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History Feb 20, 2019

206 Anniversary of the birth of Dr. José Eleuterio González

"... it was a luminar for science. A treasure for youth. A comfort for suffering humanity and a pride for Monterrey." Guillermo Prieto.

José Reymundo Eleuterio González Mendoza He was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, on February 20, 1813. Son of Captain Matías González and María Ana Mendoza, from Nochistlán, Zacatecas. Due to the outbreak of insurgent rebellions, they emigrated to the capital of Tapatia In 1815 his father dies and is under the protection of his maternal uncle, Mr. Rafael Mendoza.

At age 12, he is enrolled in the Seminary College, which he later abandoned to enter the Literary Institute of Guadalajara, which replaced the old University. On the death of his godfather and protector, and with the marriage of his sister, he decided to emigrate from his hometown at the invitation of Fray Gabriel Jiménez, a Regiomontan religious. Due to health issues of the religious, they are established in San Luis Potosí in 1830. There he was a medical practitioner at the National Hospital of San Juan de Dios, his teachers being Dr. Pablo de Quadriello and Pascual Aranda.

Three years later they decided to move to Monterrey, where they arrived at the end of 1833. Accompanied by a document that accredited their practices in surgery and medicine, he began his work as a doctor at the Hospital of Our Lady of the Rosary. A few months after arriving in the city, he is appointed interim director of the Hospital.

Due to the transcendence of his scientific, educational and philanthropic work, Dr. José Eleuterio González is considered the most outstanding humanist of the 19th century in Nuevo León. Medicine and history being the subjects he cultivated most, and on which he sustained his academic and dissemination practice. Knowledge that also served to exalt his highest values: the love of science, the teaching of young people and the attention of suffering humanity.

From its definitive establishment in Monterrey in 1833, until its death in 1888, it became the center of the intellectual and scientific life of Nuevo León. In the course of his life he received the highest distinctions and recognitions, actively participating in the creation of the foundations of the new northeastern society.

His intense intellectual activity led him to know disciplines such as chronology, history, literature, jurisprudence, astronomy, mathematics, geology, physics, geography, botany, music and, of course, medicine and Its different branches. He also learned, in a self-taught way, to translate Greek, Latin, French, Italian, English, German and some indigenous languages.

Hermenegildo Dávila, his main biographer and Amanuense, stands out in his Biographical studies on the citizen doctor ...(1969), the character of the wise doctor:

"His treatment is too frank, humorous and insinuating, being a prodigious repository of anecdotes and talents that he ingeniously and skillfully applies in appropriate circumstances. (...) Prudence is his character, goodness his guide, reflection his counselor, kindness his shield, philanthropy its theme, virtue its comfort, eagerness and work its mission and science and wisdom its hope ”(pp. 55-56).

Gonzalitos was a prolific writer of history and medicine books, translator, poet, public servant (three times governor and local deputy, and magistrate, once) and high school and higher education teacher, he had the necessary ingenuity and temperament to fulfill his more expensive yearnings and that are today its most important legacy: the Health Council (background of the public health branch), the Civil College (prelude to our university), the School of Medicine, the Civil Hospital (now University), the School of first letters (essay of the Basic Normal), among others.

The biography of the wise doctor is also the narrative of the avatars of the history of the Mexican Seno in the nineteenth century.