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Samuel Hanneman Memorial

Hahnemann Memorial at Scott Circle


The Man


---Hanhnemann (1755-1843) was an advocate of homeopathic medicine, much to the chagrin of pharmacists during his lifetime---he argued that patients benefited from much smaller does of drugs than were customarily prescribed


---Christian Friederich Samuel Hahnemann, born in Germany in 1755, was the son of a porcelain painter,


---by age 20, had mastered six languages: German/French/English/Italian/Latin and Greek


---later became proficient in the following languages Arabic / Syriac / Chaldaic / Hebrew


---pursued his medical studies at Erlangen in 1779, became member of various scientific societies in Leipzig and other cities


---at young age made Surgeon in Chief of the hospital at Dresden


---later made Superintendent of the Insane Asylum at Goergenthal where he inaugurated the mild and humane methods of treating the insane which prevail to this day


---1812, admitted to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Leipzig where he lectured for many years…here he became skeptical of the era’s medical methods and set forth his objections in the medical journals of the day---upsetting those in the medical authority…he theorized that many patients were simply over medicated


---also came to the conclusion “there was a constant relationship between the action of drugs and effects of disease on the human organism and that this relationship consisted of a similarity of the drug effects on the healthy to those produced by disease in the sick”…this laid the basis for the groundbreaking idea of treating disease itself so that the body could produce a resistance…

today’s practice of immunization and vaccination


---these ideas were not popular with the pharmacists and doctors who stood to profit from the sale and administration of drugs


---he experimented on himself with Peruvian bark


---1821, forced to leave Leipzip and to live out the remainder of his life in Paris


---people flocked from all over Europe to be under his care, many of his clientele were the noblest families of Europe


---he died in Paris on July 2, 1843 at age 89


***Hanhnemann’s approach to medicine, coined “homeopathy” took hold here with the establishment of Washington’s own Homeopathic Hospital was located on the SE corner of 2nd and N Sts. NW.


***among the proponents of homeopathy were John D Rockefeller and Mark Twain


The Memorial


---located on Scott Circle


---dedicated to a German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann


---Dr. James H. McClellan of Pittsburgh first proposed the monument at a meeting of the Homeopathic Medical Society in 1881 but finally persuaded the American Institute of Homeopathy to take on the project in 1892


---the growing homeopathic community supported the effort with individuals donating as little as $0.25 toward the effort and as much as $4,510 by physician Nancy T Williams of Augusta, ME


---constructed by the US Army Engineer Corps under the watch of Col. Theodore A. Bingham


---one of few memorials in the city designed to be sat upon


---memorial is curvilinear, featuring the bronze likeness of Hahnmann in the center under a domed, glazed mosaic composed of foliage and flower of the cinchona plant


---dates of erection appear across the center in Roman numerals


---Hanhnemann’s birth and death dates, encircled with laurel wreaths are inscribed to the right & left


---below the inscription of Hahnemann’s name had been a fountain designed in the form of a fluted basin, fed by a stream of running water from a carved dolphin


---statue itself, standard bronze, cast by the Gorham Manufacturing Company


---commemorative bronze tablets were placed in two panels, on either side of the statue, representing in bas relief the four epoch making periods of Hahnemann’s life:

…the nightly vigils of the student

…the investigations of the chemist

…the self sacrificing experiments of the great discoverer

…the brilliant success of his treatment of the typhus patients in the hospitals at Leipzig


---the life size bronze sculpture and accompanying mosaic were created by Charles Henry Niehaus, an Ohio native of German parentage


--Niehaus, born in 1855, a graduate of the Royal Academy in Munich, returned to NY in 1885 to establish his studio


---Niehaus’s model for Hahnemann’s statue was from a bust likeness by David D’Angers now in the Hospital St. Jacques in Paris


---following his work on the Hahnemann’s memorial, Niehaus witnessed the dedication of his sculpture of John Paul Jones near the Tidal Basin at 17th and Independence St. SW


---the white granite base of the memorial includes a Greek exedra, or curving bench whose architect was Julius F Harder.


---Harder, born in 1865 in New Haven, Ct. moved to NY in 1886 to work as a draftsman and to pursue his studies in the sciences, a mere three years later the Architectural League of NY awarded him

its gold medal


---In the early 1890’s Harder was employed by the famed World’s Fair in Chicago


---statues base includes the inscription “Similia Similibus Curentur” (Likes are Cured by Likes) which is the founding principal of homeopathy and Hahnemann’s “Law of Similars”


---foundations and superstructure built of white granite from quarries of the Maine and NH Granite Company


---dedicated on June 21, 1900, the culmination of 10 years of committees and the donated funds of 2500 people throughout the world---whose names were planned to be inscribed on the granite base


---Memorial was re-dedicated on June 21, 2000 by the American Institute of Homeopathy 100 years after its completion in which a campaign was begun to raise much needed money for its repair


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Taken on July 3, 2005