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Title: Drug Supplies in the American Revolution
Author: Griffenhagen, George B.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Drug Supplies in the American Revolution" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

_George B. Griffenhagen_


Paper 16, pages 109-133, from


  United States National Museum

  WASHINGTON, D.C., 1961

Contributions from

The Museum of History and Technology

Paper 16

    Drug Supplies in the American Revolution

                    _George B. Griffenhagen_


             TREASON, POISON, AND SIEGE  113

                      FROM BAD TO WORSE  115

                      "MEDICINES--NONE"  118

                PRIVATEERS TO THE RESCUE 121

               BRISK BUSINESS IN BOSTON  122

                  THE SITUATION IMPROVES 122

                           VALLEY FORGE  123

                             IN SUMMARY  129


_by George B. Griffenhagen_

     _At the start of the Revolution, the Colonies were cut off from the
     source of their usual drug supply, England. A few drugs trickled
     through from the West Indies, but by 1776 there was an acute

     _Lack of coordination and transportation resulted in a scarcity of
     drugs for the army hospitals even while druggists in other areas
     resorted to advertising in order to sell their stocks. Some relief
     came from British prize ships captured by the American navy and
     privateers, but the chaotic condition of drug supply was not eased
     until the alliance with France early in 1778._

     The Author: _George Griffenhagen--formerly curator of medical
     sciences, United States National Museum, Smithsonian
     Institution--is director of communications, American Pharmaceutical
     Association, and managing editor, Journal of the American
     Pharmaceutical Association._

As one historian has reminded us, "few fields of history have been
more intensively cultivated by successive generations of historians;
few offer less reward in the shape of fresh facts or theories" than
does the American Revolutionary War.[1] This is true to some extent
even in the medical history of the Revolution. The details of the feud
within the medical department of the army have been told and
retold.[2] Even accounts of the drugs employed and pharmaceutical
services have been presented, primarily in the form of biographies and
as reviews of the _Lititz Pharmacopoeia_ of 1778.[3] However,
practically nothing has been published on the actual availability of
medical supplies. Furthermore, the discovery of several significant
but unrecorded account books of private druggists who furnished
sizable quantities of drugs to the Continental Army and a careful
re-evaluation of the unusually significant papers[4] of Dr. Jonathan
Potts, Revolutionary War surgeon, justify a review of the drug
supplies during the early years of the war.

Continental Medicine Chests

As early as February 21, 1775, the Provincial Congress of
Massachusetts appointed a committee to determine what medical supplies
would be necessary should colonial troops be required to take the
field. Three days later the Congress voted to "make an inquiry where
fifteen doctor's chests can be got, and on what terms"; and on March 7
it directed the committee of supplies "to make a draft in favor of
Doct. Joseph Warren and Doct. Benjamin Church, for five hundred
pounds, lawful money, to enable them to purchase such articles for the
provincial chests of medicine as cannot be got on credit."[5]

A unique ledger of the Greenleaf apothecary shop of Boston[6] reveals
that this pharmacy on April 4, 1775, supplied at least 5 of the 15
chests of medicines. The account, in the amount of just over £247, is
listed in the name of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, and shows
that £51 was paid in cash by Dr. Joseph Warren. The remaining £196 was
not paid until August 10, after Warren had been killed in the Battle
of Bunker Hill.

The 15 medicine chests, including presumably the five supplied by
Greenleaf, were distributed on April 18--three at Sudbury and two each
at Concord, Groton, Mendon, Stow, Worcester, and Lancaster.[7] No
record has been found to indicate whether or not the British
discovered the medical chests at Concord, but, inasmuch as the
patriots were warned of the British movement, it is very likely that
the chests were among the supplies that were carried off and hidden.
The British destroyed as much of the remainder as they could

[Illustration: Figure 1.--Medicine scales and oval box of medicinal
herbs used by Dr. Solomon Drowne during the Revolution. Preserved at
Fort Ticonderoga Museum, New York.]

Two days after the battles at Lexington and Concord, the Provincial
Congress ordered that a man and horse be made available to transport
medicines. On April 30, Andrew Craigie was appointed to take care of
these medical stores and deliver them as ordered.

Medical supplies were an early source of anxiety to the Provincial
Congress of Massachusetts. The supply of drugs in Boston must have
been largely controlled by the British after Lexington-Concord, and
the limited supply in the neighboring smaller towns was soon
exhausted. Four days before the Battle of Bunker Hill the Congress
"Ordered that Doct. Whiting, Doct. Taylor and Mr. Parks, be a
committee to consider some method of supplying the several surgeons of
the army with medicines," and further "Ordered that the same committee
bring in a list of what medicines are in the medical store."[9]

On June 10 the responsibility of furnishing medical supplies to the
army at Cambridge shifted to Philadelphia when the Continental
Congress accepted the request of the Massachusetts Provincial
Congress to assume control and direction of the forces assembled
around Boston. The Continental Congress established a Continental
Hospital Plan on July 27, but it was not until September 14 that the
Congress appointed a "committee to devise ways and means for supplying
the Continental Army with medicines." On this same day, the deputy
commissary general was directed to pay Dr. Samuel Stringer for the
medicines he purchased,[10] which, as we learn later, were the initial
supply for the Canadian campaign.

The first recorded purchase of drugs made directly by Congress, on
September 23, was "a parcel of Drugs in the hands of Mr. Rapalje,
which he offers at the prime cost."[11] Then, on November 10, Congress
ordered that the medicine purchased in Philadelphia for the army at
Cambridge be sent there by land.[12] But difficulties of supply
commenced early. On January 1, 1776, Eliphalet Dyer wrote Joseph
Trumbull asking "how could the cask of Rhubarb which was sent by order
of Congress and was extremely wanted in the Hospital lye by to this
time. After you came way I wrote to Daniel Brown to see it

In the fall of 1775 there must have been a reasonably good stock of
drugs in the hands of private Philadelphia druggists, and until the
end of summer there were still a number of ships from Jamaica,
Bermuda, Antigua, and Barbados putting in at Philadelphia with
supplies, much of which originally came from England. Philadelphia
druggists included William Drewet Smith, "Chemist and Druggist at
Hippocrates's Head in Second Street";[14] Dr. George Weed in Front
Street;[15] Robert Bass, "Apothecary in Market-Street"; Dr. Anthony
Yeldall "at his Medicinal Ware-House in Front-Street";[16] and the
firm of Sharp Delaney and William Smith.[17] The largest pharmacy in
Philadelphia was operated by the Marshall brothers--Christopher Jr.
and Charles. This pharmacy had been established in 1729 at Front and
Chestnut Streets by Christopher Marshall, Sr., a patriot who took an
active part in the care of the sick and wounded in Philadelphia
hospitals during the Revolution.[18]

As the plans progressed for raising troops from New Jersey, Maryland,
Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina,
Congress called on the committee on medicines "to procure proper
medicine chests for the battalions...."[19] The journal of the
Continental Congress fails to indicate the source of these medicine
chests, but the Marshall brothers' manuscript "waste book" (daily
record) for the period February 21 to July 6, 1776,[20] indicates that
the Marshall apothecary shop was the primary supplier. The records
show that the Marshalls furnished 20 medicine chests to the following
battalions from February to June:[21]

  February 1776: Pennsylvania 1st Battalion
  March 1776:    Jersey 3d Battalion
  April 1776:    Pennsylvania 2d, 3d, and 6th Battalions
  May 1776:      Six Virginia battalions
                 Jersey 1st Battalion
                 Pennsylvania 4th Battalion
  June 1776:     Six North Carolina battalions
                 Virginia 9th Battalion

The exact contents of each chest are indicated in the Marshalls' waste
book. The chest furnished to the Pennsylvania 4th Battalion is an
example of the ones supplied by Congress in the spring of 1776; its
contents are listed on page 130.

Congress intended that all chests be substantially the same, but the
amount of medicines demanded exceeded the stock of even the largest
druggists. The first several chests were complete as ordered, but as
early as April the Marshalls were running out of certain drugs. Gum
opium and nitre "found by Congress" was included in the chest for the
Pennsylvania 4th Battalion, and by May 11 the Marshalls were out of
Peruvian bark, ipecac, cream of tartar, gum camphor, and red
precipitate of mercury. The chests outfitted after June 1 also failed
to include Epsom salts, and the last chest lacked jalap as well. Thus
the majority of the battalions traveling north were already without
some of the most necessary drugs in their chests. Blithely their
medical officers thought they could obtain the missing drugs when they
arrived at the general hospital.

Treason, Poison, and Siege

After the Battle of Bunker Hill, the forces around Boston settled down
for a 9-month siege. Two days after General Washington arrived in
Cambridge on July 2, 1775, to take command of the army, the Provincial
Congress of Massachusetts ordered a committee to prepare a letter
informing him of the provisions that had been made for the sick and
wounded of the army. On the very same day, July 4, the Provincial
Congress appointed Andrew Craigie medical commissary and apothecary
for the Massachusetts army.[22]

Following a personal inspection by Washington on July 21 and the
establishment of the general hospital plan on July 27, the Continental
Congress elected Dr. Benjamin Church as director general of the newly
created medical department. Soon after this, Church conferred with
several Massachusetts officials regarding the appointment of
apothecaries for the medical store at Watertown. On August 3, a
committee of the Provincial Congress advised "that the Medical Store
in Watertown be continued where it now is, and that Mr. Andrew
Craigie, appointed by the late Congress Apothecary to the Colony, be
directed to take charge thereof, and prepare the necessary
compositions; and that Mr. James Miller Church be appointed Assistant
Apothecary to put up and distribute said Medicines...."[23]

The medical supplies were slow in coming from Philadelphia, as we have
already noted. On the other hand, troops were arriving daily, placing
an increased demand on all types of supplies, including drugs. One
event which undoubtedly resulted in delays in establishing proper
supply depots was the startling discovery that Director General
Church was guilty of holding treasonable correspondence with the
enemy. On October 16, Congress elected Dr. John Morgan to replace

On December 2, by order of Morgan, Apothecary Craigie made an
inventory of the medical supplies in the general hospital at
Cambridge. The inventory included 120 different items, but only
limited quantities of the essential drugs.[25] There were 52 pounds of
Jesuits' bark, 18 pounds of cream of tartar, 76 pounds of purging
salts, 1 pound of camphor, 5 pounds of jalap, 1 pound of ipecac, and
1/2 pound of tartar emetic. The 44 pounds of gum ammoniac was reported
"damaged," and the 86 pounds of rhubarb was described as "bad."[26] An
inventory of medicines held by the different regimental surgeons in
Massachusetts indicated that all regiments had "but few medicines"
except for Colonel Hand's, which reported "a good supply."[27]

However, this rather meager inventory of drugs probably was not
inadequate. The siege of Boston resulted in few wounded soldiers, and
there was a surprisingly small amount of sickness in the army during
the winter of 1775-76; furthermore, towns not too distant still had a
limited supply of drugs on hand. Smith and Coit, of Hartford,
Connecticut, informed "their good Customers, and the public in
general, that notwithstanding the entire stop to Importation which
hath long since taken place, they still have on hand, small Quantities
of most Articles of the Apothecary Way ... which they mean to sell at
a reasonable retailing Price."[28] Jacob Isaacks of Newport, Rhode
Island, similarly advertised "a complete assortment of genuine
Medicines, with furniture for containing the same, to the amount of
about 300 pounds sterling; which medicines were purchased with cash,
and will be sold, at the prime cost and charges, without any advance.
Any of the lawful or Continental bills now current will be taken in
pay for the above medicines."[29]

Drug supplies also were quite adequate in Boston during the British
occupation. Sylvester Gardiner at "The Sign of the Unicorn and Mortar
in Marlborow Street" reported that "all kinds of the best and
freshest drugs and medicines ... are continued to be sold as usual."
However a cautionary note was added that drugs and medicines had been
"constantly imported every fall and spring to June last." Implicit in
the advertising is the suggestion that the securing of new supplies
was highly uncertain.[30]

A letter dated December 2, 1775, from a British officer in Boston to a
friend in Edinburgh observed that "many of our men are sick, and fresh
provisions very dear." However, the officer added, "but the Rebels
must be in a much worse condition...."[31] Drugs were imported into
Boston during the siege as evidenced by an advertisement on February
22, 1776, announcing "just imported from LONDON and to be sold at Mr.
Dalton's Store, on the Long-Wharf, a proper assortment of Drugs and
Medicines of the Best quality in Cases."[32]

By the end of February 1776, Washington had decided to try to end the
siege of Boston by seizing Dorchester Heights and placing his
artillery there in a position to bombard the town. General Howe
believed it was time to leave, and the British evacuated on March 17.

