History:  Medicine in the Victorian Era, Part II
Written by Chris Dalrymple, DC   
Sunday, November 01, 2015 12:00 AM

Anson Jones M.D. declined his candidacy for the vice presidency of the Republic of Texas in the election of 1841. Sam Houston was elected, however, and again became president of the Republic.

Both Houston and Jones later claimed to have devised the foreign policy pursued by Texas agreeing to get an offer of annexation from the United States or to get an acknowledgment of Texas independence from Mexico.  In the 1944 election Jones was elected president of the Republic of Texas and he took office on December 9, 1844.

During his term of office in 1845  Jones promised to obtain from Mexico recognition of Texas independence.  He delayed calling the Texas Congress or a convention into session. Public sentiment for annexation by the United States, coupled with a resentment against Jones steadily grew. He was burned in effigy, and threats were made to overthrow his government, but he remained silent until his envoy returned from Mexico with a treaty of recognition from Mexico.

It was on March 7, 1845, that D. D. Palmer was born in what is now Ontario, Canada.  Palmer will become the “Father of Chiropractic” 50 years from his birth.

On June 4, 1845, Jones presented to the people of Texas the alternative of peace with Mexico and an independent republic, or annexation as a state into the United States. The Texas Congress rejected the treaty with Mexico, approved the joint resolution of annexation, and adopted resolutions censuring Jones. On December 29, 1845, the Republic of Texas was annexed to the United States of America, formally becoming the 28th U.S. state February 19, 1846.

Since the treaty with Mexico had not been ratified by the Republic of Texas, Mexico never recognized Texas independence and still considered the area a renegade Mexican state.  Border disputes between the new state and Mexico led to the United States Mexican–American War (1846–1848).

In 1848 Britain enacted the  Public Health Act that established Boards of Health across England and Wales giving cities broad authority to build modern sanitary systems.  It is the nation's first public health law.  In Boston, Massachusetts, the first medical school for women, The Boston Female Medical School, opens.

The Mexican–American War formally ends in 1848 with signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ceding virtually all of what becomes the Southwestern United States to the U.S.  The Independent Republic of Yucatán joins Mexico in exchange for Mexican help in suppressing a revolt by the indigenous Maya population.

In 1849 The New York Herald breaks the news to the East Coast of the United States that there is a gold rush in California.  The 49ers head west. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto in London this same year.

In 1853 thirty-five medical physicians from eighteen Texas counties assembled in Austin on January 17, to charter the  Medical Association of Texas.  It was inactive for the next sixteen years. The state medical society allowed "every gentleman of the Medical Profession" to become a member, but irregularly trained doctors were specifically excluded. It can be said that the medical profession allowed no competition, and tolerated no new ideas not conforming to orthodox medical thinking.  New things could be, and usually were, condemned as quackery.

From 1861 to 1864 the American Civil War occupied most people, and the phrase "school of thought”  comes into use during 1864.  Shortly after the Civil War Williard Carver is born July 14, 1866.  He will become a driving force of the chiropractic profession – one of the new “schools of medical thought”. 

After nearly two decades of dormancy, in the spring of 1869, the Washington County Medical Association urged the revival of the Medical Association of Texas. In June 1869 the Harris County Medical Association hosted a reorganizational meeting of the renamed Texas State Medical Association.  The state medical association states that it "has always been a strong advocate for professional autonomy and for the integrity of the medical profession. Throughout its history, the organization has campaigned for effective medical practice legislation and the suppression of medical charlatanism" [a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill, a fraud].

Also in 1869 the first transcontinental railroad in North America is completed at Promontory, Utah, by driving of the "golden spike”; Irish scientist Mary Ward is killed in a steam car accident, probably the world's first victim of a mechanically-propelled road vehicle; the Wyoming territorial legislature gives women the right to vote, the first such law in the world; and Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace is published complete in book form.

From 1870 to 1881 Dr. Paul Caster practices magnetic healing in Ottumwa, Iowa.  He will be an instructor to several of those who created new "schools of medicine”. 

In 1873, 36 years after the establishment of Anson Jones’ original Board of Medical Censors, another regulatory law for physicians was enacted.  Three years later, in 1876, the State of Texas updated its constitution (which had been also been updated in 1845, 1861, 1866, 1868, and 1869). The 1876 Texas State Constitution states: the Legislature may pass laws prescribing the qualifications of practitioners of medicine in this State, and to punish persons for malpractice, but no preference shall ever be given by law to any schools of medicine.  This provision remains today.