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Boston Medical and Surgical Journal Memorial of Dr. Page

By 1844, the year Dr. Page died, the Massachusetts Medical Society published a journal for its members. Still in their infancy, medical societies sought to establish a male medical profession with well-defined standards. This tribute to Dr. Page lauded what the society considered professional and personal excellence.



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1. What biographical data can be found in this document?

2. Compare the values praised in this memoir to those of Martha Ballard.

3. Why was there no similar tribute to Martha Ballard?

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  Memoir of Benjamin Page, MD 177

toriety and display, that he often manifested a shrinking and retiring modesty in society that was truly delicate and feminine. His temper was uniformly serene, and his patience christian-like and enduring. There was no duplicity--no double-dealing--no faithlessness in his trust. Whatever he promised, he executed in good faith. His character, in truth, was one of the brightest emanations of a medical philosopher and a philanthropist. He ever lived within his means, and never embarrassed himself or his family with speculative wants. He was especially liberal and provident to those dependent upon him, and nothing that was wished for or demanded by them was ever withheld. He was ever ready to make all sacrifices for the happiness of his children, to whom he was so dear. He was the pride of their affections, the long-cherished idol of their hearts. He was unambitious of worldly riches, knowing that happiness did not consist of accumulated wealth, but in temperance and contentment of heart, and a cheerful reliance upon the providence of God. He was extremely prompt and punctual in his professional visits, and considerate in his charges and there are recorded upon his books the names of many persons and families whom he regularly attended, without the slightest compensation, for a period of thirty or forty years. There were thousands to who he gave both advice and medicine without charge. With the same amount of practice and the customary fees, for the same period of time in New York or Boston, he would have realized as great an income as Sir Astley Cooper, and left to his family and children a princely estate. But the poor he has always had with him, and he never turned a deaf ear to their wants, or sent them empty away.

As a citizen his character deserves high commendation. In all things which related to government and religion he exhibited always a tolerant and charitable spirit. The peace, harmony, welfare, and happiness of the community were objects in his judgment of great importance and constant pursuit. The rich and the poor, the high and the low, equally received his regards and his services. He was not only the sick man's doctor, but the sick man's friend. He was equally distinguished by compassionate feeling, and sedulous attention, and exhibited the same sympathy and kindness, the same watchful solicitude by night and by day, and where he had no expectation or hope of pecuniary award. No wonder, then, that endearing phrase of "beloved physician" should have been universally applied to him. "I never," said a distinguished divine, in discoursing upon his memory, "I never happened to hear that he had an enemy. So far as I have known him, and that for fifty years, he has been marked for correctness of morals, and regularity of life: and I suppose I express the views of all who hear me, when I say, his course was 'without rebuke.'"

With party politics he had nothing to do. In his principles established, in his opinions persuaded, modest and tolerant, you would always find him in the path of duty on the side of order and rectitude. Ever ready to concede honest intentions to others, he maintained his own opinions with firmness: while he endeavored, both by precept and example, to allay party feelings, and to teach his fellow citizens to regard them-

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