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Dr. Page: Probate Records
Probate records show what a person owned at the time of his or her death. You can find these records in local or county depositories, where deeds are also often stored. Benjamin Page's probate record shows us what books were in Dr. Page's library when he died. We do not know whether he read every book he owned, nor which he owned in 1794, when he was called to assist in the Sewall delivery. It is likely, however, that he was familiar with the works on birth instruments by Smellie, anatomy by Hunter and others, opium and laudanum by Buchanan and others, and surgical procedures by several authors.

Interestingly, Dr. Page owned everything in the Page household except his wife's clothes, even though Mrs. Page was still alive.


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Questions to ask these pages:

1. How many medical books did Dr. Page have in his library?

2. How many works by William Smellie did Page own?

More Questions:

1. What items in Dr. Page's inventory might be considered Mrs. Page's today?

2. What information that isn't in this probate record would be useful to know?

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