Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Gilmer, 9 October 1792

From George Gilmer

9 Octr 1792 Castlehill

Dear Sir

Your little Grand daughter after having recovered, has had some slight indisposition. I flatter myself will again be reinstald in perfect health; since your quiting us have been much indisposed but hope by persevering obstinately in a total abolition of that excess of the Ardent Spirits or any use of the Brownonian System shall be renewed in constitution. Mr. Everett comes to perfect himself in the Philadelphia schools. When leizure will permitt you’l favor me with a line remembering that it will act as a more universal catholicon than any stimulus. With every sentiment of respect your Servant

George Gilmer

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 13 Dec. 1792 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in Charles Everette to TJ, [13 Dec. 1792].

Brownonian system: a reference to the Brunonian system expounded by the British physician John Brown (1735–88) in his influential Elementa Medicinae, first published in Latin in 1780 and in numerous editions thereafter. Brown held that disease resulted from either excessive or insufficient stimulation of tissue. Most diseases, however, originated in the latter condition and manifested themselves in debility. His system prescribed opium for the first condition and alcohol for the second (DNB; description begins Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds. Dictionary of National Biography, 2d ed., New York, 1908–09, 22 vols. description ends John Walton and others, eds., The Oxford Companion to Medicine, 2 vols. [New York, 1986], i, 158). TJ later acquired an edition of Brown’s English translation. See Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 897.

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