MEDICINE - A. Weyer (1784-1845)
The family physician, or Poor man's friend, and married lady's companion: containing a great variety of valuable medical recipes, designed to assist heads of families, travellers and sea-faring people, in curing diseases; with concise directions for the preparation, and use of a numerous collection of vegetables made use of; and directions for preparing and administering them to cure diseases; together with many of the most approved from the shop of the apothecary
St. Clairsville, Ohio: Published by the author, 1831. Octavo. (7 x 4 1/4 inches). v, , 8-216 pp.
Contemporary tree sheep, front cover detached.
First edition of one of the earliest Ohio materia medica.
Medical treatment in the Midwest during the pioneer days was often domestic, as people tried home remedies before calling a doctor, who, if one was even available in the region, was most often called only for serious cases. Domestic medicine books of this type were often limited in circulation to the region in which they were published, so it is not definitively known how many of these types of books exist. The current work is a rare early Ohio medical imprint meant as a household remedy book for the layperson, or the "unlearned." It covers illnesses such as measles, hypochondria, and asthma and contains a section for "married ladies" about complications in pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. It offers largely botanic remedies, but it also suggests opium, gunpowder, and alcohol. "For the liver complaint: Take Indian turnip, elecampane...put the whole into a quart of good old rye whiskey, or spirits..." (103).
Pickard, Madge E. and R. Carlyle Buley, The Midwest Pioneer: His Ills, Cures, and Doctors (New York: Henry Schuman, 1946), p. 91.