xt73xs5j9t4h https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt73xs5j9t4h/data/mets.xml Caldwell, Charles, 1772-1853. 1836  books b92-187-30608065 English J. Clarke, : Lexington, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Medicine Philosophy. Inaugural address to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the City of Lexington and the County of Fayette  / by Charles Caldwell. text Inaugural address to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the City of Lexington and the County of Fayette  / by Charles Caldwell. 1836 2002 true xt73xs5j9t4h section xt73xs5j9t4h 












J. Clarke  Co.--Printers

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                     TO THI


                     Of T1I!




              LEXINGTON, hVY;
              Clarke  Co.---PriDter,.

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  An Inavgaural Address to the College of Physicis and Sur
  geons of the City of Lexington and t/le County of Fayette.
  By CHARLES CALDWELL, M. 1)., President of the College.
  Delivered by appointmenit, February 2nd, 1836.
  GENTLEN1E.N,-M11an. is constitutionallk a being of society.
One of the master faculties of his nature is a feeling that binds
him to the companionship of his race. Nor, exce t under the
exercise and gratification of that feeling, is it possille for him
to be either happy in L.imself or useful to others, commanding
in power or distinguished in action. In plainer terms; in an
isolated condition, he would be feeble. inefficient and grovel-
ling, gloomy ani wretched. Every approach that has been
made by him toxvirds a solitary state is in proof of this.
   In accordance with this view of the subject, all the products
of human enterprise and industry that have improved and de-
corated the earth, and contributed to the comfort and refine-
ment, the dignity. grandeur and felicity of our race, have
been the offspring, in some way, of the social compact. From
the labours of solitary man they could never have resulted.
  Even among the inferior animals, it is those alone that are
social-that hold constant communion with each other, and la-
bour in concert, that produce great effects, make other por-
tions of nature bow to their influence, . nd become in some
measure the masters of their own destiny. And united la.
bours, where masses combine, rarely fIil to eventuate in this.
When large numbers even of the humblest and feeblest of be-
ings labour long and uninterruptedly at the same work, they
often render its magnitude stupendous, and its strength and
perfection a theme of wonder. The pyramidsl, hose miracles
of human toil and power, are mole-hills and structures of a
day, compared to the coral islands, destined no doubt to be.
come the basis of future continents, erected in the Pacific and
Southern oceans, by societies of polypi.


CALD.VELL's llau. atral Address.

   It is also numbers associated, and acting in union, that ren-
ders animals, individually weak and insignificant, powerful
for evil as well as for g)ood. On this ground the bee and the
silk-worm furnish us with cloice and valuable articles for use
and ornament: an army ot termites is a formidable enemy,
and the locust and the plmor-worm lay countries desolate.
Even in the vegetable kingdom confederated multitudes give
efficacy and strength.
  As relates to inanl.ind, I say the sameis true. Whatever
may be the enterprise they iaMeditate, or the end at which they
aim, union is their streregth, their buckler. and their sword.
One of the reasons, ar:d not an unsubstantial one, why tribes
of savages, and hordes of b1arbarians are less efficient than
civilized communities, is their want of well concerted social
institutions. From  tle sam-- cause, the ancients were, inl
many respects, much less powerful and operative, than, from
their numbers, intelligenec and enterprise. they might have
been. Whatever were the wvisdom and excellence of some of
their general social con.-pacts, we have no ground to believe,
that their more circurnscribed societies were either numerous
or judiciously instituted and conducted.
  It is in modern times. ani among the most enlightened na-
tions. that the Treat maxim, "CtJNION Is STRENGTH,"' is fully under-
stood, and extensively emploved, as a rule of action. And
it is no less applicable to matters of mind, than to matters of
body-no less so to oonfecderacies for the advancement of
knowledge, and to political combinations for the furtherance of
party purposes, than to armies for the detence and the conquest
of nations.  Never perhaps in any other country, or at any
other time, has the power of individuals confederated, active
and resolute, been so forcilly and formidably manifested, as
in France, during her revolutionary convulsions. Elsewhere,
however, such power has been much ml ore beneficently and
laudably displayed.
  Soon after the period of the Revival of Letters, societies
for the advancement of useful knowledge began to be estab
liahedoin many paits cof Europe.  And, continuing down to


              CALDWELL'S Inaugtzral Address.