As the Continental Army moved into Boston, there was an outcry that
the British had poisoned a supply of drugs left behind. On April 15
the _Boston Gazette_ reported that "it is absolutely fact that the
Doctors of the diabolical ministerial butcher when they evacuated
Boston, intermixed and left 26 weight of Arsenick with the medicines
which they left in the Alms House."[33] Then, a week later, on April
22, appeared a series of testimonials that had been made by Joseph
Warren, Daniel Scott, and Frederick Ridgley at Watertown on April 3d
"by order of the Director-General of the Continental Hospital." Warren
swore under oath that on or about March 29 he had gone into the
workhouse [almshouse] "lately improved as an hospital by the British
troops stationed in said town" and upon examining the state of "a
large quantity of Medicine" left in the medicinal storeroom had found
about 12 or 14 pounds of arsenic intermixed with the drugs, which were
found "to be chiefly capital articles and those most generally in

Despite this incident, we have the word of Morgan that "a large,
though unassorted stock of medicines" was collected in Boston when the
British evacuated.[35] Hospital Surgeons Ebenezer Crosby and Frederick
Ridgley reported that "at the evacuation of Boston ... all the Mates
of the Hospital that could be spared from Cambridge ... were employed
in packing up and sending off [to Cambridge] drugs, medicines and
other hospital stores, collected by order of Dr. Morgan, the quantity
of which appeared great."[36]

Inasmuch as few medicines were listed in the inventory of stores left
by the British on the wharfs and in the scuttled ships in the
harbor,[37] it appears that most of these drugs obtained in Boston
were confiscated from the homes, offices, and shops of the Loyalists
who fled when the British evacuated. Morgan reported that he had taken
possession of the medicines and furniture of Dr. Sylvester Gardiner's
shop, and a small stock of drugs from the office of Dr. William
Perkins, a private practitioner.[38] No inventory of these supplies
has been located thus far, but a contemporary biographer of Sylvester
Gardiner records that the confiscated drugs from his shop "filled from
20 to 25 wagons."[39] This is not unlikely because Gardiner's
apothecary shop was one of the largest and most prosperous in the
Colonies prior to the Revolution.[40]

Soon after the British evacuated Boston, the Greenleaf apothecary shop
in Boston was again supplying medicines to the Continental Army. The
Greenleaf ledger[41] shows that on May 25 the shop sold nearly £4
worth of "Sundry Medicines ... [to] the Committee of War, State of
Massachusetts Bay." Then, on June 20, the Massachusetts Assembly
resolved that "Dr. John Greenleaf of Boston be requested to supply the
Chief Surgeon of ... Colonels Marshall's, Whitney's and Craft's
Regiments ... with medicines as may be necessary...."[42] A short
time later the Assembly advanced "up to £50 to Greenleaf for
purchasing such medicines as he cannot supply from his own store."[43]

The Greenleaf ledger shows that over £32 worth of medicines were sold
for Colonel Whitney's regiment and over £36 worth for Colonel
Marshall's regiment between June 13 and November 20, 1776. Thus, drugs
were available; but until the fall of '76, Greenleaf was having
difficulty in obtaining an abundant supply.

From Bad to Worse

General Washington, correctly foretelling that New York City would be
the next British objective, marched there from Boston with as much of
his army as could be induced to stay under the colors. Had it not been
for the presence of Washington's forces in New York, that colony would
certainly have remained Loyalist; as it was, the Patriot committees
had the greatest difficulty in keeping the Tories quiet by strong-arm

The availability of drugs in New York prior to the arrival of
Washington's forces did not seem to be particularly affected by the
war. Thomas Attwood "at his store in Dock-Street" offered for sale a
wide assortment of drugs and medicines,[45] while William Stewart
offered "a fresh supply of Genuine Drugs and Medicines ... on the most
reasonable terms either for cash or at the usual credit."[46] The
citizens of New York did not even have to do without their popular
English patent medicines.[47]

Washington, however, had to provide for his own medical supplies in
New York. In a letter dated April 3 he ordered Director General Morgan
to remove the general hospital to New York with "all convenient
speed...."[48] The fixing and completing of the regimental chests was
to be deferred until Morgan arrived at New York.

Morgan remained behind in Boston for another six weeks collecting
medicines, furniture, and hospital stores worth thousands of pounds.
"The like quantity ... could not be procured," so Morgan later
claimed, "in any [other] part of America." He was also able to
purchase drugs from Salem, Newport, and Norwich, and before departing
for New York he completed a medicine chest for each of the five
regiments at Boston, Salem, and Marblehead, as ordered by

Morgan arrived in New York about June 3 and purchased some additional
drugs there. By June 17 his staff had made up 30 medicine chests for
the regiments at New York as well as for "the branches of the General
Hospital at New-York, in the bowry and neighborhood and at
Long-Island." But the number of regiments requiring medical supplies
exceeded Morgan's expectations, particularly since he had been advised
that "the Southward regiments" would be supplied by Congress in

By the middle of June, Morgan must have realized that the supply of
drugs available was inadequate despite the sizable quantity brought
from Boston and the small stock he was able to obtain in New York. It
appears that many of the New York druggists were Loyalists, and
somehow they and their stock of drugs disappeared when needed by
Washington's army. For example, druggist Thomas Attwood "removed his
store consisting of a general assortment of Drugs and Medicines" to
Newark in May only to reappear in New York again under British
occupation with a good stock of "Drugs and Medicines."[51]

The New York Committee of Safety had attempted to develop a stock of
drugs early in the year when they were plentiful,[52] but in June this
supply was valued at only £30. Even this small stock was not available
to Morgan because when he asked permission to purchase the medicines
at "a reasonable price ... for use of the Continental Hospital" the
New York Provincial Congress rejected his plea on June 26 with the
explanation that this medicine was to be "reserved for the use of the
poor and other inhabitants of this city."[53]

With increasing demands to supply the troops in the Northern
Department, Morgan turned to Philadelphia and the Continental
Congress. Morgan owned a small stock of drugs in Philadelphia, and
knew of another supply in the possession of the firm of Delaney and
Smith,[54] so he sent Dr. Barnabus Binney to Philadelphia to forward
"with all dispatch" what medicines he had there and whatever could be
obtained from Congress.[55] Congress resolved on July 17 "to purchase
the Medicines (now in Phila) belonging to Doctor Morgan,"[56] but for
nearly a month Binney was unable to obtain any additional supplies
either from Congress or from private sources.

On June 25 Morgan wrote to Samuel Adams asking for power "to demand a
proportion of the Continental medicines left in care of Messrs.
Delaney & Smith," and he repeated the request in July. However,
Morgan's only reply from Adams, dated August 5, made no mention of the
Delaney and Smith drug stock. Instead Adams wrote only: "I have
received several letters from you, which I should have sooner
acknowledged, if I could only have found leisure. I took however, the
necessary steps to have what you requested effected in Congress."[57]

Finally, on August 8, Congress directed the committee for procuring
medicines "to supply the director general of the Hospital with such
medicines as he may want."[58] By this time, such a resolution was
hardly much consolation to Morgan. Evidence of the status of the
supplies in the general hospital at New York can be gleaned from an
advertisement in the _New-York Gazette_ of July 29 signed by Thomas
Carnes, "Steward and Quarter-Master to the General Hospital":

     WANTED immediately ... a large quantity of dry herbs, for baths,
     fomentations, &c. &c. particularly baum hysop, wormwood and
     mallows, for which a good price will be given. The good people of
     the neighboring towns, and even those who live more remote from
     this city, by carefully collecting and curing quantities of useful
     herbs will greatly promote the good of the Army, and considerably
     benefit themselves.

The retreat from Long Island on August 27 and the subsequent loss of
New York City to the British certainly did not help the medical supply
problem. Despite the fact that part of the medical stores were shipped
to Stamford, Connecticut, and another stock of supplies removed to
Newark, Morgan admits that "the most valuable part was still left in
New-York when the enemy had effected a landing, drawn a line across
the island, and were entering New-York."[59] General Knox later told
how "late in the day of the 15th of September, 1776, after the enemy
had beat back part of the American troops," Morgan "came over from
Powles Hook in a pettiauger, and had her loaded with Hospital
stores."[60] Washington personally reported on September 16 that "the
retreat was effected with but little loss of Men, tho' a considerable
part of our Baggage ... part of our Stores and Provisions, which we
were removing, was unavoidably left in the City...."[61]

One small bundle of private drug supplies saved from the British is
reported[62] by "Doct. Prime, A Refuge from Long Island," who
announced the opening of a shop in Wethersfield. The newspaper
advertisement reported that Prime

     ... has saved from the enemy a parcel of medicines, part of which
     he would barter for such articles as he wants, especially shop
     utensils of which he had unfortunately lost the most of his own....

The medical supply problem went from bad to worse as Washington's army
retreated from Harlem Heights to White Plains and then finally into
New Jersey. Morgan again turned to Philadelphia for drugs, but
obtained "none or next to none." Instead of ten pounds of tartar
emetic which Morgan requested from Philadelphia druggist Robert Bass
and the newly appointed Continental Druggist, William Smith, four
ounces was all that he received, but with "a proper apology."[63]

On September 21, the supply of bark was completely exhausted, and
Washington was furious. On September 24 in a letter to the President
of the Congress, Washington charged that the regimental surgeons were
aiming "to break up the Genl. Hospital" and that they had "in
numberless Instances drawn for Medicines, Stores, &c. in the most
profuse and extravagent manner for private purposes."[64]

To make matters worse, new troops continued to arrive without medical
supplies. For example, those from Maryland arrived at White Plains
with their regimental surgeons fully expecting Morgan to supply them
with medicines, even though the Maryland Convention on October 4 had
ordered that these troops be supplied with medicines by the Maryland
Council of Safety before their departure.[65]

Morgan thought he had at least one small but safe stock of drugs.
Barnabas Binney, who was sent to Philadelphia in July for medical
supplies, was successful in obtaining "a reasonable good order" about
the middle of August, including "30 lb. Camphor; 10 lb. Ipecac; 7 lb.
Opium; 50 lb. Quicksilver; 40 lb. Jalap; 68 lb. Manna; 186 lb. Nitre;
200 lb. Cream of Tartar; 269 lb. Bark; and other important
articles."[66] However, since these supplies arrived at Newark just as
Washington was beginning to pull out of Long Island, they were
deposited at a newly established hospital under Cutting, the assistant

When Morgan finally began drawing on these supplies, Dr. William
Shippen had been placed in charge of the hospitals in New Jersey and
the medicines had been turned over to him by a vote of Congress.[68]
Finally, on January 9, 1777, Congress dismissed Morgan as director
general without giving any reasons except to indicate indirectly that
it was due to his inability to provide adequate medical supplies.[69]
To add insult to injury, on February 5 Congress asked "what is become
of the medicines which Dr. Morgan took from Boston ..." and resolved
to "take measures to have them secured, and applied to the use of the

[Illustration: Figure 2.--Set of surgical instruments used by Dr.
Benjamin Treadwell during the Revolution. Included are three
amputation knives, forceps, a ball extractor, and two surgical hooks.
Preserved at the Medical Museum of the Armed Forces Institute of
Pathology. (_Photo courtesy of Armed Forces Institute of Pathology._)]

