Receipt book of Amos Spofford, 1799-1869 (inclusive)

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Content Notes

Contains instructions for preparing and delivering medicines to treat conditions and diseases including fever, stomach pain, epilepsy, vertigo, sciatica, rheumatism, gonorrhea, cough, dropsy, and cancer, written by Dr. Amos Spofford (1751-1805), from 1799 to 1869. Some of the recipes are attributed to other physicians, such as John Collins Warren (1787-1856), whose treatment for neuralgia is included. To cure cancer, Spofford suggested mixing the filings of brass with mutton tallow and applying it to the affected area. The treatment for rheumatism included the patient taking one pint of the “best” brandy. His course of treatment for colic included steeping ingredients such as carraway, collander, and wine for nine days, and administering two spoonfuls of the mixture at 11 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. In addition, there are a number of published recipes pasted in the book from nineteenth century periodicals. The recipes transcribed by Amos Spofford are mainly for human medical conditions, but the printed recipes include veterinary and household cleaning treatments. Both the names of Amos Spofford and his son, Daniel M. Spofford (1775-1842), are inscribed on the first page of the book. It is unclear whether Daniel M. Spofford was a physician and contributed to the volume during his lifetime, but there is at least one other unknown author of the entries dated from 1860 to 1869.

Biographical Notes

Amos Spofford (1751-1805) was a physician in New Rowley (now Georgetown), Massachusetts, from 1771 until his death. He was an original member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, founded in 1781.