In 1854, prior to being elected as President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln played a role as a lawyer preparing a state legislative proposal to charter a homeopathic medical college in Chicago.
At this time, Chicago was the home of the AMA (American Medical Association) which had in part been formed to suppress homeopathy, creating opposition and resistance to Lincoln’s efforts.
However, the board of trustees for the proposed college included many prominent citizens of the day including Chicago’s mayor, two congressmen, an Illinois state representative, the founder of Chicago Union Railroad and doctors who also practiced homeopathy.
Lincoln succeeded in obtaining a charter for the homeopathic college and today the Pearson Museum in Illinois University has an exhibit including a homeopathic kit from the Diller Drugstore of Springfield III. It is noted that Abraham Lincoln was a frequent customer there and a regular user of homeopathic medicines.
Lincoln’s cabinet included many advocates of homeopathy including the Postmaster General (head of the National Homeopathic Hospital in Washington), the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of State.
In the summer of 1849, during a raging cholera epidemic, Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury was treated with homeopathy and survived.
The AMA was so threatened by homeopathy in the 19th Century that they banned any AMA members form consulting with homeopathic doctors or their patients; an AMA member was banned from his local medical society for fraternising with a homeopath who was his wife.
One doctor at an AMA meeting stated “Too many wives of conventional physicians are going to homeopathic physicians. And to make it worse, they are taking their children to homeopaths too”.
Typhoid was successfully treated with homeopathy. In November 1861, Lincoln appointed Major General George Brinton McClellan to command the Union army during the Civil War.
Unfortunately, McClellan contracted typhoid fever which put him out of action. Despite coming from a family of prominent physicians however, he was treated by two homeopathic doctors from New York, enabling him to remain in command and make a full recovery. He lived for a further 23 years.
Ironically, the same month that McClellan was struck down with this potentially fatal illness and was treated successfully with homeopathy, the Army Medical Board rejected requests by homeopathic doctors to serve in military hospitals arguing that too many ‘quacks’ and ‘charlatans’ would claim medical expertise. At this time, homeopathic doctors graduated from various leading conventional medical schools or select homeopathic schools such as Boston University and the Hahnemann Medical School, so these claims were completely unfounded.
At this time, typhoid was being successfully treated in the US and Europe with homeopathy and more soldiers died from Typhoid than bullets during the American Civil War.
A sinister tale …
On the night that Lincoln was assassinated, his Secretary of State William Seward was stabbed in a multi person assassination plot against the Union. The assassin gained access to Seward’s home and bedroom by claiming to have a delivery from his homeopathic doctor. Ultimately Seward survived, courtesy of Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes, M.D who apparently some members of the AMA wanted to censure for associating with Seward’s homeopathic physician Tullio S. Verdi, M.D.
The information in this article is care of the great Dana Ullman: