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February 2013 Issue

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  • February 2013 Issue

    This message is from Joe Chetcuti:

    Adrian Morris has put together another issue of the Whitechapel Society Journal. He is an old pro at this. Appreciation goes out to Adrian and to all the editors of Ripper journals who keep rejuvenating this field of study.

    A big thank you also goes to the people who submitted their work to the February 2013 issue. The Whitechapel Mysteries covered a lot of territory, and many writers are needed to report on all aspects of the case.

    As for the article Ripping Diatribes, both Chris Phillips and Robert Linford were a big part of its research. In the course of our study, Chris found many 1875 newspaper reports at the British Newspaper Library in Colindale. These articles have never been shown on the message boards, but they will be made public very soon.

    In the upcoming two weeks, 12 postings will appear on the Ripper message boards. Some will appear on the Jack the Ripper Writers web site, some on the Casebook, and the rest will be posted here on this thread. The recently discovered news reports from Colindale will appear in those postings.

    I hope all the subscribers enjoy the current issue of the Whitechapel Society Journal, and I hope everyone likes the articles that Chris has found.

  • #2
    Great! Sounds interesting


    • #3
      The Liverpool Leader
      January 16, 1875
      Page 31
      A respectable and intelligent working man, employed by a local brewing firm, was requested by his wife, who was consumptive but could do her household work, to let her visit "the Great American Doctor." At first he hesitated, asked his employer's advice and was told "keep clear of quacks, and don't be a fool," and objected that as a quarter's rent was due, the money could not be spared. The wife, however, persisted, saying, "If you won't let me go, my death will be on your conscience;" and when her mother joined in the cry, he yielded. The rent was left unpaid, and the two women, mother and daughter, went to Duke-street, where three pounds were paid down, to be followed by ten shillings more when she should be cured. In return for the money the advertising man gave some poppy-heads and other herbs, to be boiled in whiskey, &c, and taken one dose an hour. The medicine was made, the wife took it, and she rapidly became worse. The husband called on "the Great American Doctor," asking him to call and see his wife, but in vain. "Keep on at my medicines" was the command. The command being obeyed, the patient became insensible. Then another doctor was called in, whose remark was "Too late, she is dying who has been practising on her?" A few days after she died.

      Now the husband -- though in humble circumstances -- was quick-witted and resolute, and loving his wife took counsel on what to do. The result was that he waited on "the doctor," from whom, announcing his wife's death, he demanded a medical certificate to be used at her burial; mark the reply -- "Is she dead, my friend? How very sad !" "I'm not your friend. Yes, she is dead, and now you must give me a certificate !" "But I cannot give a medical certificate !" "Why not, if you're a medical man?" "I cannot. But take this," and the Doctor gave him two pounds, "and buy a certificate." The widower took the two pounds and went away, only, however, to return the next day, when by a similar demand he obtained another pound, together with this instructive intimation -- "There are plenty of doctors in the town who will certify deaths they know nothing about, and a guinea to one of them will set her right."

      Now this narrative we believe to be strictly true, and not more shameful to the "Great American Doctor," than others which have been narrated to us. Well, we will say nothing, except recommend our readers to tell the story to all who will listen.

      It must by this time be tolerably plain what we think of the vain-glorious advertiser whose monstrous assertions have created such a sensation amongst the credulous classes, in Liverpool. Nor can our readers fail to resolve that whatever others do, they will not trust themselves in the Duke-street lair, when they have thought over our revelations, and reflected that in all probability we -- who tell only a little of what we know -- know only a small portion of the truth.

      We have done our duty to the public, would that we could say so much of the managers of daily papers in whose columns this man's advertisements appear. If our suspicions be correct, these managers are almost as bad as he, for the large sums he pays them are the price of blood. We call then on them, on the medical profession, and on the public generally, to investigate this matter, so that we may apologise and retract if wrong, but that if we are right, Liverpool may be purged of the "Great American Doctor."


      • #4
        Thank you, Bob.
        To Join JTR Forums :
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        • #5
          The Liverpool Leader
          January 23, 1875
          Page 37, Column One
          An instructive commentary on our recent remarks concerning this notorious practitioner has been supplied since our last issue by an inquest which was opened on Monday last, on the body of Edward Hanratty, a railway porter, who being dissatisfied with his club doctor resorted to the practitioner at 177 Duke street. As the inquest was adjourned, we shall not refer to it at length to-day; but it would be cruel treachery to the numerous readers whose suspicions have been excited by our articles, were we not to mention that this poor fellow died an hour after taking one dose of the "Great American Doctor's" nostrum. He had long been in delicate health. When he went to Duke street, his state was such that a single medical indiscretion was certain to end his life. Yet, the state of his lungs and heart was such that any educated medical man would have examined them with the utmost care, this stranger took no such precaution, but, without any care beyond hazarding a guess as to Hanratty's disease, gave him pills, herbs, and a phial, the last named to be used first ! Who can be surprised by what followed? When the first dose from the phial had been swallowed the patient fainted; not long afterwards, he fainted again; and within an hour he was dead. We cannot yet assert positively that the stuff he swallowed killed him. Nevertheless this is a question for the jury; and we venture to predict that when they have decided it there will follow a prompt and emphatic reply to the question, will the "Great American Doctor" remain here?

