It had been my original intent to begin this feature with an exposition of the historical significance of Dr. Buchan's book, but then I happily learned that task had already been done by a latter day colleague of his, by means of a webpage at Harvard Medical School. That page may be accessed via the link section at the bottom of this page.
I chose the 2nd edition (1785) of the work to digitize, rather than the 1st edition (1769) for two reasons. The second edition not only contains all of the wisdom and knowledge of the first, but also represents the freshest advices coming to the attention of the Faculty during the years of the North American rebellion. Additionally, as Buchan himself notes, an entire chapter, one dealing with a delicate subject, was deliberately omitted from the earlier work.
As you go through the work, you'll note mention of terms (e.g., "seton") that the good doctor apparently felt his 18th c. readers were familiar enough with that they needed no explanation. Fortunately for we denizens of the 21st century, we may repair at will to the On-Line Medical Dictionary, without doubt the finest of its kind on the Internet, a link to which will also be found at the end of this page.
Sir JOSEPH BANKS, Bart.
PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY.
THE DOMESTIC MEDICINE having been honoured, on its first appearance, with the patronage of your learned and worthy Predecessor the late Sir JOHN PRINGLE, I beg leave, in a more improved state, to dedicate it to you, as a small, but sincere, testimony of that veneration and esteem with which I have long beheld the Man who, born to ease and affluence, had resolution to encounter the dangers of unknown seas and distant climes, in pursuit of useful Science; and whose constant object has been to render that Science subservient to the happiness and civilization of Society.
I have the honour to be, with great respect,
Your most obedient servant,
Nov. 10, 1785
CONTENTS. FOREWORD. PREFACE. INTRODUCTION. PART I
Of the General Causes of Diseases.
-Clothing of Children
-Food of ditto
-Exercise of ditto
-Bad effects of unwholesome Air upon ditto
Of the Laborious, &c.
Of the Passions
Of the Common Evacuations
-being affected by Changes in the Atmosphere
-Sudden Transitions from Heat to Cold
Of the Knowledge and Cure of Diseases
Of Fevers in general
Of intermitting Fevers or Agues
Of an Acute Continual Fever
Of the Pleurisy
Inflammation of the Lungs
Of the Slow or Nervous Fever.
Malignant, Putrid, or Spotted Fever
Of the Cholera Morbus, and other excessive Discharges from the Stomach and Bowels
-a Diarrhoea, or Looseness
Of Fainting, Fits, and other Cases, which require immediate Assistance
-Suffocating and Strangling
-Persons who expire in Convulsion Fits
Willie Buchan's Little Book
Dr. Adam G. N. Moore
The English Physitian - 1652
Richard Siderits M.D. Yale University
Medicinal Recipe Book - 1705
University of Pennsylvania website
On-Line Medical Dictionary Pharmacopoeia extemporanea - 1710
The Medical History of George Washington Further reading:
Medicine in Colonial America by Oscar Reiss M.D.; University Press of America; ISBN: 0-7618-1576-1 The Age of Agony by Guy Williams; Academy Chicago Publishers; ISBN 0-89733-203-4 Surgeon to Washington, Dr. John Cochran, 1730-1807 by Morris Harold Saffron; Columbia University Press; ISBN 0-2310-4186-1 Return to Scholar's Showcase