The Papers of Dr. William Paine document the life and career of this American Loyalist and physician and the turbulent period in which he lived. The records are varied and include correspondence, medical records such as accounts, memoranda and memo books, tracts, prescriptions, hospital papers and notes; legal documents; and journals and diaries. These provide a source for the history of medicine from the mid-eighteenth century into the early years of the nineteenth century, and contain great detail on medical practices and procedures, drugs and prescriptions, diseases, treatments, cures, hospitals, supplies, record keeping, medical education, and to a much lesser extent personal finance, rural history, and description and travel.
Arrangement and Detailed Contents:
REEL 1:1. Correspondence 1768-1822, mainly to Paine from his brother Nathaniel in Massachusetts, and John Brown and John Crawford in London, England, as well as other doctors, and businesses such as Mendonson & Co. at Medeira (concerning medical cases, personal business and financial matters, and difficulties collecting money after the war); 2. accounts, medical memoranda, prescriptions (including costs of medications, name of the person being treated), various medical records such as lists of cures, 1767-1797 (not in chronoical order and many are undated); 3. “Journal from New York to Libson, Portugal 1781” (a 35 page journal comprised of letters to Dr. Paine’s brother, primarily noting the weather conditions of the journey); 4. “Portuguese Anecdote” (a story about the Queen of Portugal written by Dr. Paine); 5. Memorandum for Lord Winchelsea’s Government 1781 (including payments received for medical services); 6. Medical Tracts c.1782 (including notes on various methods of treatments); 7. Statement of service with the British forces during the American Revolution (1786); 8. Inventory of Dr. Paine’s property in Worcester, Massachusetts, which was confiscated by the rebels ( 12 Jan.1779, includes many items used in his apothecary practice – also notes the value of these items); 9. Diary and Medical notes from Salem, Massachusetts copied from Dr. Holyoke’s journal (1782-1784, includes a monthly list of diseases treated, descriptions of medical conditions and cases, record of deaths with their causes, as well as notes on the weather); 10. papers relating to hospital service (in His Majesty’s General Hospital, Halifax, Nova Scotia and Fort Howe, Saint John, New Brunswick between 1783 and 1784 – includes accounts, receipts of payment for treatments, instructions on cures, correspondences, lists of supplies, and expenses); 11. Alphabetical Invoice of Medicines with the numbers of chests and cases where they will be found (potentially a packing list compiled in Halifax in 1783 – it includes a list of surgical instruments and other supplies); 12. Journal from Halifax to Passamaquoddy (1784); 13. Legal Documents (including accounts, correspondence, estate inventories, 1771-1835, many not in chronological order).
REEL 2: Two Notebooks of Medical Memoranda (1st book – 1769, 2nd book – 1768), includes the names of medicines and their respective treatments, treatments are categorized (e.g. inject, enema, suppository); Medical Notes (from Worcester Massachusetts, includes directions on how to take various medications, information on various illnesses, and other apothecary notes from Dr. Paine’s partnership with Levi Shepherd and Ebenezer Hunt, opened the first apothecary shop in Worcester County for the sale of drugs and medicines); Notes on Drugs and Medicines (c.1772, including recipes on how to make various medications and what ailments theses medicines cure); Notes on Medical Studies (c.1770 in Salem, Massachusetts, includes a list of various medical symbols and the ‘particles’ they represent, as well as notes from lectures); Accounts of Drugs and Medicines Purchased (in Salem 1790-1791, includes the date, item purchased, quantity purchased, and cost); Medical Memorandum of Visits and Prescriptions (Salem in 1792, includes a point form list of medical visits by date, lists the name of a patient, their ailments, and the prescription); and Memo Books of Visits and Prescriptions (1792-1793).
REEL 3: Memo Books of Visits and Prescriptions continued, 1793-1795 (including a list of patients, ailments/illnesses/diseases, and prescriptions); Farm Diary from Worcester Massachusetts (1798-1826), includes daily weather, notes on farm duties, description of family and daily life on a farm, and the enviroment).
REEL 4: Diary and Account Book (1794-1797, 1811-1815, chronicles aspects of personal life as well as interactions with patients, some information on prescriptions and treatments, recorded on the blank pages of a 1794 almanac); Memorandum Book from Libson, Portugal (March 21, 1781, includes notes on Portuguese people, descriptions of landscapes/towns/cities, information on daily life and politics).