the present time, they have served as so many fixed centre-
livtrls,to dis pIl the mists of ignorancc and superstition, eradi-
cate prejudices, and thus to if',uminate the world and amend
its condition.  Shedding their still increasing radiance on
each other, and on alt intermediate and surrounding places,
they have rendered, intellectually and morally, the same ser-
vices, tLat the heavenly bodlies do, in their physical capacity.
They have sent forth brightness and improvement, where,
without them, comparative darkness and barbarism would
have brooded. On the well knowvni principle expressed in the
apothegmn, "e collisione scintilla." their very controversies and
contensions have been fruitful in science. The amount of
knowled(ge that has been thus elicited, beyond what would
have been developed in any other way, is altogether incalcula-
ble. In verification of this, we need onlv look into the trans-
actions of the Royal Society of London, of the Royal Acad-
emy and the National Institute of France, of the literary and
philosophical societies of' Dublin, Edinburgh, Vienna, Berlin,
Stockholm, St. Petersburgh, and of the other great capitals of
Europe, and into those of the American Philosophical Society,
and of sundry other like institutioas in tie United States-
we have but to look into these results of human associations,
and our proofs will be ample. In those productions and their
radiant sources, we shall recognise so many intellectual stars
of the first magnitude, with innumerable minor ones glitter-
ing around them, the whole interchanging thsir lights with
each other, and pouring through all cultivated nations their
united effulgence.
  Nor, in kindling up this illumination so mighty and glorious,
has the profession of M\edicine been wanting in its contribu-
tions. Far from it. Many of the most illustrious members of
the foremost societies in science and letters that the world has
produced, have belonged to Medicine. In truth, physicians
have done much more, in the development of the science of
nature, than all other characters united. By the very name
he bears; nature is designated as the physician's domain. Nor
is this the only meed of commendation the profession de-

CAAMWELL'S hnauggral Address

serves. It has not merely co-operated with other enlighten.
ed bodies in the promotioa of knowledge. The numerous so-
cieties, purely medical, that have been erected in Christendom,
have conferred on rmlan ins a1culable benufits, by their improve-
ments in science, and its judicious employment in the preven-
tion and mitigation of sickness and suffering, and the preser-
vation of life.
   This representa ion, dice any one question it, might be abun-
 dant y sustained, by a reference to what has been done by the
 diffcient Colleges ofl hy.ieians and Surgeons, and by Medical
 Societies under other de lominations, that have been estab-
 lished so numerously in every country where science is culti-
 vated. And, in proportion to the multiplication of such in-
 stitutions, and the extent of country over which they have
 been planted, is the amoun; of the light they have shed around
 them, and the good they have effected. Wherever they have
 appeared under sound organization, and been judiciously con-
 ducted, professional enterp[ise, science, and beneficence have
 accompanied or followed them.
 Under this bright arid flattering view of the subject, I cannot
 but hail, as an event of faii and auspicious promise, the erec.
 tion of the College, I have she honor to address. Not only is
 that event conclusive of the westerly progress of medical sci-
 ence, and its collateral branches; it futher shows that the
 profession has attained already, in this highly favoured and
 fast-brightening region, ar, early maturity and a dignified
 standing. Nor, provided the institution be administered with
 wisdom and energy, can it fail to contribute, in an eminent
 degree, to the furtherance and confirmation of the rank, which
 westerm medicine has already acquired. It will aid in facili-
 tating and hasten ng, by the strength of combined numbers,
 what would acvance but slowly and with difficulty, and per-
 haps ultimately fail, under this languor and insufficiency of in-
 dividual enterprise.
 But no lasting improvement in human affairs can be the
fruit of accident alone, momentary impulse, hasty conceptions,
or immature counsels. It nr'ust be the product of time and re-


CALDWELL'S Inaugural Address.

