any improvements in this kind of practice, and under no circumstances
would we object to multiplying proper female midwives.' Thanks for that!
It pays for all the severe things he said about the lectures. Excellent!
We doubt whether the Journal ever before uttered so much in favor
of 'the sisterhood.' The lectures, then, have done a little good. Having
now ascertained that the editor's views are favorable to the object to
be attained, if he has no objection we will be his co-workers. And it
is to be hoped that, having access, through the medium of his Journal,
to a good share of the medical profession in New England, he will adopt
such means as he considers proper and efficacious. And, moreover, as the
people of Boston have shown their good judgment by intrusting the editor,
among others, with the duty of representing them in the legislature, it
is earnestly to be hoped that in his professional and representative capacity,
he will propose some measure to effect 'improvements in this kind of practice,'
which the governments in other countries have attended to as a matter
of great importance, and which is of the highest interest to the Commonwealth,
and to mankind at large.
In making out his plea in an important case, the lawyer
gathers his evidence from various sources, and presents the opinions of
good judges, and makes them all bear upon the point in question. Now,
editors of public journals are perhaps better acquainted with the body
politic, with human nature, and things in general, than any other class
of the community; therefore the opinions of some of these movers and moulders
of public opinion, in the literary and commercial metropolis of New England,
will here be given. While engaged last fall in giving the Lectures against
Man-midwifery, as before mentioned, they were advertised in most of the
city papers, and most of those also noticed the subject editorially, and,
without exception, favorably. In handing in the advertisements for insertion,
there was of course occasion, and sometimes a necessity, for a word of
conversation upon the matter with the gentleman of the sanctum; and of
course, too, some opinions were incidentally expressed---the more valuable,
as they were not designed for their patrons, and consequently not modified
in view of professional or non-profes-
The views being expressed in private conversation, names, of course, will
not be given, though there might not perhaps be any objection; at any rate,
the gentlemen are not so far off but that they may readily be found.
One editor, who is particularly careful as to what advertisements are admitted
into his paper, on looking over the notice of the Lectures, said
he saw no objection to admitting it; and doubted not that my views were
Second editor said, he did not know how the public generally would regard
the subject; but for himself he thought women were the proper attendants
in obstetric practice. Another gentleman, connected with the same press,
said that was his belief and practice; he had three children, and never
had a doctor in his house on that business.
Third editor thought midwives would be better on ordinary occasions; but
doctors would stick to the practice, there were such a multitude of them,
and some of them half starved.
Fourth editor, on being shown the advertisement, and asked if he had ever
given any attention to that subject. 'No,' said he, 'only I know that my
wife is strongly in favor or employing women.' 'Enough said,' thought I;
'your wife is right on the subject, and you will be, of course.'
Fifth editor said he thought that women should not only perform this duty,
but should understand medicine, so as to attend to the complaints of their
Sixth editor said it always appeared to him marvellous that this business
should ever be in the hands of men, and that women should want doctors about
on such occasions. Said his wife, at her last confinement, wished a midwife
to attend her; he had some hesitancy about it, fearing it would not be entirely
safe to depend on a woman. So he asked the opinion of his family physician;
and the doctor said, 'If your wife wants a midwife to attend her, why, have
one by all means.' The midwife was employed with perfect safety and success.
Seventh editor, in speaking of doctors' pupils and students of medical schools,
practising gratuitously or otherwise about the city, to 'learn the trade,'
thought it would be quite as safe to trust midwives, and very emphatically
laid it down as his opinion, that they wouldn't any of them get into his
Eighth editor stated to me, that he employed a doctor to attend his wife
in their first