Five Centuries from Joseph Felcone, Antiquarian Booksellers
Item 193 is one of the earliest, and most bizarre, American medical books. Alexis St. Martin, a French-Canadian trapper, suffered a serious gun wound to his stomach. Army physician William Beaumont, author of this text, treated the wound but was then able to observe what was taking place in St. Martin's stomach for years through the opening. The result was this 1833 book, Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice, and the Physiology of Digestion. Among his observations were the effects of emotions on gastric secretions, which became the basis for Pavlov's experiments a century later. As for St. Martin, who was 28 at the time of his accident, he lived to be 86! $3,000.
While Beaumont was evidently one first-rate physician, I would not have wanted to entrust my health to Johann Hayne. In 1683 he published Trifolium Medicum.... which explains which diseases are brought on by astrological influences, and by tartar and minerals in the body. I don't know what his "cures" were, but it's hard to imagine they were very effective. Item 43. $1,500.
Some things never change. Francis Blackburne published Considerations on the Present State of the Controversy between the Protestants and Papists of Great Britain and Ireland.... in 1768. Well over two centuries later the dispute continues in Northern Ireland. Is it any wonder that it is so hard to resolve? Item 72. $2,800.
Item 157 is an 1816 book written by Elias Boudinot, A Star in the West; or, A Humble Attempt to Discover the Long Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, Preparatory to their Return to their Beloved City, Jerusalem. Boudinot believed that the American Indians were the lost tribes. As to a return to their "beloved city, Jerusalem," I cannot imagine what would happen to the contentiousness already present in that holy city were America's Indians to resettle there now. This book came in the latter stages of Boudinot's life. Earlier, he had played a significant role in the American Revolution. George Washington had tapped him to manage war prisoners in 1777, and he served as a delegate from New Jersey during the Continental Congress. Some have referred to him as "the first president of the United States" as he was President of the Continental Congress at the time the British signed the Treaty of Paris, recognizing the new nation's independence. Boudinot would serve in the first congresses after the adoption of the Constitution, retiring in 1795 to begin a ten-year stint as Director of the Mint. Among his other accomplishments was serving almost half a century as a trustee of Princeton University, and helping to found the American Bible Society, which supported the rights of Blacks and Native Americans. That role, ironically, led to his name being adopted by a young Cherokee who, as " Elias Boudinot," was one of the few of his tribe to sign the agreement which the government would use to force his people from their ancestral home in Georgia on the forced march to Oklahoma. The first Elias Boudinot would have been deeply saddened. $600.
The Penitential Tyrant; or, Slave Trader Reformed: A Pathetic Poem.... is an important anti-slavery work. This is the 1807 second edition of Thomas Branagan's book. Branagan was a slave trader who became convinced of the evil of his occupation and changed his ways. Graphic illustrations in the book depict the terrible evils of this institution. The title page shows a slave in chains, kneeling while asking, "Am I not a man, and a brother?" It is incomprehensible that so many people for so long have answered "no." Item 158. $2,000.
Joseph J. Felcone, Inc., Antiquarian Booksellers may be found online at www.felcone.com or reached by phone at 609-924-0539.