Stearns, Samuel, 1747-1809. Medical notebook of Samuel Stearns, circa 1773. H MS b1.1, Countway Library of Medicine.

Notebook containing descriptions of various diseases and medical conditions and recommended treatments collected by New England physician Samuel Stearns (1747-1809) in circa 1773. There are entries in alphabetical order including instructions on preventing abortion (miscarriage), setting fractures, and for treating melancholy, taken sometimes from the published works of other physicians, such as Richard Brookes (1721-1763), whose prescription for cancer Stearns transcribed. The notebook is dated 1773 and may have been intended for publication as part of a medical dispensatory Stearns was attempting to compile, beginning in 1772. As part of his efforts, Stearns traveled to hear medical lectures in North America, England, Scotland, Ireland, and France. The volume bears the locations including London, England; Québec, Canada; and Pembroke, New Hampshire, on the title page and flyleaf.


(seq. 141)

(seq. 141)


This is the Cannel through which the food passes from the Mouth to the stomach

When this Cannel is growing up the Patient is in eminent Danger some have starved to Death by Reason thereof.

There is no cure for it but Mercury given in Cathartics * or a gentle Salivation. Merc dulc given in small doses at Night is proper But in Obstinate Cases Raise a gentle Salivation

Opisthotonos or Stiff Neck

Warm Bathing Tinct. Opii. gut 5 - 200 began in small Quant. and repeated pro re nata Oily and Emollient Enemas are proper Bathe the parts affected with warm Oil m cum Opii. apply it with Frictions Hang a Bladder filled with warm Water to the parts affected

Regimen Rx Figgs Liquorice Fennel Seeds pro Decoct. Sage Tea is good Vin. alb. Whey. Mild Diaphoretics. Panada weak Broths when ye Contractions are eased add Canary to the Broths

When the Spasms are over Rx. Man. Tartar. Saffron Treacle Water for a Solution Exhib. every hour.


Milk and Water for fomentations Ointment of White tutty applied at Night Bathe with French Brandy put the feet in Warm water 3 times in a Day Bleed in Inflamations lay Blisters behind the Ears or lay leeches below the orbits of the Eyes After Bleeding purging is Necessary Mercurial Cathartics may be proper and especially in Veneral Ophthalmias.


This is a Difficulty of Breathing in which the patient cant breath unless in an Errect Posture of the Neck In this the Muscles of the Breath is in great Danger See Asthma

Last edit about 1 year ago by Ardilla
(seq. 142)

(seq. 142)


Ung. Nicotian Ol. Amygd. d. Fumes of Cinnib. Merc. dulc. f Inject Ol. Castor cum Ol. Amygd. d. Gm. Camph Cum Croci & Opii s. ss Rx Lavender Anthos aa m for a Sneezing powder add Dried leamon peel

If this arises from a Veneral Cause use a Solution of Corrosive Sublimate in French Brandy and the Cinnaber Fumigations

Pains to ease

Extract. Thebaic Tinct. Thebaic Pacific Pills Storax Pills Saponae Pills Syr. White popies Philonium Theriaca Diascordium Strength Conf. Anodyne diuret. Draught all Opiates Externally Anodyne Foment. Bals. Turpentine Camphorated Ol. Liniment Anody. Bals. anodynum Ung. Nerv. Warm Plaister Blistering plaister Vid. Ascites

Palpitation e Heart

If the patient is plethoric bleed Tea, Balms, Veronica Prim Roses Citrons. Ess. Scordium. Carduus Benedictus Citron or Orange Peal Spt. Nit. dulc. Terra foliata Tartari temperate Pediluvia Moderate Exercise plenty of thin Drink Whey Mineral Waters of the Chalybeated kind Saline Nitrous Cinnabrine temperating Medicines Antispasmodics


If there is an Inflamation bleed. Arum, Betony, Garlic, Lavend. Pellitory of Spain Rosemary, Rues Sage, Cardam. Seeds Sassafras, Asa fetid. Camph. Golden Sulph of Antimo. aq. Antihesterie Comp. Horse Radish water, Scorbutic Juices, Decoct. Wood, Ol. C. C. Spt. lav. C. Externally. pulv Cephalica. Bals. Turpint. Sapon. Bals. Linement. Anodyn. Ung. Nerv. Paralytic Ointm. Warm Plaister, Blistering Plaister.

Pannus è ye Eye

This is a fleshy Excressena which first which appears in die greater Angle of the Eye it expands till it covers like a Wing. over the Conjunctive Coat

Sacch. Cand. Mel. Vin. alb. Ossa of Cuttle Fish C. C. C. Calcind. Egg shells Waters of Eye Bright. [greater?] Celandine Fenicul.

