The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953 Page: 153
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eted book is divided between Ashbel Smith and yellow fever.
In it has been reprinted a rare medical booklet, "An Account
of the Yellow Fever which appeared in the City of Galveston,
Republic of Texas, in the Autumn of 1839, with Cases and Dis-
sections," by Ashbel Smith, citizen extraordinary of the Republic
of Texas, whose public attainments included the posts of surgeon
general of the Texian Army, secretary of state, and minister to
England and France from the Republic of Texas. The volume
also contains a biographical sketch of Ashbel Smith by the editor,
and "Stories of the Men Who Conquered Yellow Fever" by other
authors. These stories have been added to provide the back-
ground against which this first significant medical book of the
Republic of Texas may be appraised. The effect of placing these
three reprints in the same book is surprisingly pleasing.
Narration of the more important contributions of Carlos J.
Finlay, George M. Sternberg, Walter Reed, James Carroll, Jesse
W. Lazear, Aristides Agramonte, and others to the epidemiology
and etiology of yellow fever serves to place Smith's treatise in its
proper scientific perspective and has not detracted from its real
value. The booklet reveals that Dr. Smith was an astute medical
observer. It reflects his academic and medical training at Yale
and by the great clinical teachers of Paris. Adding little of sig-
nificance to that already known about yellow fever, the book
contains clinical and pathologic descriptions which compare fa-
vorably with those of Dr. Smith's contemporaries. Its conciseness
and organization give it a high place among medical writings.
More important, it reveals a scientific attitude and enthusiasm
which would be commended in the present era of experimental
medicine. Surely, a man with such a scientific and observant
attitude was a stimulating clinical teacher.
In this work a rare medical item has been made easily accessible
to all those interested in the history of yellow fever. Republica-
tion of the book tends to enhance the scientific status of a man
better known as a statesman, diplomat, and educator. The be-
ginnings of scientific medicine in the then frontier Southwest
and the story of that scourge of our seacoasts in the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries have been told interestingly and briefly.
The book should appeal to physician and historian. It should
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953, periodical, 1953; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/m1/173/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.