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Account with Charles Taylor, [14 July] 1817

Account with Charles Taylor

[14 July 1817]

Colo. James Madison To Charles Taylor Dr.
1816 Novr. 19th To Medecine Directions &ce for
Ralph 10/ £ 0.. 10.. 0
1817 Jany. 12th A Viset Castor Oil. Sachr. Sat:1 Flor Chame2 &c {
14th Balsamic Drops3—Bark Rhap4 &ce for Hannah 24/1.. 4.. 0
Feby. 18th Anode. Camphd Linament for Lewis 4/6 0.. 4.. 6
19th A Viset Camphor—Bark. Laudanam Basilicon5 &ce Gabriel 24/1.. 4.. 0
27th & 28 A Viset Sundry Med: Dressing &ce Do. 24/ 1.. 4.. 0
March 6th A Viset Medecine &ce Do. 15/ 0.. 15.. 0
27th A Viset Eskarotic Powder6 &ce. Do. 12/ 0.. 12.. 0
Apl. 6th Linament keptd. Sudorific Powders7 &ce Lewis 9/ 0.. 9.. 0
7th A Viset Medecine &ce for Gabriel & Woman 18/ 0.. 18.. 0
17th ℔8 Turners Cerate9 Gabriel 6/ 0.. 6.. 0
25th & 26 A Viset Med: &ce Woman Cerate Repetd.
Calomel Jalap
Simon Gabriel &ce 24/ 1.. 4.. 0
May 9th A viset Sundry Med &ce Gabriel & Woman 24/ 1.. 4.. 0
16th A Viset Medicine &ce for Do. 12/ 0.. 12.. 0
June 5th A Viset &ce Caty Empl.10 Gabriel 15/ 0.. 5.. 0
£ 11.. 1.. 6
July 14th Receved Payment in full of the Above Accompt

Charles Taylor11

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM, “acct. 1817.”

1“Sachr. Sat”: Sacchar. Saturn; sugar of lead, or lead acetate. Mixed with zinc sulphate and water, it was used as a wash for sore eyes. Its astringence and antibacterial properties proved beneficial in treating rashes and other skin inflammations (John W. Fisher, Medical Appendices of the Lewis & Clark Expedition [Lewiston, Idaho, 2006], 27–28).

2“Flor Chame”: flowers of chamomile. Chamomile had various medicinal uses. It was taken internally as a treatment for colic and kidney stones and also used in enemas. Externally, the plant’s flowers were used as poultices and as an ingredient in ointments and salves (Kay K. Moss, Southern Folk Medicine, 1750–1820 [Columbia, S.C., 1999], 177–78).

3Balsamic drops, marketed under many names, was a tincture of powdered benzoin, balsam of Peru, hepatic aloes, and rectified spirits of wine. It was used in the treatment of “coughs, asthmas, and other complaints of the breast,” and to “ease the colic, cleanse the kidnies, and to heal internal ulcers” (William Buchan, Domestic Medicine, or, A Treatise on the Prevention and Cure of Diseases … [New York, 1815; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 34243], 423).

4“Rhap” was probably short for rhapontic, a type of rhubarb (OED description begins Oxford English Dictionary. description ends , 2d ed.). Among its many medicinal uses, rhubarb was used as a laxative and in treatments for worms (Moss, Southern Folk Medicine, 33, 34, 62, 69, 72–73, 78).

5Basilicon: “name given to several ointments supposed to possess ‘sovereign’ virtues” (OED description begins Oxford English Dictionary. description ends , 2d ed.).

6Escharotic drugs are powerful caustics of various types that destroy tissue and produce scabs (ibid.). They were used, among other things, in the treatment of tumors and cancers (Buchan, Domestic Medicine [Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 34243], 302).

7Sudorific powder, a mixture of purified nitre, vitriolated tartar, opium, and ipecacuanha, was used to produce a sweat in the treatment of rheumatism and fevers of all types (Buchan, 441).

8Unit of weight equal to 327.45 grams.

9Turner’s Cerate was a mixture of olive oil, wax, and ground calamine stone that provided “an exceeding good application in burns and excoriations from whatever cause” (ibid., 436).

10“Empl.” is probably the abbreviation of emplastrum, the Latin word for plasters (OED description begins Oxford English Dictionary. description ends , 2d ed.).

11Charles Taylor (1755–1821), JM’s second cousin and brother of Francis Taylor, was an Orange County, Virginia, physician. He served as a surgeon during the American Revolution (PJM description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (1st ser., vols. 1–10, Chicago, 1962–77, vols. 11–17, Charlottesville, Va., 1977–91). description ends , 15:324 n. 2; Daily National Intelligencer, 5 Feb. 1821).

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