Meanwhile, in New York City the supply of drugs had returned to normal
or near normal within a few weeks after the British occupation. On
September 30, 1776, Thomas Brownejohn announced the opening "of his
medicinal store at the corner of Hanover-Square ... where gentlemen of
the army and navy can be supplied at the shortest notice with all
kinds of medicines on the most reasonable terms." On December 16
Richard Speaight announced that he "has once again opened his Shop at
the sign of the Elaboratory in Queen-Street," and a week later Thomas
Attwood returned from Newark to open "his store of Drugs and Medicines
in Dock-Street." To touch upon the sympathy of the Loyalists, Donald
McLean, "Surgeon of the late Seventy-Seventh Regiment," reported in
January 1777 that he was "now happily delivered from his late
captivity" and again opening a shop in Water-Street for drugs and

Importations from London commenced as early as December 1776 when "the
Brig Friendship lying at Beaches Wharf" offered for sale "An
Assortment of Drugs, Consisting of Bark, Opium, Rhubarb, &c." In April
1777 Speaight advertised "a fresh Importation ... from the original
ware-houses in London," and, in June, Attwood advertised "A large and
general Assortment of Drugs and Medicines freshly imported.... Several
Medicine Chests complete, fitted up in London, with printed

Importation by the British was not without its problems, however.
Joseph Gurney Bevan, owner of the Plough Court Pharmacy in London,
wrote Dr. Traser in Jamaica on October 25, 1777:

     I hope thou will be pleased with the Bark. It is very good and the
     best I have seen this year, but I do not think any Bark in town is
     equal to what I have seen in former years. Thou wilt note the snake
     root to be very dear. The cause is the stoppage of the American
     trade. Opium is also much higher than I ever knew it. The insurance
     is raised on account of the American privateers.

Answering a letter from William Stewart of New York, Bevan wrote on
March 5, 1777:

     I wish it were yet in my power to ... forward the medicines and
     utensils thou hast written for. But on inquiry I am informed that
     it is not permitted that anything shall yet be sent to New York in
     a merchantile way. Therefore I must defer till the wanted
     intercourse between us and you is re-established.... I want to
     advise thee to buy what snake root thou cans't pick up which I
     believe if sent hither at the first opening of the trade, will turn
     to good Account.

Bevan was still reluctant to make any shipments in April because the
"ships and cargoes on their arrival at New York will be at the mercy
of the persons in command there," but on September 4 he shipped a
large order to McLean.[73] During the remainder of the war, the
Plough Court Pharmacy continued regular shipments to McLean as well as
to Stewart and to Brownejohn.


Morgan's chaotic situation at New York was mild compared to the
conditions at Fort George and Ticonderoga in the Northern Department.
Dr. Samuel Stringer, medical director of the Northern Department,
wrote General Washington on May 10, 1776, that the majority of the
regimental surgeons had neither medicines nor instruments, and that
there was no possibility of getting them in Canada. Washington replied
that he would direct Dr. Morgan to send the required supplies, and ask
for additional help from Congress.[74] However, until early in June,
Morgan was in no position to outfit medicine chests for any of the
troops at New York, much less for the army in the north; and Congress
didn't even get around to directing "the committee appointed to
provide medicines ... to send a proper assortment of medicine to
Canada" until June 17.[75]

After Morgan had established the general hospital at New York, he
wrote to Samuel Adams on June 25 that

     ... the state of the Army in Canada ... for a supply of medicines
     is truly deplorable. General Gates sets out to-morrow to take
     command of the Army in Canada. Dr. Potts will accompany him. I have
     therefore given orders to supply him from the General Hospital with
     a large chest of such medicines as I can best spare, and which can
     be got ready to-morrow before his departure.[76]

Until July 24, the only medicines to arrive at Fort George were the
"few that Dr. Potts brought with him" even though Morgan had,
according to Stringer, promised to send "by the first sloop twenty
half-chests of medicines" put up at New York for ten battalions in the
north. Stringer therefore asked permission of General Gates at
Ticonderoga to "go forth to York and see the medicines forthwith
forwarded by land, until they can be safely conveyed by water."
Permission was granted on July 29 and Stringer departed for New
York.[77] Meanwhile, Morgan had written Potts on July 28 that he had
sent Dr. James McHenry to Philadelphia for drugs, and that he was
sending Andrew Craigie to Fort George to "act as an Apothecary."
Morgan also asked for an inventory of drugs on hand in the Northern

Stringer spent only a day or two in New York with Morgan--just long
enough to intensify their personal feud over responsibilities and
authority. Stringer determined that the "twenty half-chests"
apparently were a figment of someone's imagination, because supplies
in New York were almost as bad as they were in the north. Also, he
learned that Morgan was sending a box of medicine northward "under the
care of the Surgeon of Col. Wayne Regt."[79] that was undoubtedly
intended to serve only as a regimental chest. Stringer then hurried on
to Philadelphia just in time to intercept McHenry, who had obtained
"an order from the Committee of Congress for 40 lb. Bark, 10 [lb.]
Camphire and some other articles."[80]

Stringer wrote Potts on August 17 that at last he had obtained an
order for medicines that would be packed in two days, but added "when
you'll receive them God knows." He also reported that "there will also
arrive another Box under the care of Doct. McHenry containing only 5
articles of which there is but 30 lbs. Bark and I think not a
purgative except some few pounds of Rhubarb and a little Fol.
Senae."[81] McHenry, however, only got as far as New York with his
meager supplies, because Stringer discharged him from the service in
an attempt to show both Morgan and Potts who had the most

Stringer's inexcusably long absence from his hospital post and failure
to send the needed medicines so aroused General Gates that he wrote
the President of the Congress on August 31 as follows:[83]

     The Director of the General Hospital in this department, Doctor
     Stringer, was sent to New-York three and thirty days ago, with
     positive orders to return the instant he had provided the drugs and
     medicines so much wanted. Since then, repeated letters have been
     wrote to New-York and Philadelphia, setting forth in the strongest
     terms the pressing necessity of an immediate supply of these

Finally, almost a month after his arrival in Philadelphia, Stringer
set out for Albany with a small stock of drugs. On September 7 he
wrote Potts from Albany that he hoped the small supply that he
obtained and the chest of medicines that Morgan had just sent would
hold out until he could obtain additional supplies in New England,
where he was then headed "to ransack that Country of those articles we

Meanwhile, Potts at Fort George had started making the desired
inventory of medicines. It came as no surprise to anyone that the
situation was deplorable--indeed, it was worse than that. On August 31
a committee of surgeons at Ticonderoga prepared at General Gates'
order "A Catalogue of Medicines Most Necessary for the Army." This
list, undoubtedly representing the minimum requirements of each
battalion, called for 20 pounds of bark, 4 pounds of gum camphor, 2
pounds of gum opium, 3 pounds of powdered ipecac, 4 pounds of powdered
jalap, 2 pounds of powdered rhubarb, 15 pounds of Epsom salts, and 3
pounds of tartar emetic among two dozen different medicines.[85]
Instead of these minimum requirements, regimental surgeons at
Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Mount Independence, and Fort George
presented inventories (mostly dated September 8) that clearly
emphasized their destitute condition.

The first New Jersey battalion at Ticonderoga reported "No Jallap,
Rhubarb, Salts, or Ipecac"; while Colonel Whilocks' regiment at
Ticonderoga reported "No medicines exclusive of private property." The
five companies of artillery at Fort George reported "Medicines--None,"
as did the 24th Regiment at Mount Independence. Others reported small
or "tollerable" assortments of medicine. A close examination of the
inventory of the Pennsylvania 6th Battalion at Crown Point shows it to
have been lacking bark, ipecac, rhubarb, camphor, and salts; and only
one-half ounce of jalap and 2 ounces of gum opium remained in the
chest outfitted by Christopher and Charles Marshall on April 25 in
Philadelphia. The 15th Regiment of Foot at Mount Independence claimed
2 ounces of bark and 1-1/2 ounces of gum opium, while the 6th Regiment
at Ticonderoga was as well off as any with one-half pound of bark and
4 ounces of gum opium.[86] Compared with the minimum need of 20 pounds
of bark and 2 pounds of gum opium, even this was not of much comfort.

The inventory "of the Medicines in the Continental Store at Fort
George" dated September 9 was not very comforting either. While the
store included 137 different items, including equipment and containers
of all the capital medicines, only Epsom salts appeared to be
available in a sufficient quantity. Seven pounds of rhubarb were also
on hand, but conspicuous by their absence were bark, ipecac, jalap,
gum camphor, and gum opium.[87]

With their continuous requests and demands, the regimental surgeons
made life miserable for Potts. Surgeon Mate of the Pennsylvania 1st
wrote that the "Chest of Medicine ... is not yet arrived but expect it
hourly...." Trumbull asked: "Have your Medicines arriv'd? Have
Stringer or McHenry made their appearance yet? Our people fall sick by
Dozens. I not a Pennys worth of Medicine have for them, even in the
most virulent disorders." Surgeon Johnston begged: "Pray if possible
send me 4 pounds Pulv. Cort. Peruv. [Bark] and 3 ounces Tart[ar]
Emet[ic]. With those medicines I think I could restore a number of our
best Men to perfect Health."[88]

In those instances where some drugs were on hand, the shortage of
pharmaceutical equipment hampered, if not prevented, the preparation
of proper dosage forms. Surgeon McCrea on board the _Royal Savage_
wrote on September 2 that he "found a great inconvenience for want of
scales & waits,"[89] and the surgeon at Crown Point wrote on September
19 that "the Medicines which I rec'd a few days ago will be of very
little Benefit as I have no fit Mortar &c to prepare them with & must
use them in Decoction."[90]

It wasn't until October that any relief arrived, and even then there
were disappointments. Andrew Craigie, at Fort George, received a
wagonload of herbs on October 3, but, as Craigie reported to Potts,
"one half the load is entirely useless, containing Saffron, Pink
flower, and whole H[eade]d Pennyroyal, &c. &c. Dr. Brown thinks his
broad shoulders would carry all the articles that are worth anything."
Craigie recommended to Potts that payment should not be made for all
the useless articles.[91]

The long-lost Stringer finally arrived at Albany from Boston on
October 5 and reported to Gates that he had met the greatest success
in procuring £5,000 of medicines.[92] Ten days later, Stringer wrote
Potts that he was now forwarding "by waggon two Barrels & 1 Box of
Medicines ... [which] will suffice for the present, not thinking it
prudent to send up the whole, especially as we can always get them up
as they are wanted."[93]

Even after the long delay, most of the supplies were still held in
Albany instead of being distributed among the surgeons who needed
them. This infuriated Potts to a point that even Stringer found it
necessary, on October 25, to explain:

     I received yesterday a letter from you ... before this time you
     will have rec'd such of the articles you desired as we had to spare
     [from] the Medicines I purchased at Boston ... I thought [it] not
     proper to risque [them] up here; neither were any of them in
     powder, and all that were so at this place we sent you, and have
     two hands busy in preparing more for our own use. I hope that [the
     shipment] sent will be sufficient for your purpose.[94]

Andrew Craigie had sent three barrels and four boxes of supplies to
Ticonderoga on October 22,[95] but the shipment obviously did not
suffice. On November 7 Stringer wrote that "as soon as possible the
Medicines you wrote for shall be prepared and sent, but they are
chiefly to be pulverized." In his typical style he added, "I cannot
conceive what use you will have for five sieves when you have no large

The November 27 report of the committee of Congress on the conditions
in the general hospital at Fort George indicates that the supply
situation was at last reasonably good,[97] but by this time the season
was far advanced and the forces had to retire to winter quarters.
Stringer was relieved of his command along with Morgan early the
following year. Unlike that of Morgan, Stringer's dismissal appears to
have been based on reasonably good grounds.

