The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954 Page: 527
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morton, later governor of Texas. With these objectives and
leaders, a successful future for the society seemed assured, but
this was not immediately true. It was organized when hardships
of the frontier and uninhibited individualism made collective
endeavor difficult and when the social and personal standing of
the medical practitioner was low. Medical and surgical practices
had advanced little beyond those of the barber surgeon and
apothecary physician, and deep unjustifiable faith in pills and
potions had bred quackery both in and out of the profession.
Only a few questioned the crude empiricism that provided a
supposedly specific, usually drastic, remedy for each condition.
Organized in such a climate, it is not surprising that the society
ceased to function after its second meeting. Revived in 1869, it
struggled through the seventies and eighties, gaining vigorous
growth only when stimulating cultural, educational, economic,
and scientific advances made their appearance.
In this volume is found a record of the association's efforts to
elevate the educational attainments of the physician, to secure
the establishment of competent medical schools, to exclude from
its ranks the unworthy and unqualified, and to suppress quackery
in and out of the profession-all objectives laid down in 1853
in the address of its farseeing president, George Cupples. Here
may be followed in abstracts from its scientific programs the
association's endeavor to keep its members abreast of changing
surgical and medical techniques, and these same abstracts trace
the revolutionary progress taking place in the healing arts during
the life of the association. Stories understandingly told of the
aims and ambitions, weaknesses and foibles of the members, of
their squabbles and conflicts of opinion, sometimes violent, en-
liven and enrich the record. This is a history of a medical society,
but it also is a story of medicine and of those who practiced it in
Texas during the last century.
Dr. Nixon is peculiarly qualified to write a medical history of
Texas. As a physician, he can write with intimate knowledge of
physicians and of medicine. He is an authority on Texas history
and author of two other books, A Century of Medicine in San
Antonio and The Medical Story of Early Texas, 1528-1853. When
the Texas Medical Association determined to record its first
hundred years of life, it is fortunate it could turn to a member
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954, periodical, 1954; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101152/m1/630/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.