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Title:[Letter] 1826 Apr. 11, Philadelphia, [to] Miss Ann J[ane] Bell, near Charlotte, Dickson Co[unt]y, Tennessee / John Bell : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Bell, John

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. (615) 741-2764.

Date: April 11, 1826
Extent: 4p
Summary:The following document is a letter dated April 11, 1826, written from Dr. John Bell in Philadelphia to his sister Ann Jane Bell in Dickson County, TN. Dr. Bell writes in answer to several questions Ann Jane had previously asked in regards to vaccination. He also describes a treatment for skin eruptions and eases his sister's mind about their brother William's recent weakness of memory. Dr. Bell concludes the letter by criticizing his sister's writing style.
Collection:Bell Collection IV-H-1

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Philadelphia April 11th 1826
My Dear Ann Jane

Your's of the 14th Ult. [Ultimo] postmarked 20th., being chiefly on vaccination business shall be replied to in nearly the same strain. [unclear: Imprisnis ], please to remember for your future guidance, and be it known to all whom it may concern, that the season for vaccinating children is that in which the physician has good matter, be it in the dog days or in the winter solstice — Item. That coughs, colds catarrhs & bowel disorders furnish no good cause why children labouring [laboring] under any of them should not be vaccinated.— Delay is only necessary when there is any eruption on the skin. — Then indeed ought this to be removed by suitable medicines and low diet — before vaccination be practiced —

I send you another fresh [unclear: scub ], — which I hope will be turned to better account than the former one — The better method is first to pulverize it finely, between two pieces of glass or broken china for instance,

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then mix it into a thin paste with a little water, and introduce this semiliquid substance under the skin either with the point of a lancet or the end of a needle. — I have used both. But of course you will prefer getting your doctor to perform the operation. Perhaps you may make a trade with him: fresh matter balanced by the vaccination of the two children.

While on a medical subject, I may remark in reference to William's temporary Weakness of memory, that such is a common effect of indisposition.— You must on this account exercise for a while his mind more lightly. You had better also leave his parsonical propensities, if he have any such, to display themselves gradually, without any undue fostering or force on your part. He may have many predilections, political & military among others, during the period of youth, & before he make his final selection Two years before I commenced the study of medicine I declared to my Father that I would as soon think of

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becoming a chimney sweep as a doctor.

You did Mr. Hicks great injustice in supposing that he would be in the city when your letter arrived.— Your message is something like the bushel of clover seed of last spring. I [unclear: propose? ] do not imitate Hume so much in the length of your sentences. A page and a half without a period or even, colon is rather too much, The same subject may be very well subdivided into several complete sentences. Lindley Murray has some good rules on this subject.

You will observe that I write somewhat in a hurry, and have not time to [gap] the semi-captious mood which you will perchance accuse me of indulging in.— The clouds reflect many colours [colors] but the same sun is the source of all — My language may vary; but the same love is always in it —

Your's as ever
John Bell —

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Miss Ann J. [Jane] Bell Near Charlotte Dickson Coy [County] Tennessee
[added: Recd. [Received] May 6th]

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