Manuscript Resources on the History of Medicine

This guide describes collections documenting the history of medicine in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) at LSU. It includes the papers of physicians; surgeons; dentists; nurses; medical orderlies; and druggists and pharmacists. It also contains records of hospitals and asylums. There are a number of collections containing records of nursing associations.

The guide also contains remedies and recipes for medical treatments like medicinal tea; materials on medical education; prescriptions; descriptions of medical treatments; and doctors' record books with patient information, treatments, and fees. There are also materials on such diseases as yellow fever and cholera; plantation records that include information on the health of family members and slaves; materials on veterinary medicine; and medical advertisements. Finally, there are materials relating to illnesses and wounds suffered during wartime, particularly during the Civil War, World War I, and World II. Most of the collections are from Louisiana, but there are also materials from other parts of the Lower Mississippi Valley.

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McLaurin (James W.). Case Records, 1939-1942 (bulk 1941-1942). 1 vol. Location: J:25. Physician of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Records includes patient demographic information, examination observations, diagnoses, descriptions of operations performed, anesthetics administered, and post-operative progress notes. For further information, see onlilne catalog. Mss. 4779.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, Medicine

McQuiston, Nelson, 1897-, interviewee. Nelson and Lottie McQuiston oral history interview, 1979. 1 sound cassette (1.5 hours), Index 2 (pages). Location: L:4700.0044. Nelson and Lottie McQuiston married in 1921 and lived in the Atchafalaya Basin area of Louisiana. They resided in Baker, Louisiana, at the time of this interview. They discuss geographical changes in the Atchafalaya Basin since 1929; the Atchafalaya spillway; lumbering in the area; local treatment of illnesses; residents shopping for groceries and clothing; mail service; education; boat building; and housing. They also discuss births; weddings and funerals; crops and livestock; fishing; and picking and ginning Spanish moss. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0044.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Women, Education, Medicine

Meckstroth, Bertha Amelia. Papers, 1903-1958. 207 items, 9 vols. (7 ms. vols., 2 printed vols.). Location: U:180, F:4. Graduate of Radcliffe College (1906), nurse, teacher, student at the Chicago Art Institute, and exhibitor at the Century of Progress International Exposition in Chicago (1933-1934). Collections includes personal letters, an autobiography, notebooks, copies of articles for publication, and a Radcliffe College alumnae directory (1940). Includes designs and items related to Meckstroth's quilting exhibition at the Century of Progress International Exposition. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2248.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education, Medicine

Medical ledger and scrapbook, 1854-1919 (bulk 1854-1863). 5 items, 1 vol. Location: M:19. Accounts of medical services received by prominent Cheneyville, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, residents and their slaves. Eleanor Marshall of Cheneyville, Greensburg, and New Orleans used the ledger as a scrapbook of poetry, local news, and short stories. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2297.

Mercer, William Newton. Papers, 1789-1936 (bulk 1827-1874). 2 linear ft., 2 microfilm reels. Location: U:1, UU:79-81, VAULT:1, OS:M, MSS.MF:M. Surgeon and planter of Adams County, Mississippi; Louisiana; and Illinois. Collection includes slave records, diaries, business and personal correspondence, and financial documents. Correspondence includes letters from Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, and Benjamin Butler. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061 and 5322: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 4, Reels 9-10, and Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 3, Reels 1-3. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 292, 1051, 1233, 1364.

Merrill, A. P. and Aylett Buckner. Papers, 1787-1870 (bulk 1830-1860). 0.5 linear ft., 1 volume. Location: U:228, M:19, OS:M. A. P. Merrill of Natchez, Mississippi, was a physician and the cashier of the Agricultural Bank. Aylett Buckner settled in Natchez around 1830, where he was an attorney, cotton factor, and director of the Commercial Bank of Natchez. Collection primarily consists of financial and legal papers of Merrill, Buckner, and Jane Dunbar Ferguson, a planter of Washington, Adams County, Mississippi. Other items include plats of the property of Abner Green and the deed to Patesi Plantation and its slaves. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 598.

Merritt, John. Letters, 1861-1874 (bulk 1862-1865). 58 items. Location: W:24. Union soldier from Madison County, New York. He enlisted as a private (1862) in the 114th New York Volunteers and served in several Louisiana campaigns. Early correspondence (1862-1863) and two diary entries describe Merritt's voyage from Fortress Monroe, Virginia, to Ship Island, Mississippi. 1864 letters describe military activities and several months spent in a hospital. 1865 letters relates the loss of men in his Company. Later correspondence (1867-1874) consists of personal family letters. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4674

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Medicine

Metcalfe, S. W. Letter, 1819 Sept. 15. 1 letter. Location: Misc. S.W. Metcalfe writes from Washington, Miss., to her husband, Dr. James Metcalfe, in Natchez commenting on the health of their son John, the conduct of their servants, and food shortages in Washington and Natchez during a yellow fever epidemic. The letter was annotated at a later date by John Metcalfe. Mss. 4056.

