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"Empyricism" in Kansas: Chiropractic's legal struggle, 1906-1915


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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1996 Feb;19(2):113-7.


R B Jackson


Empiricism plagued the Kansas Territory even as it entered into statehood and was caused by numerous dabblers into the health care field. They were 'wannabe' doctors of all kinds: pure charlatans, fakers of all type, faith healers and even osteopaths and chiropractors, all practicing in violation of Kansas law from 1854-1914. This was not an unusual finding in any of the western territories, before or since. This article describes the chiropractic struggle for licensure from 1906-1915. Numerous chiropractors suffered the indignity of arrest, trial, fines or even jail while pursuing the ultimate goal of an independent chiropractic act. The enacted Kansas chiropractic act of 1913 became the focal point of the battle for a board of examiners to issue licenses. The specific language therein set forth a requirement for the first appointed board members; it mandated practice of a stipulated number of years before licensure. Only in Kansas, and later California, would this language cause dire consequences.

Publication Date: 

1996 Feb



Jackson, BR. (1996) '"Empyricism" in Kansas: Chiropractic's legal struggle, 1906-1915 ', J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1996 Feb;19(2):113-7.

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