The formative period of Thomsonianism is the period in which many of its followers tried to adhere to Samuel Thomson’s teachings. Even with the publication of local versions of Thomsonian medical books, the acknowledgements of the founder of this tradition remained an important part of the book in both title and content. Like anything that relies upon a person’s philosophy, there are loyalists to the cause and its meaning, and radicals who try to alter the basic teachings, by perhaps making it more accomodating to local thought andf philosophies, or by making the philosophy of the sect being promoted more befitting of its claims and at times its incredible lines of reasoning.
There are a number of parts of Thomson’s book that seem to define the practice. Whereas at first this practice probably consisted of a few favored remedies, over time, like any new discovery, important additions were made to accomodate special needs as these needs arose. As the numbers of additions to the field of practice increased, so to did the means and reason for individual deciding to go out on their own to form either their own version of Thomsonianism, or their own improved version of Thomsonianism to which a new title would be assigned. By the end of the formative period, these changes began to take center stage, as previously devoted Thomsonians now struck out on their own to develop their own following and write their own medical books. By the end of the formative period, the ability for Thomsonians to converge in the form of an annual meeting and have a serious discourse regarding their cause and philosophy also began to dwindle. Only once did the Thomsonians have a sizeable meeting of “Friends” during its reformative period. According to alternative medical history Alva Curtis, this meeting wound up exposing fellow Thomsonians to each other, from different regions of the States, for the first time. In short time, this led to discussions turned arguments about what the best form of medicine to practice actually was to the typical American non-allopathic physician. There was no final decision ever made about this important political issue, and according to historian Curtis, this is what in fact gave other founders of healing faiths like himself and Wooster Beach, New York City’s founder of Reformed Medicine in 1824/5, the reasons needed to strike out on their own and initated their own schools. As soon as one important leader and supporter of Thomsonianism, Wooster Beach, was able to accomplish this, others would soon follow.