In 1854 President Abraham Lincoln was engaged to set up a state legislative proposal to charter a homeopathic medical college in Chicago. Homeopathy was regarded as a cult by the American Medical Association. Lincoln and influential individuals in Illinois lobbied legislators and succeeded in securing the charter. Subsequently, the Hahnemann Homeopathic Medical College accepted its first class in 1860. In 1862, the Army Medical Board of the United States rejected requests by homeopathic doctors to serve in military hospitals, arguing that to grant this request would invite applications from all types of “charlatans”.
On Thursday, September 1 of 1864, Mrs. C. P. Bunting, a determined mother, wrote to President Lincoln about homeopathic treatment for soldiers.
Here is an excerpt of her letter:
“To the President
The petition of the undersigned humbly setteth forth that in the Army of the United States there are thousands of Germans, and of our own countryman also, who have never received, and who never wish to receive, any other treatment than that which is called Homeopathic. That the mothers wives & sisters of these Soldiers, who, with all its terrible cost, have given their all to their country, are sorely tried, when they remember that, in case of sickness or injury, their beloved ones are deprived of the privilege of having the kind of physician he wishes, a privilege full of comfort to the sick and the dying, and never withheld from those who are in private life;
That the class of soldiers who have been accustomed to Homeopathic physicians and surgeons is composed of the most intelligent, cultivated and temperate of the Army & is consequently the most faithful & reliable part of the military force– That a large portion of the best Citizens of New York and Philadelphia and the other cities of the Union, are patrons of the Homeopathic system of medicine and recognize in it the most scientific, the most successful, & in every way the most reliable method of treatment, and they cannot fail to feel the most anxious solicitude for its introduction into the military service of the country.The undersigned therefore, for the above and many other reasons which she cannot now enumerate — prays that the President will permit Homeopathic physicians to practice in our Hospitals — and that in common with other accredited physicians & Surgeons may become surgeons & assist Surgeons in the U. S. Army.
Such an order would send rejoicing to thousands of homes throughout the country , & would add one more to the many reasons for gratitude for which they already feel to the President. All of which is respectfully submitted to the consideration of the President
with the highest respect,
As always, God bless homeopathy and mothers who support it.
Sources and References: Journal of the Abraham Lincoln and U.S. Library of Congress.
Dear Iman ~ I am always impressed by your historical references, photos and research. We can learn so much from those who have come before us in times of war, stress, and need. We can take a cue from the mothers who wrote letters and those who fought to keep our choice of healthcare providers free from prejudice and bias. The war still rages today. Thank you so much for your continual encouragement. Blessings, Debby