Selected writings of John King:
You are well aware that there are several schools of medicine in this country, among which one arrogantly assumes not only the title of being "regular," but also the right to abuse, misrepresent, and persecute all the others, and to deprive their followers of all the rights and privileges guaranteed to them as citizens and freemen of this Government—"to secure which for themselves and their posterity, our patriotic forefathers were willing to risk everything." The members of this self-styled regular school of medicine bear themselves as if Heaven, which distributes its favor liberally and impartially to all, had conferred upon them knowledge, power, and prerogatives superior to, all others; and they claim "the liberty of deciding for themselves, and also for others, on all matters in relation to medicine, and as this right of decision is claimed as an exclusive privilege, they give no intimations of charity for those who may differ from their peculiar views, whom they denounce as infamous and as unfit for honorable or respectable society, without regard to their greatness or goodness, the authority by which they have been governed, or the character which they have acquired by observing the laws of God and their country." Bear in mind, gentlemen, I refer to "regularism," so-called, in its mass, as a huge machine of despotism and usurpation, and not of its individual followers, among whom I am pleased to be able to state, I have found many who are gentlemen and patriots in the truest sense of these words, and who form honorable exceptions to the general rule.
This spirit of tyranny, despotism, and persecution just referred to, although in existence since the commencement of reforms in medicine, has been especially manifested during the present Rebellion, and has been carried on unceasingly and with great vindictiveness of spirit, especially in our own State. At the commencement of the Rebellion they so influenced the individual whom we had assisted in making Governor of this State, that it became absolutely impossible for any physician not of their school, however well qualified he might be, to obtain a situation in our volunteer regiments as surgeon, assistant surgeon, or even hospital steward. They had managed to secure their own Board of Examiners, and to have all matters pertaining to medicine in the army arranged to suit their interests and selfish desires; and no candidate for examination was permitted to undergo an examination, however thorough may have been his qualifications.—Annual Address, Eclectic Medical Journal, 1865.
The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.