Surgeons, Smallpox, and the Poor

Surgeons, Smallpox, and the Poor: A History of Medicine and Social Conditions in Nova Scotia, 1749-1799

ALLAN EVERETT MARBLE
Copyright Date: 1993
Pages: 376
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt815hv
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    Surgeons, Smallpox, and the Poor
    Book Description:

    Beginning with an account of the settlement of Halifax, Marble documents the care taken by the Lords of Trade and Plantations to provide proper food and health care during the settlers' passage across the Atlantic in May and June of 1749. He chronicles the rendezvous of regiments and ships in Halifax between 1755 and 1763, examining the two smallpox epidemics which followed their arrival. He deals with the treatment of the poor in Nova Scotia between the Seven Years War and the American Revolution, showing that many in this group were camp followers who had been abandoned by regiments that had left Halifax. Financial resources previously directed towards providing medical services for citizens had to be redirected to feed, clothe, and shelter such individuals. A third smallpox epidemic struck Nova Scotia in 1775-76 and, as Marble demonstrates, prevented the Americans from attacking Halifax. He examines the initial unsuccessful attempt to regulate the practice of medicine in Nova Scotia and explores the reasons the region lagged behind Lower Canada and the American colonies in this regard.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6385-8
    Subjects: Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Figures and Tables
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xv-2)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 3-12)

    In the last half of the eighteenth century, a large number of surgeons were sent to Nova Scotia because the colony, particularily Halifax, was the rendezvous for many military regiments and naval ships preparing to attack Louisbourg and Quebec. Halifax was also, during the American Revolution, Britain's major naval base in North America.¹

    Although the surgeons were welcomed by the local residents, two concomitants of the regiments and ships decidedly were not: the smallpox and the poor. All the major smallpox epidemics in Nova Scotia during the last half of the eighteenth century occurred soon after the arrival of Royal...

  7. CHAPTER ONE Arrival, Settlement, and Initial Concern for Health Care, 1749 (o.s.) — 1753 (n.s.)
    (pp. 13-36)

    At the beginning of 1749, the land mass known today as Nova Scotia approximately 14,000 people: about 10,800 persons of French origin¹, 1,000 native Indians,² and 2,300 civilian and military personnel of English origin.³ Between the ceding of mainland Nova Scotia to the English by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 and the arrival the Cornwallis settlers in June 1749, Britain made no attempt to colonize Nova Scotia. The only major influx of English-speaking people into the colony during this thirty-six year period was from 1745 to July 1749, when New England troops and their British army replacements occupied the...

  8. CHAPTER TWO A Decade of Military and Naval Surgeons, 1753-1763
    (pp. 37-72)

    Four years after the founding of Halifax the British presence in Nova Scotia was still largely confined to that town, apart from a small anglophone population at the old capital, Annapolis Royal. Within a decade, British ownership had been established and an English-speaking population predominated. Beginning with the placing of foreign Protestants at Lunenburg, the trend continued as the bulk of the French Acadian inhabitants were deported and the forts at Beauséjour and Louisbourg were captured by the British. By the time the Treaty of Paris was signed in February 1763, an increasing immigration of New Englanders was opening up...

  9. CHAPTER THREE Poor Relief Takes Precedence over Health Care, 1763-1775
    (pp. 73-100)

    The Treaty of Paris, which Great Britain and France signed on 10 February 1763, ended the Seven Years’ War and diminished the importance of Halifax as a military and naval base for the next twelve years. The departure from Halifax of military and naval forces began immediately after the capture of Louisbourg in June 1758, and gradually, the number of soldiers and seamen in the town dwindled from approximately 22,000 in May 1758¹ to about 2,200 by August 1762.² Two consequences of the transition from military and naval base to civilian town were a dramatic lessening in the demand for...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR A New Order of Medical Men: The Loyalists, 1775—1784
    (pp. 101-144)

    The skirmish at Lexington and the battle, on 19 April 1775, at Concord, Massachusetts between British troops and the minutemen¹ of Massachusetts Militia heralded the beginning of dramatic change all aspects of life in Nova Scotia, including health care. During the next decade the population of Nova Scotia tripled, and a total of 170 physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries (55 civilian and 115 army and navy) came into the province. By 1800, only an eighth of these medical practitioners, twenty-one in number, were still residing in Nova Scotia. These surgeons formed the nucleus of the province's medical profession during the last...

  11. CHAPTER FIVE Health Care and Poor Relief at the End of the Century, 1784—1799
    (pp. 145-190)

    Thus far this book has shown how the existence and condition of health-care facilities for the civilian population of Nova Scotia, particularly in Halifax, were determined during the last half of the eighteenth century primarily by four entities: government, the military and navy, the poor, and the civilian practitioners. The presence of and interaction between these four factors led to the establishment of twenty-five different hospitals in the Halifax area during this fifty-year period. As shown in Appendix 8, twelve of them were military hospitals, five were naval, two were for prisoners of war, and six were established for civilians....

  12. Appendix One PASSENGERS IN THE CORNWALLIS MESS LISTS WITH HEALTH - CARE OCCUPATIONS
    (pp. 193-194)
  13. Appendix Two AN EXPLANATION OF MEDICATIONS AND TREATMENTS ADMINISTERED BY SURGEONS IN HALIFAX DURING THE PERIOD 1750—53
    (pp. 195-199)
  14. Appendix Three AN ACT TO PREVENT THE SPREADING OF CONTAGIOUS DISTEMPERS, 1761 / 200
    (pp. 200-201)
  15. Appendix Four AN ACT TO PREVENT IMPORTING IMPOTENT, LAME, AND INFIRM PERSONS IN TO THIS PROVINCE / 202
    (pp. 202-203)
  16. Appendix Five LOYALIST PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS WHO SETTLED IN NOVA SCOTIA DURING 1783 / 204
    (pp. 204-208)
  17. Appendix Six SUMMARY OF CLAIMS FOR PROPERTY AND LOSS OF INCOME MADE BY LOYALIST DOCTORS WHO CAME TO NOVA SCOTIA, COMPARED WITH THE SUMS ALLOWED AND THE PENSIONS AWARDED BY THE LOYALIST CLAIMS COMMISSIONERS
    (pp. 209-211)
  18. Appendix Seven THE INDENTURE OF APPRENTICESHIP OF WILLIAM JAMES ALLMON
    (pp. 212-213)
  19. Appendix Eight PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS IN CHARGE OF HOSPITALS IN HALIFAX AND ENVIRONS, 1749—1799/ 214
    (pp. 214-216)
  20. Appendix Nine CAUSES OF DEATH OF NOVA SCOTIANS BETWEEN 1749 AND 1799
    (pp. 217-218)
  21. Notes
    (pp. 219-318)
  22. Bibliography
    (pp. 319-330)
  23. Index
    (pp. 331-356)