For William Osler,1 Daniel Drake was a unique figure in American medicine and the founder of nearly everything that is old and good in Cincinnati. Certainly he is one of the most fascinating individuals in medical history. Of particular interest is his abiding concern with education and the legacy of schools and hospitals he left behind him. In addition to founding the institutions that later became the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati General Hospital, he organized scientific and medical societies, a natural history museum, libraries, a botanical garden, academies, and schools of all sorts, including those for professional teachers and for the education of the blind and the deaf and dumb.
Daniel Drake (1785-1852) was not only the leading pioneer physician west of the Alleghenies but also an indefatiguable man of letters, a naturalist, philosopher, teacher, and humanist. The first man in Cincinnati to receive an MD, he