Privateers to the Rescue

Despite Congress' slow start in providing medical supplies, its
members realized as early as December 1775 that additional sources of
supply outside the Colonies would be required. On December 23 they
heard that £2,000 of medicines, surgeon's instruments, and lint and
bandages were required by the army, and on January 3, 1776, the Secret
Committee reported to Congress that these supplies should be imported
as soon as possible.[98]

In September 1775 Congress had created the Secret Committee to
supervise the export and import of vital materials required for the
war. Licenses to leave port were given shipmasters on the condition
that they would return with vital military stores. Under this
dispensation, American ships set out for Europe, Africa, and the West
Indies in search of essential supplies.[99] Many months were required,
however, to establish such importation as a significant source of
supply, and this was especially true with regard to medical supplies.

The delay in initiating importation can hardly be charged as the only
or even the main reason for medical supply shortages in 1776. For
example, in August of that year, when at least a half-dozen medical
supply officers were pleading for drugs from Congress in Philadelphia,
John Thomson of Petersburg, Virginia, advertised that he had for sale
"Rhubarb and Jalap, Glauber and Epsom Salts, Jesuits Bark" and a host
of other supplies.[100] Whether or not Thomson's supplies constituted
any significant amount, the very fact that he had to advertise them
indicates a lack of coordination and communication between those
urgently seeking supplies and those selling them.

Even more frustrating were those suppliers right under Congress's nose
advertising essential drugs. Suppliers like Dr. Anthony Yeldall at
"his Medicinal Ware-House" were still advertising "Bark, Camphire,
Rhubarb, &c" in July of '76.[101] Philadelphia was second only to New
York for Loyalists, and Yeldall was later proven to be a strong Tory.
Then there were those who were neither Patriot nor Loyalist; they were
just indifferent to the cause for American independence, and thus
insisted on cash, even though six months' credit was the common
practice just prior to the war. In 1771 in Philadelphia one druggist
regularly gave a 15 percent discount on all purchases if paid within
six months and 7-1/2 percent discount was allowed for payments between
six and nine months, but interest was expected on all debts over a
year's standing.[102]

The business-minded members of Congress tried to follow prewar methods
by seeking credit. Merchants who sold on credit found that, when they
finally were paid, they received paper money backed only by a promise
to exchange for gold and silver at some future time. Furthermore, they
were caught in a spiraling inflation, and often found that when they
finally received their money from Congress it then would cost them
twice as much to replenish their stocks. Medical supply officers
therefore found it necessary to pay ready cash for merchandise out of
their own pocket, and sometimes they had to wait six months for
reimbursement from Congress.

As we have noted, by the fall of 1776 Boston had become a better
source of supply of drugs than Philadelphia, although it had been
occupied by the British for nine months and Morgan had removed most of
the drugs left there the previous May. This was primarily due to a
single factor--the American privateer. British shipping was vulnerable
to the American privateers, which were fast vessels well suited to
this kind of enterprise. Well over 1,000 captures were made during the
war by Massachusetts privateers alone, and the arrivals of rich prize
ships at New England ports became frequent.[103]

The Greenleaf ledger confirms that drugs were included in some of
these prize ships. On December 14, 1776, Greenleaf records the receipt
of £62 from the Massachusetts government in payment for "an invoice of
Druggs taken from the prize ship Julius Caesar." Greenleaf received an
even larger stock "of druggs taken in the prize Brig Three Friends"
in March 1777. This was valued at over £170, and was also used by
Massachusetts to pay on its account with Greenleaf, largely for
outfitting its privateers.[104]

On June 30, 1777, J. G. Frazer of Boston wrote Dr. Potts, still at
Ticonderoga, as follows:[105]

     I have the pleasure to give you this Early notice of a prize ship
     being sent into Casco Bay last week with four tons of Jesuits Bark
     on board for one valuable article besides a great quantity of other
     stores for the British Army at New-York.

Brisk Business in Boston

A series of letters to Director General Potts from Apothecary Andrew
Craigie, who was on a purchasing trip through New England, gives us an
interesting glimpse into the situation. On August 29, 1777, Craigie
wrote Potts from Springfield[106] that he had just arrived from
Wethersfield where he purchased 222 pounds of bark of excellent
quality. He saw it weighed and repacked, and left the necessary
instructions for shipment to Albany. Having heard that "a quantity of
Bark & other articles are arrived at some eastern ports" Craigie took
off for Boston where he wrote Potts on September 1 as follows:[107]

     I wrote you from Springfield aquainting you that I had engaged 222
     lb. Bark at the Price [£5 per pound] Mr. Livingston mentioned to
     you; it being very dear induced me to engage a less quantity than
     you proposed 'til I should make enquiry here. I find to my great
     mortification that it is 40/[shillings] less than that in
     Wethersfield. I wish we could get clear of that engagement, and at
     least think some adjustment should be made as I am informed it cost
     Mr. Livingston who bought it at publick sale only 3 Pounds at which
     price I expect to engage 1 or 200 lb. tomorrow.... In the morning I
     go to Cape Anne about 40 miles from this, after medicines that have
     lately arrived....

Recalling Stringer's long absence of the previous year, Craigie

     I shall pay particular attention to, and if to be had, procure the
     articles, but everything is very dear. I hope not to exceed the
     time you have limited.

Craigie returned to Albany on September 20 and advised Potts that he
"succeeded in procuring medicines as expected" and that he had "on the
road 2 covered waggons of capital medicines &c."[108] The shipment
included 200 pounds of bark that Craigie bought at £3 a pound, and
waiting for him in Albany were also the 222 pounds of bark, for which
he was billed at £5 a pound plus £23/10 "Carting and Expenses."[109]
Payment had not been made by November 10,[110] nor was there any
evidence of an adjustment.

At the same time that Craigie was in Boston purchasing supplies for
the Northern Department, Apothecary Jonathan B. Cutting of the Middle
Department was also there, competing with him.[111] Furthermore,
several agents for the Congress (Thomas Cushing, Daniel Tillinghast,
and John Bradford) were purchasing drugs for the Continental Navy.
Greenleaf's ledger records that between January 23 and May 28 over
£500 worth of medicine chests and sundry medicines were sold to "The
United American States" for the Continental frigates _Boston_,
_Hancock_, _Providence_, and _Columbus_.

This competition among various branches of the army and navy led to a
brisk business in Boston. Druggists in nearby communities chanced the
British blockade to send supplies which they had on hand. For example,
Jonathan Waldo, an apothecary at Salem, Massachusetts, recorded in his
account book[112] on April 8, 1777, that "13 packages and 4 cases of
medicines are ship'd on Board the Sloop called the Two Brothers Saml
West Master. An Account and [illegible word] of Mr. Oliver Smith of
Boston Apothecary and to him consigned." Evidence of the war appears
in the footnote to the entry, however. It reads: "The cases are
unmarked being ship'd at Night. Error Excepted. Jon. Waldo."

The Situation Improves

Oliver Smith, advertising in a Boston newspaper in October 1777,
clearly emphasized the fact that "A Large and Valuable Assortment of
Drugs and Medicines" were on hand. Included in the listing were bark,
gum camphor, gum opium, jalap, rhubarb, and salts.[113]

Back in Philadelphia, the supply situation was also improving. William
Smith, Continental Druggists, received over $5,000 from Congress for
drug purchases,[114] and the Marshalls also continued to furnish
Congress with a variety of medical supplies in amounts upwards of
$4,000.[115] Drugs were occasionally being imported into Philadelphia
despite the British blockade. In January 1777, Robert Bass, an
apothecary in Market Street, advertised[116] "A Quantity of Peruvian
Bark, just imported ... together with Drugs and Medicines of most
kinds." Bass was supplying the Northern Department with drugs in
February 1777, but, according to a letter from John Warren to Potts,
"he is determined not even to pack them untill he shall receive the
money in payment for them."[117] In March, Bass wrote Potts directly

     ... if in future you want any compositions let me know in time that
     I may have them ready. I cou'd not send a full quantity [of] fly
     Plasters, but am this week making a large quantity of most kinds
     and shall send of deficiency in your next order.[118]

In June, Christopher and Charles Marshall also received "a small
assortment of valuable medicines, just imported and to be sold"[119]
to replenish their stock. Even Congress purchased directly certain of
the importations, on May 28, 1778, for example, ordering that "755
42/90 dollars be advanced to the Committee of Commerce, to enable them
to pay Andrew and James Caldwell, the freight of sundry medicines
imported in their sloop from Martinico."[120] Many of the British
prize ships were carried to the French island of Martinique in the
West Indies for trans-shipment of their cargoes.

These shipments however did not meet with the requirements for medical
supplies. In March, Apothecary Cutting, then stationed at the
"Continental Medicine Store in Fourth-Street," Philadelphia,
advertised that "any price will be given for old sheets, or half worn
linen proper for lint and bandages," while, in May, Commissary Hugh
James advertised that "a handsome price will be given for Vials and
Corks."[121] The problems of medical supplies were often brought to
the attention of the public. Thomas Carnes, "Quarter Master and
Steward" of the American hospital in New England, advertised in
several papers that he

     is authorized to make known in this public manner, that no Expense
     shall be spared in future in making the most ample Provision for
     the sick and wounded of the Army.... Proper medicines will be
     prepared, not only by General Hospitals, but by Regimental
     Surgeons. The Difficulties the Sick and Wounded met with the last
     Campaign arose from the unsettled State of the Army, and the
     Distance Medicines, and other Necessaries used to be sent.[122]

The reorganization of the medical department by Congress, including
the establishment of "two Apothecaries" and their duties, was
published in the _Pennsylvania Packet_ on April 15, and a front page
account presenting "directions for preserving the Health of Soldiers"
was featured in the next issue.[123]

Dr. Potts wrote the Medical Committee in Congress on April 3, 1777:

     I have the Honour to enclose you a Return of the Medicines & Stores
     belonging to the General Hospital in the Department, which I have
     received from Doctor Samuel Stringer, these with what I brought
     with me from Philadelphia & some few I expect from Boston will be
     quite sufficient for this campaign.

In contrast to the time when stores were short in '76, the chairman of
the Medical Committee, M. Thornton, was quick to reply on April 12

     ... we are highly pleased with your having the prospect of a
     sufficient supply of medicines in your Department for the ensuing
     Campaign, & approve of the returns you have made us.[124]

Valley Forge

Washington's forces were defeated at Brandywine on September 11, 1777,
and on September 25 the British army occupied Philadelphia.
Washington, after trying without success to dislodge them by a sudden
attack at Germantown on October 4, retreated to Valley Forge.

Business in Philadelphia under British occupation continued much as it
had under American control, except for a few missing suppliers and a
few new ones. One druggist who was little in evidence after the war
commenced was back in business advertising within two weeks after the
British occupied Philadelphia. It was William Drewet Smith (not to be
confused with William Smith) who advised "friends and customers ...
that they can be supplied with Medicine and Drugs as usual, at his
shop in Second-Street." To indicate that he was expecting an active
business, Smith also advertised for "a person who can be well
recommended for honesty and sobriety ... to attend a Druggist's

[Illustration: Figure 3.--Page from the Waste Book manuscript of the
Christopher Marshall, Jr., and Charles Marshall apothecary shop in
Philadelphia. This is the first page of the contents of a medicine
chest furnished on order of the Continental Congress for the
Pennsylvania 4th Battalion. Preserved at the Historical Society of
Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.]

[Illustration: Figure 4.--Page from the ledger of the Greenleaf
apothecary shop in Boston, showing the accounts between September 3,
1776, and May 28, 1777, with "the United American States" for
outfitting ships of the Continental Navy. Preserved at the American
Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.]

