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Letters: Dr. Benjamin Vaughn to Ben Page
Like midwives, young doctors learned valuable skills from veterans of their profession. A number of letters from Dr. Benjamin Vaughn to the younger Dr. Page have been preserved. Vaughn's parents came from wealthy merchant families, one in London and one in Boston. Born in 1751, Vaughn studied medicine in Edinburgh and was elected to Parliament. He settled in Maine around 1796 and practiced medicine part-time. Born in 1770, Page had practiced in Hallowell since 1791. In these letters, Vaughn advises the younger physician on a number of medical questions.


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Questions to Ask these Pages

1. What drugs does Vaughn prescribe?

2. What treatments other than drugs does Vaughn prescribe?


More Questions

1. How do these drugs and treatments compare with the remedies described in Martha Ballard's diary?
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2. How do these treatments compare with those we use today?
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Reading Help

March 14, 1802: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

in reducing the fever, which obstructed the secretions.

   If Miss Bakman should continue troubled with dosing, may not the opium be withdrawn from her pills? I strongly incline there, to the loss of 4 ounces of blood by way of experiment; pushing the bleeding, if the pulse rises, so as to take away 6. By the affect, a repetition may be shewn to be proper or improper, as may be.

Yours sincerely,
BV

Did you ever know a single instance of evil committed by our bleeding in fever; and on the contrary, have you not known evils, or least delays, from procrastinating it? If you balance accounts with the [lowest], you will I fear find yourself largely its debtor, even in the last year.

   They have had much sickness & mortality in the new townships from fever, which their best practioners call mixed. You may judge of the practce by this [appellation] & the result.





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