1864 + 1865 MANUSCRIPT DIARIES HANDWRITTEN BY MASSACHUSETTS BAPTIST MINISTER AND NOTED DOCTOR OF QUACK REMEDIES AND PATENT COMPOUNDS1111
On offer are two original manuscript diaries dated 1864 and 1865 by 'Doctor' James W. Poland of Melrose, Massachusetts. James W. Poland was a long time Baptist minister in Goffstown, New Hampshire, when in an attempt to treat himself for some ailment, he came up with the formula for a medicine he called Dr. Poland's White Pine Compound. The medicine was a huge success and Dr. Poland found himself in a new career as a proprietary medicine maker. Eventually he also produced Dr. Poland's Cedar Plaster, White Mountain Bitters, Diarrhea Elixer, Hair Preserver, Poland's Magic Powders, etc. At the time these diaries were written, Dr. Poland had moved to Melrose, Mass. and was active making some of these medicines, especially the Magic Powders. He was selling on his own and also working for Dr. George W. Swett of the New England Botanic Depot in Boston. In 1864 he transferred the rights to some of his medicines to Swett. Dr. Poland's diary entries are short, with a note of the weather, his or his family's health problems, travel (mainly to Boston), gardening activities, purchases, sales of the medicines, and church activities (once in a while he preached in Melrose at the Baptist church). Usually there were no notes of outside events, with the notable exceptions of Lincoln's election in 1864, Lincoln's inauguration on March 4, 1865, Lee's surrender on April 10th, and Lincoln's assassination on April 14th. Dr. Poland writes: "Pres. Lincoln shot by Booth, an assassin - Lord Save Us!" He notes his own birthday (57 years old) in 1865 and the death of his mother on Nov. 5th of the same year. Included are a number of ephemera items related to Dr. Poland's profession as a maker and seller of proprietary (patent or "quack") medicines including: two receipts for pew rental at the First Baptist Society of Melrose; two newspaper clippings of testimonials for the use of Dr. Poland's White Pine Compound; a business license from the U.S. Internal Revenue dated June 1, 1863 (a tax to help pay for the war); and a page of handwritten advertising copy for Dr. Poland's Specific; a cure for costiveness (constipation). Both diaries have written entries (in pencil) for every day of the year and are overall in G condition.; 16mo - over 5¾" - 6¾" tall; QUACK MEDICINE, PHYSICIAN, QUACKERY, PATENT MEDICINE, SNAKE OIL, BAPTISTS, MASSACHUSETTS, MASS, MA, CIVIL WAR, 19TH REGIMENT, FORT COLUMBUS, YORK HARBOR, ANTIETAM, FORT SENECA, SOCIAL STUDIES, GENDER STUDIES, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, DIARY, JOURNAL, LOG, KEEPSAKE, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, DIARIES, JOURNALS, LOGS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, PERSONAL HISTORY, AMERICANA, Als, antiquité, contrat, vélin, document, manuscrit, papier Antike, Brief, Pergament, Dokument, Manuskript, Papier oggetto d'antiquariato, atto, velina, documento, manoscritto, carta antigüedad, hecho, vitela, documento, manuscrito, papel.
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