During the British occupation there was a large number of thefts and
losses--perhaps aided by the American patriots who remained in
Philadelphia--that included drugs and surgical instruments. In
November an advertisement reported the loss of "a sett of Surgeons
Pocket instruments in a crimson chequered covering, with a silver
clasp. Whoever will bring them to the bar of the coffee-house or to
Mr. Allman, surgeons mate of the Royal Artillery, shall have a Guinea
reward, and no questions asked." In April an unidentified druggist
advertised: "Stolen yesterday afternoon out of an apothecary's shop
Three Specie Glasses, with brass caps; one contained two pounds of
native cinnabar. Whoever discovers the thief and goods shall have
Twenty Shillings reward from the printer."[126]

A sign of the times is evident from the advertisement by Dr. Anthony
Yeldall, who offered his "Anti-Venereal Essence at only Two Dollars."
This nostrum, it was claimed, would not only cure the disease, but
would "absolutely prevent catching the infection." Each bottle came
with printed instructions "so that no questions need be asked." The
fact that the advertisement appeared no less than 10 times from
January through April speaks for its success.[127] It is interesting
to note that, after the British evacuated Philadelphia, "Anthony
Yeldall, Surgeon, late of the city of Philadelphia," was included
among those who were charged as having "knowingly and willingly aided
and assisted the enemies" and who would be brought to trial for high

While the British forces rested, well nourished, warm, and relatively
secure in Philadelphia, Washington's troops, hardly more than 20 miles
away, were tortured by cold, hunger, and disease. On December 23 there
were 2,898 men at Valley Forge reported sick or unfit for duty because
of lack of clothing.[129] Even so, the lack of medical supplies was
nowhere near as bad as the conditions that existed in '76. Under the
command of Director General Shippen and Purveyor General Potts,[130]
the medical department operated a series of hospitals in such
Pennsylvania communities as Easton, Bethlehem, Lancaster, Ephrata, and
Lititz. The principal hospital for Valley Forge was established 10
miles away at Yellow Springs (now Chester Springs).

The largest drain on medical supplies appears not to have been during
the height of winter but rather in the early spring when the medicine
chests of various regiments and hospitals were being restocked for the
expected spring offensive. The first step was to supplement the supply
of medical supplies on hand. In late February or early March, Dr.
William Brown sent Purveyor General Potts a list of needs of the
entire medical department that included £20,000 worth of medicines,
vials, corks, etc.[131] Dr. Brown supplemented this list with a letter
to Potts dated March 11 in which he itemized the following

  3 doz. Boxes Small Apothecary's Weights & Scales
  3 doz. Bolus knives
  3 doz. Pot Spathulae
  2 doz. Marble Mortars, of one pint, & Pestles
  2 doz. Setts Measures, from 1/2 ounce to 1 [pint?]
  6 doz. Earthen Vessels (deep) with handles--of different
    sizes, from 2 quarts to 2 galls, for boiling Decoctions, or
    2 doz. copper Do. of one gallon--for that purpose.
  6 doz. Delft Ware Tiles, for mixing Boluses &c. on.

While Dr. Brown was completing his report on medical supplies, he was
also concluding his compilation of an emergency military hospital
formulary which has become known as the _Lititz Pharmacopoeia_, so
named because Brown was making Lititz his headquarters at the time.
The preface is dated "Lititz, March 12, 1778." The actual title
(translated from Latin) reads: "Formulary of simple and yet
efficacious remedies for the use of the military hospital, belonging
to the army of the Federated States of America. Especially adapted to
our poverty and straitened circumstances, caused by the ferocious
inhumanity of the enemy, and the cruel war unexpectedly brought upon
our fatherland." This formulary was published by Styner & Cist of
Philadelphia in 1778, which means that it was not actually printed
until sometime after June 18, when the British evacuated Philadelphia.

In the preface Brown explained that there were two types of formulas
contained in the _Lititz Pharmacopoeia_; one was the "medicaments
which must be prepared and compounded in a general laboratory; the
others are to be mixed, as needed, in our hospital dispensaries."

The main store of drugs was housed at Manheim until late March, when
Shippen ordered Apothecary Cutting to pack the medical stores there
and proceed on to Yellow Springs.[133] Cutting wrote Potts on March 30

     ... the articles that we have in store are now ready to put on
     board the waggons excepting the want of cases to contain them....
     Paper, Twine, Square Snuff Bottles & Corks are so essentially
     necessary to take with us, to fit up the Regimental Chests that I
     wish your order to buy them at Lancaster immediately. I never heard
     what place in the vicinity of Camp has been chosen for our
     temporary Medicine Shop, nor what quantities the Regimental
     Surgeons are to be supply'd when we get there....[134]

On April 16 Cutting[135] wrote that the

     ... dispensing store is open'd here [at Yellow Springs] and we have
     begun to supply the Regiments in Camp.... Dr. Cochran has given
     orders to the Division on the left to bring their Chests first, and
     we propose going through the whole Army in the order in which they
     lay.... The best method I can think of is to act immediately about
     preparing new Chests upon the Northern Plan at some convenient
     place for all such Battallions as did not get chests from Dr.
     Craigie [in the] last campaign. When these new parcels are ready,
     let us call all the large chests into the Stores ... which are too
     compleat & capacious for Field Service, & in lieu of them give out
     our smaller ones. By this exchange, the Genl. Hospital will be
     well supplied with standing Chests & acquire a great variety of
     useful articles which are not essential in Camp.

Apothecary Cutting was concerned, however, over supplies and

     ... very apprehensive that the several Hospitals in this vicinity
     will render a further reinforcement necessary before we shall be
     able to compleat the whole.... To give only a few of the Capitals
     to each will be a work of Time, & a much more intensive piece of
     business than I at first imagined.

Meanwhile, Potts had sent Apothecary Craigie to Baltimore to obtain a
fresh stock of drugs, and probably to prevent further friction between
Craigie and Cutting. This feud started early in 1777 when Apothecary
Cutting, serving with Shippen in Philadelphia, was named, over his
preceptor Craigie, to head the newly organized "Apothecary department"
of the army.[136] On March 27 Craigie wrote from Annapolis advising
Potts that he had been in Baltimore

     ... not long since and waited on Messrs. Lux & Bowly. The medicines
     were not come to hand but were expected.... I have engaged the
     whole invoice which contains several important medicines not
     mentioned in your list. I think the prices are full high, tho'
     somewhat less than Dr. Shippen affixed, and it was not in my power
     to procure them at a cheaper rate. They were offered £20 per lb.
     for all the Cantharides and much higher price for the Bark. They
     are not yet arrived from some place in Virginia where they were
     first landed. I shall examine them immediately on their arrival,
     and if good forward them on to Manheim, if they prove not good
     shall reject them, as the engagement is conditional.[137]

Then on April 4, Craigie wrote from Chester Town:[138]

     I this day received a letter from Messrs. Lux & Bowley informing
     me, the waggons were arrived, but to their great surprise with only
     two packages of medicines, the others being seized near
     Williamsburg for the use of Virginia State. Those arrived contain
     but a very small share of any of the articles mentioned in your
     list and I believe none of the Bark and Cantharides. I shall
     immediately proceed to Baltimore and examine those two packages &
     if good send them on to Manheim, provided the price is
     agreeable.... I shall inquire into the circumstances of the seizure
     and endeavor to find out if there has been any unfair play which I
     can hardly suspect from the character of the Gentlemen.

Just prior to May 1, Craigie returned to Carlisle, where the
"Elaboratory and Stores for the reception of the medicines &c.
belonging to the military hospitals" was established,[139] and
complained that he did not find the medicinal store in the order which
he expected to find it:

     We have many important medicines but by no means an assortment
     sufficient for the Army. I speak only of what is now in store.
     There are Medicines in different places of which I have no list.

Craigie further noted that Cutting had come up from Yellow Springs on
May 1 to confer regarding plans for completing medicine chests, and
would leave the following day for Baltimore where he obviously was
going to try to purchase more drugs.

Craigie was puzzled by the establishment of a dispensing store at
Yellow Springs, and asked whether or not the plan was

     ... to have the principle Store at Carlisle, where all the
     medicines shall be prepared, and the Chests compleated supposing
     the Genl. Hospitals will be more collected, and the number
     lessened. I would propose that an Apothecary attend each with a
     compleate Chest of Medicines; that the Surgeon & Physician Genl of
     the Army be attended by an Apothecary with good Chest, and the
     Regiments supply'd upon the Northern Plan. I would have an Issuing
     Store established at a convenient distance from the Army, from
     which the Hospital and Regimental Chests might occasionally be

A sizable stock of drugs was finally received from Baltimore,[141] and
a fairly good stock was brought down from the stores in the Northern
Department, which were left well supplied by Craigie and Potts.[142]
An improved plan for obtaining lint from the Moravian Sisters at
Bethlehem and Lititz was proposed by Dr. Brown,[143] and "the
propriety of setting the glass works at Manheim agoing" was offered as
a solution by Craigie for obtaining much needed vials.[144] Local
manufacturing at Carlisle[145] and "in the Jersies"[146] was used as a
source of volatile and purging salts.

Gibson records[147] that between April 19 and May 3, 1778, the
commands of Generals Patterson, Leonard, Poor, Glover, Scott, and
Woodward turned in their medicine chests to Apothecary Cutting at
Yellow Springs, and that every regiment received a standardized field
box containing a definite list and quantity of necessary drugs and
supplies. However, it appears likely that the project started by
Cutting and continued by Craigie was not completed until late June at
the earliest.[148] The "invoice of those things thought essential for
the protection and health of soldiers in the field or camp" presented
by Gibson[149] is actually an "Invoice of a Chest of medicines &c.
compleated in the medicinal Store, N[orthern] D[epartmen]t for Thos.
Tillotson Esq."[150] Inasmuch as the plan used in the Northern
Department was employed by both Craigie and Cutting, the items on this
invoice may serve as a reasonably good picture of the medicine chests
of '78 as compared with those of '76 (see page 130).

One of the reasons for better supplies at a time when other conditions
were even worse than they were in 1776 is the fact that Congress was
advancing sizable, if not always completely adequate, amounts of money
for the cash purchase of supplies instead of seeking credit or
expecting those responsible to procure supplies by using their
personal money and waiting on Congress to reimburse them. During 1778,
Congress advanced some $940,000 to Purveyor General Potts alone for
the exclusive use of the hospital department, and these funds were in
turn distributed to the proper medical procurement officers, including
the apothecaries. It is significant to compare the sum of $1,095,000
provided by Congress in 1778 with £10,000 (about $27,000) which,
according to Morgan, was the limit for medical and hospital supplies
in 1776.[151] True, inflation had set in by 1778, and the value of
money had declined greatly. For example, cantharides purchased from
the Marshalls' apothecary shop in Philadelphia in 1776 cost 10
shillings per pound as compared with the cantharides Craigie purchased
in Baltimore in 1778 at £20 per pound. However, the worst of the
inflation was yet to come.[152]

In Summary

Initially the drug supplies for the American Revolutionary Army had
come from stocks largely in the hands of private druggists. However,
this source of supply was totally inadequate for a war that attained
such proportions as the Revolution. Even if stocks of drugs in the
Colonies had been far greater than they were, there is little reason
to believe that shortages would not have developed. After all, a good
many of the suppliers were Loyalists, and others were indifferent to
the cause of American liberty. Even the most patriotic pharmacists
were faced with a complete financial suicide, caught between a
spiraling inflation and a Congress that had no money and only a
promise for the future.

As if all these problems were not bad enough, the internal
organization of the medical department of the army was so chaotic
that, even if adequate supplies were available and if the almost
insurmountable problems of communications and transportation were
solved, it is almost certain that shortages would have developed at
least during the campaign of 1776. Add to this the fact that any
retreating army is subject to loss of supplies and the reasons for the
shortages become very obvious.

The encouragement which Congress, through its Secret Committee, gave
to private shippers for the importation of vital war materials offered
little relief in the field of medical supplies. Importation was, of
course, cut off from England, and France did not directly export any
quantity of medical supplies, at least until 1778. American privateers
found it much more profitable to prey on British shipping than
initiating trade channels with countries which prior to the Revolution
were prohibited from shipping directly to the Colonies. These channels
of commerce did not develop extensively until well after the

Hence the most immediate relief from medical supply shortages was
provided by the American privateers. Drug cargoes from British prize
ships, many of which were en route to New York, served as a most
important source of supply, particularly in 1777 and 1778.

