Valiant Doctors in the Frontier West

Valiant Doctors in the Frontier West

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Valiant Doctors in the Frontier West
Dorothy Simpson


Amongst the brave pioneers who came by ship, then by wagon or by horseback looking for a new life in the New World, were doctors. Doctors who came seeking a salubrious climate, seeking a richer life, seeking to serve those courageous souls whose homes in Europe were to be exchanged for the unknown in the New World. The Spanish padres (priests) hoped to show the Native Americans the way of salvation; the doctors came with them, hoping to show them all the way of health. Whether treating patients on the Oregon Trail, in forts, small towns, or a remote cabin, a physician took his skills where they were needed.

Early diseases included bilious fever, which often assumed a typhoid character; pleurisy, pneumonia, and scurvy; and there were other ailments due to exposure to weather, improper or insufficient food, and over-exertion. Wounds inflicted by Indians, smallpox epidemics, and gunshot wounds also took their toll. Later, small town doctors had to battle Scarlet fever, cholera, diphtheria, measles, whooping cough, typhoid, tuberculosis, and many other illnesses. Most frontier doctors carried firearms along with their medical bags and they dedicated their lives to helping others.

Chapters include: Doctors in New Spain, Wagon Train Doctors, Doctors at Forts, Gunfighters’ Doctors, Small Town Doctors, Country Doctors, and A Missionary Doctor. Each chapter ends with a list of references. A bibliography adds to the value of this work.

2020, 6x9, paper, , 100 pp