Referenced in Guides: Medicine, Natchez, Mississippi

Mexican Army Company record, 1846, 1876-1880. 1 vol. [on microfilml]. Location: Mss. Mf.:M. Day-by-day record of absentees from the 3rd Permanent Infantry Regiment of the Mexican Army at Guadalupe, Mexico, for hospitalization, desertion, and jail terms; and a day-by-day record of visits with patients and fees for services of Dr. Curry. Partly in Spanish. For further information, see onine catalog. Mss. 1879.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Medicine

Meyer and Hymel. Account books, 1850-1893. 50 items, 45 vols. Location: F:7. Dealers in general merchandise of Thibodaux, Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. Store account books of Louis J. Meyer and Leo Hymel; and ledger for Meyer Drug Store (1889-1893). For further information, see onine catalog. Mss. 1425.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Medicine

Miller, Robert Davies, 1848-1927. Family papers, 1853-1938, 1984. 2 microfilm reels, 5 photographic prints, 1 typescript. Location: Mf., Misc. Robert Davies Miller was a physician in Clinton, Miss. The papers consist primarily of microfilm copies of 110 family letters, postcards, receipts, obituaries, and other documents, as well as two autograph albums, created between 1853 and 1938. Not microfilmed are a typescript of "Robert Davies Miller: A Biography" (1984) by M. Stone Miller Jr., and photographic prints of the Miller family. Mss. 3432, 3642.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, Medicine, 20th Century Wars

Milling, D. Y. Correspondence, 1863-1865. 10 items. Location: E:4. Letters by D. Y. Milling written from Little Rock, Arkansas, and Shreveport, Louisiana, to his brother, Dr. James S. Milling of Collinsburg, Bossier Parish, Louisiana. Milling makes references to his health and that of others; the scarcity, poor quality, and high price of food; slavery; and the unbearableness of the infantry and the morale of the Confederate army. For further information, see online catalog. Mss 3758.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, African Americans, Medicine

Milton, Horace P. Letters, 1863. 2 items. Location: MISC:M. Private, 47th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, and clerk in the Ordnance Office, Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, in New Orleans. Letter written from an encampment at the Metairie Ridge Race Course in New Orleans, (April 15, 1863) comments in detail on regimental personnel problems and describes the cemetery tombs and the surrounding area. A letter dated May 8, 1863, describes health and weather conditions in New Orleans, the presence of large numbers of "grey-backs," and local excitement at the news of Colonel Benjamin Henry Grierson's raid through Mississippi and the reception upon his arrival in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2279, 2724.

Minor, William J. Papers, 1845-1862, undated. 18 items, 2 printed volumes. Location: U:229. Sugar planter of Southdown and Hollywood Plantations in Terrebonne Parish and Waterloo Plantation in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. Minor was president of the Agricultural Bank of Natchez, Mississippi. Letters chiefly concern racing, management and breeding of thoroughbred horses, and the horses Lexington, Lecomte, and Pryor. Letters mention Duncan F. Kenner, Colonel Adam L. Bingaman, and others, referring to their horses, betting, racing news, and items in the sporting journal SPIRIT OF THE TIMES. Letters also comment on yellow fever and cholera outbreaks, and the political environment. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 859.

Mississippi Board of Medical Censors. Minute book, 1819-1835. 2 vols. Location: H:15. Minutes of the Board of Medical Censors for the Western District of the State of Mississippi. The rough minutes cover 1819-1834 and receipts and disbursements for 1820-1835. The finished minutes stop after 1831 and receipts, etc. stop after April 1834. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 708.

Referenced in Guides: Medicine

Monette, John Wesley, 1803-1851. Essay, 1824. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:20. Medical doctor of Mississippi. Manuscript of 'An Essay on Causes of the Variety of Complexion and Form of the Human Species,' by John W. Monette. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 593.

Referenced in Guides: Medicine

Monroe, Ethel V. Papers, 1897-1961 (bulk 1925-1940). 0.6 linear ft. Location: 78:24. Medical nurse. Papers of Monroe pertaining to her work with nursing organizations. Included are two minute books of the New Orleans Sanitarium Alumnae Association, an organization made up of nurses who attended the New Orleans Sanitarium and Training School for Nurses. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1779.

