Early Beginnings: Chiropractors and the Namesake of Fredericksburg

Hands of Hope Chiropractic Center Fredericksburg VA

Each day as you walk or drive down the streets of Fredericksburg, you undoubtedly pass dozens of welcome signs or business marquees bearing the City’s name. Have you ever wondered how the place you call home came to be known as Fredericksburg?

Like many of the services, products, or places in our daily lives, we rarely know how these things came to be. From the humble beginnings of the City of Fredericksburg to the philosophies and techniques used at Hands of Hope Chiropractic and Wellness Center, the rich history of where our ancestors started so long ago can help us appreciate, understand, and more knowledgably enjoy where we are today.

A Prince Called Frederick: How Fredericksburg, Virginia Got its Name

Although the first documented exploration of the area occurred in 1607 by Captain John Smith, the region that is today known as Fredericksburg was not officially chartered until 1727.

The roots of Fredericksburg tie closely to England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. In 1641, King Charles I, who presided over the kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland appointed Sir William Berkley as the Governor of the Virginia colony. Thirty years later, Berkley granted 50-acres of land near the Rappahannock River to Thomas Royston and John Buckner – which would soon become the City of Fredericksburg. As more colonists settled into this tract, the Virginia Legislature official chartered this settlement in 1727.

Frederick Prince of Wales

The settlement was named Fredericksburg, Virginia, in honor of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Frederick was born twenty years before this honor, to King George II and Queen Caroline of Ansbach.

Historical accounts of Frederick appropriate him as the estranged son in his family, often butting heads with his mother and father who preferred their younger son, Prince William, Duke of Cumberland. Perhaps this estrangement resulted from the 14-year separation from his parents when he was left in the care of an elder uncle. Whatever the reason, when he arrived in England in 1728 (the same year Fredericksburg, VA was chartered), his parents were astonished by their eldest son’s alleged penchant for drinking, gambling, and partying.

However, despite these traits, some historians have found Prince Frederick to be more nuanced. Frederick was a fierce advocate and lover of music and the arts – he himself played violin and cello, co-penned a theatrical comedy, frequently patronized talented and rising painters, and was a key player in the advancement of the rococo (or “Late Baroque”) interior design technique.

Upon his arrival in Great Britain, Frederick also took a keen interest in the rising popularity of cricket. He wagered heavily in the sport and began playing it as well, forming several teams and playing as a county cricketer for Surrey. He is also said to have been involved in awarding the first trophy documented to have been competed for in the sport of cricket.

This nuanced and storied prince not only inspired the namesake of Fredericksburg, Virginia but also nine other cities across the United States and Canada.

The History of Chiropractic and Chiropractic in Virginia

Just as the influence of Frederick, Prince of Wales traversed the Atlantic Ocean to reach the tiny settlement along the Rappahannock River in Virginia, so too has the history of chiropractic spanned centuries to influence Hands of Hope Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Fredericksburg today.

Daniel David Palmer Founder of Chiropractic

The beginning of the practice of chiropractic is most commonly traced to Iowa in 1895 when Daniel David Palmer claims to have performed a vertebrae adjustment on janitor Harvey Lillard to successfully cure his partial deafness which had occurred when the vertebrae was misplaced seventeen years earlier.

After this success, Palmer built on his theory and practice and opened a school in 1896 to teach his method. One of his patients at the time, Reverend Samuel Weed suggested combining the Greek words meaning “done by hand,” cheiros and praktikos, to name his method: chiropractic.

Much like the life of Prince Frederick, Palmer’s new practice was misconstrued and doubted by many. However, during his development of the chiropractic philosophy in the 1890s, the world was marked by a new spirit of innovation and creativity in the Second Industrial Revolution. This included many coming-of-age, holistic medicinal techniques including herbalism and magnetism.

This partially resulted from the rising popularity of patented medicine during the early 19th century, after which many consumers began to turn away from highly marketed, questionable, and in some cases, dangerous, medicines to more holistic and homeopathic remedies.

As some controversy still raged around D.D. Palmer’s introduction of chiropractic care, other practitioners continued to advance and modernize the field. Dr. Solon Langworthy is best credited with developing a more comprehensive curriculum for chiropractic students and published a book which was successful in legitimizing the merits and philosophy of chiropractic in the scientific arena.

Palmer School of Chiropractic

Additionally, D.D. Palmer’s son, B.J., took over the Palmer School of Chiropractic and continued to advance the practice through professionalizing the industry and working to overcome some of the chiropractic community’s initial resistance to medical technology, such as X-ray scans. B.J. is known as the “Philosopher of Chiropractic” for re-defining the profession as a science, art, and a philosophy.

Over the next several decades, chiropractic schools, clinics, practitioners, and clients exploded. Today, the practice continues to expand, evolve, and grow. Many chiropractic practitioners expand upon the basic philosophy of chiropractic care to incorporate personally preferred techniques and additional homeopathic and holistic health methods.

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Dr. J.P. Yurgel, D.C. of Hands of Hope Chiropractic & Wellness Center located in Fredericksburg, VA invites you to get started on your holistic health journey. Schedule an appointment today!