A note from Michael Moore:
I would like to thank Frank Ervolino, N.D. for the loan of these journals, part of the library of the late John Bastyr, M.D. They were scanned with a UMAX S8 scanner, using OmniPage Pro by Caere for Optical Character Recognition.
They are offered up to the Alternative Medicine and Herbalist community so that I may learn, you may learn, and we won't have to keep re-inventing the wheel. The Eclectic Movement survived for 100 years, the M.D.s that trained in the Eclectic Medical Schools were Vitalists, and prolific writers that shared their observations in the dozens of Eclectic Medical Journals that flourished in the 19th and early 20th century.
Because Eclecticism was a populist medical reform movement, arising out of the milieu and ferment of 19th century expansionism and egalitarian populism, there was a long-standing tradition of posting observations for the WHOLE medical community to ponder and comment on. Wild-eyed observations from isolated rural physicians (perhaps suffering from Medical Cabin Fever) were gleefully mixed with cautious and cogent clinical monographs from elegant silver-backed Old Pros.
One must remember that the Eclectics were a Populist Reform movement in Medicine, who took pride in their anti-authoritarian stance, rebelling against the "regulars" that trained at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. An editor of the typical Eclectic Journal had to be careful to not over-impose an editorial posture that disallowed the more rabid physician in favor of the conservative essayist.
OUR present concept of a Peer-Reviewed Journal presumes that an editorial committee has passed careful judgement on submitted papers, and only accepted those for publication that meet its narrow field of approval. The Eclectics, for a great part, presumed that the READERS, those practicing M.D.s that read the journals, were the PEERS ... and cursed be any prissy editor that prevented the readership from stomping in fierce glee on the inept letter or the ill-conceived premise. Further, Eclectics were famous for keeping EVERY issue of EVERY journal. In such a time of robust clinical experimentation, one NEVER knew when a clinical tidbit posted in the back pages of the Gleaner or the California Eclectic Journal from 16 years ago might supply the PERFECT clinical tip for a problem patient.
We too, must approach an Eclectic Journal with similar expectations: the dumb will be mixed with the brilliant insight, and WE are expected to be the Peer Review. Ellingwood, of course, was an exception in many ways, being considered to be one of the premier clinicians of his day, he put his name on the journal, filled its pages with his observations, and he seemed to have used a heavier editorial hand than many editors. A physician subscribed to the Texas Eclectic in order to join the clinical fray, but subscribed to Ellingwood's Therapeutics in order to see what far-flung wisdom the Old Man was writing about lately.
Southwest School of Botanical Medicine
Started by Ellingwood in 1907, the Therapeutist, unlike other major Eclectic journals, suffered a bit from hero worship. Ellingwood was a near mythic clinician, particularly in the field of ob/gyn, and it seems that most docs subscribed initially just to read Finley rant and cajol. It wasn't until the middle of the second year that the publication matured into what Ellingwood really wanted - a physician's free-for-all with the Good Doc moderating. In effect, "alt.eclecticmed.moderated".
- Michael Moore
Thank you, Michael, for these!