Shelton Herbert Macgolfin - The hygienic system

Author : Shelton Herbert Macgolfin
Title : The hygienic system
Year : 1939

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Introduction. On March 4, 1834, a Graham Association was formed in Providence, R. I., "to keep alive and extend the interest already awakened, on a subject of vital importance to the well being of man," and "through which the dissemination of correct principles may be accelerated;" and "to learn the results of practical experiments among the members." This association declined after about three years, at the end of which time efforts were made to revive it. In 1837 the American Physiological Society was formed by a group that had begun holding meetings in the latter part of 1836. The purpose of this Society, as set forth in its constitution, was "to acquire and diffuse a knowledge of the laws of life, and of the means of promoting human health and longevity". Dr. William A. Alcott was elected president. During its short lifetime (it ceased to exist in 1839) this society, which was the first of its kind in the world, issued many tracts on health and held three annual meetings. Weekly papers, as the Graham Journal of Health, the Journal of Health, the last named edited by Alcott, were founded to carry the new message of living reform to the masses. The Graham Journal of Health and Longevity, Devoted to the Practical Illustrations of the Science of Human Life as Taught by Sylvester Graham and Others; and edited by David Cambell, began publication in April, 1837, at 9 Washington St., Boston. Later the Journal was published simultaneously in Boston and New York. Efforts were made to get Graham to edit the Journal, but he desired to devote his time to the completion of his books. The Journal which was at first a weekly, but later became a semi-monthly, was the official organ of the society, and was published to meet the demand of the people who said: "Give us facts, not theories! Let your facts convince us and we will believe." In 1838-39 the Society sponsored two American Health Conventions. The first of these, held in Boston, May 30 to June 1st, 1838, was well attended. The first two days were devoted to the Health Convention and the last day to the Society. One of the questions, for which the Health Convention was called to consider, was, "should physiology be introduced into schools and colleges?" At the convention the Rev. John Pierpont, of Boston, offered the following resolution: "Resolved, That in view of the intellectual and moral benefits to be derived from the diffusion of popular information on anatomy, physiology and hygiene, we look forward with much satisfaction to the day when this class of studies will be introduced into all our colleges and schools." At this Health Convention the following resolution was passed: "Resolved—That we view with deep regret the waste of human life from abusive medicine through learned and unlearned quackery and that nothing will so soon arrest this alarming evil as a correct knowledge of the Science of Human Life." ...

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