J HIS book contains the story of some of the great architects of yester-
        day, who laid the foundation of and helped to build the stately
        edifice of Western medicine. A few years ago I picked up Mans-
field's "Memoirs of Daniel Drake," and was completely fascinated by the
character and the life work of Drake. Posterity has done nothing for this
great man. He seems to be entirely forgotten.   To hold up the mirror
of the past to the present generation was the motive which primarily sug-
gested the writing of this book. Incidentally I felt that even a modest
attempt to preserve some of the unwritten professional records of the past,
and in this way arouse additional interest in the medical history of this
country, would be a sufficiently worthy motive to justify the appearance
of a new book and apologize for any shortcomings of the latter. The
life work of Drake and the immediate and remote effects of his labors on the
evolution of medical practice and education in this part of the country are
not unworthy of being placed beside those of the immortal Rush. The latter
was not a greater man in the East than Drake was in the West. We are
no longer in the stage of transition from primitive conditions of existence
to more settled modes of life. The time has come when the people of the
Middle XVest can retrospectively contemplate the records of their past, and
experience the thrill of inspiration which must be communicated to their
inner consciousness by the knowledge of a history, a tradition, a raison d'ctre,
distinctly Western in character and inseparable from Western people and
Western soil.  Therein lies Drake's claim to the gratitude of posterity
because he was one of the great standard bearers of civilization in this
Western country.
   The present volume includes the records of those who continued the
work left by Drake. Among these followers of Drake were some whose
labors form a part of medical history, while others might be charitably
interred in the grave of oblivion. Yet their records, collectively, add an
interesting page to the history of American medicine, not without significant
lessons to the present and future. These lessons might prove a source
of solace to some, while there is hardly any one who can not discern some
meaning in and derive some instruction from the story of the eternal mutation
of things, as exemplified in the happenings of a hundred years in and near
the old town which Daniel Drake loved so much and so loyally.