However, even with the most adequate supplies, competition between
different branches of the army and navy and the confiscation of
supplies destined for Continental troops by state militias further
encouraged inflationary trends.

The number of individual drugs mentioned in various inventories was
considerable, as evidenced by the listing on page 130. However, of
these, only about a dozen constituted the really critical shortages.
Heading the list of these "capital articles" was Peruvian or Jesuits'
bark, the same cinchona from which quinine was later discovered. Tons
of bark were used during the Revolutionary War, and the price more
than quandrupled between June 1776 and September 1777.

The most prominent group of drugs on the list of capital articles
consisted of cathartics and purgatives. Jalap, ipecac, and rhubarb
were the botanical favorites, while bitter purging salts (Epsom salts)
and Glauber's purging salts were the chemical choices for purging.
Tartar emetic (antimony and potassium tartrate) was the choice for a
vomit, and cantharides (Spanish flies) was the most important
ingredient of blistering plasters. Gum opium was administered for its
narcotic effects, while gum camphor, nitre (saltpetre or potassium
nitrate), and mercury (pure metal as well as certain salts) were
employed for a variety of purposes. Lint, a form of absorbent material
made by scraping or picking apart old woven material, also often was
short in supply.

Equipment shortages included surgical instruments and mortar and
pestles for pulverizing the crude drugs. Glass vials for holding
compounded medicines were also a supply problem, especially after
essential drugs were again available.

Some of the shortages were eased, if not solved, by local
manufacture. Lint was produced in large quantities in the Colonies,
and glass vials were manufactured in numerous glasshouses. Even local
manufacture of the purging salts and nitre aided in eliminating
shortages of these essential items, and at the same time initiated the
first large-scale pharmaceutical manufacturing in America.

Numerous botanicals indigenous to the Colonies were widely employed in
medicine of the period, and certain ones such as snakeroot (seneka),
which was widely found growing in Virginia, would have been very
scarce had not an adequate supply been immediately at hand. However,
attempts to substitute other indigenous plants for scarce drugs like
Peruvian bark were largely unsuccessful. There is no indication that
hysop, wormwood, and mallows called for during the New York crisis
were ever found to be suitable replacements for any of the capital
articles. Wine apparently was more useful as a substitute for bark
than the bark of butternut recommended by the _Lititz Pharmacopoeia_.
Peruvian bark, jalap, ipecac, camphor, opium, cantharides--these are
the drugs which the American army physicians wanted, and these
constituted the most serious shortage problems.

The medical supply problem was placed on relatively firm ground by the
summer of 1778, having been established on the principles proven in
the Northern Department under the guidance of Drs. Potts and Craigie.
Furthermore, the turning point in the war had been reached. Even
before Washington's forces went into winter quarters at Valley Forge,
Burgoyne[153] had surrendered at Saratoga, on October 17, 1777; and,
before the cold bleak winter at Valley Forge was over, the treaty of
French alliance was signed on February 6, 1778. The torments at Valley
Forge proved to be the birth of a new Continental Army.

The War was still a long way from being over, and a variety of
problems were yet to face the Continental Army. Inflation was yet to
deal its hardest blow to the supply problem, but not even this could
produce the chaos of 1776. The worst of the drug supply problem was

Contents of Army Medicine Chests

The following listing is an example of the contents of medicine chests
ordered by the Continental Congress. The chest for the Pennsylvania
4th Battalion was filled for "Samuel Kennedy Surgeon" by the pharmacy
of Christopher Jr. and Charles Marshall of Philadelphia in May 1776.
The medicines are listed on an invoice in the Marshalls' waste book in
the possession of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The contents
of the Northern Department chest, compiled in the Northern
Department's "Medicinal Store" for "Thos. Tillotson Esq. Surgeon &
Physician General to the Army," probably was filled by Andrew Craigie
at Fort George in 1778. (_Italics_ denote capital article; asterisk
indicates that the drug is mentioned in _Lititz Pharmacopoeia_.
Contemporary English names are in parentheses following the Latin

                                                     Pennsylvania    Northern
                                                     4th Battalion   Department
                                                         Chest         Chest

  *_Cort[ex] Peruv[ianum]_
      (Peruvian bark; Jesuits' bark; or bark)                         4 lb.
  *_Pulv[is] Cort[icis] Peruv[iani]_
      (Powdered Peruvian bark)                        2 lb. Opt.;     6 lb.
                                                      2 lb. 2nd
  *_Pulvis Rad[ix] Jalapii_
      (Powdered jalap)                                2 lb.           2 lb.
  *_Pulv[is] Rad[ix] Ipecacuan[hae]_
      (Powdered ipecac)                               8 oz.           12 oz.
  *_Pulv[is] Rad[ix] Rhaei_ (Powdered rhubarb)        1 lb. 4 oz.     4 lb.
   Rad[ix] Rhaei (Rhubarb root)                                       2 lb.
  *Fol[ia] Sennae (Sennae or sena)                                    2 lb.
  *Rad[ix] Gentian[ae] (Gentian root)                 1 lb.           2-1/2 lb.
  *Rad[ix] Seneka
      (Senega; rattlesnake root; or snake root)       1 lb.
  *Rad[ix] Scillae Sict. (Squill; or sea-onion)       6 oz.
   Cinnamomi (Cinnamon)                                               1 lb.
   Cort[ex] Aurant[orium] (Orange peel)                               3 lb.
   Fl[ores] Chamom[eli] (Camomile flower)                             2 oz.
   Mellisa[e Folia] (Balm)                            1/2 lb.
  *_Gum[mi] Camphor[a]_ (Camphor; or camphire)        10 oz.          2-1/2 lb.
  *_Gum[mi] Opium_ [also] _Opii_ (Opium)              8 oz.           1 lb.
  *Gum[mi] Arabic[um] (Gum Arabic)                    2 lb. Opt.      2 lb.
  *Gum[mi] Aloe Socotr[ina] (Aloe; or aloes)          8 oz.           1 lb.
   Gum[mi] Aloe Hepat[ica] (Aloe; or aloes)           1 lb.
  *Gum[mi] Ammon[iacum] (Gum ammoniac)                                12 oz.
  *Gum[mi] Guaiac[um] (Gum guaiac)                    8 oz.           3/4 lb.
  *Gum[mi] Myrrh[ae] (Myrrh)                          4 oz.           2 oz.
  *Bals[amum] Capivi (Balsam of copaiba)              1 lb. 4 oz.     2 lb.
  *Bals[amum] Peruvian[um] (Balsam of Peru)           3 oz.
   Bals[amum] Tolu[tanum] (Balsam of tolu)            8 oz.
  *Ol[eum] Olivar[um] (Olive oil)                     2-1/2 lb.
  *Ol[eum] Ricini (Castor oil)                        1 lb. 4 oz.     2 lb.


  *_Cantharides_ (Spanish flies; or flies)            4 oz.           3/4 lb.
  *Cera Flav[a] (Yellow beeswax)                      1 lb.           4 lb.
  *Mel[lis] Com[munis] (Honey)                        3 lb.
   Pul[vis] Oc[uli] Canc[orum]
      (Powdered crabs' eyes)                                          1 lb.
  *Sperm[atis] Ceti (Spermaceti)                                      3 lb.


  *Alum[en] Com[munis] or Credem (Alum or rock alum)  1 lb.
  *Creta ppt [precipitated or praeparata] (Chalk)     6 lb.
  *_Pulv[is] Crem[or] Tartar[i]_ (Cream of tartar)    4 lb.           2 lb.
  *_Tart[arus] Emetic[um]_ (Tartar emetic)            6 oz.           1/2 lb.
  *_Sal Nitri_ [or] _Nitrum_ (Nitre or saltpetre)     4 lb.           4 lb.
   Sal Absinthii (Salt of wormwood)                   8 oz.
  *_Sal Cath[articus] Amar[us]_ (Epsom salts;
      bitter purging salts; or bitter
      cathartic salts)                                10 lb.
  *_Sal Cath[articus] Glauber[i]_ [or] _Sal
      Mirabile Glauberi_ (Glauber's salts; Glauber's
      purging salts; or Glauber's wonderful salts).   10 lb.
  *Sal Tartar[isatus] (Salt of tartar)                                2 lb.
  *Sal Amm[oniacum] (Sal ammoniac)                                    1/2 lb. Cd.
  *Merc[urius] Corros[ivus] Sublim[atus]
      (Corrosive sublimate of mercury)                2 oz.           2 oz.
  *Merc[urius] Praecip[itatus] Rub[er]
      (Red precipitate of mercury)                    4 oz.           2 oz.
  *_Merc[urius] Dulc[is] Ppt._ (Calomel)              8 oz.
   Flor[es] Sulphur[is] (Flowers of sulphur)          4 lb.           2 lb.
  *Ol[eum] Vitriol[um] (Oil of vitriol)               6 oz.
   Ol[eum] Tereb[inthinae] (Oil of turpentine)                        1-1/2 lb.
   Tereb[inthina] Venet[ian] (Turpentine)             1 lb. 4 oz.
  *Vitriol[um] Alb[um] (White vitriol)                4 oz.           2 oz.
  *Elix[ir] Vitriol[i] (Elixir of vitriol)            3 lb.           2 lb.
   Vitriol[um] Rom[anum] (Roman vitriol)              4 oz.
   Sacch[arum] Saturni (Sugar of lead)                4 oz.
   Vitr[um] Antomon[ii] Cerat[um]
      (Cerated glass of antimony)                     3 oz.
  *Extr[actum] Saturni [also] Acetum Lithargyrites
      (Litharge of lead; litharge vinegar; or
      extract of Saturn).                             11 oz.


  *Tinc[tura] Thebaic[a] [or] Tinctura Opii
      [or] Laudani Liquidi (Tincture                  12 oz.          2 lb.
      of opium; thebaic tincture; liquid
      laudanum; and Sydenham's laudanam).
  *Tinct[ura] Myrrh[ae] & Aloes (Tincture of
      myrrh and aloes).                                               1 lb. 12 oz.
   Tinct[ura] Cinnam[omi] (Tincture of cinnamon)                      2 lb.


   Sp[iritus] Sal[is] Ammon[iaci] (Spirit of sal
      ammoniac)                                       1 lb. 5 oz.
   Sp[iritus] Nitri Dulc[is] [also] Sal[is]
      Vol[atilis] (Sweet spirit of nitre)             2-1/2 lb.       1 lb. 12 oz.
   Sp[iritus] Lavend[ula] Co[mpositus]
      (Compound spirit of lavender)                   1 lb. 4 oz.     1-1/2 lb.
   Sp[iritus] Vini Rect[ificatus] (Rectified
      spirit of wine)                                 1 lb. 4 oz.


  *Cons[erva] Rosar[um] Rub[rarum] (Conserves
      of red roses)                                   1 lb.
   Conf[ectio] Cardiac[a] (Cordial confection)                        1 lb.
   Elect[uarium] Asthmatic[um] (Asthmatic
      electuary)                                      1 lb. 1 oz.
  *Elix[ir] Paregor[icum] (Paregoric elixir)                          2 lb.
   Pill[ulae] Purgant (Purgative pills)               8 oz.
   Pulv[is] e Bol[o Compositus] (Compound powder
      of bole with opium)                                             2 lb.
   Linim[entum] Sapo[naceum] (Soap
      liniment)                                                       3-1/2 lb.
   Sapo[nis] Venet[ian] (Venetian soap)               2 lb.           6 lb.


  *Ung[euntum] Lap[ide] Calamin[ari] (Ointment
      from calamine stone)                            10 lb.          4 lb.
  *Ung[uentum] Basilic[um] Flav[um] (Yellow
      basilicon ointment)                             10 lb.
  *Ung[uentum] Merc[urale] Fort[is] (Strong
      mercurial ointment)                             6 lb.
   Ung[uentum] e Gum[mi] Elemi (Ointment of
      gum elemi)                                                      3 lb.
   Ung[uentum] Alb[um] Camp[horatum] (Camphorated
      white ointment)                                                 3 lb.


