Sue Young Histories

Ludwig Reinhold von Stegemann 1795 – 1849

June 17, 2009

Ludwig Reinhold von Stegemann 1795 – 1849 MD was an Estonian orthodox physician, a Privy Councillor for the Imperial Russian States under Tsar Nicholas I, who converted to homeopathy to become the first homeopath in the Baltic States.

Stegemann was a colleague of John Ernst Stapf,

Stegemann practiced in Tartu, and in Riga, Dorpat and Switzerland.

Prussian Dr. Stegemann (? - 1835) had graduated from Jena University and converted to homeopathy around 1821. He arrived in Riga in 1823. Carl Bojanus failed to find any exact data on his activity.

In the late 1820s he left Riga for Germany to study homeopathy there more thoroughly. Until his death in 1835, he practiced in Riga again, also in Dorpat and in Switzerland.

The centre of this movement was Tartu where Dr Ludwig Reinhold von Stegemann (1795 – 1849) was active at the beginning of the 1820s. He had been appointed Privy Councillor by the Tsar because of his medical achievements.

In 1825, he wrote from Tartu to John Ernst Stapf, editor of the Archiv für die homöopathische Heilkunst (Homeopathy Archives), that he ‘was not exactly unhappy as a practitioner of homeopathy’ and he described two of his recent cases where the patients had been cured.

His letter ends with the words: ‘It shall be an honour and joy to me to actively propagate this naturalistic healing method in Russia and Livonia.’

Stegemann had already healed the wife of a certain Christoph Kaule in Riga in 1823 who consequently became a fervent sponsor of homeopathy.

After a few interim positions, Stegemann practised again in Tartu at the beginning of the 1830s. But his success led Gottlieb Franz Immanuel Sahmen, who was Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Tartu from 1826 to 1828, to pen a critical paper in which he did not actually generally reject homeopathy as inefficient but refused the exclusiveness that Samuel Hahnemann and others claimed for their healing approach.

Stegemann was a contributor to the Hahnemann Jubilee of 1829. His name appears on the Allgemeine homöopathische Zeitung list of 1832 and Frederick Hervey Foster Quin’s  list of 1834. He was then practicing in Dorpat. The Hahnemann list places him in Dorpat, but the Frederick Hervey Foster Quin list and the _Allgemeine homöopathische Zeitung_ as Imperial Councillor of St. Petersburg, late of Carlsruhe.

Carl Bojanus says that from a letter by Stegemann, dated February 2, 1825, and published in the Archiv. that he was then practicing Homeopathy with zeal and success at Dorpat, Livonia.

He seems to have been the pioneer of Homeopathy in the Baltic provinces; he was a Prussian, studied under Vogt, Hohn and Trechart in Jena, was summoned to St. Petersburg to attend some Grand Duke, was created State Councillor, married and settled down at Dorpat, was sent for to Riga in 1823, where he cured a lady of epilepsy who had been subjected to all kinds of treatment without effect, whereby he converted her husband, Christoph Kaule, who there and then set himself to study medicine and became a successful practitioner of Homeopathy, but was persecuted by the old school authorities in 1831.

Stegemann, who had left Riga, returned to that town in 1833, then transferred himself to Dorpat, where he practiced Homeopathy for some time. Not long, however, for he died in Switzerland in 1835. (World’s cons., volume 2, page 246, Brit. Jour. Hom., volume 38, page 305, Bulletin de la société homéopathique de France, Aug., 1867.)

Stegemann submitted several cases and contributions to various homeopathic publications.


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