flection, judicious arrangement, and persevering labour. This
is true of the issue of all enterprises, whether they be project-
ed by individuals or associations. They must originate in
ripe deliberations and forecast, and be conducted by svs em,
else they will certainly f.il,and be productive perhaps of evil,
rather than good. INor can our Cod ege exhibit an exception
to the general rule. To labour successfully and (do the good
it meditates, it must have in view well selected, definite, and
substantial objects, and.must adopt a suitable scheme of ac-
tion for their accomp is iment. And, fortunately for its pros-
pects, such are the auspices, under which it is fu inded. 'I he
general results at which it aims, arid an outline of its intended
modes of attaining them, are brlieti sketched in tile preamble
to its Constitution. The remainder of the present discourse,
therefore, shall consist chiefly of thoughts and suggestions,
respecting the procedure by Which thaL outline may be best
filled up, and the picture finished.
   When contemplated in its entire character, Medicine pre-
sents itself under a two-tbld aspect; that of a plysical science;
and of apractical/profes.,ion. And the object of our College
is its improvement in both. Nor must the moral of the pro-
fession, which is its highest attribute, be nelectedor forgotten.
Means for its improvement as a science rmcust be derived from
two sources; the study by observation of' the structure and
functions of the human body, as well in a healthy, as in a dis.
eased condition, together with the causes, progress, seats and
characters of disease, and of the means by which disordered
action may be changed and rectified; and the study of books.
And, to the formation of an enlightened and educated physi-
cian, the pursuit of each course is alike indispensable.
  As a profession, apart from its literary and scientific char-
acter, Medicine, besides judgment and skill, comprises two
leading elements, manners and morals; and its cultivation in
both is essential to the standing it ought to possess; and to
which its votaries should be ambitious to raize it. The man-
ners of a physician have also a two-fold bearing; towards his
brethren of the profession, and toward the sick. In the former


8  CAL3WLL'S Inaugural Address.

of theses relations, they constitute a portion of medical eti-
quetle, and have no smr.ll influence on professional order, de-
corum and harmony. Tney fall properly, therefore, under the
cognisance cf the profession. But over his mere manners in
the sickroom, although imnportant to his patients, as well as to
himself, and over his mnanners as a man, the profession has no
right of control. There are peculiar reasons, however, why
the manners of a physician should be mild and affable, polished,
courteous, and dignified, ev en beyond those of other cultivated
men. A departure by him from this style of deportment does
mischief, and is unbecom ng and often o(fensive. It approxi-
mates, therefore, very c osely to a departure from rectitude.
It is in medicine, lr ore especially than in any other vocation,
that manners amournt to minor morals. An accomplished
physician, therefore, is ar. accomplished gentleman. So far as
he is defective in the latter respect, he falls below the standard
of his profession. But I must dwell on this no longer. In
offering to your consideration a few remarks on the other
topics referred to, I shall speak of them in the order in which
they have been mentioned. And first:
  Of the study of diseases, their causes, characters, and
treatment, as they present themselves to our observation in
the persons of the sick.
  So extensive and diversified is the field of inquiry, which
this subject covers, that it will be impossible for me even
to specify, much less discuss, all the numerous points it em-
braces. The cause- of disease alone, with their modifications
and combinations, would, if considered in detail, furnish mat.
ter for a greater number of volumes, than I can devote to them
even of pages. And, in this vast western region, so widely
different from the regions of the east, they farm a study pecu-
liarly important. Essentil as a knowledge of the causes pro-
ducing our diseases is to the institution of a successful plan of
treating them, it is still more essential on the score of their pre-
v en tion.
  Difficult as the stady of medical etiology is in itself, its diffi-
culty is greatly increased. in this section of the United States,



              CALDWELL'S Inaugural Address.           9
by the rapidly changing condition of the country. The great
Valley we inhabit is in a transition state. Such is the pro-
gress of cultivation and improvement it it, that what existed
and exerted an influence on the complaints of the last year,
is materially altered during the present, and will sustain fur-
ther alterations in the year that is to follow. Corresponding,
therefore, to this unsettled state of things must be the changes
in our diseases. Difficult, howvever, as is the task of investi-
gating thoroughly, and correctly por raying western maladies,
and of making known the true mode of treating them, it must
be encountered and accomplished by the physicians of the
'West, else it will not he accomplished at all. Eastern physi-
cians, whatever may be their pretensions and protestations on
the subject; are totally incompetent to it. Of the real char-
acter and mode of curing the complaints of this Valley, so
different in all things from the valley of the Atlantic, they are
strikingly ignorant. And they too often betray their igno-
rance, by their inconsiderate efforts to appear informed. Nor
can those young men, who, deluded by deceptive promises,
cross the mountains to eastern schools of medicine, receive
from lectures there, on the treatment of the diseases with
which they are preparing to contend, a single original idea
that is worthy of their attention at the time, or of' their re-
membrance afterwards. All they can be amused with res-
pecting it by Atlantic teaching is mere hearsay or conjecture,
on the part of the teachers, and not the result of either obser-
vation or study. How can the case be otherwise Not an
eastern professor has ever devoted an hour to the rational
and practical investigation of the character and treatment of
western maladies! The reason is plain. He has never had
an opportunity of thus investigating them, because he has
never seen them. Under such circumstances, the pretence
of enlightening young men on the subject, deserves a name,
which a sentiment of delicacy toward our profession, and a
feeling of respect for the audience I am addressing, withhold
me from bestowing on it. Were I to pronounce it, however


