Sue Young Histories

Israel Tisdale Talbot 1829 - 1899

December 09, 2007

talbotIsrael Tisdale Talbot 1829 - 1899 homeopath and the first dean of Boston University’s Medical School. Talbot studied medicine under Samuel Gregg, the first homeopathic practitioner in New England. Talbot busied himself establishing a homeopathic dispensary at the Hahnemanian Medical College, and he was a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Public Charities and the National Board of Health. Talbot was a member of the American Institute of Homeopathy, Talbot was a member of the Massachusetts Homeopathic Medical Society, formed after the homeopathic staff were expelled from the Massachusetts Medical Society by the orthodox medical practitioners. Israel Tisdale Talbot was the editor (and founder) of the New England Medical Gazette and a member of the Monument Committee of the American Institute (Washington).

Talbot performed the first successful tracheotomy in America.

Talbot was the homeopath of Thomas Bailey Aldrich, who named his youngest son Talbot Bailey Aldrich in honor of the doctor’s friendship and service to the family.

Talbot was a correspondent of Richard Henry Danahomeopath John Ernst Stapf and Josiah QuincyMayor of Boston, and friend of Mary Baker Eddy.

Talbot’s wife Emily Fairbanks Talbot was also an active supporter of homeopathy, and she served on the Board of Trustees of the Westborough Insane Asylum. Emily Talbot, as secretary of the Education Department of the American Social Science Association, Boston, Massachusetts, she was a correspondent of Charles Darwin.

President of the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1872. Founder of the New England Female Medical College of Massachusetts in 1848, this homeopathic institution later merged with Boston University which continued to teach homeopathic medicine well into the twentieth century. Talbot was the editor (and founder) of the New England Medical Gazette and a member of the Monument Committee of the American Institute (Washington).

Together with Samuel Gregory:

Talbot opened the Boston Female Medical College, the first medical school for women in the world. Twelve women enrolled in the first class and graduate in 1850… To provide a clinical facility, the Homeopathic hospital was built in 1876, with medical and surgical wings added over the years until completion in 1907. In 1932 the building was named for Dean Israel Tisdale Talbot (Dean, 1873-1899). (The green outside is named Talbot Green).

The Boston Female Medical College was designed by homeopathic supporter and architect William Ralph Emerson (brother of Ralph Waldo Emerson), who also designed the Massachusetts Homeopathic HospitalRalph Waldo Emerson was distantly related to Charles Wesley Emerson, after whom Emerson College is named.

Israel Tisdale Talbot attended (Anon, The Homeopathic World, Volume 43, (1908). Page 236) the 2nd International Homeopathic Congress held in London (Anon, The Medical Counselor, Volume 7, (The Michigan State Homeopathic Society, 1883). Page 347) in on 11th-18th July 1881 (Anon, The Homeopathic World, (August 1,1881)) at Aberdeen House, Argyll Street, Regent Street.

Talbot was a prolific writer, he was the author of many homeopathic pamphlets and a History of Homeopathy.

Of interest:

Talbot’s daughter Marion Talbot merits an entry in the National Woman’s History Project:

Marion Talbot (July 31,1858-October 20,1948) was born while her parents were vacationing in Thun, Switzerland.

Her mother, Emily Fairbank Talbot, was active in securing college preparatory courses for young women, notably in beginning the Girls’ Latin School in Boston in 1877.

Marion’s father, Israel Tisdale Talbot was a homeopathic medicine supporter and was the first dean of Boston University’s medical school. Family friends included Julia Ward Howe and Louisa May Alcott.

Marion graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University in 1880. Interested in the science of sanitation in the home, Talbot earned a B.S. degree in 1888 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1881-82 she joined her mother, Ellen Richards, Alice Palmer, and a few friends in organizing college women in the Association of Collegiate Alumnae.

This group focused on providing fellowships and appropriate living facilities for women graduate students. They also began defining standards for women’s schools and colleges in the United States. Talbot was first secretary of the Association and then president from 1895 to 1897. This group became today’s American Association of University Women, with membership of more than 100,000 women and men and more than 1,300 branches.

Marion Talbot joined the faculty of the University of Chicago as full-time dean of undergraduate women in 1892 and assistant professor of Sanitary Science. Interested in healthy nutrition, she wrote Food as a Factor in Student Life in 1894 with Ellen Richards. In 1899, she was appointed dean of women responsible for developing dormitories with self-government for on-campus living.

By 1905, she was professor of her own department of household administration. In 1910, her book The Education of Women identified changing roles for women and described the need for educational changes.

After retiring in 1925, Talbot served as acting president of Constantinople Women’s College in Turkey from 1927 to 1932. Talbot died at age 90 of chronic myocarditis in Chicago.

Talbot’s other children were Marion TALBOT, Edith TALBOT, Agnes Woodman TALBOT, Emily TALBOT, Winthrop Tisdale TALBOT, Henry Russell TALBOT.

Geneology of the Tisdale Family.

Library of Israel Tisdale Talbot.


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