Manuscript, October 1818

It was the month of October when Graham arrived in this regular & beautiful city of Penn. He took lodgings at Renshaws Hotel Chestnut Street, where he remained for several days, until he obtained boarding on Market Street contigious [sic] to the University at five dollars per week.

Graham then describes his professors at the medical school:

Doctor Physick in the Lecture Room. His person rather above the usual stature; neat and well proportioned. His countenance pale dignified and inflexible; his voice distinct, but shrill and feble. No rhetorical flourishes in his introductory lecture; he enters at once upon his subject — never opens his lips without uttering something which may be of practical utility

Doctor Coxe. Of bony structure and thin vissage, a countenance expressing intellect ordiniary – reads lectures laboured and learned — very bungling in his explanations. Formed to tread and stumble in the paths of others!

Doctor Hare. His Head resembles the buffaloes; his labour the ox — good chemist, experiments well, but explains badly

Doctor James. Large muscular man, his language is chaste and elegant — lectures well on midwifery: has something of the granny in his look.

Doctor Chapman. I was introduced to him in his office; he was very polite — I am glad to see you Mr. Graham; very happy to see you Sir — how have you been. Rather prepossessing in his appearance and manners. He is much marked with the small-pox and is a small man. As a lecturer, his pronunciation is nasal and at first disiagreeiable disagreeable [sic]. His stile [sic] is florid, his language is expressive; his arguments display both learning and ingenuity: every now and then he will rouse and startle you; by a bold peculiar and commanding eloquence, which gives great interest to his lectures. He is unquestionably a man of genius.

Doctor Dorsey. His person was corpulent, his countenance prepossessing, his delivery good: his introductory lecture to an anatomical course was the best delivered. It was polished able and eloquent

For the next few pages Graham outlines a series of letters to close friends.  Following the letters, Graham speaks of his experience at the theater seeing some of Shakespeare’s plays.

Mr. Cooper made his first appearance for the season in the character of Macbeth. Cooper is large and well proportioned; and so far as action and expression of countenance go, presume he cannot be surpassed, But he has not the tallent [talent] which I expected, of expressing his feelings by his voice of pouring forth the sentiments of his soul in his accents, He did not produce those powerful feelings those strong & thrilling sensations which I had anticipated. I will here give those parts of the tragedy which made the deepest impression on my feelings and memory in Macbeth’s character.

The following passages struck me with the

most force__ when Lady Macbeth is stimulating

him to the murder of Duncan

Come, Come, you spirits

That lend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here;

And fill me from the crown to the toe top full

Of direst cruelty ! make thick my blood,

Stop up the access and passage to remorse,

That no compunctious visitings of nature

Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between

The effect and it   .    .   .


Later on, one of Graham’s fellow students falls ill.

Except to give the detailed account we find in his diary of the sickness treatment and death of one of his fellow students a Mr Hickenbottom from Amherst Va.

Graham records what a typical doctor-patient conversation would be like:

Doctr Chapman visits his patient at 7 P.M.

Q: What is the matter?

A: I have a fever

Q: Have you had an evaluation to day?

A: No, but I had two small ones last night.

Q: Have you any local pain?

A: No, except that my head feels very badl

Q: You have no pain in your bowels?

A: No

Q:  Let me see your tongue? it is rather foul (his tongue was covered with a white crust and cracked) “I think there is something wrong in your stomach and bowels which keeps up this fever.

The following provides a good example of what a prescription at the time would look like, including the sometimes confusing shorthand that physicians used during the time period.

Oil of cinnamon will do—If this does not operate plentifully in the morning: give him a table-spoonful of Magnesia. I think it will suit his Stomach — good-after Noon gentlemen”

Decm__ 22__ Doctr Chapman visited [sic] his patient at 7 P.M. after asking a few questions made the following Prescription

Rx: Sal, Glob, [one ounce]

Emet, Tart, [one gram]

Aqua: Font: [three ounces]

ft: Solut: Ada [?]

Succus Lemon [one ounce]

A wine glass-ful to be taken every hour-, let blood ten ounces…..

Decm__ 23__ Doctr C: visitted [sic] his patient at 1 Oclock to day, and advised the continuance of the same remedy. (at 5 P.M. His pulse was soft and frequent easily compressible). At 8 PM: the Doctr advised the same prescription to be continued untill [sic] about 12 P.M: if it produced several evacuations so much the better then give 35 drops of laudanum it may tranquilise [sic] his mind. His tongue is soft this evening;

Dr. Chapman continues treating the patient for typhus using multiple prescriptions and remedies.  However, treatments did not work.

Jan 22:  This morning at 4 o’clock, Mr. H expired without discovering any symptom of pain.

Graham reflects on the death of his friend and classmate:

Thus died a young man far from his friends and native place. His mind was cultivated his judgment was strong; he was remarkable for the correctness of his deportment and the purity of his principles: he was ardent in the pursuit of knowledge and ambitious to be distinguished in his profession…


Graham attends Chapman’s lecture on treating typhus.

Emeticks he always thinks necessary in the forming state of typhus. Catharticks are necessary throughout the whole disease: at first such as may thoughrily [sic] evacuate and cleanse the intestinal canal. And then such purgatives as may keep up a soluble condition of the bowels. Cold As a remedy in this disease is of great importance; and does not hold that rank to which it is entitled. By the application of cold water to the surface, the heat is abated and the restlessness relieved.


Graham continues with his teachers’ lectures for the next several pages, which includes Dr. Hare’s demonstrations with nitrous oxide. He briefly recollects on a fire that took place at the Masonic Hall in Philadelphia as well as visiting Benjamin West’s famous painting Christ Healing the Sick.

The painting of Christ healing the sick; presented by the Philadelphia Hospital by our distinguished countryman West—is calculated to make a deep impression upon the feelings-When you enter the room you feel as if in the presence of a divinity!—emaciation decrepitude and sickness surround the principal personage—are presented in such attitudes and colouring [sic]; as to make a deeper impression than perhaps the reality would have done.   On more than one occasion I have entered the room when the light fell upon the canvas is as to represent the images in the most imposing manner.  And have seen a female seated in the apartment; her head reclining forward; her veil drawn over her face; to hide the tears that glistened in her eye and were rolling over her cheek. . . . . .


Graham then receives a letter from his uncle Alexander and subsequently goes to visit him in Princeton. Graham is struck by how eloquent and passionate Alexander is about religion. After this trip,

Graham returns to Philadelphia after the lectures were over his time was principally occupied in attending the practice in the Alms-House and Hospital

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