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I hope to see realized all that is promised, from the new consolidation, which are peace, unity and confraternity throughout the profession of the State, but am still fearful that the present may be one of those occasions in which hope and faith may not be found in juxtaposition, or become the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden, which contains the knowledge both of good and evil. I bespeak for my colleague, Professor Palmer, the confidence and support of the profession in his new position, trusting that as has his past, so will his future, justify that confidence and command that support.
Upon my friends and former patrons I invoke temporal and spiritual benediction.
Z. PITCHER. DETROIT, March 8, 1858.
THE CLOSE OF THE PENINSULAR JOURNAL AND ESTABLISHMENT OF A New ONE.-In our last number it was announced that after the present March issue, Drs. Pitcher and Brodie would retire from the Peninsular Journal, leaving it in the hands of the remaining editors and proprietors, and through various channels it has been brought before the public that the Peninsular Journal and Medical Independent (the latter being already discontinued) were to be merged into one and issued on the first of April by Messrs. Higby & Stearns of this city, with the title of “ The Peninsular and Independent Medical Journal," under the editorial charge of one from each of the corps of editors of the former journals, associating with them Mr. F. Stearns as pharmaceutical editor.
Such arrangement having been made and announced, it seems proper under the circumstances that the undersigned, who is to be one of the editors of the new journal, writing over his own signature and speaking for himself alone, should state the reasons which led to such a union, and the circumstances and conditions of its establishment.
To the past history of these journals it is unnecessary to refer; the opinions of the present writer have upon various points been hitherto expressed over his own initials, and they have in no respect changed. Leaving these things to the past, all will admit that the present wants of the profession of our State and region do not require the existence of two medical journals in this city. Besides the insufficiency of the field, judging from the past, it was just to infer that, while the two should exist, exciting differences would find expression and be in. creased; that personal attacks and rejoinders, producing painful feelings, destroying the harmony, and tending to a more wide spread division of the profession, would be kept up; and, without a greater success than usually attends medical journalism under similar circumstances, the pecuniary embarrassment of all parties was inevitable. This fact has doubtless had much weight with all concerned, and in these “hard times' is not to be ignored. Besides these circumstances there have been frequent manifestations from the profession here and throughout the State, deploring the differences existing, and expressing a desire that they might cease. It may further be remarked that some of those connected with each journal were members of the Faculty of the State University, and this led to no little embarrassment among the students of the institution, and especially among those who might wish to subscribe for a journal coming from the region of their alma mater. Here seem to be reasons sufficient for a change, if such could be effected without the yielding of principles, though there might be some sacrifice of feeling.
Intimations having been indirectly received, which led to the opinion that the proprietors of the Medical Independent felt the force of these considerations, after consultation upon the subject, the idea of publishing a consolidated journal was suggested to Messrs. Higby & Stearns, and negotiations were commenced, the different steps of which are not material, but which have resulted as already stated.
The terms of this union and the principles upon which the new Journal is to be conducted, the subscribers of the Peninsular who will receive the "Peninsular and Independent" in its stead, are entitled to know. The following from the prospectus recently issued will in part convey this information:
" It is the design of those interested in this Journal to devote it to the advancement Medicine as a Science and as a Profession. It will not be made the organ of any single Faction, Society or School, but represent the whole body of the Profession.' Its pages will be open for all communications upon Medicine and the Accessory Sciences, and impartially for the fair, just and courteous discussion of all matters relating to Medical Ethics and Policy.
The publishers desire to state that, in addition to the labors of the gentlemen whose names appear as editors, they are likewise assured of the co-operation of the retiring editors and corps of colaborators of the former Journals, in continued contributions to Medical Literature through the pages of the new one.
It is designed, in the introduction of a new department devoted especially to Pharmacy, to render the Journal of additional interest to the physician in its monthly reviews of the progress made in that important branch of Medical Science, and of practical value to those more directly interested therein as Druggists and Pharmaceutists."
The information as to the details of its management and the manner in which the future is guarded against the introduction of personalities and improper contentions into its pages, would not be complete without presenting the following from an agreement signed and sealed, between the editors and proprietors of the future Journal; and although it is believed there would be no disposition to act in any other spirit, were there no such contract, yet this contract may be considered as a guarantee in form to all concerned.
The document witnesses that the parties “mutually agree venant, that in the exercise of their functions as editors of the above named Journal, both in the production of their own pens and in the admission of contributions and selections into the Journal, they will guard with vigilance against the indulgence of any partizan feelings or practices; that they will make the Journal the organ of no clique or party in the profession; that they will guard against the revival of past controversies connected with the history of the Peninsular Journal of Medicine and the Medical Independent, or any of the persons or parties heretofore connected in any manner with those Journals. They also agree that all improper personalities shall be excluded from the Journal, and likewise all subjects specially tending to the production of personalities, or the engendering of feelings inconsistent with the proper peace and harmony of the profession; and that in every way due courtesy and forbearance shall be exercised towards all.”
