If Dr Howard L. Holley did not exist, it would have been necessary for the Medical Association of the State of Alabama to invent him. Long needed in the state was a chronicle of the turbulent 19th century, during which the state association was chartered in the same year as the American Medical Association. Still pointed to with pride is the reference by an AMA official in those days to the "incomparable Alabama system."
Just as the federal government was created by the states, so was the Alabama association created by local societies, and by one in particular: Mobile. The Mobile County Society was born in the early 1840s in response to two threats, charlatans and yellow fever. It seemed an open question in those days which posed the greater peril to the populace of the port city.
Such prime movers in Alabama medicine as Drs Jerome Cochran and Josiah