          Meanwhile, we beg all whom it may concern to note and appreciate the fact, not only that this person omits the examinations which ordinary practitioners think indispensable, but also that when Dr. Bligh visited him in reference to Hanratty's death, he was told, "I only sell medicines: I came hither to make money;" and that the man whose treatment perhaps caused this death did not, although he promised to, attend the post-mortem examination where, in presence of genuine surgeons, he might have demonstrated his acquaintance with the art he assumes to practise. Does not this suggest that he dares not thus incur the risk of immediate detection and punishment?

          We say "punishment" with good reason. To begin with, his name -- Francis Tumilty -- is not on the door of 177 Duke street, nor is it in the Medical Register; whereas by 21 and 22 Victoria, chap. 90, sec. 27, it is enacted that such absence from the Register shall be evidence that the person is not a registered practitioner. Next, by sec. 40, any person pretending to be an M.D., is finable £20 on summary conviction; nor is an American diploma valid here. Next under 55 of George III., chap. 194, sec. 20, any person who, without being certificated, advises patients and compounds and sells medicines recommended by himself, is liable to a penalty; and even a regular medical practitioner must be registered as an apothecary before he may practise as one. A Doctor is a person who has passed all the degrees of a faculty and is empowered to practise and teach it as a Doctor of physic; and a Physician is one entitled to cure diseases by the application of medicines. Francis Tumilty, however, seems to be neither apothecary, doctor, nor physician. Unless all that is known of his doings in Liverpool is opposed to the facts which he should be anxious to make public, he is what our law stigmatises as an impostor, who as such is liable to severe penalties.

          The vital importance of this fact must be evident to whoever remembers that Francis Tumilty -- calling himself "the Great American Doctor" -- has published advertisements in which he offers to cure diseases, and has attracted numerous patients, all of whom paid him fees as a doctor, many of whom were not cured, and some of whom shortly afterwards died in a manner which was perplexing.


          • #6
            January 23, 1875
            Page 37, Column Two
            He refuses to give the medical certificates required by the registrar of deaths; and therefore, unless certificates be improperly obtained elsewhere, all patients who die after taking his nostrums must be the subjects of coroner's inquests. All who resort to him, then, must remember that an inquest over their corpses is a probable consequence.

            Some unfortunate simpletons having come to this bad end, it useless for us to hope that no fatal results will punish some of those who still are resorting to 177 Duke-street. But putting this aside, we turn to that numerous class who, to judge from the letters daily sent to us, suffer no worse punishment than the loss of their money. To all such we say, go at once and demand back what you have paid; if he refuses, summon him in the County Court, as others have done; and rest assured you will recover your cash -- so foolishly parted from -- unless before your case comes on his flight has answered our question, will he remain here?

            This assurance of ours may be relied on, first, because several victims have already thus recovered what they had paid "the Great American Doctor"; and second, because the law of fraud is so clear that he cannot defend any similar case...It also has been laid down by the judges, that a contract legal in itself is void if made with an unlicensed surgeon, because he has no right to prescribe or give medicines, and by doing so himself breaks the contract with his patient. The proper course of every one who has paid Francis Tumilty money for advice or medicines is to sue him at once, when -- unless he is what he has declined to show that he is -- he will be ordered by the County Court judge to at once repay what the plaintiff gave him.

            If this advice be promptly acted on, hundreds of deluded persons in this town and neighbourhood will have cause to thank us for counteracting to the utmost of our power the evil done by "the Great American Doctor." The remedy should have been applied by the editors of those daily papers in which his advertisements were published, for -- unless our information be utterly unreliable -- they were warned several weeks ago that they were promulgating lies and endangering human life. We hope that this is not true. We shrink from believing that any Liverpool journalist -- especially any of those who pretend to treat our utterances as unworthy of notice -- has been so heartless, so reckless, so unscrupulous as to take money bribes (and what else are well paid for advertisements?) for assisting an unqualified quack to endanger human life. But, whatever may have been their knowledge of the facts, we trust that the warnings we have printed, not without danger to ourselves, have done some good and will do more; and that a very short time will bring "the Great American Doctor's" career in Liverpool to an ignominious close.



            • #7
              In 1875, The Liverpool Leader ran a series of articles entitled "Our Medical Quacks" and the following appeared as Part Three in that series. – Joe

              The Liverpool Leader
              March 13, 1875
              Page 124


              BY A CANADIAN.

