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Charles Caldwell. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B04072).

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Caldwell, Charles (14 May 1772–09 July 1853), physician, author, and teacher, was born in Caswell County, North Carolina, the son of Charles Caldwell, a farmer. His mother’s maiden name was Murray, although her given name is unknown. Caldwell’s father was an elder in the Presbyterian church and wanted Charles to become a minister. Accordingly, from the age of eleven to fourteen, Caldwell studied Latin and classical literature at a Latin school operated by Dominie Harris in Mecklenburg County. By the time Caldwell left Harris’s school, however, he had decided against a religious career....

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Dunham, Carroll (29 October 1828–18 February 1876), physician and educator, was born in New York City, the son of Edward Wood Dunham, a prosperous commission merchant and the first president of New York’s Corn Exchange Bank, and Maria Smyth Parker. Dunham’s mother died during the cholera epidemic of 1834, when Dunham was six years of age....

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Kent, James Tyler (31 March 1849–05 June 1916), homeopathic physician and educator, was born in Woodhull, New York, the son of Stephen Kent, a town clerk, and Carolyn Tyler. Evidence suggests that he was actually the illegitimate son of his brother Henry and sister Jane, since they were listed as “mother” and “father” on his death certificate. Kent earned a Ph.B. (1868) and A.M. (1870) at Madison College (now Colgate University) in Hamilton, New York. He studied medicine with a Dr. Brown in Woodhull and completed his medical degree in 1871 at the Eclectic Medical Institute in Cincinnati Ohio, one of the many “non-traditional” medical schools that flourished during the late 1880s. In 1874 Kent moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he began a medical practice and taught as professor of anatomy in the American Medical College (Eclectic) in 1877–1878....

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Merrick, Myra King (15 August 1825–10 November 1899), physician and educator, was born in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England, the daughter of Richard King, a brickmaker, and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). In 1826 the family emigrated to the United States and settled in Taunton, Massachusetts. At the age of eight, Myra began working in Taunton’s textile mills, helping to support a family that now numbered five children. In 1841 the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where she secured employment as a nurse to several physicians in the area and developed an interest in medicine as a profession. After her marriage to builder and machinist Charles H. Merrick in 1848, the couple moved to Connecticut, where she began the study of medicine under New Haven physicians Eli Ives, professor of theory and practice of medicine at Yale University, and his obstetrician son, Levi Ives....

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Wesselhoeft, Conrad (23 March 1834–17 December 1904), physician and educator, was born in Weimar, Germany, the son of Robert Wesselhoeft and Ferdinanda Emilia Hecker. His father, who became a physician after leaving Prussia, had been a lawyer in Weimar and an officer of the government. Robert Wesselhoeft’s liberal principles and support for German unification resulted in his expulsion from Weimar, and he immigrated to the United States with his family in 1840, eventually settling in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Wesselhoeft’s father and uncle William Wesselhoeft, M.D., founded the Brattleboro, Vermont, water cure establishment in 1846....