Provision is also made in the instrument, "that upon the arising of any question under these rules," such question shall be submitted to an impartial board of medical gentlemen named, or others appointed by them, and agreed upon by the parties, and that in all such cases the editors agree to abide by the decision of such board.
From these extracts it will be perceived that the course proposed is one which can give offence to none, and which will secure all (a primary object in view) from injustice and annoyance. The design has been and is to encourage peace and harmony, and promote the highest interests of the profession. Whether success shall attend these efforts, will of course depend upon the manner in which they are conducted, and upon the co-operation of the members of the profession. An effort in this direction seems demanded, and while appreciating the difficulties in the way, that effort, it is hoped, will be faithfully made
This occasion cannot be permitted to pass without an expression of the regret which the undersigned feels in parting with his associates in the editorial charge of this Journal. When the Journal was
thrown entirely upon his hands by the removal of its originator (Dr. Andrews) from the State, he sought the support of these friends. With a self-sacrificing liberality, scarcely to have been expected, one of them assumed the position of Senior Editor, thus taking the largest share of responsibility, while the other gentlemen, besides performing much editorial labor, have managed the business part with energy and with all the success which it was possible to secure. Our relations have ever been harmonious and agreeable, and our friendship and mutual regard, we trust, has in no manner abated. Never certainly on the side of the undersigned has the attachment been stronger, and never was he more ready to defend either from
Considering the many
kindnesses he has received from their hands, he could not withhold the expression of these feelings without the possible suspicion of ingratitude, and this he hopes does not belong to his nature.
In conclusion, it is due to all concerned distinctly to say, that the new Journal will be under the control of no special party, and is committed to no line of controverted policy. While not pledged to the suppression of opinions on any question deemed advisable to canvass, it will be open to all for a courteous expression of sentiments on either side of any subject discussed.
With a fixed determination to carry out as fully as may be in his power the spirit of these professions, and hoping to retain such of the good will as from his long intercourse with the tried friends and patrons of the Peninsular he may have enjoyed, the undersigned bids them adieu as one of the editors of this Journal, and hopes to continue the same agreeable intercourse with them in the pages of the new
A. B. PALMER.
CLINICAL INSTRUCTION UPON A CORRECT BASIS.-An association has been formed in Brooklyn, N. Y., for the purpose of giving to advanced medical students " detailed clinical instruction in medicine and surgery in the wards of the Brooklyn City Hospital," part of the design of which is to combine the advantages of hospital residence with those of private office instruction. For this purpose there will be a regular series of lectures and examinations, to fill up the interval between the winter courses at the Colleges, which in winter will be so arranged as not to conflict with the courses of didactic and clinical instruction going un in the medical schools in New York.
Our friend Dr. Charles E. Isaacs is a member of this association, for us a sufficient guarantee that the plan will be faithfully carried into effect.
DR. BRAINARD'S CORRECTION.-In the October (1857) number of this journal we published an extract from a Chicago daily newspaper of the highest standing (the Tribune), containing a portion of testimony (that of Dr. Brainard) in a certain abortion trial at that place. The testimony then published was made the subject of some editorial remarks of our own. In reply to those remarks, Dr. Brainard, in the January (1858) number of the Chicago Medical Journal, makes the following statement:
To the Editors of the Chicago Medical Journal:
GENTLEMEN :—My attention has been called to an article published in the Peninsular Medical Journal some months since, making an attack upon my character, professionally and otherwise, on account of testimony alleged to have been given by me in a case before a court in this city, relating to the subject of criminal abortion.
So long as the publication was confined to the journal in question, it was unworthy of notice, the well known proclivity of some of its editors to libelous attacks upon members of the profession being sufficiently understood in the region where it circulates. The anonymous character of the original attack, its being in a political newspaper, written by a non-professional man, or a member of the profession who concealed his name, ought, in my judgment, to have prevented respectable journalists from copying or giving it currency without taking pains
to ascertain its truth or falsity. Having learned that some editors of medical journals, of whom a different course might reasonably be expected, have copied the article in question, I beg you will be kind enough to say that the report of the testimony in the case referred to, in so far as I am concerned, is essentially false and garbled. By so doing, you will oblige your obedient servant,
The charge upon some of the editors of this journal of a "proclivity to libelous attacks” is taken by itself too palpably without foundation, to require even a denial to our readers; but inasmuch as it is so worded as to imply that the design and intent of this article was of that character, it merits a passing notice, and we shall give our readers an opportunity of judging whether there was anything libelous in the article, by a statement of facts in the case.
This evidence upon which our reflections were made, whether false and garbled, as Dr. B. states, or correct and entire, appeared in a daily newspaper of the highest standing, possessing a large circulation and enjoying the confidence of the business and reading community where it circulates-appeared not at a distance from Dr. B.'s residence, or at a remote period after the evidence referred to was givev,