TROTTER, Thomas (1760-1832)
An Essay, Medical, Philosophical, and Chemical on Drunkenness, and its Effects on the Human Body ... the First Philadelphia Edition, Corrected and Enlarged
Philadelphia: Anthony Finley, 1813. 8vo. 203, pp. Browning.
Modern brown leather, retaining the original lettering piece
First American edition of the first book-length work on alcohol dependence and its treatment: a prescient examination in which alcoholism is defined as a disease.
"At the age of nineteen, Trotter became a surgeon's mate in the Royal Navy and eventually became chief physician to the fleet under Lord Howe. After the Revolutionary War he returned to Edinburgh and received his M.D. degree. His publications include works on scurvy and nautical medicine. Trotter wrote his dissertation on inebriety and he comments in the Preface that the present work 'may be considered as a comment on the thesis, De ebrietate, eiusque effectibus in corpus humanum. Edin. 1788' (p. vi-vii). One of the earliest works on alcoholism, Trotter defines drunkenness, describes its symptoms, discusses the effects alcohol has on the body, lists diseases resulting from alcoholism, and considers methods of treatment" (Heirs of Hippocrates).
Austin 1926; Shaw-Shoemaker 29976; Heirs of Hippocrates 1172; cf. Garrison-Morton 2071.1.