The Last Resort

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Vladimir Jankovic, “The Last Resort: A British Perspective on the Medical South, 1815-1870,” Journal of Intercultural Studies 27, no. 3 (2006): 271-298.

In this piece on British health travel to the Mediterranean, Jankovic aims to focus on the “…ways in which the medical reasoning and disease etiology impinged on the choice of resorts and regimens, and how such choice meshed with the broad understanding of the region based not only on the geographical and medical documents but also on its changing cultural stereotypes.” (272) He argues that medical opinion explained some aspects of health travel, but not all, as evidenced by the rapidly changing resort hotspots. Though Jankovic asserts that the “career of British climatotherapy… often drew upon the lay rather than scientific consensus and… often passed it verdicts in accordance to the Victorian environmental mores rather than observations, mortality tables or climatological statistics…,” he acknowledges the vital role that the “garb of impartiality and… use of scientific jargon…” played in legitimizing and differentiating different resorts. (272-73)

Inventing Caribbean Climates

Notes, Summaries & Reviews, Thesis Research

Mark Carey, “Inventing Caribbean Climates: How Science, Medicine and Tourism Changed Tropical Weather from Deadly to Healthy,” Osiris 26, no. 1 (2011): 129-141.

In this piece, Carey traces changing European and North American perceptions of Caribbean climates from 1750-1950. He argues that these understandings were not shaped only by the climactic science; rather, they were constructed around multiple considerations, including “…environmental conditions, knowledge systems, social relations, politics, and economics.” (129) Carey understands these ideas, then, to be culturally constructed and argues, in line with most recent studies on climate, for the cultural construction of climate.

Transactions of 7th Meeting of AR State Medical Society (1882)

Notes, Primary Sources, Thesis Research

Transactions of the State Medical Society of Arkansas at its Seventh Annual Session (Little Rock: Kellogg Printing Company, 1882).

List of Members of the Arkansas State Medical Society – total = 197, 2 from ES

Doctors who were practicing in ES:
J. O. Ducker — physician in Eureka Springs, AR — graduate of Jefferson Medical College, PA
M. Harrison — physician in Eureka Springs, AR — graduate of Louisville Medical College, KY (where Daniel Drake lectured for awhile!)

Breakdown of training by state:
NE Coast –
Maryland (8); New York (8); Pennsylvania (29); Maine (2)

SE Coast –
South Carolina (4); Virginia (3); Florida (1)

South –
Louisiana (20); Georgia (6)

Upper Midwest –
Michigan (2); Ohio (10); Iowa (3); Kentucky (38)

Lower Midwest –
Missouri (24); Arkansas (3); Tennessee (29)

Canada (1)

2 from L. I. H. Medical College, can’t figure out where that was located


Address on the Practice of Medicine, E. R. Duvall, Chairman of the Committee 

…by reason, treatment is more concise, more methodical, more scientific, results more satisfactory. All organs are systematically interrogated — in this manner the reflex and other manifestations, so often puzzling alike to patient and and medical attendant, are accounted for, and their significations placed in their proper relationship.” (50)

“To dose, dose, and dose again, originally significant of the erudition of our calling, and viewed with admiration by confrere and the laity, is now, through the agencies and by the influence of a progressive advancement all along the line, the least of the test by which fitness for responsible trust is to be determined.” (51)

Uses statistics in pro-Smallpox vaccine argument; discussion of English and German critiques of American vaccination practices, which proves they were reading literature from across the Atlantic? (52)


Report by committee appointed to investigate reforming (making more uniform, more rigorous) medical education; report by committee appointed to investigate and attempt to change medical legislation

Both pieces stress a need to monopolize & standardize medicine for the benefit of the people, who are being cheated by charlatans, quacks, and improperly trained doctors.


Piece on using blood to diagnose illness — the “Salisbury method,” from Dr. J. H. Salisbury (OH)

Advocates skilled and knowledgable use of microscopy to observe blood “corpuscules.” Pretty detailed account of what blood does when you add various concentrations of different substances.


Report on Bilious Fever by G. M. D. Cantrell of Hope, AR

Discusses weather, elevation of areas particularly affected by the disease
“…Klebs and Tomasi Crudeli, by their investigations, have discovered in the atmosphere of the Potine marshes peculiar rod-like bodies, which they have called bacillus milariae, and which, by inoculation, they claim will produce paroxysms of intermittent fever.” (96)


“A Plea for Some Neglected Branches in Medicine” by George C. Hartt, Little Rock, AR

Argument for wider, broader training for doctors — “languages, mathematics, philosophy, and the sciences”

“All must acknowledge” that the acquirement of “some” languages — “especially French and German” — “cannot fail to afford both profit and pleasure, enabling him to understand the fresh utterances of foreign masters in their native tongue, and also many words and phrases which these languages are constantly contributing to medicine and to science.” (122)

Advocates knowledge of “geology,” so that physicians can be consulted in healthful locations for building stuff. Wonder why he doesn’t mention health resort therapeutics here? 😦

Argues that botany isn’t considered a real science because it is associated with mysticism (“astrology and alchymy,” “Thomsonian, or steam system, and botanic system…”) (127-128)

References Cuvier

 

Transactions of 4th Meeting of AR State Medical Society (1879)

Notes, Primary Sources, Thesis Research

Transactions of the State Medical Society of Arkansas at its Fourth Annual Session (Little Rock: Blocher & Mitchell, 1879).

