Surgeons, smallpox and the poor : a history of medicine and social conditions in Nova Scotia, 1749-1799 /
Allan Everett Marble.
Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993.
xvi, 356 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0773509887 :
More Details
Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993.
0773509887 :
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [319]-330).
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1994-05:
Splendiferous! Marble's exquisite account of late 18th-century medicine in Nova Scotia is an unintended metaphor for today's health care/welfare crisis, viz: "No patient who could pay for a cure was admitted to the hospital, since this would interfere with the private practice of physicians ...." It is a clear, incisive, and compelling account of the perils encountered by Europeans populating the eastern coast of North America. We of the near-21st century have collective amnesia regarding the effort needed to establish permanent, thriving colonies. The ravages of smallpox in the century before Jenner's proof of vaccination efficacy bear close scrutiny for the current scourge, AIDS. Marble shows that smallpox became more virulent during the 18th century: mortalities of eight percent were common (London, Boston) and occasional increases to almost 25 percent were awesome (Quebec). Almost half the book is annotation or documentation: this will please the historian and student. The text is well written, with accounts of historical intrigue worthy of a fine mystery novel. A note to policymakers: learn from history! General; advanced undergraduate through professional. D. R. Shanklin; University of Chicago
Review Quotes
"This study is of prime importance for Canadian social and political history, and for the history of medicine in Canada ... The author has combed rich archival collections with great care to sift out the relevant material, most of it new and important for the history of medicine in Canada." Pauline Mazumdar, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1994
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Main Description
Beginning with an account of the settlement of Halifax, Marble documents the care taken by the Lords of Trade and Plantations to provide proper food and health care during the settlers' passage across the Atlantic in May and June of 1749. He chronicles the rendezvous of regiments and ships in Halifax between 1755 and 1763, examining the two smallpox epidemics which followed their arrival. He deals with the treatment of the poor in Nova Scotia between the Seven Years War and the American Revolution, showing that many in this group were camp followers who had been abandoned by regiments that had left Halifax. Financial resources previously directed towards providing medical services for citizens had to be redirected to feed, clothe, and shelter such individuals. A third smallpox epidemic struck Nova Scotia in 1775-76 and, as Marble demonstrates, prevented the Americans from attacking Halifax. He examines the initial unsuccessful attempt to regulate the practice of medicine in Nova Scotia and explores the reasons the region lagged behind Lower Canada and the American colonies in this regard. Marble covers all aspects of health care, including hospitals, the training and practices of physicians and surgeons, the use of patent medicines, and the various types of medical and surgical treatments. As well, he has made a thorough study of individual patients through their wills, diaries, and personal letters.
Table of Contents
Figures and Tables
Introductionp. 3
Arrival, Settlement, and an Initial Concern for Health Care, 1749 (o.s.)-1753 (n.s.)p. 13
A Decade of Military and Naval Surgeons, 1753-1763p. 37
Poor Relief Takes Precedence over Health Care, 1763-1775p. 73
A New Order of Medical Men: The Loyalists, 1775-1784p. 101
Health Care and Poor Relief at the End of the Century, 1784-1799p. 145
App. 1: Passengers in the Cornwallis Mess Lists with Health-Care Occupationsp. 193
App. 2: An Explanation of Medications and Treatments Administered by Surgeons in Halifax during the Period 1750-53p. 195
App. 3: An Act to Prevent the Spreading of Contagious Distempers, 1761p. 200
App. 4: An Act to Prevent Importing Impotent, Lame, and Infirm Persons into this Provincep. 202
App. 5: Loyalist Physicians and Surgeons Who Settled in Nova Scotia during 1783p. 204
App. 6: Summary of Claims for Property and Loss of Income Made by Loyalist Doctors Who Came to Nova Scotia, Compared with the Sums Allowed and the Pensions Awarded by the Loyalist Claims Commissionersp. 209
App. 7: The Indenture of Apprenticeship of William James Allmonp. 212
App. 8: Physicians and Surgeons in Charge of Hospitals in Halifax and Environs, 1749-991p. 214
App. 9: Causes of Death of Nova Scotians between 1749 and 1799p. 217
Notesp. 219
Bibliographyp. 319
Indexp. 331
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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