Daniel Drake

Daniel Drake (October 20, 1785 – November 5, 1852) was a pioneering American physician and prolific writer.[1][2]

Daniel Drake
Daniel Drake.jpg
Born(1785-10-20)October 20, 1785
DiedNovember 5, 1852(1852-11-05) (aged 67)
Resting placeSpring Grove Cemetery
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
Daniel Drake's house in 1902

Early lifeEdit

Drake was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, to Isaac Drake and Elizabeth Shotwell. He was the elder brother of Benjamin Drake, author of Life of Tecumseh. Daniel Drake "was predestined for the medical profession by his father. The latter, we are told by those who knew him, was a gentleman by nature and a Christian from convictions produced by a simple and unaffected study of the Word of God. His poverty he regretted, his ignorance he deplored."[3]


Drake studied under William Goforth in Cincinnati from 1800 to 1805, and received the first medical diploma west of the Allegheny Mountains.[4] Daniel graduated from the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania and established a medical practice in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1807.[5]

He mainly worked on the field of medicine but also advocated social reforms and contributed to geology, botany, and meteorology, and medical geology. He is considered a relevant figure in the history of medicine in the United States.[6] Scholar Gert H. Brieger has called him "a heroic figure in American medicine" whose fame is due to his writings, where he also tried to improve medical education[7] and scientific research.[8]

In 1818 Drake was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society and the American Philosophical Society.[9][10] The library of the AAS holds original copies of around thirty texts written by Drake.[11] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1819.[12]

In 1819 he helped organize the Medical College of Ohio in Cincinnati which later became the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center,[13] where he served as a President. He secured a state appropriation for its support and that of a hospital.

In 1827 he founded the Western Journal of the Medical and Physical Sciences, which he continued to edit until 1848. In 1846 he, William Maclay Awl and other members of the Ohio medical profession established the Ohio State Medical Society. He was a founding member of the Commercial Hospital and Lunatic Asylum in Ohio, and a fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. He was connected, either as a lecturer or professor, at different times, at the University of Louisville (Louisville, Kentucky) and Jefferson Medical College (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). He was Professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine at Transylvania University.[14] In 1852, he rejoined the faculty at the Medical College of Ohio but died a few days after receiving his appointment.[15] He is buried at Spring Grove Cemetery.[16]

Personal lifeEdit

He was the father of Charles Daniel Drake. Drake's home was located at 429 East Third Street in Cincinnati.

A religious man, he was a founding Member of Christ Church in Cincinnati, and he advocated the combination of Christian feelings and literature.[17]

He is the namesake of Cincinnati's Daniel Drake Park. [18]

William Osler was a great admirer of Drake:

"It was his custom when he met anyone from Cincinnati to ask if a statue to Daniel Drake had been erected, for he had made a vow never to visit that city until Drake had been accorded the honour which was his due."[19]



  1. ^ "Drake, Daniel 1785-1852". OCLC WorldCat. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  2. ^ Horine, Emmet Field (1961). Daniel Drake, 1785-1852: pioneer physician of the Midwest. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 9780598062208.
  3. ^ Mansfield, Edward Deering (2009). Memoirs of the Life and Services of Daniel Drake, M.D. Applewood Books. p. 44. ISBN 9781429021968.
  4. ^ Goss, Charles Frederic (1912). Cincinnati, the Queen City, 1788-1912. 2. Cincinnati: S J Clarke Publishing Company. pp. 222–223.
  5. ^ Grace, Kevin (4 January 2012). Legendary Locals of Cincinnati. Arcadia Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 9781467100021. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  6. ^ Welch, William Henry. Papers and Addresses, Volume 3. Johns Hopkins Press. p. 427.
  7. ^ Brieger, Gert H. (2009). "Daniel Drake". Medical America in the Nineteenth Century: Readings from the Literature. JHU Press.
  8. ^ Klotter, James C.; Rowland, Daniel (2012). Bluegrass Renaissance: The History and Culture of Central Kentucky, 1792-1852. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 227–228.
  9. ^ "MemberListD - American Antiquarian Society". American Antiquarian Society. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  10. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter D" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  13. ^ "New Life Members". Annals of Internal Medicine. American College of Physicians. 37 (1): 638. 1952. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-37-3-631.
  14. ^ Beck, John Brodhead (1828). The New York Medical and Physical Journal. 7: 613. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ "Daniel Drake". Ohio History Central. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  16. ^ Stradling, David (1 October 2003). Cincinnati: From River City to Highway Metropolis. Arcadia Publishing. p. 35. ISBN 9780738524405. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
  17. ^ Drake, Daniel (1834). Discourse on the History, Character, and Prospects of the West: Delivered to the Union Literary Society of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, at Their Ninth Anniversary, September 23, 1834. Truman and Smith. p. 31
  18. ^ Juettner, p. 10.
  19. ^ W.R.Bett, Osler: The Man and the Legend, Heinemann, London 1951, p.89.
  20. ^ Squier, E.G. (1848). Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. p. 43.
  21. ^ IPNI.  D.Drake.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit