Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 3, September, 1992 Page: 136
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Prior to this time the town had been remarkably healthy, and no case of the
peculiar type of disease which had been ravishing the county had occurred within its
limits, but the extraordinary rainfall and protracted heat, combined with an intolerably
bad sanitary condition, were beginning to manifest their power, and on the 16th of
September I was called to the first case of this peculiar type of disease within the
corporation. Four members of the family were attacked in succession and each case
proved more obstinate than its predecessor. In the fourth case I was induced, contrary
to my judgment, to repeat the ordinary purgative on the fifth day. On the sixth, he had
black vomit, but eventually recovered, though with feeble health and a severe jaundice
for several weeks after. This case occurred in the extreme western limit of the town,
but in close proximity to the slough before mentioned.
The next case of great gravity that I saw was a young man, who, for six
weeks or two months preceding, had been gathering pecans near the river, but some
twenty miles below town. He came into town on the evening of the 25th, feeling quite
ill, and considerably jaundiced, but free from fever. About ten o'clock at night had a
severe chill, followed by fever attended with delirium. I was called on the morning of
the 26th, and found that patient still suffering from fever; pulse 120; tongue large and
red; eyes red and suffused; urine scanty and of a reddish yellow color, tender over the
region of the stomach and bowels, and manifesting a considerable amount of nervous
anxiety. Prescribed an active cathartic, to be followed by spirits nitre and aconite until
his fever abated, when quinine was to be exhibited in full doses. The purgative operated
finely, but the fever continued without mitigation. His stomach becoming irritated, and
his kidneys still acting sluggishly, I directed turpentine emulsion and spts. nitre, and an
embrocation of oleum terebinth. over the stomach and bowels; saw him again in the
evening; skin hot, but soft and moist; pulse 108; kidneys acting more freely. 28th.
Patient had a restless night; otherwise no change. Discontinued the terebinth. emulsion,
Mix two drams of potassium acetate, one dram of potassium citrate, two grains
of morphine, and four fluid drams of water. Let it be labeled "A teaspoonful every
three or four hours."
In the evening his fever had declined considerably, and he was, to a great extent, free
from the nervous anxiety or trepidation that had previously been a troublesome feature
in the case. Bowels had not been moved, and he was somewhat clamorous on that
subject; continued same treatment, however, through the night.
29th, 9 o'clock A. M. - Medicine has acted well, patient apparently
recovering rapidly; ordered quinine. At 12 o'clock I was sent for in great haste, my
patient having in the interim grown greatly worse. Found him with a full, strong pulse,
54 (?) to the minute; skin soft and moist, but with a warm, uneasy sensation in the region
of the stomach, and occasional fits of vomiting, in which he threw up copiously of a dark,
grumous-looking material, which soon separated, the black granular matter sinking to
the bottom, and leaving a semi-transparent, yellowish fluid on top, which showed acid
reaction. Discontinued quinine, and directed a mustard sinapism over the stomach, and
internally the following mixture:
Mix one dram of magnesium, four fluid drams of water, and two fluid drams of
spirits of aromatic ammonia. Let it be labeled "A tablespoonful, to be repeated
in two hours and after that at intervals of four hours."
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 3, September, 1992, periodical, September 1992; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151386/m1/8/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.