Much discussion about standardizing stuff for the purpose of professional cohesion (should by-laws of county medical societies all be the same?).

List of transactions from medical societies received by the librarian; NJ, VA, MA, KS, IO, MN, NC, CO, RI, PA, FL, WI, GA, CA, ME, NH, DC, MI (Board of Health), Rochester NY (health officer), WI (Board of Health), & GA (Board of Health). (19)

Expresses anxieties about the lack of government legislation concerning the health of AR’s population, specifically the absence of a legal designation between licensed doctor and quack/charlatan. Because states around have enacted these types of laws, many quacks flock to AR. (34)

“Our state… occupying, as it does, one of the most favored localities of any of the states, so far as climate and natural advantages…” is still behind most of her surrounding “sister-states.”
Many rivers make the state well-drained, and the NW portion is elevated, having “all the advantages that “…any upland and mountainous country can possess; the finest springs and small streams… They have here the health generally found in the most elevated and mountainous district of the earth.”(38)

“None of the scientific communications were included in the minutes, for the simple reason that there was not sufficient money in the hands of the Treasurer to pay for the publication.” (41) Dammit.


Dr. Lincithum, of the committee on State Board of Health

Seems very disillusioned with the lack of success the profession has had in getting any sort of medical legislation passed. Blames the infighting and lack of unity within the profession.

“State medicine in Arkansas as a result [of inter-professional conflict], is at a low ebb with the medical profession abroad; looked upon with distrust, as narrow minded, and losing sight of the public good, in our individual efforts at aggrandizement.” (45)


Report of the Committee on Vital Statistics

A mild winter never quite cleansed the air of the summer’s miasmas, which may have contributed to the outbreak.

Discussion of quarantine measures taken against Memphis and New Orleans in the 1878 Yellow Fever outbreak. No state Board of Health meant that individual city health boards had to coordinate — which they did.

Relatively detailed tables of deaths in Little Rock; divided up by cause of death, gender, race (colored and white), and age.

“It will also be manifest by an examination of the table that there was an increased mortality among the colored people in the Winter and Spring months. This is attributed to their careless exposure of person in all conditions of weather, and their idle, thriftless habits in not providing themselves prior to inclement winter months.” (55) “The number of still-born reported among the colored population is mainly due to the ignorance of their midwifes [sic].”


Clinical Study in Etiology of Pneumonia by J. S. Shibley, M.D. (Roseville, Logan County)

Good example of a changing emphasis on preventative over heroic medicine. Author takes all of the cases of pneumonia he and another practitioner have seen in the past six years and breaks them down by sex, age, race, occupation, shelter, clothing, food, month, previous health, and result (57-58).

Mentions climate a lot, asserting that pneumonia is a much bigger problem in the south.

Therapeutic nihilism: “I doubt not that much of the mortality of Pneumonia, as I have seen it, has been due to the influence which this false theory still exerts over the minds of physicians and patients, leading the former to adopt spoliative [to take away, ie., purgatives, bloodletting, etc.!] measures with a view of combatting the inflammatory process, and preventing the latter from taking food for fear of increasing it. May we not hope that the time is close at hand, when physicians will cast away their theories and conform their reasoning to facts, and thus place the treatment of the sick on a rational and scientific basis?” (61-62)

Asserts that it may arise in combination with malaria. How to prevent it? “…the removal or avoidance of its causes.” (62)


“A Few Suggestion on Preventative Medicine and the Germ Theory of the Causation of Disease,” by E. Bentley, M.D., United States Army

“The earth calls aloud for preventative medicine…”(69)

Makes reference to “the progressive men of our profession in Europe,” Pasteur, Lemar, Lister (antiseptic treatment), J. Burden Sanderson,

“In the light of present discoveries, no one can doubt that in the chemistry and microscopy of the air and water, will be found the development of marvelous agencies that sweep with appalling fury among all classes and races of men… This field is so wide and inviting, that I invoke the special attention of the faculty of the State everywhere, to spend each leisure moment in the investigation of that branch of preventative medicine that pertains to air and water.” (71)


List of Members of State Medical Society of Arkansas

Breakdown of training by state:
NE Coast –
Maryland (10); New York (11); Pennsylvania (27); Maine (2)

SE Coast –
South Carolina (5); Virginia (6); Florida (1)

South –
Louisiana (30); Georgia (5)

Upper Midwest –
Michigan (4); Ohio (9); Iowa (2); Indiana (1); Kentucky (49)

Lower Midwest –
Missouri (23); Tennessee (25)

Canada (1)
L. I. H. Medical College (2)

Total = 213 members/none practicing in Carroll County, Eureka Springs