge herewith,

hat Doctor Samuel Hahnemann, Practitioner of Medicine, has resided here with his family since 1812 and throughout the time of his residence here until now, there has never been one complaint or information against him or his family in the Academic Court of Justice, he has always paid his taxes punctually and fully.

Richard Haehl
Richard M Haehl 1873 - 1932 MD, a German orthodox physician from Stuttgart and Kirchheim who converted to homeopathy, travelled to America to study homeopathy at the Hahnemann College of Philadelphia, to become the biographer of Samuel Hahnemann, and the Secretary of the German Homeopathic Society, the Hahnemannia.

Richard Haehl was also an editor and publisher of the homeopathic journal Allgemcine, and other homeopathic publications.

Haehl was responsible for saving many of the valuable artifacts of Samuel Hahnemann and retrieving the 6th edition of the Organon and publishing it in 1921.
Richard Haehl was the author of - Life and Work of Samuel Hahnemann