Madam Melanie Hahnemann

It would, therefore, be better to wait until you come to Paris for the Exhibition and I will then show you the most important part. Some old Italian paintings which have no value for me are at present being sold; they are no longer modern and I have no room for them in my present house; they formerly hung in Hahnemann’s house.

Translations of the annotations made in pencil:

When I was corresponding with Dr. C. Dunham with regard to a subscription in connection with the manuscripts, he wrote to me that I had also enemies among the American doctors where the rumour had been spread that I had received a large sum of money for the books, and that the manuscripts had been destroyed, and were, therefore, no longer in existence.

This ugly calumny negatives itself by the fact that these valuable writings are all intact.

Apart form this m, any physicians in France, especially in Paris, are not successful in the treatment of their patients because they have not studied our doctrine sufficiently and administer several medicines simultaneously. I treat with then only promoter of health– well-studied homoeopathy. The patients say so, and the physicians who have treated these patients before me do not forgive me for obtaining better results than they have done.0

See also Supplement 244.



The periodical “Cincinnati Medical Advance,” Vol. VI, page 129, published the following communication:

We are grieved to announce the death of this distinguished lady the wife of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. She died, as will be seen, in Paris, on the 27th of last May. She was seventy-eight years old. Ours readers are aware that since the death of Hahnemann, now some thirty years ago, Madame Hahnemann has been in possession of a large amount of unpublished manuscript, the work of her husband. From causes not worth while to mention here, they have been withheld from the profession. Negotiations have of the late been pending for the purchase of the manuscripts with a view to their publication. In this work the medical profession of America has shown a lively interest. As will be seen by the subjoined letter, there is hope that the scheme may yet be consummated. the following has just come to hand:

104 Faubourg St. Honore, Paris, France, June 15th, 1878.

M. le Docteur Wilson,

I announce to you the sad loss I have sustained in the death of my beloved mother, Madame Samuel Hahnemann. ON the 27th May she succumbed to a pulmonary catarrh from which she had suffered many years. I am her adopted daughter, and have had charge of her correspondence with you in reference to the unpublished manuscripts of Hahnemann, and I am quite disposed top, complete the plan already proposed by you, and accepted by her. It is now several months since she made me commence, under her supervision, the first copy in German of the sixth edition of the “Organon”. The work is already far advanced, and happily I know her precise wished in regard to it.

Receive, Monsieur Doctor, my highest esteem,


The writer of this article then proceeds:

It will be remembered from our former correspondence published in the “Advance” that Madame Hahnemann proposed to make a gift of all Hahnemann’s unpublished works,”to the Homoeopathic physicians of America as a token of her appreciation of the regard they have always had for her distinguished husband.”

In return form this it was proposed to raise a fund sufficiently large for its interest to support the donor during the balance of her life. Already considerable money had been subscribed, and but for the death of Madame Hahnemann the matter would have been placed in the hands of the American Institute of Homoeopathy, and probably the plan completed under its direction. In this we have now been frustrated, and some negotiations must be entered upon to be reported on at some subsequent time.

If Madame Boenninghausen -Hahnemann proves to be what her letters indicate, there will be no special trouble in becoming possessed of the works in question.


The subsequent number of the “Medical Advance” of August, 1878 contained a longer article by Dr. J.A. Campbell, who whilst travelling through Europe had intended to visit Madame Hahnemann in Paris. We extract the following from his letter.

I looked forward with much interest to the occasion which would take me into the personal presence of the one nearest the great founder of our system of practice; one almost to be venerated by reason of association; one, who would be full of personal reminiscence, and one who would be surrounded on all sides by things which were with and were a part of Hahnemann’s everyday life. But as you are probably already informed, Madame Hahnemann is now peacefully at rest by the side of her husband in the cemetery of Montmartre.

I have had two interesting interviews with Madame Boenninghausen, the adopted daughter of Madame Hahnemann and the wife of Dr. Carl Boenninghausen. I know it will be of some interest to give a brief account of some of the facts thus obtained.

I sat by the side of Madame Boenninghausen at the little table which Madame Hahnemann had just left, as it were. Before me stood pictures in miniature of her, taken when young and fair. By its side one of Hahnemann.

In the corner of the room stood the bed in which Madame Hahnemann had so recently died. And as one the relics of Hahnemann and his former life were placed before me it seemed to me, indeed, as if I felt his very presence. Here is a full, curly lock of his hair, once pure and white, but now golden with age; I could almost be superstitious and believe it an emblematic symbol ordained by fate–silver turned to precious gold. There was his pocket handkerchief, collar and neckerchief, the last worn by him just as he left them.

On one side was a large bundle of his correspondence from patients, with marginal notes of the remedies prescribed. Before me hung a magnificent oil portrait of Hahnemann, painted when he was about sixty. In the corner stood a grand bust in marble (by David) the original of the many fine plaster casts,. In fact, everything about me was Hahnemann, and of Hahnemann.

Concerning Hahnemann’s literary legacy Mrs. von Boenninghausen informed me that she has had many applications from Germany and from France by people who had expressed the keen desire of obtaining these publication. “But,” she said, ” these writings are intended for america, where homoeopathy has been so well received and had found such widespread acceptance. This was the earnest wish of my adopted mother.

A few words concerning Madame Boenninghausen. Madame Hahnemann was thirty-five years old when she married Hahnemann; just before he died, by his special request, Madame Hahnemann adopted Madame Boenninghausen, then about five years of age. Now she is the wife of Dr. Carl Boenninghausen.

They all lived here together in Paris until the breaking out of the Franco-German war; they then went to Westphalia, where Dr. on Boenninghausen is at present attending to a large practice, going backwards and forwards from time to time. Madame Boenninghausen was the constant companion of Madame Hahnemann, on whom she mainly relied, and therefore she ought certainly, better than any one else, to understand the task before her.

Fraternally yours,


Paris, June 22nd, 1878,

Dr. Campbell’s visit was followed by an exchange of correspondence between the Homoeopathic physicians of America and Mrs. von Boenninghausen, which extended over several years without any result.

In the year 1880, Dr. H.N. Guernsey, of Philadelphia, visited Mrs. von Boenninghausen. On his return he described his impressions to a small circle of homoeopathic physicians who had assembled in the house of Dr. Constantine Hering of Philadelphia. They resolved to purchase Hahnemann’s literary legacy and for that purpose to send in appeal to all homoeopathic physicians of America in order to raise the necessary sum. This undertaking failed because of the amount demanded.

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