James Adam diary: 1857-1863 (Ms. Codex 1948)

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Diary comprising two volumes spanning the years from 1857 to 1863 written by James Adam. Volume 1 contains Adam's descriptions his journey from Scotland to India as a medical officer. On August 15, 1857 Adam departed from London on a steamer ship the Candia. He wrote of his sea voyage including officers he traveled with, the weather, landscapes, missing his family, sea sickness, and miles traveled. He arrived at Kalkota on November 5, 1857. Adam worked at a hospital and witnessed a portion of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. In February 1858 Adam was deployed to the ship Belgravia to take charge of the wounded and sick at the South African Cape. He traveled with his servant Harold. Once anchored at Table Bay Adam described the native people, seeing Dr. Livingstone. Adam noted he had a muster of forty natives whom he reluctantly treated for skin diseases. There is a copy of a letter to his parents and pencil drawings of the Cape of Good Hope. On the journey back to Calcutta there was an incident with the captain regarding ailing horses. In June 1858 Adam mentioned seeing cholera cases, reading Waston and works on homeopathy. Adam also worked off of the H.M.S. Proserpine. In March 1859 Adam began his voyage back to England on the Ivanhoe he mentioned playing chess and catching fish. Reading volume 1 from back to front are poems and songs. One of the poems was "written on board the Candia". Tables of daily latitude and longitude for the voyages to India and England are in the volume. Some accounting of receipts and expenditures is in the volume. Adam arrived back in Edinburgh on August 5, 1859. Volume 2 commences in 1861. In sporadic entries Adam described his arrival and work at Bethnal House Asylum with Dr. Ritchie. and Dr. Miller. In August 1863 Adam wrote of his trip to Scotland and attending a wedding in Portobello. He mentioned seeing family members in Edinburgh. Reading volume 2 from back to front is a clipping of an epitaph for Lord Clyde pasted over writing in pencil. Adam wrote an autopsy of a young woman named Ann Jones aged 23. A majority of volume 2 is blank. Inscribed on the first leaf of volume 1: J. F. Adam journal, commenced August 13, 1857 on leaving home for the first time to sail for India. Inscribed on the last leaf of volume 1: James F. Adam, Surgeon, H.M.S. Proserpine. Volume 2 is inscribed: Private, Jame Adam M.D., January 20, 1861. https://franklin.library.upenn.edu/catalog/FRANKLIN_9977359130603681

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poop awnings have been taken down & during the middle of the day we cannot get on deck as the sun being vertical then we get no shade from the spanker which is now set. We have gone upwards of a hundred miles since yesterday. the ship is being painted white all over the inside of the Bulwarks & [quarter scored through] & poop can scarcely move out without getting smeared over. wearing my tweed suit even in this hot weather. Yesterday Lt Dadson Capt & I had an inspection of flour for troops pronounced one & 3/4 Casks bad & drew up a report to that affect signed by 3 of us Lt Robinson R.A. being confined to bed did not become a number. there is little change of scene every day. Here is my Cabin nearly as large as I had in the "Candia" but occupied by myself

Last edit 6 months ago by Dendendaloom
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alone here not having procured a bed before I came on board. I have got a matress out of one of the soldiers swung cots upon which I sleep as snug as possible. the lid of my shaving box does for a looking glass my old boxes one placed [written above] below the bunk (the smallest one) the other the lge one so carefully packed by my sisters before I left stands by the side of my bunk. A Chinese fan a solar topi & 2 straw hats decorate the wall of my cabin & & brass basin soap dish & tooth & nail brush brought from Calcutta constit ute my Cabin furniture. I wake up at 6 or rather I am wakened up by my servant bringing coffee then get my book & read an hour before I get up (an old fashion at home) which I have not yet lost the Capt. then comes into my cabin

Last edit 6 months ago by Dendendaloom
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between 7 & 8 oclock & he & I have a discussion or chat on some subject or another Now & then I get on deck & enjoy a bucket or two of saltwater over me the. General gets on deck about 7 in the Mg. Lt. Robinson used to get on deck to have a bucket of saltwater until he was knocked down by fever. Lt. Dadson being weak & delicate does nothing until he gets his breakfast. After Breakfast I smoke a cheroot & then go down to visit my patients. this occupies 2 hours. I then have tiffin & tody I have begun to post up my medicine Journal which I wrote at from 1/2 past 12 till 3. Our dinner party usually consists of the same number unless some one is sick or has had a disinclination for dinner. The

Last edit 6 months ago by Dendendaloom
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Capt'ns voice invariably first heard well 'General' what are you going to have. At six we have tea or coffee & 8 Grog if you wish it. On Sunday the troops are mustered at 1/2 past 10 & one of the officers reads the Church of England service. I turn into bed at 9 oclock generaly & sleep sound till 6 next morning. the weather has been beautiful since we left. on two nights only had we some squalls. We are now 2 or 3 degrees south of the line (During my cabin time I read the Wandering Jew.)

Thursday March 4 1858. Fine strong breeze today making us spank along in good style + keeps us very cool. A ship in sight at 12 o clock today. by the time I had my visit over below she was just visible on the horizon astern.

Last edit 6 months ago by Dendendaloom
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last night had a debate with the Capt. on the motion of the earth round the Sun. The Capt. accounting for the Seasons by the elevation & depression of the poles. intend commencing a long letter home today to post at the Cape if there is a chance of it reaching home sooner than from India. [Monday scored through] Friday March 5th. 1858 [underscored] Robinson has had a relapse & is getting worse. the weather is very squally & cloudy. they blow very violently for a few minutes & then the rain comes down in torrents. [Thursday scored through] [Friday scored through] March 6th. 1858 Saturday{underscored] It has continued to blow all night squalls coming on every 10 minutes. The fore & main top laid sheets have both been torn by the violence of the wind. Poor Robinson is still getting worse medicine has no effect upon him he is quite delirious now & has fallen comatose died at 1/2 past 6

Last edit 6 months ago by Dendendaloom
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