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Very rare second edition of the first general pharmacopoeia by an American,
with a list of modern chemical terms

TAZEWELL, William.
Vade-mecum medicum, in duas partes divisum, ...
Leiden, Abraham and Jan Honkoop, 1800. 12mo. Contemporary mottled boards.
€ 2,250
Rare second edition of "the first general (as distinguished from hospital) 'pharmacopoeia' compiled by an American" (Cowen), first published at Paris in 1798. The first part of the book is a classification of diseases, and is taken word for word from the influential 1769 nosology by the Scottish physician William Cullen. The second part is a pharmacopoeia, divided into materia medica and composite medicines. The introduction notes that it is based on the author's notes made at the University of Edinburgh, the London pharmacopoeia and Joseph Townsend's The physicians' vade mecum (1794) (p. x). Between the two parts can be found a list translating the Latin names of the chemical preparations, "which not all readers will view as sufficiently legitimate" (p. 77) into the modern English and French nomenclature.
William Tazewell (d. 1832) was an American physician who had studied in Edinburgh and in 1797-1800 was secretary to Elbridge Gerry in Paris. After returning to the United States, Tazewell set up a medical practice in Williamsburg and later moved to Virginia. In 1803 he presented copies of his Vade-mecum to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, the latter writing that "it has really brought the whole science of diseases & remedies within the shortest compass possible, and, not meddling with the details of the science himself, it presents exactly such a general view of every part of it, as [Jefferson] often wishes to take" (Cowen).
With a small price in pen on the first flyleaf. Only some thumbing on the last 30 pages, otherwise in very good condition and wholly untrimmed. Boards slightly worn and spine cracked, but still structurally sound.
Cowen, America's pre-pharmacopoeial literature, pp. 21-22; STCN (1 copy); Founders online (letters to Tazewell from Washington and Jefferson); Wellcome V, p. 241; WorldCat (2 copies).
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Americas  >  North America & Mexico
Medicine & pharmacy  >  Pharmacology / Pharmacopoeia
Science & technology  >  Physics & Chemistry