              My experience of the Great American Doctor dated from Montreal, upon which city the sun of Tumblety rose I think in 1854. He then rejoiced in the appreciation of "the celebrated Indian Herb Doctor," and had a wood-cut head his advertisement, representing a benevolent old gentleman distributing pills and potions to suffering and supplicating humanity, apparently without fee or reward. I recollect well that in my ignorance I looked upon this wood-cut as a likeness of the "Doctor" as nearly correct as could be done for the money. You may imagine then my surprise when I met the individual in propria persona. Liverpool does not know Tumblety, she has only seen the shadow of the original humbug. At the time I am speaking of, twenty years ago, he was of course a very much younger man, and had no need of those cosmetics, paints and powders that got him up here. Indeed, I may say that turning the expression of his face, which was his weak point, Tumblety, at the time I refer to was a handsome man and a gorgeous ! Who that was in Montreal between 1854 and 1857, and there must be hundreds now in Liverpool, can forget that tall black horse with the Niagara tail and the walking-stick with the opera glass at the end of it, or Tumblety as he appeared riding the one or sweeping the St. Lawrence with the other ! Oh, he was a proper Broadway swell in Montreal ! Well, he carried on the same game there that he did here. Advertised freely and cured marvellously straightened limbs that had been crooked, and rescued from the jaws of death and from the hands of unscrupulous physicians beings who never had any other dwelling save the fertile brain of the advertising quack. Several cases however turned out favourably, and one especially, which came under my immediate notice, lengthened, I think, his stay in Montreal considerably. This was the case of the sister of one of the first dry goods merchants in Notre Dame-street. She had very bad eye sight, and Tumblety cured her. So at least she said, and her name duly appeared at the foot of the customary testimonial. There was no doubt about this case, and it brought Tumblety many a miserable dupe. But the lady who signed the testimonial under the impression she had been cured, went totally blind a very few days afterwards. She did not of course publish this painful fact, but I who knew the family knew the circumstances well. But there is an amusing side to my recollections of Tumblety, and until I came to read your articles I never looked upon him in any other light than as a conceited and amusing humbug. He was always most affable outside his "profession," and it was a very easy thing to scrape up a speaking acquaintance with him. By-the-bye, the last time I saw him in Liverpool he was shaking hands most violently with the policeman at the corner of Parker-street. Tumblety was in clover for a long time in Montreal, and although I cannot call to mind the precise reason of his leaving, I think the following circumstance hastened his departure. A Montreal gentleman whom I knew very well wrote a burlesque called "Columbus," and one of the characters was a famous medicine man "Stumblehi," which burlesque was acted in the Theatre Royal, Cote-street. I was present at the first performance, and well recollect the appearance in it of McDonough as "Stumblehi." At first sight I thought it was the veritable "Doctor," so wonderful was the "get up," and that this was a new advertising dodge, until I perceived the original in the dress circle. No one who was present will forget that night. The first song

              "I'm a famous medicine man as everybody knows,
              I make pills from the lily, and blister with the rose, Stumblehi."

              went pretty quietly; but when he came to the next

              "Quack, quack, nothing but quackery,
              I can cure every disorder;
              Quack, quack, all the last quackery,
              I've imported from over the border."

              rotten eggs rained upon the stage from every part of the theatre. Pit, gallery, dress circle, and private boxes showered rotten eggs upon the unfortunate actors. Poor McDonough got it hot, and his blue tail coat with brass buttons, Tumblety's style at that time, was literally covered with eggs ! Buckland, the lessee, rushed on to the stage to quell the disturbance, and was struck on the forehead. The blood ran down his face, and Mrs. Buckland, who was dressed as a kind of Miami, came rushing into his arms crying, "William, William, are you killed?" This is not fiction; every thing happened as I relate it, and was duly reported in the papers of the day. I well recollect the conclusion. Whether by accident or design the great egg which Columbus was teaching the courtiers to poise would not, even though broken, stand up. The author, who had been trembling all evening in a side box, scribbled a few lines and an attendant rushed on the stage, crying as he kicked the property egg off

              "Oh take this horrid object from my sight,
              I'm sure we've had enough eggs to-night."

              (The last state of the "Doctor" seems to be worse than the first. We give him the full advantage of the not very mischievous career he seems to have run in Montreal, and wish that he had not done ten times as much mischief in a quarter of the time when he made Liverpool his scene of operations. "Quack, quack, nothing but quackery," is what Liverpool knows of him. Would that we could find amusement in what preceded so many strange deaths and disappointed so many ardent hopes. EDITOR L. L.)


              • #8
                Thank you, Bob.
                To Join JTR Forums :
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                • #9
                  You're welcome, How.


                  • #10
                    Most gracious as a man of gentle disposition will be wont to do, Bob.
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