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History of Medicine and the Civil War: A Guide -- Exhibit to accompany Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine: The Prospectus - Founding of the Medical College of Louisiana

Jones Hall - January 8, 2018 to February 16, 2018.

The First Circular or Prospectus of the Medical College of Louisiana

Prospectus (1834) Founding  document of the Medical College of LouisianaThe Medical College of Louisiana, now Tulane University School of Medicine, was founded by three young physicians in 1834. They published a document, officially titled The First Circular or Prospectus of the Medical College of Louisiana. This is the original document pertaining to the establishment of Tulane University as a whole. This manuscript served as a copy for the printer announcement of and justification for the founding of the first medical school in New Orleans. It was drafted on 23 September 1834 by Dr. Thomas Hunt with the assistance of Dr's. John H. Harrison and Warren Stone. The Prospectus was published a week later, on 29 September 1834, in French and English versions on the front page of the L'Abeille (The Bee), the local, bilingual newspaper.  

The Prospectus caused a storm of controversy in New Orleans at the time. The French physicians of the community were outraged that these youthful American physicians of the community (the eldest of the three founders was twenty-six) should presume the latter were more qualified to teach medicine than the former.

With the formation of additional colleges, the Medial College of Louisiana evolved into the University of Louisiana in 1847. The University was renamed Tulane University, and became a wholly private institution in 1884.

 In selecting N. Orleans as a place for the location of their school the undersigned have been governed by the following among other considerations:

  • 1st Because it is the largest and most populous town in the South West, and the most accessible to students.
  • 2d Because its Hospitals which will be open to the undersigned for the purpose of instruction are the largest in the Southern and Western States: so that practical Medicine and Surgery can be taught at the bedside of the patient. -- the only proper place for their study.
  • 3d Because the study of Anatomy can be prosecuted with more advantage, and at a cheaper rate here than in any other city in the U.S.
  • 4th Because N.O. is so healthy during eight months in the year. that students can remain in it, and study the different types of disease at different seasons.
  • 5th Because it is a commercial town, and more surgical accidents occur to seamen than to any other class of individuals, and its is consequently the best field for the study of Surgery in the South West.
  • 6th Because in consequence of its great population its hospitals are always filled with patients. [picture of Prospectus text]
  • 7th Because, as the undersigned pledge themselves, students can get board at $25. a month.
  • The Lecture of the Medl. Col. of La. will commence on the 1st Monday of January 1835, and will continue for four months from that day -- 

Thos. Hunt, M.D. Prof of Anat. & Physiolgy 
Jno. Harrison, M.D. Adjunct 
Chas. A. Luzenberg, M.D. Prof. Surgery 
J. Munro Mackie, M.D. Prof. Theory Pract. Med. 
Thos. R. Ingalls, M.D. Prof. Chemistry 
Edwin Balhurst Smith, M.D. Prof. Mat. Med. 
Augustus H. Cenas, M.D. Prof. Obstet. & Dis. Women & Child. 
Thos. Hunt, M.D. Dean of the Faculty

[23 September 1834]

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