Early American Medicine

If we lived one or two hundred years ago, many of us would have died long before we reached our current age. Medical knowledge has exploded, and we are the happy beneficiaries. But studying the past still holds clues for the future. 

This summer my family and I explored Fort Ligonier, an eighteenth century British fort in Western Pennsylvania, and the Bushy Run Battlefield, a historic site of the Seven Years War (1756-1763). My children opined about what it must have been like to live in those days. As we looked at the hospital buildings, however, my daughter said “the thing that I would miss the most is 21st century medicine. “

She is not alone. Some people attend Renaissance Fairs and pretend to live in Medieval Europe. Others reenact the Civil War or other major conflicts. No one that I have ever spoken to, however, wants to give up modern medicine. Not that modern medicine is perfect. Too often it is impersonal, profit driven, complicated and expensive. However, compared to much of existed before, it is miraculous. We would do well to remember that, and be thankful for it.

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Useful Quotations on Fame, Glory and Honor

Pithy Prose for Politicians, Preachers, Professors, Pundits, and Public Speakers.

John 8:54 – Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’;

John 7:18 – “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Proverbs 27:2 – Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.

“Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in knowing you have earned them.” Aristotle

“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

“No amount of ability is of the slightest avail without honor.” Andrew Carnegie

“After I’m dead I’d rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one.” Cato the Elder (234-149 BC, AKA Marcus Porcius Cato)

“Honor is better than honors.” Flemish Proverb

“Visibility can be the easiest path to credibility.” MDH

“Don’t compromise yourself. It’s all you’ve got.” Janis Joplin

“We laugh at honor, and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” C.S. Lewis

“His cardinal mistake is that he isolates himself and allows nobody to see him; and by which he does not know what is going on in the very matter he is dealing with.” Abraham Lincoln, 9 September 1861

To make judgements about great and high things, a soul of the same stature is needed; otherwise we ascribe them to that vice which is our own. Montaigne (1533-1592, French writer)

“Rather fail with honor than to succeed by fraud.” Sophocles

“It is better to deserve honors and not receive them than to receive them and not deserve them.” Mark Twain