Journal of Dr GFW
Tuesday, 6 May, 1828
- Hits: 2226 2226
Morning has an unfavorable appearance. Country uneven and remarkably poor. Indeed, along the road it looks too unproductive for people to live on it and sustain life from the products of the ground, and I must say the sight of squalied looking houses and people living along the road would corrobarate this conclusion. Yet, amid all this apparent....
After moving on a slow steady pace for five hours, we stopped as one of our horses showed symptoms of not being well which we soon found was the fact, for no sooner was the harness removed he lay down apparently in much distress. During our stay here which was for several hours, we became acquainted with an old invalid and a real miser, too. He was very inquisitive indeed to that degree he became rather troublesome. At last wishing to change the position and become the inquirer, I said to him, Stranger, you seem to be labouring under disease and judging from your appearance and the nature of your complaint you must have been an invalid long enough. The old man was speechless for a moment, placing eyes on my counterance, said, who told you I was in bad health? I never heard the first syllable of you or health from a living being. How then do you know that I am an invalid in any respect? - From my knowledge of the human system and of the inroads which certain disease makes upon that beautiful fabric, said to express the image of its Maker. Certain diseases are just as sure to produce certain symptoms as an effect is sure to follow a certain cause. - Are you a Doctor? exclaimed teh fellow in astonishment. I have been sick for years and you are the first man that has ever told me my complaint. - Yes said someone of the company, and has not yet done it, but I am sure he can and cure you, too, if you will open your purse and pay him a little something for his trouble. - Well, said the patient, for I considered him mine now, if he will now tell me how I feel and the disease that torments me I will take a prescription, if it does not cost too much. At this declaration I says, Come, sit down here and I will describe your suffering nearly as minutely as you can. In the first place then, your appetite is variable, you feel much oppressed after eating a hearty meal, and do not sleep sound during the night or feel refreshed from what you do sleep. You are dull and heavy in the morning and very fretful, easily irritated at trifles, sometimes pains over your eyes, often in the limbs - trembling of the hands - belching from the stomach - weak and feeble after much exercise - costive state of the bowels - and often without knowing the cause, troubled with lowness of spirits. - He jumped up from his seat and declared I had told every symptom better than he could and said: You must certainly know my complaint. He now began to inquire if I had any medicine with me After being answered in the affirmative, he wished to know how much it would cost to make out one prescription. Here I was at a loss how to act and not tell him until he had got the medicine. But I evaded the question so as to create no suspicion. But, says the old man, can you cure me? I answered, No, but I can give you medicine that will cause you to feel much more comfortable while you do live and will lengthen your days several years. But, my dear sir, I do not wish to have you imagine that I am anxious to give you anything against your own inclination. Finding from his conversation and from several hints thrown out by some of the company that the old man held his money dearer than anything else, I began to speak of the probability of his final restoration in case he would continue use of the proper medicine and adhere strictly to the directions I would give him. i had now raised the old man's expectations as far as I thought practicable to insure my object. I stopped and left the company so that he could consult his immediate acquaintances whose advice I was satisfied would be in y favor. After a few minutes I returned and found all was working just as I expected. I was now joined by Tyler to who I briefly related the situation of the invalid and at the same time giving a favorable prognosis. One hint to Tyler was sufficient and he was certain the disease could be removed, strengthening his representation of cases cured in worse cases. Tyler now began at the very point to cause a discussion in a few moments. He says to me: We have the medicine in your portmanteau which this gentleman wants. No! That is very unfortunate. Our medicine is all put away very compact, calculated for a long journey, and it will be attended with much difficulty as well as more delay than would be agreeable with the object we had in view. From this representation the anxiety of the old fellow was increased in a quadruple ratio and he expressed great willingness to open his coffers from the prospect of relief and really began to insist very strongly that we should not depart until we left the catholicon for his complaint. Such is the case with people generally when completely activated by desire. hold up to them an object much desired, put it within their reach. Represent that now is time and that a few moments delay it will be probably forever e too late, that it is just ready to flee from them forever and you are sure to enhance to the imagination the value of the expected and wished for ovject; and if you wish to palm a deception on an individual, now is the time for you have the man in your power and if he be able he will accept your proposal.
We at last very reluctantly acceded to the old man's wishes and made a prescription which I have no doubt will be of much service to him and relieve the disagreeable feelings of which he complained. And we only charged him two Dollars and fifty cents which to him appeared enormous and it seemed as though he had rather suffer yet more than to part with his silver. Many of the bystanders who were well acquainted with this man said we did not charge him one quarter enough, that he was the most despicable miser that ever lived. But this would not justify us in asking him an exorbitant price. I considered that we had gone fully as far with the old gentleman as could be justified and it may be a little further because indicating with apparent correctness a complete cure was going beyond even probability - for cure in his case is quite out of the question.
We now are in Baltimore County after budding the patient farewell, expressing our hopes of his enjoying better health in a few weeks; we started for Warrenton Cotton Factory (Buchanan'). After passing over some dreadful roads, up and down some of the most steep and dangerous hills I ever passed, we reached the Factory at three o'clock. It is indeed an elegant place for so inelegant a situation. Art has in this place much improved the rude works of nature; if any rude may be said of nature's works. Here is established by far the most extensive Cotton Factory I ever saw. The building appropriated to carding, spinning, and weaving, and the necessary apparatuses for the same is one hundred and ninety-one feet long and the old part is five stories high. There are in this building Eighty carding machines, nine thousand spindles, and three hundred looms, all forced by water. There is also an establishment of one hundred and forty-five feet in length, used for stamping calicos and handkerchiefs, and a depository for the prepared fabrics, after they have left the looms. It was stored with an immense quantity of cloth. The department for stamping is conducted by a Frenchman who would not let us see the operation. From what cause I am unable to say. The number of hands required in all these departments is five hundred and fifty - the greater number of whom are females. These attend the weaving exclusively - and some of them told us that they made nineteen Dollars for a month. The whole of this large establishment is said to be the property of one man - Buchannan. it stands on a stream of water called Gunpowder and at a place called the Big Falls of Gunpowder. Rather a dangerous name.
Buchannan's house is in the place, seated on an elevation of ground in every respect elegant and beautiful, surrounded by a beautiful grove of luxuriant shade trees and in this hot day looks inviting. here we fed our horses, and when satisfied with examining the place, we drove up the hill and pointed our compass toward the city of Baltimore which is thirty-six miles from Warrenton Factory.
We now, after reaching the summit of the hill, drove at a full pace. Our road was a good graveled turnpike, and the country had not the appearance of wealth. Charges high and accommodations bad. Weather very warm. Spirits low. All of us appear dejected.