The State of Medical Science in N. C. 
The disobedience of our first parents "brought death into the world and all our woes"  From the hour in which an angry god pronounced, that man should die and not live,  he became liable to pain sickness and sorrow, and all the ills that are now incident to suffering humanity From the noble erect and lordly being that man was in Paradise, he became the wretched abject creature of an hour. When first ushered into the world, he is, of all animals the most frail and helpless. The slightest shock, the merest breath would annihilate  him. Had he not that being—a mother,—whose watchfulness never tires and whose love never grows cold—to receive him in her arms, and guard  him, like a tender flower, through the long, dark and unconscious period of his infancy; his gentle spirit could not long animate a form, so weak and sensitive. From the moment he becomes conscious of external things, pain and all her ghastly train of diseases, hovers around, ever ready to enclose him in their iron arms. In youth and in manhood they flit about him, and are the never-failing companions of his declining years. Such being man's physical frailty, it is natural that he should early have turned his attention to the art of healing or of alleviating disease. The science of "medicine" is not only the most ancient, but the most grave and dignified, that has ever engaged the attention of mankind. It is the child of instinct, it is the offspring of necessity. Philanthropy has ever laboured in its advancement; the sages and philosophers of antiquity, names that now live but on the pages of the historian, are identified with its interests, and the wisest and best of every age and every clime, have devoted their mightiest energies to the work of its promotion. From primeval time it has struggled
"One science only will one genius fit So vast is art, so narrow human wit,"  has only to devote a few of his leisure hours, to the perusal of medical works, recite occasionally to a practitioner, almost as ignorant as himself, and attend t[wo or] three a courses of lectures, when he is turned loose upon the community a licensed manslayer. Every where around us, we see such characters, men whose apparent occupation is.—"To make sound men sick, and sick men kill."  Unless some measures are speedily adopted to prevent this inhuman perversion of medicine, North Carolina will soon be filled with these legalised murderers— It must be plain to every reflecting mind, that none but men of high talent and most varied and extensive acquirements should devote themselves to the study of medicine. The most gigantic genius [can then find] ample employment for every faculty of his mind, even if fully prepared, and trained to the most vigorous exercise. How then can those expect to meet with success who have no knowledge whatever, of the thousand natural sciences which lie at the very foundation of the study In order that medicine may rise like a Phoenix from the ashes in which it is now lying, and attain that peculiar dignity, which of right belongs to it, the profession must be rid of those useless members who have so long clogged and restrained its upward flight—Then and not till then will we see the grateful incense of talent and learning, rising from the altar before which a Galen and a Hippocrates worshipped. Were our people intelligent and educated, then might we hope, that  popular opinion would soon crush the encroaching genius of quackery. But so different is the true state of the case from this, that they are in general unable to distinguish quackery from true medical worth[.] Legislature. Her strong arm alone can strike the demon of quackery to the dust, and if she fails us there is indeed no earthly power, that can rid us of this grim [mons]ter, whose frightful jaws are [even] now red, and clothed with the gore of our People.
Chapel Hill. N C.
18th Nov. 1841 
1. Dusenbery inserted the title in pencil, evidently after he wrote the text of his speech in ink. The speech, dated "18th Nov. 1841," is mentioned in Dusenbery's journal entry for 10 October 1841 and was written on the front and back of three sheets measuring 20 cm x 31 ½ cm. The paper is fragile, and where it was folded into fourths, some text in the folds is difficult to read. The speech was largely transcribed from a photocopy and from digital photographs of the pages. The second sheet was torn in two and, where the parts were pinned together with a straight pin, the text overlaps. The transcription of the text affected by these overlapping sections is based on a typed transcription of the speech and appears here in brackets because it was not feasible to proofread the transcription against the original document, which is owned by Col. William B. Hankins, Jr.
2. John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book I:1-3 (1667): "Of Man's First Disobedience, and the Fruit/Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste/Brought Death into the World, and all our woe. . . ."
3. Genesis 3:1-24.
4. The word annihilate has been underlined and an X placed in the left margin. The evidence of other senior speeches indicates that Professor of Rhetoric and Logic William Mercer Green added these marks to indicate corrections Dusenbery was advised to make prior to memorizing and delivering his speech. Dusenbery notes, in a journal entry dated 15 November 1841: "I handed my speech to Mr Green for correction, on Saturday morning (& received it from his hands this evening, with a few verbal corrections on the face of it."
6. A small cross appears in the left margin next to this line. The quotation is unidentified.
7. The word developed has been underlined and an X placed in the left margin.
8. John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book I:299-302 (1667): "Nathless he [Satan] so endur'd, till on the Beach/Of that inflamed Sea, he stood and call'd/His Legions, Angel Forms, who lay intrans't/Thick as Autumnal Leaves that strow the Brooks/In Vallombrosa. . . ."
11. Possibly a misquotation of Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock (1711): "In tasks so bold, can little Men engage,/And in soft Bosoms, dwell such mighty Rage?"
12. Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism, Part II, line 32 (1711).
15. Jonathan Swift, On Poetry: A Rhapsody (1733), lines 13-20: "Brutes find out where their talents lie:/A bear will not attempt to fly;/A founder'd horse will oft debate,/Before he tries a five-barr'd gate;/A dog by instinct turns aside,/Who sees the ditch too deep and wide./But man we find the only creature/Who, led by Folly, combats Nature." Following these lines, Dusenbery has inserted "==It is & &" as if to remind himself of text he wanted to add at this point in his speech.
16. A second hand, probably that of Prof. William Mercer Green, has inserted "the untimely fate of."
19. Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism, Part I, line 60 (1711).
20. Thomas Dekker and Philip Massinger, The Virgin Martyr, Act IV, scene 1 (1622).
21. The text following that and ending with "medical worth" has been enclosed with brackets placed in the left and right margins.
22. A flourish appears beneath the date. A bracket to the right of "Chapel Hill. N C." and the date encloses the information.