Thomsonian medicine in the antebellum period

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antebellum medicine , Thomsonianism , Samuel Thomson , natural healing , Student Showcase of Excellence 2017
Eaton, Alisa
Medicine during the Antebellum period was a period rife with changes and challenges to traditional medicine. Through analysis of various primary and secondary sources it quickly becomes clear that antebellum medicine was a mixture of collaboration as well as competition. The main focus for shaping this argument was through research on Samuel Thomson, his Thomsonian medical beliefs, as well as eclectic medicine. Thomson was an uneducated farmer from rural New Hampshire who after seeing failures of traditional orthodox medicine decided to employ methods similar to those of Native Americans, by utilizing different plants as well as treatments like steam baths. He believed any man should be able to practice medicine and wanted it to be accessible to the majority. This then caused a rift within his followers when some believed that they needed to make changes to who practiced as well as how it was practiced. Eclectic medicine came from Thomsonian medicine which means that antebellum period Thomsonian medicine collaborated with others, while still competing with them by disagreeing as well as just overall trying to prove his system was more practical.