Referenced in Guides: Women, New Orleans 1866-, Medicine

Moore, Thomas O. Papers, 1832-1977 (bulk 1856-1871). 711 items and 1 microfilm reel. Location: H:3, OS:M, MF:5322, MSS.MF:M, U:231. Sugar planter of Rapides Parish, Louisiana; member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and state Senate; and governor of Louisiana for most of the Civil War (1860-1864). Moore fled Louisiana after the Civil War but later returned. Papers include personal correspondence, business papers, and political and legal documents. Antebellum materials include slave sales and accounts of physicians treating slaves. Papers from 1859 to 1871 deal largely with Moore's political activities. They include gubernatorial papers concerning his nomination, the Democratic Party, the transport of the state archives from Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Secession Convention, and other matters. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reels 18-19. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 305, 893, 1094.

Morris, Martin. Correspondence, 1918, 1932, 1952. 13 items. Location: Misc. M. Native of Napoleonville, Louisiana, served as a corporal in the United States Army in September 1918. Ten World War I letters written by Martin Morris to members of his family in Napoleonville, Louisiana. In his letters, Morris discusses his health, military life and playing in the 812th Infantry Band. He comments that in some respects the Army treats a black man equal to a white man (Sept. 7, 1918). He mentions an outbreak of influenza in Chicago, and he reports that a quarantine had been enforced at Camp Grant due to the outbreak of influenza (Sept. 26, 1918). Willie Morris' draft card (Sept. 12, 1918) and an empty envelope addressed to him (Sept. 30, 1952) are also included. A letter from L. R. Jackson, of Houston, Texas, to his brother-in law, Joe Green, in Winston, Texas concerns rent and digging for a treasure (July 30, 1932). Mss. 3699

Morse, Jedidiah, 1761-1826. Letter. 1800 October 29. 1 item. Location: Misc. Connecticut Congregational minister and geographer. Letter to Morse's father discusses inoculation against smallpox, diplomatic relations with France, national presidential candidates, and the education of his son Samuel Finley Breese Morse. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3223.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Politics, Education, Medicine

Moyer, H. P. Letter, 1874 Jan. 4. 1 item. Location: Misc.:M. Resident of Lebanon, Louisiana. Letter from H.P. Moyer, Lebanon, Pa., to W.C. Cole, New Orleans, La., concerning the poor health of his brother, John Moyer, in New Orleans. H.P. Moyer regrets that he cannot send for his brother because of his fragile health or come to see him in New Orleans. He adds that he is too poor to bring his brother's corpse home and asks Cole to bury him in the event of his death. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 222.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans 1866-, Medicine

Myers, W. G. Letter, 1865 March 26. 1 item. Location: Misc.:M. Federal surgeon stationed at the U.S. army general hospital in Baton Rouge in the Civil War. Letter giving detailed information concerning the city of Baton Rouge and describing the plantation area along the Mississippi River in Southeastern Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1506.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, Baton Rouge, Medicine

New Orleans District Nurses' Association Records,1892-1968. 6.5 linear feet, 12 manuscript volumes Location: R:41-45, OS:N. Collection reflects the history and organization of the New Orleans District Nurses' Association as well as the activities of the Louisiana State Organization for Public Health Nursing and the National Organization for Public Health Nursing. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1547, 2288, 2372.

Referenced in Guides: Women, New Orleans 1866-, Medicine

New Orleans pharmaceutical items, circa 1900-1930. 3 items. Location: MISC:N. Patent medicine labels for Syrup Tolu and Syrup of Rhubarb from New Orleans pharmacists C. A. Desporte and J. Llado. Included is a U.S. Bureau of Prohibition Prescription Form for Medicinal Liquor, December 20, 1930. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2617.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans 1866-, Medicine

New York (State). An act to create a Metropolitan Sanitary District and Board of Health..., 1866. 50 p. ; 18 cm. Location: UU:97. Part of the Joseph Jones papers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 468, 534, 544, 1036, 1352,1357, 1393

Referenced in Guides: Medicine

Nicholson, George. Papers, 1824-1897. 337 items; 5 volumes. Location: E:36, H:8, OS:N. Medical doctor of Homesville, Pike County, Mississippi. He was married to Salena A. Quin Nicholson. Papers include a U.S. land certificate (1824) Nicholson's last will and testament (1852); and family correspondence regarding political and social conditions in Mississippi and Louisiana. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 17-18. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 702.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Medicine

Nolan, J. T. Letter, 1849 July 13. 1 letter. Location: Misc. J.T. Nolan of West Baton Rouge Parish, La., writes to Mr. E.S. Freeman of Macomb County, Mich., describing a cholera epidemic and the health of area residents. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4270.

