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8 > Page 8 of 1785-1909 : Daniel Drake and his followers; historical and biographical sketches / Otto Juettner.

crude soil quite as well, if not better, than on the culture-beds of civilization. Genius is an elementary force of nature, and is instinctively at war with the controlling and refining hand of convention and tradition. In the medical history of the West one colossal figure looms up in the very foreground. It is of such gigantic proportions that all else appears accidental and merely like a part of the stage-setting. Even when viewed through the aisles of time at a distance of many decades it appears as large and distinct as it did when it first emerged in the center of the stage of events. It is the figure of him who was the Father of Western Medicine, one of the greatest physicians America has produced, a patriot of the truest blue, a nobleman by nature, a scholar by ceaseless toil, the peer of any of the Eastern pioneers in medicine, the bearer of one of the most distinguished names in the intellectual history of our country-DANIEL DRAKE. A recent writer, in an accurate and very readable sketch of this wonderful man, very aptly likens him to another example of Western genius, Abraham Lincoln. Like the great Chief Executive, Drake began life as the son of an uncultured, hard-working settler who could not give his son even ordinary advantages of training and education. Yet, both these poor farmer boys rose from their humble surroundings to positions of distinction and honor and became great in different spheres of activity. Daniel Drake was born on a farm near the present town of Plainfield, Essex County, New Jersey, October 20, 1785. When he was two and a-half years old, his parents joined a party of New Jersey farmers who were seeking new homes in the Western country. This was about the time when the first settlers were invading the vast and unknown territory West of the Alleghenies and were building the first log- cabins at what is now Marietta, Ohio. It was fully two years before a solitary block house had arisen on the site of Cincinnati. Daniel Drake's father, Isaac Drake, with his wife and children, located in the wilds of Kentucky, twelve miles southwest of the present town of Maysville, and about seventy-five miles from Lexington. The name of the new settlement was Mayslick. Here it was where Daniel Drake grew up in the bosom of nature, the child of simple and pure-minded countryfolk. The year of Drake's birth will ever remain memorable in the annals of American medicine. It was the birthyear of three other Americans who became leaders in their respective departments of medical science. William Beaumont, the great physiologist, whose name is inseparably connected with the case of Alexis St. Martin, was born in 1785 in Lebanon, Conn. He was the first American who seriously concerned himself about physiological prob- lems, and has not inappropriately been called the Father of American Physi- ology. Another great American that first saw the light of day in 1785 was Benjamin Winslow Dudley, whose achievements in genito-urinary surgery under priontive conditions of practice, have hardly been surpassed, even in ofr advanced day. His marvelous record as a lithotomist will always remain a source nf pride to the profession of this country. He was a Virginian by 8