Notwithstanding the medical faculty as a body violently persecuted Dr. Thomson, and ridiculed his system of practice, some of the most candid and humane had the magnanimity to express their conviction that his system was far more philosophical than their own. Among the first and most unwavering of the friends of Dr. Thomson, was Prof. Waterhouse, of Harvard University. He says in a letter to the editor of the Boston Courier, "I remain firm in the opinion that the system and practice of Dr. Thomson is superior to any now extant; for by his remedies, as much can be accomplished in three or four days, as can be done by the regular system in as many weeks, and that too without injuring the patient."
Dr. Thomas Hersey, too, of Columbus, Ohio, an eminent physician and surgeon, who was surgeon in the United States army during the last war; after thoroughly investigating Dr. Thomson's system, publicly renounced a system he had practiced forty years, and adopted the more philosophical system of Thomson. He says, "More than forty years of life have been devoted to the ancient or regular practice. Ten years have been spent in ascertaining the claims of the Thomsonian system. A partial learning was the first step, and the result was a mixed practice, which I found could not succeed. I found I must be a Thomsonian altogether, or abandon the cause. The result has been, that thus resolutely pursuing this course, I became astonished at its success. This outrivaled any thing with which I had ever been acquainted in private practice, or in my former official capacity as surgeon in the United States army, or any public or private station I had ever been called to fill." He says also in a letter to Dr. John Thomson, "My practice has been extensive--my experience and opportunity for observation has seldom been exceeded; but I venture to pledge myself upon all I hold sacred in the profession, that in my estimation the discoveries made by your honored father have a decided preference, and stand unrivaled by all that bears the stamp of ancient or modern skill."
Dr. Samuel Robertson, of Cincinnati, Ohio, who pursued his studies in England, and afterwards under the celebrated Dr. Rush, of Philadelphia, says, "I have renounced the depleting and poisoning system altogether; and hereafter, from this day, my life shall be spent in diffusing a knowledge of the superiority of the Thomsonian system, however much I may be abused by my former brethren."
Dr. W. K. Griffin, of Clinton, N. Y., also embraced this system. He says, "After having attended three courses of lectures at the college of physicians and surgeons at Fairfield, and obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine, I commenced using calomel, opium, and the like, with the most unshaken confidence. Frequent failures I was wont to attribute to the inveteracy of the disease. But experience soon taught me a different lesson. I had frequent occasions to notice, that when circumstances prevented the administration of the popular remedies, nature performed a cure much sooner, and left the patient in a more favorable condition, than in cases where the scientific medical books were followed. I communicated this discovery to my confidential friends in the profession, and found to my no small surprise, that many of them were equally conscious of the fact. 'But,' said they, 'the people love to be deceived, and in this respect it promotes our interest to accommodate them. They call on us to prescribe, and by crying down our own medicines, we should at once throw ourselves out of business.'
"Though I had always possessed the strongest prejudice against that class of men vulgarly called steam doctors, yet testimony in their favor had at length become so abundant, that I was forced to relinquish in some measure my preconceived opinions, so far at least as to give their system a fair investigation. When I entered upon the Thomsonian practice, I was convinced that it possessed rare virtues, yet it was natural for me to suppose that those virtues had been much exaggerated by the friends of the system. But in this respect I was happily disappointed, for I discovered, as my practical knowledge of the system increased, that half its virtues had not been told."
Stephen Dean, M. D., of Hamburgh, N. Y., who was seventeen years a "regular," in giving his reasons for renouncing the old system and embracing Thomson's, says, "I tried the same remedies upon myself that I used upon my patients, and they nearly ruined me, and I accordingly threw away my lance, and all my poisonous drugs, and adopted the safe, simple and efficacious system of Dr. Thomson."
Dr. Thomas Eveleigh, M. D., of Charleston, S. C., in a letter to the editor of the Thomsonian Recorder, says, "The theory of disease upon which is based the Thomsonian system of practice, I consider as approaching nearer the truth than any other theory with which I am acquainted; and so perfectly satisfied am I of this fact, that I have abandoned the old practice altogether, and have adopted Thomson's in preference; and every day's experience tends to confirm me in the opinion I first formed, that the system is based on the immutable principles of truth, and wants nothing but faithful and intelligent practitioners, to evince to the world its superiority over every other system. I am persuaded that as soon as the public mind becomes enlightened upon the subject, it must and will supersede every other practice."
We could fill this volume with the encomiums of those who have practiced many years on the old school system, who have renounced the same, and become thorough-going Thomsonians; but enough have already been introduced, to show that the advocates of Thomsonism are not all an illiterate, ignorant class of men. About three hundred more might be added, whose testimony would be in accordance with those whose names we have inserted, who have spent the usual time in studying the works of the faculty, attended medical lectures, and practiced many years, poisoning people well. After a thorough and candid examination of the Thomsonian system, with all their prepossessions against it, and a trial of its remedial agents, in all the different forms of disease, they were compelled, by the force of evidence, to abandon their poisoning system, and adopt one more in accordance with nature, reason, and common sense. Thousands of others have adopted a mixed practice to secure the patronage of all parties.