Referenced in Guides: Medicine

Osgood, Jessie C. Letters, 1862-1864. 5 items. Location: Misc:O. Federal soldier stationed in New Orleans in the Civil War. Letters giving information concerning guerrilla fighting south of New Orleans and a hospital at Morganza, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1460.

Outten, W. B. 'A case of double gastrolith removed by gastrotomy. Recovery. Death by phthisis three months afterward,' 1894. 8 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. Location: UU:97. "Reprint: The medical fortnightly." Part of the Joseph Jones Papers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 468, 534, 544, 1036, 1352,1357, 1393.

Referenced in Guides: Medicine

Payne, Eugene B. [Beauharnois], 1835-1910. Letters, 1863-1864. 3 items. Location: Misc.:. Union soldier in the 37th Illinois Regiment. Letters describe New Orleans, Louisiana, its residents, the lack of rapport between the Union troops from the West and those from the North (ca. Sept. 1863), military pay and illness among troops (Aug. 13, 1864), mail delivery, and changes in command. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3792, 3796.

Pearson, C. F. Letter, 1860. 1 item. Location: Misc. Letter to Dr. T. G. Richardson, New Orleans, complaining of a medical treatment. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1198.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Medicine

Pease, E. M. Record book, 1866, 1897-1904. 1 vol. Location: M:20. Surgeon in charge, 9th Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, stationed at Greenville, Louisiana. Register and prescription book of the Medical Department of the U.S. Army kept by Dr. Pease. Entries list soldiers by name, rank, company, and include comments on ailments and nature of prescriptions. Later entries are an account by E. M. Pease, Jr., as a child in California (1897-1899, 1901). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1303.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, Medicine

Pelican Mutual Benevolent Association. Circular, circa 19th century. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Organized in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1866 to provide support and health care for members. Circular lists officers, members of the relief committee, physicians and apothecaries, and states regulations governing receipt of benefits. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1189.

Referenced in Guides: Medicine

Peniston, A. Notebook, 1854. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:20. Notebook containing medical memoranda. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 339.

Referenced in Guides: French, Medicine

Percival, James, 1795-1856, Letter, 1949 August 20. 1 item. American poet, geologist, and physician. Letter from Percival and addressed to U.S. Vice-President M. Fillmore disagreeing with recent political appointments, expressing disappointment with Whig Party politics, and foreseeing defeat of the Whigs in Ohio. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3449.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Medicine, Literature

Percy, William Alexander, 1885-1942. Janet Percy Dana Longcope papers, 1911-1917. 31 items. Location: W:52. Author, poet of Greenville, Mississippi. Letters to Percy's cousin, Janet Percy Dana Longcope of New York City. Letters concern Percy's travels, his writings (particularly his poetry), Janet's nursing service in France during World War I, Percy's interest in military service, and American involvement in the war, and personal matters. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3511.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Medicine, Literature

Perlu, A. Letter, 1828 July 3. 1 item. Location: Misc. Physician of New Orleans, Louisiana. Letter discusses shipping activity on the river and the dengue r epidemic in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2979.

Peters, Emma Dell, 1941-, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1993. 1 sound cassette (45 minutes), Index (6 pages). Location: L:4700.0283. Resident of Four Corners, an unincorporated community south of Franklin, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Peters lived on Sterling Plantation; her great-grandparents were slaves. For 26 years, Peters worked as a cook in the school system. Peters gives an account of her great-grandparents' purchases as slaves, and discusses slave religion, the treatment of slaves, and female slaves who bore children for their white masters. Included are spirituals she learned from her grandparents. Peters also gives accounts of illnesses, funeral customs, early jobs she held, poverty in her youth, and discipline and life in her large family. She also discusses Civil Rights legislation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0283.

Peters, L. H. Letter, 1833. 1 item. Location: Misc.:P. Resident of New Orleans, Louisiana. Letter from Peters to a doctor friend concerning health conditions in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 222.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Medicine

Peters, Samuel J., Jr. Diary, 1840-1862. 1 volume. Location: E:49. Samuel J. Peters, Jr., was the son of New Orleans merchant, civic leader, and banker Samuel Jarvis Peters. He worked as a clerk in New York City (1841-1842), then returned to New Orleans to work in his father's business. Diary describes social life in New Orleans during the antebellum period and in the Civil War prior to federal occupation of the city. Includes entries on family life and health, theater in New Orleans, and national news. Some early 1840 entries are in German. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1355.