Manuscript Group 648, William Elmer (fl. 1791-1889), Physician Records, 1791-1889

Archive Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 648, William Elmer (fl. 1791-1889), Physician
Records, 1791-1889, 8 volumes
Call Number: MG 648 + volume number


Ledgers and daybooks of a physician from Bridgeton, New Jersey. One volume includes Jacob Miller’s account book, 1795-1815.

Gift of the Chester County (PA) Historical Society.

Biographical Note:

William Elmer received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1836 examined recruits during the Civil War and was the director of the State Asylum. His two sons, William and Henry, were also physicians.

Scope and Content Note:

Two ledgers, 1837-1869, primarily account registers, list family name, date of service, fee charged, and occasional notes such as a child’s vaccination or patients death. Settlement of accounts often includes an exchange for items or services, such as payment “by work getting ice,” or “by 1 bush oysters.” Five daybooks, 1853-1885, with “Bridgeton” on the frontispiece, list date, family name, and comments on patients ailment, condition, and treatment. Among the ailments listed are abscesses, asthma, bed sores, cardiac disease, hemorrhoids, eczema, dysentery, prickly heat, pneumonia, ulcerating tonsils, measles, vertigo, sebaceous sacs, spasms, nervousness, and “hypochondriasis.” Treatments include cough drops, chloroform, beef tea, chalk mixture, morphine, quinine, Epson, whiskey and cod oil mixture.

Another volume includes Jacob Miller’s accounts, 1791-1815, listing name and date for goods such as hay, flax, corn, beef, and “Accounts of Debts due the Estate of Jacob Miller” (1816). A more detailed handwritten index can be found in the data file.

Related Collections:

Manuscript Group 275, Samuel Gardiner Wright (1781-1845), Farmer, Records

Item List:

Volume # Description Dates
1 Ledger 1837-1853
2 Ledger 1853-1869?
3 Daybook, “Bridgeton” 1866-1867
4 Daybook, “Bridgeton” 1867-1871
5 Daybook, “Bridgeton” 1871-1873
6 Daybook, “Bridgeton” 1878-1880
7 Daybook, “Bridgeton” 1883-1885
8 Includes Jacob Miller’s account book (latter part of book in different hand) 1791-1815, 1865-1889

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