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FRANKLIN CHAMBERS McLEAN AND THE FOUNDING OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE WALTER L. PALMER* Institutions are the shadows ofmen—men who come and go, cast their shadows, and disappear into die oblivion of the past. The shadow of Franklin McLean is the University of Chicago School of Medicine. Marshall Urist has recalled his life, beautifully and lovingly [I]. Unfortunately , even Urist's superb account deals incompletely with the decade 1923-1933 in which McLean established the School of Medicine. Information about these years comes largely from McLean's own writings—authentic, highly valuable, but incomplete [2-4]. The following pages provide additional references to important papers and give perspective as well as some clarification to the course of events [5-15]. It may be well to begin with the development of medical education in Chicago, particularly Rush Medical College and the University of Chicago, and to consider the influence of the John D. Rockefellers, Sr. and Jr., their associates, and certain of die eastern institutions on the emerging medicine of the twentieth century. McLean and his contemporaries played important roles. The Founding ofRush Medical College In 1 836, one Daniel Brainard, 24 years ofage, from Rome, New York, rode into Chicago on horseback and accepted the advice of a young lawyer, John Caton, to sell his pony to the Potawatomi Indians and to share Caton's office. A year later, a few days before die city of Chicago received its charter, Brainard obtained from the state of Illinois a charter for die establishment of a medical college, which he named in honor of the distinguished Philadelphia physician, Benjamin Rush. A small faculty was assembled and the first session opened in December 1843. The requirements for an M.D. degree were two courses of lectures of 16 weeks each, 3 years of study with a "respectable" physician, and "a *Emeritus professor of medicine, University of Chicago.© 1979 by The University of Chicago. 0031-5982/79/2222-0006$01.00 S2 I Walter L. Palmer ¦ University ofChicago School ofMedicine thesis on some medical subject of his own composition and in his own handwriting which should be approved by the faculty" [15]. The college prospered in spite of die sudden deadi of Brainard in 1866 from cholera in the last epidemic of that disease to hit the city. In the Chicago fire of 1871, the college buildings, located north ofthe river, were destroyed, as were most of the records. The faculty continued to work in die new Cook County Hospital and in the adjacent new Presbyterian Hospital on the West Side of die city. In 1875 a new five-story brick building was erected adjacent to the two hospitals, "the fourth Rush Medical College building, the first at the West Side location." The institution flourished, but the advantages of ties with a university soon became apparent. Formal affiliation with the old University ofChicago ensued but lasted only a decade. A subsequent affiliation witii Lake Forest University north of Chicago in 1887 likewise lasted only a decade. The Founding of the University ofChicago In 1858 Stephen A. Douglas deeded 10 acres of land on the South Side of Chicago at Thirty-fifth Street and Cottage Grove Avenue near Lake Michigan to a group of Baptist laymen for the creation ofa university of Chicago on the condition that the buildings be erected within a specified period of time. The necessary funds were obtained by a mortgage on the land; the university was unable to repay the loan, and in 1886 the mortgage was foreclosed. Despite diese adversities the Baptists of Chicago clung to their dreams for higher education. Today a monument to Stephen A. Douglas on the nearby shore of Lake Michigan marks the site of the old university. During diis period Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed, a former student ofthe old University ofChicago and a graduate ofdie Baptist Theological Seminary in Rochester, New York, returned to Chicago and became a trustee ofdie Morgan Park Theological Seminary (Baptist). A successful fund raiser, his vision expanded, and he began to think and work for a new university. He realized that the great mistake of the old University of Chicago had been in borrowing money and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. S2-S32
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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