The New York Times took some pleasure, it appears, in reporting the uproar in the Kings County Medical Society when a black doctor was proposed for membership. It appears that the Latin in the punchline may have been garbled by the OCR — if anyone can translate the proposed motto, I’d be interested to hear.
BROOKLYN NEWS.; A PANIC AMONG THE MEDICAL FRATERNITY
“A NEGRO IN THE FENCE.” — The Kings County Medical Society, among whose members are to be found some of the most conservative, learned and dignified of the disciples of Esculapius, was recently thrown into as much commotion as if one of Commodore FARRAGUT’s 13-inch bombs had been dropped suddenly into their midst. At a recent meeting of the Society,Dr. NORTH, a member in good standing, practicing in the Eastern District, gravely proposed Dr. REA for membership. The proposition took the usual course, and was referred to the Censors, who, in due course of time, put a few questions to Dr. NORTH as to the character and standing of Dr. REA, and the questions all having been answered satisfactorily, they reported in favor of admitting the outside brother in the profession to all the honors to be conferred by a close communion with so distinguished an organization as the Society aforesaid.
At the last monthly meeting, just as the members present were about going through with the stereotyped form of balloting on the proposition to admit “Dr. REA,” the worthy Health-officer of the city, Dr. J.B. JONES, who, by reason of his official position, has a more extended knowledge of the practicing physicians in the city than “any other man,” thought he “smelt a rat,” and springing to his feet, stated, much to the astonishment of some, at least, of the members present, that he knew of but one practicing physician in the city, bearing the name of the candidate, and that was a negro! He put the question to Dr. NORTH, to know if that Dr. REA was the candidate he had proposed, and was promptly answered in the affirmative.
The scene that followed, it is impossible to describe, because there was no impartial reporter present to record what was said and done, and those who were present are not inclined to say much about what did transpire; but one thing is certain, Dr. JONES made a motion to lay all the proceedings, so far as had, upon the table, and it was carried.
The question is a new one for the Society to handle, and may result as disastrously to the organization as it has before in other organizations — religious, political, and scientific. What adds to the embarrassment of those who oppose the admission of the candidate is, that they cannot discover any clause in the Constitution or by-laws of the Society which prevents a negro from being recognized as a man and a brother, and under the enforcement of which, any applicant who comes up to the standard of qualifications required, can be kept out. At the next meeting Dr. NORTH may possibly propose the following as a motto for the Society: “Nulli ugabimus, nulli differemus, Justitiam.” If adopted, the whole question is at once settled.