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"Dr".John Buchanan- The Bogus Medical Degree

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  • "Dr".John Buchanan- The Bogus Medical Degree

    I took a gander at the newspaper archives and came up with a man who may be of importance down the line in terms of Tumbletonian researchers.

    His name was Philadelphia's own John Buchanan, who called himself a doctor, but was actually a recividistical criminal who bucked the system time and time again by distributing bogus medical degrees to people not only in the States but in Europe as well.

    This is but one story of the 26 I found today...and I will put up some more later on.

    Trenton ( N.J.) Daily State Gazette
    May 11,1872
    Page 2
    The fame of the fraudulent Philadelphia medical diplomas ( as well as the diplomas) has reached London, where one of the impostors has been arrested, tried and convicted...and sentenced.
    The Justice, in passing sentence, was pleased to say that he had been gratified to learn that the Americans were already engaged in measures to suppress the bogus diploma business. It is a pity that some of the offenders cannot be dealt with as summarily as the convicted quack in London.
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  • #2
    People made up medical degrees! I would have never have thought it!


    • #3
      The overwhelming,if not near totality, of all phony medical degrees which unfortunately flooded the continents emanated from Philadelphia at the time. Philadelphia was, and still is in some ways, the leader in medical research in the United States.

      Anyway, in one article, we find that the Judge lets Buchanan go free on a technicality..only to see Buchanan at it again and again over time,finding himself sentenced to a rather weak 6 months in jail in 1885.

      More to come folks....
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      • #4
        You read my mind,Mike.

        Notice the year that Buchanan began this sort of thing....1872. Shame he wasn't at it in 1871,so Vice Admiral of HM Royal Navy,R.D'Onston Stephenson,couldn't use one of 'em on the 1871 Census.

        Its exactly what I thought of when I read about the guy.

        More to come by tonight Mike.
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        • #5
          Check this out...

          While looking through the search engines, I noticed that in contemporary times here in the US of A, there are by Fed estimates, 10,000 phony baloney medical degrees in use.

          By a coincidence, thats the amount of phony baloney degrees this Buchanan was arrested for and charged with distributing in the 1870's....130+ years ago.

          Some stuff never changes.
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          • #6
            Condensed Data On Buchanan

            Here's the gist of the 26 articles found on "bogus medical diplomas".

            I have not found a record of Buchanan's death or eventual whereabouts yet...but I will keep at it.

            I think these reports may tie in somehow with Tumblety,considering that Buchanan had authorized licenses to abortionists and had people in Montreal. There is the "smell " of Tumbelty in these reports.

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            • #7
              Philadelphia Inquirer, February 8,1872...Page 8---John Hall,colored,purchases diploma from Buchanan's College for $60.00....Buchanan cohort provides medical diploma for a 2 year old child.

              Philadelphia Inquirer, February 20,1872...Page 8- Pennsylvania Senate conducts hearing on Buchanan's scamming in State House.


              Philadelphia Inquirer Jan 1, 1876...Page ONE---German authorities cracking down on flood of bogus diplomas all emanating from Philadelphia.

              Philadelphia Inquirer, August 5, 1880 Page 3- Spaniard in Barcelona recieves diploma in the mail erroneously,turns it in to proper authorities who are sent to re-arrest the already "on bail" Buchanan, owner of the Eclectic Medical College of Pa. Buchanan's bail was $ 12,000.

              Philadelphia Inquirer, October 3rd,1880-Page 3- Extraordinary measures are undertaken, such as the necessity of publishing a register of "good" doctors in the area( Philadelphia,for starters) to disseminate to the public,in light of the fact that Buchanan is still at large and at it more than ever.

              Inter Ocean, November 25th,1880-Page ONE- Buchanan, the dealer in bogus medical diplomas was yesterday at Philadelphia,convicted of conspiracy to defraud the governement of the amount of his bail. Next Tuesday he will be tried for using the mails to promote the swindling.

              Inter Ocean, December 1,1880- Buchanan was yesterday ACQUITTED by order of the US District Judge. He directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty on the remarkable technical ground that because Buchanan did not intend to cheat his patrons, but only to aid them in imposing upon others, he was not using the mails for a fraudulent purpose.

