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COMMON COUNCIL CHAMBER)
UTICA, May 21st, 1879. I
In compliance with a circular, issued by Prof. P. W. BEDFORD, on behalf of himself and one hundred druggists, whose names were attached to the circuar calling for a Convention of Druggists, to assemble in the City of Utica, on the 21st day of May, 1879, and to convene in the Chamber of the Board of Common Council: about one hundred druggists, besides a number of ladies and gentlemen, were in attendance at 2 o'clock, P. M. The room had been very tastefully decorated by the druggists of the city, and in front of the desk of the presiding officer, as also in other parts of the room, were beautiful displays of plants and flowers.
The meeting was called to order at 2.30 P. M. by B. F. RAY, Esq., of l'tica, who nominated Prof. P. W. BEDFORD), of New York City, as temporary chairman, and CLAY W. HOLMES, of Elmira, temporary secretary. Both gentlemen were unani. mously elected.
Prof. BEDFORD then said :
Gentlemen : In assuming the duties of the chair, I feel as if I were among friends. The idea of an association of the druggists of States is not a new one. It is one that has been often thought of, and I have wondered why there was not an association in our own State. Successful organizations exist in some twelve or more States of our Union, and in
each State where organized, they have accomplished a great deal of good in the elevation of pharmacy, as well as in their status before the public. The organization of the oldest of
the oldest of these dates back twenty-seven years, when out of a small meeting which was held in the City of New York, an association was started a year later, which has since become famous throughout our whole land, not
not only, but throughout the world, under the name of the American Pharmaceutical Association. Of the work that has been accomplished by it, it is not necessary here to speak. Suffice to say, that it ranks as high in the interest of Pharmacy, as the American Medical Association in the interest of Medicine. In our own State there are not less than 3,000 drug stores where medicines are sold. Some of the druggists have had an average education ; others have not. I have long won
; dered why some one had not brought the druggists of the State together and formed an active body, for their own improvement, and knowledge in pharmacy. In January last, one evening-not because I had nothing else to do, for leisure evenings are not within the province of very many of us-but one evening I thought I would write an article on the subject: and what that has accomplished you can see for yourselves to-day. Nút that I will speak of my own effort, but simply of the fact, that it meets with a hearty response from every druggist. Not all are represented here from this State, who are interested in our cause, but enough to say, that it meets with a hearty response from the druggists of the State.
I am very glad to meet you here, and hope in our deliberations that all will feel that it is a good thing for us to be together. I trust it will be a love feast for us all; certainly if we take hold of it in the right way, it must be an advantage to every one present. We meet, then, as brothers in the art of pharmacy.
I trust, that the organization promising so successfully to-day, may in the future bring its own reward, not only to itself, but to those who take part in it (applause).
Mr. RAY—“I now call upon Judge Bacon."
The Hon. WILLIAM J. Bacon of Utica, then came forward amid applause, and said :
Mr President, and Gentlemen of this con- . vention. :
It is unfortunate that I should be obliged to appear before you on this occasion, for this place should have been occupied by the official representative of the City. You have come to the City of Utica, and we are recognized as a City; we have an official head; he is the Mayor of the City; he was as I have been given to understand, to have been present on this occasion; he promised to be present and to welcome this convention to the hospitalities of City. I do not come to apologize for his absence, for I do not know what occasions it. I only know that he is not in the City; as I am told, and it is only within the last hour that I have been called upon to say a few words of welcome, as you thus meet in our presence. In other words I am a “ forlorn hope," upon whom some of my fellow citizens, and one whom I see before me—who I think is the chief machinator in this conspiracy to get me here—have fallen upon to say to you that you are very welcome here, and we are are glad to have you among us.
I see that this is the inaugural meeting of this association. It is an honor therefore to this City that we have been selected as the place in which your first meeting occurred, and we appreciate it, I trust accordingly, and shall bestow upon you such degree of attention and hospitality as we are able, in the short notice we have had, and the limited means
which come to lis. Yet, gentlemen, you are most heartily welcomed to Utica and to the inhabitants of Utica.
I know not why I was selected to perform this ofice. There is certainly no natural or peculiar reasons that should make me a fitting representative of the interests or the concerns of such an association as this. I need not say to you, gentlenien, that I am not a dealer in drugs, nor a purveyor of them, though a recipient of them, at times. [Laughter]. I am not acquainted with the science that you profess to be pursuing. I am only one of those, who, in this vast community, take what you have to give; and generally without much scruple. I am not a believer either in Macbeth's doctrine, * Throw physic to the dogs, I'll none of it." I don't believe in that. I don't believe that physic should be thrown to the dogs, it is too good an article to be disposed of in that way. I look upon the production of medicines and the compounds of which they are susceptible, as among the beneficent gifts of Providence-to be used 'wisely and well ; susceptible of abuse, as all good things are, but, nevertheless, subservient of very useful and beneficent ends, to those who understand their uses, and who deal with them as they should be dealt with. With prudence, care and skill, they are, as I have said, among the good gifts of God. And I profess myself to have been indebted, greatly indebted to the profession, for the great amelioration in many respects in my condition, and the condition of those around me, from that wise and prident and skillful use of these things that were brought into existence for the benefit of man, if he use them wisely and well.
You are, therefore, engaged in a high pursuitin one, which, if thoroughly understood and prosecuted, is for the benefit of humanity; and a trained
and disciplined society, consisting of members, trained and disciplined in these things which our infirmities compel us to take and use, is a wise and · beneticent institution also. I therefore hope your labors will be crowned with success, and high and good results.
Gentlemen, I need add, perhaps, nothing more. I am not sent here for your instruction--no such thing as that. I am sent here to occupy the humble position of one who should officially have welcomed you here. As a citizen of this community, representing I trust, as I do, its general sentiment. I have only to say, our doors are open to you—our hearts welcome you. We shall follow
We shall follow your deliberations and their results with interest, and with a firm persuasion in the hand that guides them, and believe that under the councils that conduct them through certain channels, you will reach wise and good results.
I have presented to you, gentlemen, in a few words, this simple welcome. It is no compound made up of superfluous ingredients, but if I may call the name of one of your fraternity illustrious throughout this country, perhaps to a certain extent I may be said to have only given you a “Squib.' [Applause)
Mr. RAY: I would call upon Dr. BAGG.
M. M. BAGG, M. D., of Utica, then spoke as follows :
Because I am a native of Utica, and one of its longest settled practitioners of medicine, I have been selected by the druggists of the place, to convey to you in their behalf, and in behalf of its physicians, our welcome to this city. Standing, then, a representative, as it were, of the past as well as of the present, before this assemblage of Pharmaceutists and Druggists, met to advance the interests and to regulate the practice of their art, throughout the