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Page 7 of 1785-1909 : Daniel Drake and his followers; historical and biographical sketches / Otto Juettner.

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CHAPTER I. DANIEL DRAKE'S CHILDHOOD. Childhood shows the man, As morning shows the day.-Milton. HE story of the early advancement of medical learning and practice on T our Eastern seaboard is interwoven with the names and labors of quite a few sturdy pioneers and men of genius. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, a leader of men, and one of the greatest medical teachers the world has ever seen; Elijuh H. Smith, a medical philosopher and humanitarian of rare attainments; David Hosack, a surgical genius and scholarly exponent of surgical science; Jacob Bigelow, that versatile educator and scientist; Nathan Smith, whom S. D. Gross calls the best all- around American physician of his time, and many other men of similar caliber, were blazing the paths of progress on behalf of medical science and of medical men in New England and throughout the Eastern parts of our country. The labors of these men were performed under comparatively favorable conditions. The East, socially and educationally, had already achieved a relatively high degree of development at that time. The opportunities for study and for the acquisition of an academic education were plentiful and quite equal to the European standard. Thus the early Eastern physicians, at least those who took a leading part in the development of American medicine, were educated men and not pioneers or self-made men in the crude sense of the term. In the West, however, where every foot of ground was wrested from the embrace of primitive nature and the banner of civilization was planted and reared by the hardened hands and stout hearts of heroic pioneers amid a vast empire of bar- barism, conditions were decidedly more crude and rugged, and the men repre- senting the advance guard of civilization were pioneers in name and in fact. The men who had come to the West to seek fortune and happiness on its virgin soil, disputing the problem of the survival of the fittest with the wily and bel- ligerent red man, did not bring with them a degree from Harvard or from the University of Pennsylvania or from one of the great seats of learning in the mother countries of Europe. They had nothing but the sweat of their brow and the products of brawn and brain to depend on. It does not seem strange, therefore, that the men who developed any particular line of human activity in the early history of our country were fewer in number in. the wbrd West than they were in the more refined East. Yet, there wece rien of ofer- towering genius among these Western pioneers. Genius seems to thrive on