10CALDWvuLL's Inaugural .iddres.

unwarrantabla tasumption, it would be difficult to prove the
imputation unmrrite(l.
    In proof of tle statement just submitted to you, I appeal
 to physicians who, having been educated in the East, have
 pursued their profession in the Western states, whether they
 have not been obliged to adopt a practice materially different
 from that inculcated in the Eastern schools Nor have I the slight-
 est doubt of thei. reply being jffirrnative. On the contrary,
 I know it wtill. Forgetting the precepts on practice received
 by them iil the east, those physicians have been compelled to
 become their. own practicul teachers, talking observation and
 experience for th6irguide. In further proof of the same sen-
 timent, let the learned professors of the eastern schools he
 themselves translited across the mountains, and pianted as
 practitioners in the Mississippi Valley-and mark the issue.
 And it wvill be hutnilia.tinrg to them. To become competent to
 the treatment of the complaints lo be encountered by them,
 they will be compelled to reject many of the notions they had
 previously tought, and learn new and more correct ones, from
 observation and experience, and from the practice and instruc-
 tion of the physilians around them-from the instruction of
 the same practitioners, as men, wimom they had themselves pre-
 tended to instruct, as pupils and boys! On the truth of this,
 I peril my reputation.
 The experiment would teach our eastern brethren two use-
 fiul lEssons- i.o prefer observation and experience, as sources
 of medical knowledge, to mere reading and theorizing; and
 to abstain fronm indelicate and unfounded censures of western
 practice in western complaints.
 Yet, do those gentleman openly and unblushingly persist in
 pretending to instruct others, on points respecting u hich they
 are uninstructed themselves! And, what is still more to be
 lamented, their pretence is received, by admiring iisteners, for
 wisdom and learning! It is time that this scheme of ";second-
 hand" teaching was brought to a close; and that it was suce
ceeded by one of substantial usefulness! It will be understood
that my reference is, not to the teaching of medical privcilpye



CALDAVELL'S Inaugural Address.

but medical practice in diseases to which the teachers are en-
"irc strangers. And if I speak wvith severity, my words are
directed against the pretension ; not against those who ar. wan-
lonly concerned ini It. Teachers who thus expose themselves,
-are to be rearded ".mnore in pity thian in anger."
   Suppose western professors, who had never been east of
 the mountains, were to attempt, in their lectures, to teach the
 nature and treatment of the comiplaints of Philadelphia, Balti-
 more, and -New York, and to censure the practice of the phy-
 sicians of those cities-with what feelings, and in what tone
 would their eastern brethren reply to them  The answer is
 plain. Tlley wvould either maintain a contemptuous silence;
 or their reply would be in the languaige of derision and rebuke.
 "Confine yourselves, gentlemnen, to your own side .of the
 mountains; and treat in youir lectures of things you under-
 stand; we can take care of ourselves and our patients, with-
 out your instruction!" Such would be the tone and spirit of
 their answer. Nor would the sneer be undeserved. And
 such is the answer to them, which, at the present period, our
 self-respect, concurring with truth and reason, instinctively
 dictates. Let us listen to the admonition then, and yield it
 obedience. But to return and more directly pursue my sub-
 To the physicians of the Vest, I say, it belongs, no less on
 the score of personal and sectional pride, than on that of pub-
 lic duty, to vindicate their own characters, as men of obser-
 vation and industry, as well as of ability and standing in their
 profession, by giving correct accounts, descriptive, philosophi-
 cal, and therapeutical, of western complaints. And on you,
 as a portion of the tphysicians referred to, it' is incumbent to
 set an example of knowledge, enterprise, and labour, in this im-
 portant undertaking. Having deliberately pledged yourselves
 to that effect, in the adoption of the Constitution of the Col-
lege, your course in relation to it is no longer optional. You
must faithfully acquit yourselves of the special obligation thus
contracted, or submit to the discreditable charge of indolence,