  *Emp[lastrum] Adhesiv[um] (Adhesive plaster)        6 lb.
   Emp[lastrum] Diach[ylon] (Simple diachylon
      plaster)                                        6 lb.           2 lb.
   Emp[lastrum] Diach[ylon] c[um] G[ummi]
      (Diachylon plaster with gum)                                    1 lb.
  *Emp[lastrum] Epispast[icum] [also] Epithema
      Vesicatorium (Blistering plaster;
      vesicatory plaster).                                            1 lb.
   Emp[lastrum] Stomach[icum] Majest. (Stomach
      plaster)                                                        1 lb.


  *_Linteum Praeparatum_ (Lint)                       1 lb. fine
   Tow                                                12 lb. fine
   Sponge                                             4 oz. fine
   Twine                                              1 lb. fine      1/2 lb.
   Tape                                               1 piece         2 pieces
   Fracture pillows                                   2
   Splints                                            2 p. Sharps     34 doz.
   Thread                                                             4 oz.
   Needles                                                            7 common
   Pins                                                               1/2 thousand
   Compresses                                                         6 doz.
   Bandages                                                           700
   Flannel                                                            6 yds.
   Shears                                                             2 pr.
   Rags                                                               1 bundle


  Director                                            1               1 steel
  Probe, silver                                       1               1
  Forceps                                             1
  Catheters                                           1 silver
  Amputating instruments                                              1 set
  Trepanning instruments                              1 Trepan        1 set
  Lancets                                             2 best crown,
                                                      4 common
  Tourniquets                                         1 Brass         8 common
  Syringe, pewter                                     4               2
  Syringe, ivory                                      2
  Glyster pipe arm'd                                  6
  Tooth-drawing instrument                            1 Crow Bill


  Scales and weights                                  1 box           1 set
  Mortar and pestle                                   1 Brass,
                                                      1 Glass
  Tyles (pill tiles)                                  2
  Spatulas                                            1 wooden        1 large,
                                                      handle, 1       1 pocket
                                                      iron handle
  Bolus knife                                         1
  Plaister knife (plaster spatula)                                    1
  Leather skins                                       2 lb.


  Bottles                                             Assortment      Assortment
  Gallypots                                           1 doz.          Assortment
  Vials                                               6 doz. sorted
  Corks                                               10 doz.
  Pillboxes                                           1 pacg.
  Wrapp[ing] paper                                    4 quire
  Writing paper                                       1 quire         6 quire
  Ink powder                                                          2 papers
  Quiles (quills)                                                     14 hundred

       *       *       *       *       *

U.S. Government Printing Office: 1961

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing

Washington 25, D.C.--Price 25 cents

       *       *       *       *       *


[1] John C. Miller, _Triumph of Freedom, 1775-1783_, Boston, 1948,

[2] Louis C. Duncan, _Medical Men in the American Revolution,
1775-1783_, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., 1931; William O. Owen, _The
Medical Department of the United States Army during the Period of the
Revolution_, New York, 1920; James E. Gibson, _Dr. Bodo Otto and the
Medical Background of the American Revolution_, Springfield, Ill.,
1937; James Thomas Flexner, _Doctors on Horseback_, New York, 1939.

[3] Lyman F. Kebler, "Andrew Craigie, the First Apothecary General of
the United States," _Journal of the American Pharmaceutical
Association_, 1928, vol. 17, pp. 63-74, 167-178; Frederick Haven
Pratt, "The Craigies," _Proceedings of the Cambridge Historical
Society_ (1941), 1942, vol. 27, pp. 43-86; Edward Kremers and George
Urdang, _A History of Pharmacy_, Philadelphia, 1951 edition, chap. 11;
Edward Kremers, "The Lititz Pharmacopoeia," _The Badger Pharmacist_,
nos. 22-25, June-December 1938; J. W. England, ed., _The First Century
of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy_, Philadelphia, 1922, pp.
84-94; _American Journal of Pharmacy_, 1884, vol. 56, pp. 483-491.

[4] Jonathan Potts Papers, four volumes of miscellaneous manuscripts
at The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (hereinafter
referred to as Potts Papers).

[5] Journals of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts Bay, quoted
in Owen, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), pp. 22-23.

[6] Greenleaf Ledger, 1765-1778, at the American Antiquarian Society,
Worcester, Mass. (The Greenleaf pharmacy was established by Elizabeth
Greenleaf in 1726 or 1727. See J. L. Sibley, _Biographical Sketches of
Graduates of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts_,
Cambridge, 1920, vol. 5, pp. 472-476; Jonathan Greenleaf, _A Genealogy
of the Greenleaf Family_, New York, 1854, pp. 89, 91, 205, 207;
_Boston Post-Boy_ and _Boston Gazette_, November 8, 1762, obituary of
Elizabeth Greenleaf.)

[7] Owen, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), p. 23.

[8] J. R. Alden, _The American Revolution_, New York, 1954 p. 23.

[9] Owen, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), pp. 12-13.

[10] _Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789_, edited by
Worthington C. Ford, Washington, D.C., 1905, vol. 2, p. 250. Nearly
all excerpts from Ford also appear in Owen, _op. cit._ (footnote 2).

[11] _Ibid._, vol. 3, p. 261. The Samuel Ward diary for September 23
records that "a parcel of medicines for the hospital" was "to be
bought" (E. C. Burnett, _Letters of Members of the Continental
Congress_, Washington, D.C., 1921, vol. 1, p. 205).

[12] Ford, _op. cit._ (footnote 10), vol. 3, p. 344.

[13] Burnett, _op. cit._ (footnote 11), vol. 1, p. 292.

[14] _Pennsylvania Ledger_, May 6, 1775. [William Smith in
Philadelphia was selling drugs in 1772 (Potts Papers, vol. 1, folio

[15] _Pennsylvania Evening Post_, December 26, 1775.

[16] _Pennsylvania Packet_, September 11, 1775; _Pennsylvania
Journal_, September 6, 1775; _Pennsylvania Gazette_, October 4, 1775.

[17] The Marshalls sold drugs to Sharp Delaney and William Smith in
April 1776 (Marshall Waste Book, see footnote 20).

[18] E. T. Ellis, "The Story of a Very Old Philadelphia Drug Store,"
_American Journal of Pharmacy_, 1908, vol. 75, p. 57; England, _op.
cit._ (footnote 3), pp. 348-350; Parke, Davis & Co., _A History of
Pharmacy in Pictures_, undated booklet edited by George Bender.

[19] Ford, _op. cit._ (footnote 10), vol. 3, p. 442; vol. 4, pp. 188,

[20] Christopher Jr. and Charles Marshall Waste Book, February 21 to
July 6, 1776, at The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

[21] Ford, _op. cit._ (footnote 10), vol. 3, p. 442; vol. 4, pp. 188,
197; Burnett, _op. cit._ (footnote 11), vol. 1.

[22] Owen, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), pp. 18-19.

[23] _American Archives ..._ Peter Force, ed., Washington, ser. 4,
vol. 1-6, 1837-46; ser. 5, vol. 1-3, 1848-53. Ser. 4, vol. 3, p. 306.

[24] Duncan, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), pp. 62-64.

[25] _Pennsylvania Packet_, June 24, 1779.

[26] It is quite possible that the designation "bad" was a
typographical error for "rad[ix]."

[27] _American Archives_, ser. 4, vol. 5, p. 115.

[28] _Connecticut Courant_, February 12, 1776.

[29] _Newport Mercury_, January 15, 1776.

[30] _Massachusetts Gazette_, September 7, 1775.

[31] _American Archives_, ser. 4, vol. 4, p. 159.

[32] _Massachusetts Gazette_, February 22, 1776.

[33] _Boston Gazette_, April 15, 1776.

[34] _Ibid._, April 22, 1776. It is worth noting that Morgan did not
think this important enough to include in his _Vindication_ (see
footnote 35).

[35] John Morgan, _A Vindication of His Public Character in the
Station of Director-General of the Military Hospital, and Physician in
Chief of the American Army; Anno, 1776_, Boston, 1777.

[36] _Pennsylvania Packet_, June 24, 1779.

[37] _American Archives_, ser. 4, vol. 5, p. 488.

[38] Morgan, _op. cit._ (footnote 35), pp. 102, 144; and _Independent
Chronicle_, April 10, 1777.

[39] James Thacher, _American Medical Biography_, Boston, 1828, vol.
1, pp. 270-273.

[40] For biographies of Sylvester Gardiner see _Dictionary of American
Biography_, New York, 1931, vol. 8, pp. 139-140; _Appleton's
Cyclopedia of American Biography_, New York, 1887, vol. 2; H. A. Kelly
and W. L. Burrage, _Dictionary of American Medical Biography_, New
York, 1928, pp. 450-452; James H. Stark, _The Loyalists of
Massachusetts_, Boston, 1910, pp. 313-315.

[41] Greenleaf Ledger (see footnote 6).

[42] _American Archives_, ser. 5, vol. 1, pp. 282, 284.

[43] _Ibid._, p. 314.

[44] S. E. Morison and H. S. Commager, _The Growth of the American
Republic_, New York, 1950, vol. 1, p. 210.

[45] _New-York Journal_, July 13, 1775.

[46] _Ibid._, May 11, 1775.

[47] _New-York Gazette_, January 1 and January 29, 1776. For a history
of the English patent medicines in America, see G. B. Griffenhagen and
J. H. Young in _The Chemist and Druggist_, 1957, vol. 167, pp.
714-722, and in _U.S. National Museum Bulletin 218_, 1959, pp. 155-183
(Contributions from the Museum of History and Technology, Paper 10).

[48] George Washington, _The Writings of George Washington_, edited by
John C. Fitzpatrick, Washington, 1931, vol. 4, pp. 464-465.

[49] Morgan, _op. cit._ (footnote 35), pp. 4, 9, 68; _Pennsylvania
Packet_, June 19, 1779; and Washington, _op. cit._ (footnote 48), vol.
4, pp. 464-465.

[50] Duncan, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), p. 135; Morgan, _op. cit._
(footnote 35), p. 11.

[51] _New-York Gazette_, May 6 and December 23, 1776.

[52] _American Archives_, ser. 4, vol. 4, p. 1026.

[53] _Ibid._, vol. 6, p. 1431.

[54] Morgan misspelled Delaney as "Delancey" in his letter of June 25
to Adams.

[55] Morgan, _op. cit._ (footnote 35), p. 128.

[56] Ford, _op. cit._ (footnote 10), vol. 5, p. 570.

[57] _American Archives_, ser. 4, vol. 6, p. 1069.

[58] Ford, _op. cit._ (footnote 10), vol. 5, p. 633.

[59] Morgan, _op. cit._ (footnote 35), p. 12.

[60] _Pennsylvania Packet_, June 26, 1779.

[61] Washington, _op. cit._ (footnote 48), vol. 6, pp. 58-59.

[62] _Connecticut Courant_, January 6, 1777.

[63] Morgan, _op. cit._ (footnote 35), pp. 13, 136, 146. William Smith
was appointed Continental Druggist on August 20; see Ford, _op. cit._
(footnote 10), vol. 4, pp. 292-293.

[64] Washington, _op. cit._ (footnote 48), vol. 6, pp. 86, 113.

[65] _American Archives_, ser. 5, vol. 3, pp. 116, 837.

[66] _Pennsylvania Packet_, June 24, 1779.

[67] Morgan, _op. cit._ (footnote 35), p. 129.

[68] _Ibid._, p. xxv. [For details of the manner in which Shippen
moved in on Morgan to replace him eventually as director general, see
Flexner, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), pp. 3-53.]

[69] _Ibid._, p. xxxv; Owen, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), p. 55.

