List of Medicines and Instruments for United States Frigate New York
From everyday maladies to life-threatening injuries, a doctor in a United States Navy ship needed to be well-equipped with a wide variety of medical supplies. This 1802 doctor’s list was created by U.S. Naval Surgeon Peter St. Medard to document the medicines and instruments supplied to the U.S. Navy frigate New York. Medard had served as a surgeon on USS Constitution during the Quasi-War with France and was discharged in 1801. This list was created in about 1802, after Medard returned to service aboard New York. Documents like this serve as an indication of the types of medical issues that seagoing doctors expected to see, as well as the methods used to treat those conditions. Several of the medicines would be familiar to grocery store shoppers today, but were relied on for their perceived medical value in the era before manufactured pharmaceuticals. Cinnamon, cream of tartar, anise and sarsaparilla are among the items listed.