Ohio History Journal

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Book Notes

Book Notes



For the General Welfare: Essays in Honor of Robert H. Bremner. Edited by

Frank Annunziata, Patrick D. Reagan, and Roy T. Wortman. (New York: Peter

Lang, 1989. xiv + 390p.; notes.) This is a collection of articles published by

historians who feel professionally indebted to their mentor, Bob Bremner.

Professor Bremner, while at The Ohio State University, was indeed a unique

scholar, one who could at the same time devote himself to the classroom and

teaching, research and publishing, and the professional and personal welfare of

his students. These articles by a group of his former students who earned their

Ph.D.s under his direction are an affectionate thank you to a professor who

managed to be both scholarly and humane.


Ohio Historical Society                        Robert L. Daugherty



The Journals of William A. Lindsay: An Ordinary Nineteenth-Century

Physician's Surgical Cases. Edited by Katherine Mandusic McDonell.

(Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1989. xlix + 216p.; illustrations,

maps, chronology, glossaries, bibliographies, index.) For anyone trying to

understand life in frontier mid-America before the Civil War, the matter-of-fact

journals of Dr. William A. Lindsay should be required reading. It is not easy or

comfortable reading, for Lindsay's accounts are mainly concerned with patient

history and surgical procedures. Surgery in the 19th century was a remedy of

last resort, frequently performed in a state of emergency or when the patient

could no longer endure the pain from his disease. Operations were usually

performed on the kitchen table at the patient's home, assisted by family

members or when possible by another physician in the area. Lindsay worked

without benefit of anesthesia and knew nothing of the germ theory of disease

and asepsis. Only when a patient's suffering was considered to be extreme was

it thought important enough to be mentioned. Lindsay practiced surgery in

Ohio (Clark, Montgomery, Preble, Darke, and Butler counties) and in Indiana

(Wayne, Fayette, Union, and Dearborn counties). These journals (three out of

four known to exist) were written between the years 1836-1855, retrospectively

describing surgical cases performed between 1822-1841. Katherine Mandusic

McDonell, editor, provides an interesting introduction to the journals which

includes a summary of nineteenth century surgical practices and a biographical

sketch of Lindsay. Also helpful to the reader are a glossary of medical and

pharmaceutical terms, many no longer in use today, and a glossary of personal

and place names. Arresting illustrations depict the type of surgical cases

Lindsay describes, taken from contemporary sources which Lindsay might

have read, along with photographs of the surgical armamentarium available to

the pioneer physician.


Cleveland Health Sciences Library                     Glen Jenkins



The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad: Henry Ford's Railroad. By Scott

D. Trostel. (Fletcher, Ohio: Cam-Tech Publishing, 1988. 312p.; illustrations,