[70] Ford, _op. cit._ (footnote 10), vol. 7, p. 91.

[71] _New-York Gazette_, September 30, December 16, 23, 1776, January
20, 1777.

[72] _Ibid._, December 9, 1776, April 28, June 9, 1777.

[73] Plough Court Pharmacy letterbook dated April 7, 1778, through
December 8, 1779, in possession of Allen and Hanburys, London. See
also Chapman-Huston and Ernest C. Gripps, _Through a City Archway: The
Story of Allen and Hanburys, 1715-1954_, London, 1954.

[74] Duncan, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), p. 97.

[75] Owen, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), p. 39.

[76] _American Archives_, ser. 4, vol. 6, p. 1069.

[77] _American Archives_, ser. 5, vol. 1, pp. 651-652, 1114.

[78] Potts Papers, vol. 1, folio 77; Morgan to Potts, July 28, 1776.

[79] _Ibid._, folio 89; Stringer to Potts, August 17, 1776. See also
Gibson, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), pp. 108-109. Washington mentions
Stringer's visit with Morgan in a letter to Gates dated August 14
(Washington, _op. cit._ footnote 48, vol. 5, pp. 433-435).

[80] _Ibid._; McHenry to Potts, August 3, 1776. [Stringer arrived in
Philadelphia on the evening of August 2.]

[81] _Ibid._; Stringer to Potts, August 17, 1776.

[82] _Ibid._; McHenry to Potts, August 21, 1776.

[83] _American Archives_, ser. 5, vol. 1, p. 1271. For a similarly
worded letter to Egbert Benson dated August 22, see Gibson, _op. cit._
(footnote 2), p. 112.

[84] Potts Papers, vol. 1, folio 98; Stringer to Potts, September 7,
1776. Stringer arrived in Albany on September 5 (Potts Papers, vol. 1,
folio 97).

[85] _American Archives_, ser. 5, vol. 1, p. 1266. Other items
included "Acet. Com. six barrels; Alo. Hepta. 3 lb.; Calomel 2 lb.;
Emp. Diachyl 10 lb.; Cantharid. 2 lb.; Gm. Guiac 1 lb.; Myrrh 1 lb.;
Hord. Com. 100 lb.; Jerc. Precip. Rub. 1/2 lb.; Merc. Cor. Sublim. 1
lb.; Rad. Serpent. Virg. 3 lb.; Sal. Nit. 5 lb.; Spirit Sal. Ammo. 4
lb.; Ung. Diath. 3 lb.; Elix. Asthmat. 5 lb.; and Elix. Vitriol. 10
lb." Also included were six gross of vials and corks and three reams
of wrapping paper.

[86] Potts Papers, vol. 1, folios 102-106, 108-111, 114, 119.

[87] _Ibid._, folio 99. There was a listing for 170 pounds of
"Cathart: Am" (Epsom salts). The 7 pounds of rhubarb was listed as "3
lb. Rad. Rhaei and 4 lb. Pul. Rhaei." Also on hand were 1-1/2 pounds
of "Mithridat" (opium).

[88] _Ibid._, folios 73, 94, 124.

[89] _Ibid._, folio 4; McCrea to Potts, September 2, 1776.

[90] _Ibid._, folio 124; Johnston to Potts, September 19, 1776.

[91] _Ibid._, folio 125; Craigie to Potts, October 3, 1776.

[92] _American Archives_, ser. 5, vol. 2, p. 923. Stringer also wrote
Potts on October 6 to advise him of the stock (Potts Papers, vol. 1,
folio 126).

[93] Potts Papers, vol. 1, folio 131; Stringer to Potts, October 15,

[94] _Ibid._, folio 133; Stringer to Potts, October 25, 1776.

[95] _Ibid._, folio 132; Craigie to Potts, October 22, 1776.

[96] _Ibid._, folio 138; Stringer to Potts, November 7, 1776.

[97] Duncan, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), p. 110.

[98] Ford, _op. cit._ (footnote 10), vol. 3, p. 453, vol. 4, pp.

[99] Miller, _op. cit._ (footnote 1), pp. 103-113.

[100] _Virginia Gazette_, August 24, 1776.

[101] _Pennsylvania Evening Post_, July 18, 1776.

[102] G. B. Griffenhagen, "The Day-Dunlap 1771 Pharmaceutical
Catalogue," _American Journal of Pharmacy_, 1955, vol. 127, pp.

[103] 103 Miller, _op. cit._ (footnote 1), pp. 110-112.

[104] Greenleaf Ledger, _op. cit._ (footnote 6).

[105] Potts Papers, vol. 2, folio 213.

[106] _Ibid._, vol. 3, folio 305.

[107] _Ibid._, folio 331.

[108] _Ibid._, folio 346.

[109] _Ibid._, folio 336.

[110] _Ibid._, folio 369.

[111] _Ibid._, folio 331; Craigie to Potts, September 1, 1777.

[112] Preserved at the Essex Institute, Salem, Massachusetts.

[113] _Independent Chronicle_, October 30, 1777.

[114] Ford, _op. cit._ (footnote 10), vol. 5, p. 748, vol. 7, p. 274,
vol. 8, p. 538. (Smith received $2,490 on September 9, 1776, $2,952 on
April 17, 1777, "for sundry medicines," and Caldwell & Co. received
$666 on July 7, 1777, "for sundry medicine delivered William Smith.")

[115] _Ibid._, vol. 7, p. 321. (Christopher and Charles Marshall
received $4,151 on May 2, 1777, "for sundry medicines and chirurgical
instruments supplied by them for the use of different battalions of
continental forces.")

[116] _Pennsylvania Journal_, January 29, 1777.

[117] Potts Papers, vol. 2, folio 150.

[118] _Ibid._, folio 153; Bass to Potts, March 17, 1777.

[119] _Pennsylvania Journal_, June 11, July 9, 23, 1777.

[120] Ford, _op. cit._ (footnote 10), vol. 11, p. 546.

[121] _Pennsylvania Evening Post_, March 18, May 27, 1777.

[122] _Boston Gazette_, February 3, 1777; _Connecticut Courant_, April
7, 1777.

[123] _Pennsylvania Packet_, April 15, 22, 1777. This anonymous
article was written by Dr. Benjamin Rush and reprinted as a pamphlet.

[124] Potts Papers, vol. 2, folios 158, 159.

[125] _Pennsylvania Ledger_, October 10, 1777; _Pennsylvania Evening
Post_, October 14, 18, 1777.

[126] _Pennsylvania Evening Post_, November 1, 8, 13, 1777, April 29,
1778. (A large number of advertisements announcing thefts appeared
during the British occupation.)

[127] _Pennsylvania Evening Post_, January 10 through April 20, 1778,
and _Pennsylvania Ledger_, April 4, 15, 1778. [Yeldall advertised his
"Anti-Venereal Essence" only once under American occupation, but at
$4.00 per bottle (_Pennsylvania Evening Post_, August 26, 1777).]

[128] _Pennsylvania Evening Post_, June 25, 1777.

[129] Gibson, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), p. 149.

[130] It was in February 1778 that Dr. Potts assumed his office as
purveyor general for the hospital department of the Continental Army
with the duty of purchasing and distributing all supplies and
medicines (_ibid._, p. 154).

[131] Potts Papers, vol. 1, folio 24. (This apparently is the list
prepared by Brown, even though it is not signed by him. The item
"Medicines, Vials, Cork &c £20,000" was added with the statement "The
above enumerated articles should be purchased immediately," and both
were in the handwriting of "W. Shippen, D.G." The document is

[132] _Ibid._, vol. 4, folio 419; Brown to Potts, March 11, 1778.

[133] _Ibid._, folio 428; Cutting to Potts, March 25, 1778.

[134] _Ibid._, folio 432; Cutting to Potts, March 30, 1778.

[135] _Ibid._, folio 441; Cutting to Potts, April 16, 1778.

[136] _Ibid._, vol. 2, folio 151; Tillotson to Potts, February 22,
1777. [Cutting served as Assistant Apothecary under Craigie at
Cambridge and Roxbury. The feud has not been explored in any of
Craigie's biographies.]

[137] _Ibid._, vol. 4, folio 429; Craigie to Potts, March 27, 1778.

[138] _Ibid._, folio 437; Craigie to Potts, April 4, 1778.

[139] _Ibid._, folio 411; Potts to Gates, February 24, 1778.

[140] _Ibid._, folio 441; Craigie to Potts, May 1, 1778.

[141] _Ibid._, vol. 1, folios 41, 44; undated invoices from Lux &
Bowly that undoubtedly were supplied during the spring or summer of
1778. Also, vol. 4, folio 476; letter from James Caldwell to Potts
advising "I sent forward from Baltimore a case of medicine & five
cases of Bark ... I have three cases more of Bark not yet up from
Williamsburg where it arrived."

[142] _Ibid._, vol. 4, folio 458; Craigie to Potts, May 1, 1778.
Craigie advises: "Enclosed is a small List directed to Mr. Root
[Israel Root or Josiah Root, both apothecaries from Connecticut] which
I think may well be spared from the Northward, and are much wanted
here. I wish therefore they may be ordered. Andrew Atekin our
assistant there might come with them--he would make a good Hospital
Apothecary." Also, vol. 4, folio 431, an undated "Invoice of Medicines
&c. to be forwared for Head Quarters to Compleat ye Regimental
Assortments for the Army of the United States in the Middle Department
for the Campaign 1778."

[143] _Ibid._, folio 419; Brown to Potts, March 11, 1778.

[144] _Ibid._, folio 458; Craigie to Potts, May 1, 1778.

[145] _Ibid._, folio 428; Cutting to Potts, March 25, 1778. Cutting
notes: "as to volatile salts, I expect a fine parcel manufactured at
Carlisle by tomorrow."

[146] _Ibid._, folio 471; Craik to Potts, May 24, 1778. Dr. Craik, a
regimental surgeon, advises: "I wish you could procure some Cathartic
salts. The Regimental surgeons complain greatly for want of them....
You may engage any quantity at the salt works in the Jersies."

[147] Gibson, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), pp. 166-167.

[148] Potts Papers, vol. 4, folios 462, 467; Craik to Potts, May 2 and
May 15. On May 2, Craik advises that "the medicine chests are much
wanted in the Regiments. Doctr. Cutting had best have them filled up
as soon as possible to prevent complaints." On May 15 Craik commented:
"I am sorry Doctr. Cutting went away before the Regiment Chests were
finished; there is great clamour about them tho Doctr. Layman is as
busy as possible.... I hope Doctr. Craig[ie] will soon have his chests

[149] Gibson, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), pp. 167-168.

[150] Potts Papers, vol. 1, folio 25, undated.

[151] Gibson, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), p. 178, and Duncan, _op. cit._
(footnote 2), pp. 115-116, 275.

[152] Miller, _op. cit._ (footnote 1), pp. 425-477.

[153] An interesting account of the medical aspects of Burgoyne's
campaign is recorded by R. M. Gorssline in _Canadian Defense
Quarterly_, 1929, vol. 6, pp. 356-363.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

The marker for footnote 3 is missing, but it appears to belong after
  "of the _Lititz Pharmacopoeia_ of 1778."

In footnote 15 I corrected a typo, Pennslyvania for Pennsylvania

On page 115 I removed an extra quotation mark
  (purchasing such medicines "as)

On page 118 I corrected a typo, capitivity for captivity
  (happily delivered from his late capitivity)

On page 118 I removed an extra quotation mark
  (will turn to good Account.")

On page 120 I corrected a typo, enitrely for entirely
  (one half the load is enitrely)

On page 128 I corrected a typo, mediicines for medicines
  (Invoice of a Chest of mediicines)

On page 129 I corrected a typo, quandrupled for quadrupled
  (price more than quandrupled)

On page 133 I corrected a typo, instument for instrument
  (Tooth-drawing instument)

These words occur both ways in the text and I have not changed them:
  Bowly and Bowley, Barnabas and Barnabus

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