Autograph letter signed. Jean Deveze.

Autograph letter signed

Publisher Information: Philadelphia: 1797.

Devèze, Jean (1753-1826?). Autograph letter signed, in French, to Theodore Charles Mozard (1755-1810). Philadelphia, 2 pluviose, an 5 (January 24, 1797). 1 page plus integral address leaf. 230 x 188 mm. Portion of letter (approx. 40 x 80 mm.) torn away from left margin when opened, affecting 4 lines of text, smaller portion of address leaf torn away when seal was broken, not affecting text. Very good otherwise.

Rare autograph letter from French émigré physician Jean Devèze, best known for his feud with Benjamin Rush over the treatment of yellow fever during Philadelphia epidemic of 1793, to Theodore Charles Mozard, regarding the latter's admission to the American Philosophical Society. Devèze was then chief physician of a French military hospital established in Philadelphia; he had been admitted to the American Philosophical Society the year before. His letter can be translated in part as follows:

"It is with great pleasure, my dear son and confrere, that I announce to you that you were elected a member of this city's Philosophical Society yesterday evening. An unfortunate quarrel between me and another over a member's right to propose candidates forced me to observe formalities and delayed your admission until this moment. You should not doubt my pleasure in being a member of the same society as yourself . . . [I beg you] to send me your baptismal name . . . so that I can expedite your diploma, which I will send you as soon as I have it in hand . . . "

Devèze had arrived in Philadelphia from Santo Domingo (now Hispaniola) in the summer of 1793, during the yellow fever epidemic that was then devastating the city. Because of his extensive experience with the disease on Santo Domingo, he was immediately appointed head of Bush Hill, a yellow fever hospital in Philadelphia, where he treated patients by keeping them comfortable and clean and administering quinine and stimulants. Devèze's conservative treatment regimen contrasted sharply with that of Benjamin Rush, who advocated extensive bloodletting to combat the disease. Both Devèze and Rush published accounts of the yellow fever epidemic in 1794, but Devèze's went largely ignored for sixty years, until brought to light in La Roche's Yellow Fever Considered in its Historical, Pathological and Therapeutical Relations (1855).

Devèze's correspondent Mozard was Consul of the French Republic at Boston. Unlike Devèze, who ended up settling in the United States (where his descendants changed their name to Dewees), Mozard left the country in 1798 after having his consulship revoked by President John Adams.

Book Id: 40916

Price: $950.00

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