Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dr. John Peter Quinney

As you may remember from my post of 3/25/2009, the treaty of 1856 had the Stockbridge Indians moving from Calumet County to Shawano County (use this link to see a Wisconsin map) but since the land wasn't well-suited to farming, not all of them made the move. John Peter Quinney was one Stockbridge Mohican who was living in Calumet County in 1850 but never showed up in any Shawano County census. Instead, he moved to Dodge County (see map at right) where he lived first in Beaver Dam and later moved to Watertown. Somewhere along the way he married a woman who was a native of Prussia, Germany.

John P. Quinney was a physician by trade. Several decades after he died, a ledger and a small notebook in which he wrote down some of his treatments were copied and those typed copies were mailed to the Wisconsin State Historical Society where they are preserved to this day. (Here's a link to the record for the John Peter Quinney Papers, the document itself is not currently online.)

Some of his treatments and even some of the names of symptoms and illnesses which he discusses are difficult for me to make out, maybe the best I can do here is to quote the document - which claims to be verbatim, spelling included:

"Receipt for Hair Growing"
Take fine Salt, rub over the head briskly,
[Then] make a decoction of burdock root, And
Sage equal quantity, To rub over the head three times
a day.
When the hair is coming on, Shave it in order to increase its groth.

Above: Burdock root.

Right: Prickly Ash berries

Here's another one:

"Bidders [Bitters?] for a Weak Constitution"
Best rye whiskey pint
water one pint
Best underground Peruvian Bark 1 oz.
Columbo root 1 oz.
Prickly Ash berries 1 oz.
Black Cherry bark 1 oz.
Poke or Skoke root 1/4th oz.
Mandrake Root 1/4th oz.
Cloves 1/4th oz.
Of all to be dry articles and pulverized
before puting into Spirits.
Doz. Tea Spoon full to begin with. incrase
dayly untill to one table Spoon full no more.

Above left: Mandrake root
Above right: Cherry bark

John P. Quinney's medicine wasn't completely herbal, here's an example of his kind of "western medicine":

"Rumatic Latiner Linement"
1 Z Muriatoc acid
1 Z Spirits Turpentine
bathe with this on the afflicted part three or four times a day

Quinney even used fried "Rabbits liver" as an ingredient for spasms. Unfortunately, the rest of that treatment, "about seven short lines, is illegible," according to the man who borrowed the original manuscript from Quinney's grandson.

Below right: Rabbit's liver

No comments :