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St. Louis Medical and Surgical Journal History

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The St. Louis Medical and Surgical Journal conspicuously antedates all other medical publications, not only in the Mississippi Valley, but in America. Before it was but one, a Boston weekly, which soon disappeared, and it was two years after the Journal appeared before there was another medical monthly publication in the land. For years it stood alone in the vast region west of the Alleghany Mountains, the sole advocate of medical science. From the outset it was conducted with signal ability, and as an ally in the progress of civilization in the Mississippi region its services can not be measured. Here were peculiar climatic conditions, new to all immigrants, no matter whence they came, and here was disease of a type with which all, physicians as well as laymen, were unacquainted. The Journal was the great educator. The St. Louis Medical Society discussed conditions and remedies ably and exhaustively, and their utterances were given to the profession and the people through the Journal. The papers of Dr. Holmes and others on climate, ague, malaria and quinine were quoted from in the East for the benefit of emigrants, and some of them were reproduced at length in foreign publications. At a later day Dr. William McPheeters' "History of the Cholera Epidemic of 1849" attracted world-wide attention, as did Dr. William Beaumont's "Observations of the Nature of the Gastric Juice," witnessed by him in the case of Alexis St. Martin. The St. Louis Medical and Surgical Journal was founded in 1843, by M.L. Linton, M.D., a native of Kentucky, educated professionally in the East, in Paris and in Edinburgh. Soon after coming to St. Louis he was chosen to a professorship in the Medical Department of the St. Louis University, and when that institution was reorganized as the St. Louis Medical College he was retained, and held the position until his death. In 1845 the Journal was enlarged, and Dr. William McPheeters and Dr. Fourgeand became associated with Dr. Linton in editorial concerns. The former retained his connection with the publication until his withdrawal to enter the medical department of the Confederate Army in 1861. Dr. Fourgeand soon withdrew also. Disturbed conditions incident to the Civil War caused suspension of the Journal from November, 1861, until January, 1864, when it was re-established. In a card printed December 16, 1871 announcing his own withdrawal from the Journal, Dr. Linton (who died the year following) says the renewal was due to Dr. Frank W. White, "who undertook the financial and business management, though my name was continued at his request."
(From the Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri edited by Howard L. Conard, 1901).

Chambers & Knapp, publishers.
Var.: Medical and Surgical Journal