1 1


12           CALD1V ELL`! Inaugural Address.
incompetence, or delinquency-or of the three united. Nor
will the charge be disreputable only. It will be also injurious;
because it will deprive ycu, not unjustly, of some amount of
public confidence. He that is notoriously faithless in one
thing, has a stain on 'his character, and is sure to be suspected
of faithlessness in others. In your engagements, then, as
members of the College, as in all other engagements, truth,
punctuality, and a fulfilmnnt of the trust reposed in you, are
the only means, by which you can usefully serve the institu-
tion and the community, and secure yourselves from imputa-
tions that must injure 3 ou. I have borne on this point the
more earnestly, because it is that, in relation to which mem-
bers of literary and scien-ific societies are most frequently
wanting in duty.
  The prevailing diseases of this Valley, like those of other
places, arise and receive their characters and modifications
chiefly from two sources; the influences of the atmosphere;
and the modes of life of the inhabitants; the latter including
diet and drink, clothing, exercise, amusements, and habitual
pursuits. And I need hardly add, that, in these respects,
the people of the Mississippi Valley differ materially from those
of all other sections of the United States.
  In the production cf disease, the atmosphere acts through
a two-fold channel; its sen. ible, and its insensible qualities. The
former of these are heat, cold, moisture, dryness, weight, and
the transitions from one condition to another. As participa-
ting extensively in tihe causation of disease, the influence of
such conditions and changes must be attentively studied, by
those who would attain to a knowledge of the subject.
These agents again are subject to modifications from other
causes. Prevailing winds affect materially the condition of the
atmosphere, as respects its humidity, as well as its temperature,
and its vicissitudes f'om one degree of temperature aud hu-
midity to another. So do the clearing and cultivation of a
country. By the latter causes, the climates of the older
States of the Union have be en strikingly changed; and so have


CALDWELL'S Inaugural Address.

the characters of their prevailing complaints. And even in
the Western States, young as they are, the effects of the
same causes are already perceptible. Neither the climate
nor the diseases of certain portions of this great Valley are
the same now that they were forty years ago. The felling of
our forests, and the advancement of agriculture act on a two-
fold principle in changing our atmosphere, and the characters
of our diseases. They give a freer passage to winds, whether
hot or cold, moist or dry, and, by admitting the sunbeams to
a less obstructed action on the surface of the earth, are in-
strumental in augmenting the amount of evaporation. In con-
sequence of this augmented ascent of moisture from the
ground, the whole of which does not appear to descend again in
dew or rain on the same spots, many superficial springs, which
once contributed to water the country, have been supposed to
have disappeared.  An opinion, however, seems to be gaining
ground, that they are not dried up, but have only changed
their places of eruption from the surface. Hence, many of
those natural fountains exist now, in places where they are
believed not to have existed at the time of the first settlement
of the country. There is no danger, therefore, of Kentucky
being about to be drained of her waters, and reduced to a de-
sert, according to the ominous prediction of the A bbe Correa,
whose stock of language was far more abundant than his stock
of science.
  An interesting question here presents itself. What, in their
form, violence, and mortality, were the complaints of the
early settlers of the West, compared to those which we now
experience Unless the subject be soon investigated, a satis-
factory answer to this question can never be rendered; be-
cause the materials to frame it will be lost. The question
might be proposed in a more general shape. What changes
are produced in prevailing diseases, by the progress of agricul-
ture, arts, and manufactures, united to an increase of luxury
and refinement, indolence and ease Nor does any other re-
gion afford such facilities for examining and solving this prob-

1 3


CALUWEfALS Inauour al Address.

lem, as the Mississippi Valley. The question, therefore, ought
not to be neglected. These several matters offer to the Col-
lege so many topics of useful inquiry.
   Among the sensible qualities of the atmosphere may be
 further included the inflUence of electricity and light.  And
 there is good reason te believe, that, in the production and
 modification of disease, those agents are far from being neu-
 tral. As relates to light, its influence on the action of organ-
 ized' beings, both anima, and vegetable, is matter of certainty.
 And electricity is far too powerful and active to be accounted
 neutral. There isground of probability, that the pitting of small-
 pox is owing in rome cegree to the influence of light. Dr.
 Luzenburg, of New Orleans, assures us, that, when he keeps
 his patient in darkness, curing the eruptive fever and the filling
 of the pock, the face is never disfigured by the complaint.
 The subject is emirnently worthy of further investigation. I
 have seen a few  of Dr. Luzenburg's patients, from whose
 faces the light had been arefully excluded; and it was evident
 that the pitting, it any, would be exceedingly slight.
 By inquirers Into th e causes of health and sickness, there-
 fore, the action of those elements should be strictly inves-
 tigated. In a word; tha.t it may be able to form a proper esti-
 mate of the influences of the sensible qualities of the atmos-
 phere, in producing disease, and controlling its character, the
 College should keep a ccmplete register of the weather, with a
 corresponding register  f prevailing complaints. In doing this
 it must employ the necessary instruments, especially the ther-
 mometer, barometer,pluviorneter, hygrometer, and electrome-
 ter. It must also register the courses and characters of winds,
 and the number of cloudy and sunshiny days, for the determi-
 nation of the quantity cf light enjoyed, independently of the
 amount of rain. Nor sh-)uld the influence of moon-light nights
 be unexamined. There is some reason to believe that lunar
light is not altogether inefficient in its bearing on health.
Though the eudiomneter does not test the sensible qualities of
the atmosphere, it imay be associated with the instruments



CALTIiFWLL'S lflug'ural Addrass.

already enumerated. It should make a part of the apparatus
of every scientific body.
   In the production and modification of disease, the insensible
qualities of the atmosphere are mnore powerful and deleterious
than the sensible. Unfortlunately, however, our acquaintance
with then is exceedingly limited. We have no test by which
to determine their nature or character.  Their very existence
is revealed to us only by the complaints they produce. For
want of better and more definite names, we call them consti-
tutions of the atmosphere-meaning by the phrase some secret
atniosphericat distemperature. They are no doubt formed by
an impregnation of the atmosphere with different kinds of del-
eterious gases, which may all be indicated by the term Mnalaria;
but from what particular sources those gases arise, we do not
in all cases know. That some of them result from the disso-
lution of animal and vegetable substances, is not questionable.
And that the others emanate from the earth, as the result of
some agency not known to us, seems most probable.
  To those morbific conditions of the atmosphere called con-
stitutions, are referable all our endemic and epidemic diseases.
These, as you know, consist of bilious fever in the numerous
and diversified shapes it puts on, cholera, influenza, scarlatina,
hooping-cough, measles, and a few others. And you further
know, that such complaints are not always uniform in their
appearance. They are in no small degree, modified in their
symptoms, as well as in their general type, obstinacy,
violence, and dangerous tendency, by seasons of the year,
states of the weather, topographical influences, and the pur-
suits and modes of living of those whom they attack. Since the
days of Hippocrates, and no doubt at a much earlier period,
the study of endemics and epidemics, both scientifically
and practically- with a reference to these influences, has been
a favorite pursuit with some of the brightest ornaments of the
medical profession, and the most distinguished benefactors of
our race. Nor would I feel myself justified in declining to
recommend it to the special attention of the members of the



CALDWEIL'S Inaugural Address.

College. A subject mcre interesting, or of higher importance
can hardly be presented to them. Add to the influences on
endemics and epidemics just alluded to, those of the progress
of cultivation, wvealth, refinement, and luxury, including in the
account the corresponding differehces requisite in the treat-
ment of them, and our acquaintance with them will be ample.
Subjoin a correct view of the differences between the same
epidemics in the Mississippi Valley and in the Atlantic States
and elsewhere, and our knowledge of then will be sufficient-
ly complete for all the purposes of theory and practice.
  Such are the imperfect suggestions, which the short time
I have had to prepare myself on the subject, in the midst of
many engrossing engagements, has enabled me to make, res-
pecting our inquires into the causes, varieties, and appropri-
ate treatment of our prevailing complaints. Nor is the best
mode of guarding againsti attacks of them, when they do pre-
vail, a less important theme of research. But on that topic a
want of time forbids me to dilate.
  The study of the actual seats of disease, and of the condi-
tion of the organ or organs in which they are located, is an-
other subject of vital inlterest in the science of Medicine.
Without a knowledge of these points, diseases are not under.
stood, and cannot therefore be either correctly described, or
rationally and successfully treated. This inquiry involves the
study of morbid anatomy, and that imposes the necessity of
post-mortem examinations. In cases where any doubt exists
as to the locality, nature, and character of a malady, this form
of research should never be neglected. Physically speaking,
it is the only way te profit by mortality, and to derive from
the dead a remedy for the living. By no other process can
the secret workings of a disease be revealed. Be it then a
constant and favourite object of the College, to make and en-
courage post-mortem inspections, on all suitable occasions, and
to remove, as far a.3 poss:ble, the prejudice and opposition,
that have hitherto existed toward a practice, so wise, humane,
beneficent and useful.  Ti e benefit that must restlt from this



CALDWELL'S Inaugural Address.

course, if skilfully pursued, and steadily persevered in, is be-
yond computation.
  To profit to the full extent, by these forms of research,
each individual should keep a record of his observations. This
practice will be beneficial in sundry points of view. Fact