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The Hahnemann Monument: History

1881

  • 1st proposal, HMSSP, by Dr. J.H. McClelland, Pittsburgh, PA, prompted by
  1. visit to birthplace & graveside of Galileo whose history of suffering of persecution for his discoveries and for Truth’s sake he was aware, and
  2. his awareness of the largest gathering of medical men of 19th century in England to honor, with a statue, William Harvey whose discovery of circulation brought persecution.

1892

  • 2nd proposal, AIH session, Washington, DC
  • JH McClelland moved, Dr. Henry N Smith (NY) 2nd
  • $ >1,000 subscribed at the meeting at Willard Hotel
  • $50,000 - $75,000 total estimated need

1892-1902

  • Monument Committee appointed and fundraising initiated
  • publicized in homeopathic journals but Old School MD’s blocked general press coverage
  • project quickly grew from representing 1400 members of the AIH to 12,000 homeopathic physicians in the USA

1893

  • Auxiliary Committee appointed made up of each state and each college, $2500 pledged

1894

  • 47th Annual Session of AIH, Denver, $15,000 pledged.
  • advised to pick a European, disposed to pick an American, determined to pick the best
  • consulted recognized head of American sculpture, Mr. J.Q.A. Ward

1896

  • Full sized model completed
  • Bill introduced and passed Congress; President Cleveland did not sign it

1897

  • Meissen Society and Ladies Monument Association created to support the effort
  • Dr. Nancy T. Williams (ME) largest single individual contributor, $4,510.

 1898

  • 54th Session of AIH, Omaha, NE
  • Practical completion of the memorial
    • granite work by Maine & New Hampshire Granite Company
    • bronzes by Gorham Manufacturing Company
  • New bill introduced in Congress to authorize site

 1899

  • 55th Session of AIH, Atlantic City, NJ
  • Finance Committee appointed to amass the funds
  • Bill finally passed fall of 1899, President William McKinley signed in 24 hours
  • Congressional objections that had to be allayed:
    • starting a sectarian precedent
    • Hahnemann not of our country

1895

  • 51st Session of AIH, Newport, RI
  • Practically a reception for sculptor, C. H. Niehaus, and architect, Julius Harder
  • model of their winning entry on display
  • other submitted sketches on display
  • Hahnemann Monument Committee enlisted aid of the National Sculpture Society to judge the competition for the Hahnemann Monument.  NSS Pres Ward recommended to send letters to 60 sculptors, American and foreign, inviting submission of sketches as models for a monument with an heroic bronze statue, “…with a granite pedestal, having such elaboration and accessories as would commemorate Hahnemann’s life and work under conditions regarding the cost…” (≤$30,000), the likeness, the time of delivery (02/01/1895), erection of the monument, manner of payment, etc., and offering prizes of 1st) $500, 2nd) $300, and 3rd) $200
  • 30 sculptors accepted, 24 models received, representing American, French, German, Italian, and Spanish sculptors, were placed on public display at the American Gallery of Fine Arts, the finest in NYC.
  • The Committee of the Sculpture society and the Monument Committee unanimously chose Charles H. Niehaus (Cincinnati, OH) as the winner.
  • The Monument Committee also decided to have the monument erected in granite ($48,800) rather than Indiana limestone ($30,000)
  • The contract between AIH and Mr. Niehaus is contained in the transactions -Winning Entry
  • Charles Henry Niehaus, Cincinnati, OH, prize-winning sculptor
  • Julius H. Harder, New York, NY, Marsh, Israels, and Harder
  • Charles Henry Niehaus, born 24 Jan 1855, Cincinnati, OH, of John Conrad Niehaus and Sophia Block Niehaus, German immigrants
  • Youth: practiced wood carving, stone cutting, and marble carving
  • McMicken School of Design, Cincinnati

1877

  • Royal Academy, Munich, graduated 22y, 1st American to win a medal went on to study in Rome

1881

  • Returned to OH, commissioned to sculpt recently assassinated Pres James Garfield

1897

  • Moses & Edward Gibbon, Library of Congress
  • No less than 8 pieces of his sculpture are displayed in the US Capitol

1896

  • Completion of full-sized model in clay of Hahnemann

1898

  • Completion of the granite exedra and pedestal by Maine and New Hampshire Granite Company and of the bronze statue and entablatures by the Gorham Manufacturing Co.

1900

  • A Commission of the Site proposed a site at Scott Circle for the placement of the monument, it being in a direct line from the White House.  Approved.
  • A meeting was held in Washington, DC, in 1900 to determine the location and date of the AIH Annual Session that year.  The guarantee of the Monument Committee resulted in the selection of Washington, DC, as the site for the AIH Session and June 21, 1900, as the date of dedication of the monument.
  • The invited guests to the unveiling and dedication of the Hahnemann Monument included Guest of Honor President William McKinley, his Private Secretary George B. Cortelyou, President of the District Board of Commissioners Hon. Henry B.F. MacFarland, Chief of Engineers General John M. Wilson, USA, Superintendent of Public Buildings and Grounds Col. Theodore A. Bingham, Attorney General John W. Griggs, President of the American Institute of Homeopathy Dr. Charles E. Walton,
  • Secretary of the AIH Dr. Eugene H. Porter, Poet of the Day Dr. William Tod Helmuth, Chairman of the Monument Committee Dr. James H. McClelland, Treasurer of the Monument Committee Dr. Henry M. Smith, Chairman of the Finance Committee Dr. George G. Shelton, Chairman of the Local Committee on the Monument Dedication, Dr. J. B. Gregg Custis, Largest individual contributor Dr. Nancy T. Williams, the Rev. Benjamin F. Bittinger, DD, President’s Own Marine Corps Band
  • Rededication Ceremony June 21, 2000
  • Brass Quintet of the Marine Corps Band
  • Uniformed Services Color Guard
  • Supporting state and regional homeopathic societies CA, NY, PA, IL, OH, SHMA
  • Participating Org. AVH, AAHP, AHPA, HANP, HNA, HPCUS, HRN, NCH, NASH, CHC, CHE
  • Officers, Trustees, and members of the American Institute of Homeopathy
  • Homeopathic dignitaries from around the world.
  • Participants in the AIH hosted Homeopathy 2000 Celebration and Rededication Conference
  • Restoration fundraising started summer 2000; by 10/03 amassed >$30K. 10/29/03 meetingg my office with Glenn DeMarr of National Park Service. 11/13/03 meeting on site with NPS Officials.  04/05/04 transferred $20,600 to NPS’s Karen Cucurrulo to pay for Senior Conservator Judith Jacob (NY) to restore gold-leaf backed colored glass tesserae of arch.  Glass ordered from Italy via American supplier. Bronze cleaned. Granite cleaned, repointed; steps, plaza re-laid.

 

by Sandra M Chase, MD, DHt,

  • President, American Board of Homeotherapeutics (ABHt)
  • Past President, National Center for Homeopathy (NCH)
  • Past President, Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis (LIGA)
  • Trustee, American Institute of Homeopathy (AIH)
  • Chairman, AIH Hahnemann Monument Preservation Committee
  • Facilitator, Hahnemann Monument Restoration Project

These remarks were presented on April 10, 2010 at the Hahnemann Monument in Washington D.C. Please cite Dr. Chase’s work when using any part or all of this information.