Dr Charles Julius HEMPEL (1811-1879)
Dr Charles Julius HEMPEL, an eminent homeopathic physician and medical author, widely known in America and Europe for the past 30 years, died at his residence in Grand Rapids Wednesday night, aged 68 years and 19 days. He had been a resident of Grand Rapids for 18 years.
HEMPEL, Charles Julius, physician, born in Solingen, Prussia, 5 September, 1811; died in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 25 September, 1879. He received a University education, repairing to France after his examinations. After completing his collegiate course at Solingen, he attended lectures at the “University de France,” in Paris, and assisted Michelet, who succeeded Guizot in the chair of history, in the publication of his “History of France.” He came to the United States in 1835, and for ten years resided in the family of Signor Maroncelli, the intimate friend of the revolutionist Silvio Pellico, where he imbibed an ardent love for music and Italian literature. While attending medical lectures at the University of New York, where he was graduated in 1845, he became associated with several eminent homoeopathic practitioners, and soon after his graduation he began to translate some of the more important works relating to homoeopathy. He was appointed to the chair of materia medica and therapeutics in the Hahnemann medical college of Philadelphia in 1857, and afterward removed to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he engaged in a large practice. His health failing, he went abroad; but the change was not beneficial, and he returned to Grand Rapids, where he died. Dr. Hempel was one of the earliest honorary members of the British homoeopathie society, and was the recipient of diplomas and certificates of membership from many medical colleges and associations. He wrote a work on the “Life of Christ” in the German language, another on “The True Organization of the New Church,” also a ” New Grammar of the German Language.” He published numerous translations, including Hahnemann’s “Chronic Diseases” (5 vols., Philadelphia, 1846); Hartmann’s “Acute and Chronic Diseases” (4 vols., 1849); Jahr’s “Mental Diseases and their Homoeopathic Treatment” (1853); and “Diseases of Women and Children” (1853); and was the author of ” Christendom and Civilization” (1840); a ” System of Materia Medica and Therapeutics,” his chief work (1859); “Homoeopathic Theory and Practice in Surgical Disease,” with Mr. J. Bealdy (1865); and “The Science of Homoeopathy” (1874).
While attending lectures he met many American families, and was by them persuaded to emigrate to America. He landed in New York on September 5, 1832, his 24th birthday. He became the friend and associate of a circle composed of distinguished literary and musical people and now devoted his time to acquiring a knowledge of the English language. His literary friends were many of them believers in Homoeopathy and his sympathies were also in its favor. He became a member of the then newly organized University of New York and one of its first graduates. He became the friend of the earlier homoeopaths, Gram, Channing, Gray, Hall, Hering and many others in New York and Philadelphia; they were his friends and companions. He now began to translate into English some of the more important of the German books upon Homoeopathy, thus rendering the English-speaking profession an invaluable service. Among these were translations of the “Materia Medica Pura,” the “Chronic Diseases,” “Jahr’s Symptomen Codex,” “Rau’s Organon of Homœopathy,” Teste’s Materia Medica,” &c., &c. He also practiced Homœopathy. He became interested in the doctrines of Swedenborg at this period. He married the daughter of Mr. George Coggeshall, Mrs. Mary E. Calder, of Grand Rapids, Mich., a lineal descendant of Governor Bradford, of Massachusetts, in 1855. Dr. Hempel had not long been married, when, on February 10, 187, he was elected to take the Chair of Materia Medica, from which Dr. J. P. Dake had just resigned. He did not commence to lecture until the session of 187-58. He held this chair until the end of the session of 1859-60, when, upon the reorganization of the College, he, with some others, retired. During his stay in Philadelphia he published his “Materia Medica and Therapeutics.” But the death of his father-in-law at Grand Rapids, Mich., now called him westward to settle up the estate ; he settled at that place and soon had a large practice ; at this time Dr. Jacob Reed, Jr., went from Philadelphia to become his assistant. Soon after he settled in Grand Rapids he was recommended by the physicians of Michigan to the Regents of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor as a proper person to fill the Chair of Homœopathy, but just created in the University by an Act of Legislature. In 1867 he was duly appointed and accepted, but the Regents of the University succeeded in making the law inoperative and the appointment was thus made ineffective. He made a trip to the Fatherland and to Italy in 1872, on account of failing health, and gradually increasing blindness; there the specialist told him that total blindness was inevitable. He returned and from that time he continued to fail until he became blind, paralyzed and helpless. But his mind was clear, and with his devoted wife as amanuensis he dictated a work on the principles of Homoeopathy and dictated the Materia Medica and Therapeutics. This was about ready for the press at his death and Dr. H. R. Arndt rewrote and edited it, publishing it in 1880. He died at Grand Rapids, September 24, 1879, aged 68 years. Dr. Hempel’s literary work is well known; he may be called the founder of English homoeopathic literature. He wrote and translated, not only on medical works, but also he wrote a Life of Christ in the German language, one on the True Organization of the New Church, and a new Grammar of the German Language. He translated a part and superintended an entire edition of Schiller in English. He was a member of many societies and known to all.
Dr Hempel was employed by the publishing house William Radde in NYC and was responsible for translating most of Hahnemann’s and Jahr’s work into English. His own works include:
1845. On Eclecticism in Medicine. New York, NY: W. Radde. 45p.
1845. A Treatise on the Use of Arnica. New York, NY: W. Radde. 16p.
1846. The Homœopathic Domestic Physician. New York, NY: W. Radde. 184p.
1850. The Homœopathic Domestic Physician. 2d ed. New York, NY: W. Radde. 216p.
1853. The Homœopathic Domestic Physician. German ed. New York, NY: W. Radde. 133p.
1853. Complete Repertory of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica. New York, NY: W. Radde. 1224p.
1854. The New Homœopathic Domestic Physician. French ed. New York, NY: W. Radde. 151p.
1854. Organon of Specific Homœopathy. Philadelphia, PA: Rademacher & Sheek. 216p.
1858. Manual of Homœopathic Theory and Practice. with Beakley, J. New York, NY: W. Radde. 1088p.
1859. A New and Comprehensive System of Materia Medica and Therapeutics. New York, NY: W. Radde. 1202p.
Dr. Baehr’s Science of Therapeutics (2 Vols.)