Biographies of Homeopaths

Adolph von Lippe

Adolph von Lippe

One hundred years and more have now come and gone since the author of these posthumous manuscripts first saw the light of day, on the family estate of “See” of his noble forbears in Germany. A blood relation of the reigning House, he was descended from a long line of distinguished ancestors. He was the eldest son of the late Count Ludwid and Countess Augusta zur Lippe and was destined by them for the profession of law. He, therefore, finished his academical preparations and was graduated from the Uiversity of Berlin. While prosecuting legal studies there, however, taste and opportunity attracted him to the more congenial pursuits of medicine, and at the close of a year, he devoted himself thereto.

Emigrating to the United States in 1839 he presented himself to the sole school of the homeopathic practice in this country – the old Allentown Academy of the Homoeopathic Healing Art. After assiduous application he was granted his diploma from Dr. Constantine Hering, as President of the institution, on July 27, 1841. Removing to Pottsville, Dr. von Lippe practiced with success and growing ability until called to a larger field, at Carlisle. Here the prevalent epidemics of the Cumberland Valley gave him a new distinction, by means of which he was, six years later, induced to settle in Philadelphia. Here he speedily attained a marked distinction in the most fashionable practice of his day. Aside, however, from his strictly professional labors, Dr. von Lippe had been a regular contributor to homoeopathic literature and an active correspondent with his confreres in foreign parts, and more especially with Wilson in London and Rocco Rubini in Naples. The correspondence, now turned yellow with the lapse of years, is both interesting and instructive and quite fully attests the warm friendship of many admirers. Rubini’s original pamphlet in Italian, introducing the cactus grandiflorus, is particularly valuable.

Dr. von Lippe filled the chair of materia medica in the Homoeopathic College of Pennsylvania from 1863 to 1868 and with distinguished success. He also translated valuable Italian, German, and French Homoeopathic essays and treatises, that are now standard. He augmented and improved the homeopathic meteria medica, and by his clinical reports has shown how this may be rendered practically available and utilized in the application of homoeopathic knowledge and principles. Adopting homoeopathy after careful examination, when qualified to institute and conduct it; believing it to be progressive rather than stagnant, and having devoted the best years of a prosperous life to establishing its claims in this country, he absolutely rejected all claims and solicitations that would have recalled him to Germany.

Just now when the thought of the entire medical profession the world over is veering away from polypharmacy and courting the single agent, when men like von Behring and Wright and Roux are tempering the actual etiological factor in degree for the acquisition of a beneficent immunity, when the size of dose as exemplified by preparations of tuberculin are reduced to one millionth of a milligram, when the physicians of all schools unite in admitting the need of testing the action of drugs on humans themselves and when in a state of health, it may surely be of interest to read and pursue the works of this great German nobleman who was in point of fact the indomitable Ajax of the

homoeopathic practice of his day. Standing at the very door of the citadel of truth he kept the sacred fires of healing science alit by the broad-axe of truth itself.

Like the sire of Hahnemann himself he lived the motto of that man’s belief “To act and to be, not merely to seem.”

William B. Griggs.


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