Caspar Wistar commonplace book, 1796-1813


Date: 1796-1813 | Size: 1 volume(s), 1 volume, 95 p.


This volume contains medical notes by Wistar, including observations on yellow fever and arguments to prove its foreign origin, facts relative to the progress of the fever in 1797, the infection and death of Colonel Van Emburgh, the infection of the crew of the ship "Deborah" and of the Durham boat (1802), an account of the diseases which afflicted the family of James Hammar in Montgomery County (Pa.), facts relating to the typhus fever of 1812-1813, case histories (1796-1803), temperature chart (1758-1759, 1760), and a thermometrical journal (1760-1765) kept by Charles Norris and copied by Wistar from notes in possession of Joseph Parker Norris.

Background note

Caspar Wistar was a Philadelphia physician.

Collection Information

Physical description

1 volume, 95 p.


Presented by Mr. and Mrs. Henry G. Leach, 1951.

Early American History Note

This fascinating commonplace book contains some of Caspar Wistar's thoughts on medicine. Infectious disease is a particularly prominent topic. Wistar offers observations and some theories, noting how "country people" had some immunities that others did not. Wistar discusses the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia and infections on boats, in individuals, and within families. There is also meteorological data from 1758-1765.

Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • Deborah (Ship).

Family Name(s)

  • Van Emburgh, -- Colonel.


  • Commonplace Book
  • Commonplace books.
  • Educational Material
  • Meteorological Data
  • Notebooks
  • Scientific Data

Personal Name(s)

  • Hammar, James
  • Norris, Charles
  • Wistar, Caspar, 1761-1818


  • Communicable diseases.
  • Medicine
  • Medicine.
  • Meteorology -- Observations.
  • Philadelphia History
  • Science and technology
  • Typhus fever.
  • Yellow fever.