In Obstinate Cases use ye following Collyrium Rx. Lapid. Hematit. ppt. Vit. alb gr xv. Myrrh Croci. aa gr. v. Sacch. Cand. alb. s. j. M. F. Pulvis m. this with Aq. Ros. Eye Bright Fenic aa. Let none of this come to the Pupil of the Eye

Last edit about 1 year ago by Ardilla
(seq. 143)

(seq. 143)


This is an Inflamation of the External Muscles of the Larynx.

This is a sort of a Quinzey which see


This is a Shortness of the Prepuce as when it cant Cover the Yard also a narrowness and Contraction of the Womb.

Emollients are proper & Mercurials if the Case is Ven.


This is a Madness accompanied with a Continual Fever.

This is cured as is the Pleurisy. which See.


This is a Palsy seizing all the Pares of the Body below the Head.

See Palsy.

Last edit about 1 year ago by Ardilla
(seq. 144)

(seq. 144)


This is an Inflamation of the Muscles of the upper Part of the [Gullet?]

This is a sort of a Quinzey which see.


This is a kind of Palsy which sometimes happens after a Salivation and sometimes after the Exhibition of Sacch. Saturn. Cure Fat broths are good in the Morning with Oleous Gylsters Rx. Ol. amygd. d. with Solut. Man. Baths of sweet water are good after which anoint the back with hogs lard Ol. Nucis Mosch. ol Hyosciani. Saffron, Anthos all these Oils are proper. f. linim. When after a Salivation use Decoct. Woods cum Antimon. Crude.


When the Glands of the Penis are so tightly bound by the prepuce that they cannot be uncovered 'tis called a Phimosis

Tis Cured by Anti Venerals


This is an hot Tumour proceeding from an over affluition of Blood to any Part with heat Redness and beating with Pain &c.

Bleeding. Emollients and Anodyn will generally work the Cure If it is from a Veneral Cause use Mercurials


Bleed in the Temporalis Juglar Frontalis or in the sephane if the Menses are surpressed. Apply Leeches and blisters when the Pulse are to low for Bleeding Rx. Nit. dr. vj. Camph. dr. j. Pulv. m. exhib. s. ss. s. j. After bleeding give the following Cathartic Rx. Man. oz. iij. Cream tart. dr. ij. Sal. Nit. dr. ss Ol. amygd. d. oz. j. Seri Lacti. lb. j. Rx Seri. Lact. Qt j. Cit. or Lim. Juice q. s. Syr. Meconio dr. j. Sal. Nit. vel Sal. Prunel. dr. j. Emulsions of the 4 Cold Seeds are good with Barley water to every Qt. add Sal. Nit. s. ij. Put the feet in warm aq. Shave the head and bathe with Acetum Ros. cum Spt. Vin Camph Nit. ol. Lignum Rhod. &c

Last edit about 1 year ago by Ardilla
(seq. 145)

(seq. 145)


Cons. Ros. Decoct. Antihect. Vulnerary Inf. Pectoralis Bolus Pectoralis Bals. Electuary Julep Ammoniac Squill Julep Bals. Lambative Pectoral Pills Tarr Pills Squill Pills Lime Water Tarr Water Emetics Elix. Vit. Epipastics.

Piles See hemorrhoids

Phlegm. Garlic. Squills. Gm Ammoniac and all their Preperations

Pissing Blood

Bleed in Plethoric Constitutions. Nitrous Draughts are Good & Nit. mixed with Whey & with Absorbents Aq. Hordei. Beer Acidulated with Spt. of Vit. Keep the Body open with Rhei & Curants. Cream Tart. Emollient Enemas Agrimony. Ground Ivy, Yarrow, Golden Rod. Rad. Consolid. dulcified cum Mel. Virg. with Milk. Almond Milk is good with Bole Armeniae


Cleanse the Prime Vie and bring the Pustules to Suppuration by Cupping and Scarifing apply qm Plaister to the Pustules To promote a Diaphoresis Rx. Theriac Andromach Zss Elect. de Ov. s. j. pulv. Chele Canc. Comp. gr. xij. Coccinell gr viij. Croc. gr vj. cum q. s. Succ. kermies f. Bolus quem sumat sexta quaque Hora superbibendo Coch. vj. Seq. Julep Rx. Card. Benedict & Scord. Compos. aa oz. jv. aq. theriac stilat. oz. ij. Syr Carioph. oz. j. M f. julepium

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