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Augustus Muhlenberg, M. D.
Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, M. D.
Muhlenberg, Frederick Augustus, M. D., was born on the 14th of March
1795. He was the youngest son of Rev. Dr. Henry Ernest Muhlenberg, who was
distinguished as an eminent Botanist, and was pastor of Trinity Lutheran
Church from 1780 to his decease in 1815. His son, Frederick A., the
subject of this notice, studied medicine with the celebrated Dr. Benjamin
Rush, of Philadelphia, and graduated with high honors at the University of
Pennsylvania on the 9th day of April, 1814. He commenced the practice of
medicine when only nineteen years of age, having his once in his father's
residence, then the parsonage, now occupied as a law office by Newton
Lightner, esq. He followed his profession with success and distinction for
a period of over fifty years, and it is the testimony of all who witnessed
his professional ministrations that no physician better understood and
exercised the duties of a physician and friend in the sick room than he.
When compelled by failing health to relinquish practice, many old families
whom he had attended for years could hardly be prevailed upon to give him
Dr. Muhlenberg was always more or less prominently identified with the
public interests, though never allowing these duties to interfere with the
practice of his profession. In 1821 he was appointed Prothonotary by Gov.
Hiester, and in 1827 Gov. Shulze appointed him Register of Wills. When
Prothonotary, Judge Long, then a mere lad, served as his clerk in that
office, to whose memory we are indebted for most of the data for this
brief sketch. He served as Trustee and Treasurer of old Franklin College
for many years, and subsequently was one of the most active members of the
School Board. He was elected President of the Lancaster Bank, at a time
when that institution was on the decline, and to his excellent judgment,
with the aid of the late James Evans, as Cashier, the subsequent
popularity of that old institution was due. He resigned, and was succeeded
by Mr. Bachman. He was appointed a Trustee of the State Lunatic Asylum,
when that institution was founded at Harrisburg, Which position be held
until relieved at his own request. He also held many minor trusts, being
one of those men never seeking office, but always sought for to serve his
fellow-citizens. In 18- he was nominated by the Democratic party as a
candidate for Congress, against Mr. Stevens, but popular as he was he
could not overcome the strong majority of the opposition.
|Dr. Muhlenberg was a patriot of
the old school. He served as a volunteer in the War of 1812, and so
long as the Democratic Party was the war party of the country, he
held its principles and enjoyed its confidence. But when that party
arrayed itself against the Administration of the Government) in its
life-and-death struggle to crush the late gigantic rebellion, he cut
loose from his party organization, and stood shoulder to shoulder
with the thousands of patriotic war Democrats who preferred their
country to party. He took an active interest in the organization of
the Union League, and was its first President. Throughout the war he
was firm and unyielding in his attachment to the cause of Liberty
and Union, and felt a deep Interest in the reconstruction of the
Government on the basis of loyalty and equal rights--holding that in
this he was adhering to the true principles of the old Democratic
party in which he had been schooled.
But the most pleasant word to us remains to be said, because, we know
that in saying it we do not flatter the dead. Dr. Muhlenberg was a good
man-nay, more, he was a Christian, which, as Dr. Young has so tersely
expressed it, is "the highest style of man." During his long and eventful
life he was warmly interested in the prosperity of Trinity Lutheran
Church, of which he was a faithful member and officer, and he never failed
to use his influence to promote the cause of Religion and Education among
the citizens of his native place:
-A good man never dies;
His life on Earth is but the infancy,
The opening bud, of an Immortal life!
Dr. Muhlenberg died at Lancaster, after a protracted illness, attended
with great physical sufferings, borne with Christian fortitude and
resignation, July 5, 1867, in the 73d year of his age.
Source: An authentic history of Lancaster County, in
the state of Pennsylvania; Lancaster, Pa.: J.E. Barr, 1869, 813 pgs.
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