HARRY S. LIPSCOMB*
"Wond'rous Cures Performed": Medicine in Nineteenth-Century
Texas. Exhibition at The Star of the Republic Museum (admin-
istered by Blinn College), Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park,
Washington, Texas, March 1-October 31, 1989. Open daily from
1o:oo A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Admission free. Brochure available. Wheel-
Set in the gently rolling countryside of Southeast Texas at the site of
Texas's declaration of independence from Mexico, the Star of the Re-
public Museum is an isolated gem. Its smallness belies the breadth and
richness of insight that has gone into its creation. An exhibition last
year dedicated to the life of children in early Texas displayed artifacts
by which children were regaled and entertained in the nineteenth cen-
tury. It also displayed a human yoke to which children were attached
for pulling a plow. The exhibition presented a picture of childhood in
which the simple life of children was coupled with acknowledgment of
their utility for the survival of the clan, a touching reminder that the
pleasures of youth are fleeting. While extolling the exhibit, a reviewer
pointed out that the display showed toys made by adults, clothing that
reflected "adult perceptions of childhood," and "rituals of mourning"
that revealed the "idealized vision of youthful innocence," rather than
"children's own fears, ambitions, perceptions, and amusements."'
This year's exhibition deals with early Texas medicine and again re-
flects an adult perception, this time of illness, injury, infection, and
other physical hardships endured by settlers. A captivating array of
medical, dental, and pharmacologic paraphernalia has been assembled
to reflect the methods used for diagnosis and treatment of settlers'
*Harry S Lipscomb is professor of medicine in the College of Medicine at Texas A&M
Elliott West, review of "As a Twig Is Bent": Childhood inm Texas, 18oo- igoo, Southwestern
I utorcal Quarterly, XCII (July, 1988), 167, 168 (quotations).
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/. Accessed October 2, 2014.