              New Haven Register,March 25, 1881 Page 3- Buchanan is imprisoned during the interim of December of 1880 and March of 1881. It is revealed through the tireless efforts of the Philadelphia Record ( the paper which R.Harding Davis once worked and his father owned) that Buchanan not only is responsible for 60,000 bogus degrees world wide, but that he stole cadavers and employed college professors to sign phony degrees at $5 apiece...but that 10,000 people were directly involved in this enormous scam.

              Columbus Daily Enquirer,October 11,1881-Page ONE- Buchanan,already serving time in Eastern State Prison in Philadelphia for fifteen months is given one more year and another fine of $10,000. Note: There seems to be a discrepancy with the "time" served,since Buchanan,as mentioned previously,was acquitted 11 months prior to this particular sentencing in October 1881-HB.

              HERE HE GOES AGAIN!!!!!

              Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan.20,1885- Page 3- Buchanan is in hiding and not arrested as anticipated,for continuing to issue bogus degrees.

              Philadelphia Inquirer,January 21, 1885- Page 2- Buchanan and a female assistant, "Dr." Rebecca Russell are arrested in a dingy Fourth Street ( North Philadelphia ghetto) apartment. Buchanan, still perpetuating the held on $2,000 bail in Philadelphia.

              Bismarck Tribune, May 6,1886 Page 2- In Berlin, Germany alone...there are 3,400 people styling themselves as doctors and using Buchanan's bogus degrees.

              Tacoma ( Washington) Daily News, August 10,1891, Page 8- The Northwest US ( note: this refers to the Plains states as well-HB) are reportedly flooded with bogus degrees, many printed in Montreal,Canada.

              Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner,April 26,1893-Page 2 According to this newspaper, a "bogus medical degree" and unnamed huckster given 6 months in jail in New York. It does not refer to Buchanan or anyone by name.

              The Following Is Very Bizarre....

              New Orleans Daily Picayune,October 15,1894,Page 2- German physician Dr. August Reiter makes a plea to American officials to assist in confiscating all bogus degrees which Buchanan had a hand in a decade before, since so many Germans are still using them. Dr. Benjamin Lee, a Philadelphia doctor of eminence, states that it is his as well as other persons belief that Buchanan,who once feigned suicide to avoid further imprisonment, is dead by 1894....and startlingly, he states that "The diplomas issued prior to 1880 do qualify the holders to practice as registered physicians and to use the title of doctor of medicine, although they were practically bogus."
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              • #8
                More Buchananalia

                His faked suicide...a must read: August 18,1880

                His suicide now in question: August 21st,1880

                Affadavits filed : August 22nd, 1880

                Found In Windsor,Ontario under the name of Fairchild: August 24,1880

                Arrested in St.Clair,Michigan: September 11th,1880

                Safely Behind Bars In Moyamensing Prison: September 13th,1880

                His "Colleges" Annulled:October 1st, 1880

                Found Guilty : November 25th,1880

                Back In Court: October 7th,1881

                Back To The Slammer: October 9th,1881

                Back At Scamming: January 21,1885

                Abandons Wife: June 26,1886
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                • #9
                  Nina Brown found this on Buchanan from 1880 in the census:

                  Pennsylvania ( Philadelphia County) 1880 Census.

                  John Buchanan, aged 51, born Scotland,occupation- "doctor".
                  Lucy M. Buchanan, aged 37, born Louisiana, occupation- housekeeper ( Note: In one of the last articles within Buchanan's sordid tale, Lucy is listed as a "doctor" herself).
                  Isabell Buchanan, aged 21, daughter, born in Pa., occupation: at home
                  George Buchanan, aged 19,son ,born in Pa., occupation: "dentist" ( At 19,no less...)
                  Joseph Hall, aged 19, born South Carolina, occupation: physician ( At 19 !)
                  Lorne Wilkie, aged 21, born Canada, occupation: student
                  Chas. Kenroth, aged 45, born Lubec,occupation: physician

                  Buchanan's wife's maiden name was Chapman.

