White County, Tennessee (probably Sparta): 1852/1861-63. Item #2186
mostly 1852 (store) and 1861-1863 (medical practice). 12” x 7½”. Lined ledger book. 139 leaves handwritten both sides, the first 60 with entries for the store, the rest for the medical practice. Around 20 scraps of paper with handwriting laid in. About good: sound binding, lacks covers, a few leaves detached, several with large losses. An interesting ledger, the bulk of which documents a doctor's practice in the Confederacy during the Civil War. Internal evidence points to the practice being Dr. G. H. Baker's of White County. We could not learn much about Baker, save that he was a member the White County Whig Party. While no major battles occurred in White County, it was a dangerous place during the war as it sat on the border of pro-Union East Tennessee and pro-confederate Middle Tennessee, leading to distrust among neighbors and families, as well as regular partisan skirmishes. A little under half the ledger is devoted to a general store's transactions in 1852 and since Baker is listed as a customer in the ledger, we don't think it's his store. The presently anonymous enterprise documented a few thousand transactions covering a large array of products including many items related to clothing such as calico, thread, buttons, hat, wool and animal skins. Staples such as tobacco, coffee and soap were sold along with tools, chains, coffee boilers and dozens of other products. There are a few thousand entries in the medical portion as well, recording dates, patient names and prices. Around 90% of the entries are simply “visit & MD” or something similar, but there are a number of interesting morsels such as when he noted he was paid with Confederate money, or an April 1863 entry for dressing the wounds of a Lieutenant Ashbrook. It also shows he prescribed vials of peppermint, turpentine and iodine and a go-to medicine--Whitehead's Essence of Mustard. A few procedures are mentioned, including lancing of a breast, and he also treated unnamed African Americans a few times. He noted another patient ran away without paying him. The scraps show that Baker worked with Confederate soldiers as there is a draft of a medical furlough as well as some scribblings related to payment from the CSA. An interesting record of a medical practice conducted during the Confederacy as well as a mid-19th century general store in Central Tennessee. This item is offered by Langdon Manor Books, LLC, antiquarian booksellers. Please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information and/or photos and we will respond promptly. We package our items carefully, ship daily, and have a no hassle returns policy--your satisfaction is guaranteed. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) , the International League of Antiquarian Booksllers (ILAB) and the Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) and adhere to their rules of ethics.