                  I don't know where "Lubec" is, but it may be a town in Canada or Louisiana,since it sounds French..."Lu Bec".....
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                  • #10
                    Another Nina Brown update on the Buchanan clan:

                    1. Isabella Buchanan was the birth mother of John's children and died in 1873 at the age of 47. She apparently was older than John, who by the census report from before...was born in 1829...she in 1826.

                    2. One son,John, died at 15 in 1870...

                    3. Isabella is buried in the same delapitated cemetery that Betsy Ross is buried in....Mt. Moriah,in Philadelphia.

                    More to come....
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                    • #11

                      It may have occurred to some of you Americans on the boards by now, but the only President from Pennsylvania was a man named James Buchanan.

                      His brother is buried in the Mt. Moriah Cemetery too....

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                      • #12
                        The old saying "The bogus doctor doesn't fall too far from the tree" is applicable in the case of Buchanan's son, George...listed as a dentist on the census Nina found....but in 1883, he was charged with performing an abortion in which a woman died.

                        Then, in 1885, he is charged with practicing dentistry without a license in Philadelphia...loses the license..and then gets in to a shoe store scam with his brother in law.

                        Not only Georgie Boy, but the brother in law of John Buchanan, this Martin Chapman, another "doctor", was nailed for three years of spousal non support in Philadelphia.

               1908, in a Brooklyn courtroom...a 55 year old woman caused a terrific commotion at the reading of the will of the late Dr. Buchanan when she declared that Buchanan was her father as well as that of George and Isabella....the illegitimate daughter,that is....of the deceased bogus doctor. ( Nina is still trying to find the exact death of John Buchanan.)

                        Buchanan indeed had employed the woman's mother in Brooklyn around the time of her birth in 1853. More to come on this too...

                        These people pop up everywhere and all in bad scenarios. Its very hard to understand how the two Buchanans weren't imprisoned for more than 15 months as in the case of the bogus Father.
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                        • #13
                          A few items of possible interest.

                          Buchanan, as well as Tumbelty, lived in Philadelphia during 1863. Buchanan came here between 1852 and 1855 and lived at 510 Pine Street....or for out of towners, 5th n' Pine.

                          Tumbelty lived at 4th and Chestnut...not even 7 blocks from Buchanan.

                          Buchanan had ties to and/or operated out of New York ( Brooklyn) at some point, althought the exact date is unknown as of this moment. D'Onston, according to Roots, in the Dec. 26th report Inspector Roots filed at Scotland Yard, allegedly had a "New York" diploma.

                          Then...there is the issue of the "American Doctor who inquired about uteri" at a London pathological museum.

                          Lets look at this hypothetically for a moment.

                          If any licensed doctor in the United States...and I mean a bona fide doctor by that...needed uteri, he would know where to go and be able to procure one.....HERE in the USA.

                          Not necessarily so for a "bogus doctor". To me, it seems that someone with a bogus degree would be more likely to NOT know the procedures for procurement,where a legitimate one would.

                          More to come.
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                          • #14
                            One more very interesting bit of information to share...

                            The 1880 ( 0ne of several )arrest of Buchanan, who like his "dentist" son was also an abortionist....had a licensed and legitimate Philadelphia prothonotary assisting him in his illegal, decades long, activities... .

                            His name was............... Phil Cregar....

                            You betcha that we're checking into whether he was related to Laird Cregar...
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                            • #15

                              According to the information found on this have to see it for yourselves !....the woman previously mentioned as "Dr". Rebecca R. Russell, picked up in 1885 in Philadelphia as an accomplice of Buchanan was....not only was not a doctor, but was his daughter....and a daughter born between two of his children John and Isabella while he was married to John and Isabella's mother !!! Oldest son James was born in Scotland.

                              When asked if she was a doctor while on trial, she replied no.

                              The Court then asked Miss Russell what the "M.D." stood for on the shingle hanging outside the Buchanan office on 5th Street.

                              She calmly replied...."Money Down..."
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