I spent from 1981 to about 2000 documenting the history of early American herbal medicine.  Believe it or not, I engaged in this process in a rather orderly fashion, covering the period of about 1550 to 1850.  With five generations of PCs I was able to document items I pulled from the thousands of books (tens of thousands?) reviewed, entering all of this onto the PC, and later merging a lot of it into teaching and research materials which I used to teach my classes within a University setting, from about 1992 to 2000.  Most of these noted were updated and posted on this site. (And a few pop up every now and then that I forgot I did!)

The following are very specific activities I engaged in as a historian documenting the history of medicine for the Hudson valley, New York state, the Oregon trail, Oregon, and the U.S. in general.  The purpose here was to develop a chronology of the evolution of medical thoughts and traditions by focusing on non-allopathic medicine and placing it in perspective with the better known and documented history of allopathy.

The following are all new materials I produced that were never developed before in the history of medicine research proffession.

Links to related pages are to be added.

Documents transcribed or translated

Dr. Cornelius Osborn‘s (1722-1783) vade mecum or recipe book (82 pp vade mecum, dated 1763, written in a combination of Middle to Late Colonial English modified shorthand, Pharmaceutical Latin, incl. alchemical), and biography–a Dutch-English physician with local Indian herbal medicine use, whose practice included Christian Alchemist Georg Starkey Philosopher’s Stone beliefs, and who served as a Field Surgeon and member of Committee for Safety in Fishkill, NY during the Revolutionary War.

Dr. John Kennedy Bristow‘s (1815-1886) vade mecum, patient ledger, and biography, an Illinois-Oregon Trail-Oregon physicians with primary interests in various alternatives, including Thomsonianism and Eclectic Medicine, with emphasis on herbalism, medical gymnastics, etc.

Oregon Trail Diaries, entire diary or just medical sections, 1993-2000.  List:  William Dain,1845, Sol. Tetherow’s team “doctor” and Indian scout, about 15 pp;  Gabbert family [mostly penned by son Robert]; Elijah Bristow letters, Calif. to Illinois;

Cadwallader Colden‘s Plantae Coldenghamiae, penned 1737-9, published by Carl Linne 1749,1751.  [about 160 pp, translated from Latin to English]

Transcriber, Post-Revolutionary War Medical documents related to foot soldiers traffic and provisions and the introduction of yellow fever into the US; sanitation practices related to potential disease sources (about 650 pp).

Johanne Christopher Homann‘s Medicinische geographische (Medical Geography) essay, 1720 [40 pp, German to English]

Canstatt‘s 1747 Medical Geography Nosology sections [25 pp, German to English]

New York State Revolutionary War Documents.  Reviewed Edmund O’Callaghan’s 15 vol. collection for any and all medical information.


Historical Sites and Remains (photographic essays)

Colden Family mansion and Grounds

Orson Fowler’s estate, family and business, octagon house history, and establishment of phrenological institute and publishing business

Wappingi Indian Burial Mound, used ca. 1600-1700, Rhinebeck, NY.

Pine Plains Christian Indian Mahican settlement, ca. 1745

Mahican Indian Doctor, New York ca. 1790-1850 practice.

Mount Beacon land use, medical and recreational value, and incline trolley history.

Cornell Mansion and Mountain Trails south of Beacon.  Photographs of mansion, other buildings, dairy farm facilities and remains depicting the sanitation-related dairy industry movement.

Carvel Ice Cream Farm and Redevelopment Project (all remains leveled in 2012)

The 1745 Moravian-Christian Indian encampment in Pine Plains

Mohican Hotel and Slate Cemetery, Milan-Pine Plains, NY

The Milan, NY, Turkey Farm (leveled winter 2011/2012)

Greek Revival Architecture in the Valley

Farms and Countryside buildings and dwellings

Revisiting the sites for James Reuell Smith’s work on Manhattan-Bronx-Yonkers Water Wells and Springs, in use ca. 1840-1900.


Biographies of Hudson Valley-New York physicians and healers

Cadwallader and daughter Jane Colden

Isaac Marks 17[**]-ca.1777, Mohel and Jewish Doctor

Cornelius Osborn, 1722-1783, sons James, Peter, Thomas, and nephew Cornelius Remsen

Samuel Mitchell, 1795-1840

David Hossack, 1800-1825

Mannessah, Christian Indian, Mahican “Indian doctor”, 1795-1835

Caleb Child, Medical Electrician, 1798-1815

James Livingston Van Kleeck, 1797 – ca 1815

Dr. Stephen Thorn, 1798, “Antient medicine” practitioner

Isaac V. Van Voorhis 1799-1802, Chicago fort physician, surgeon (died in Chicago massacre, 1803)

Arkalus Hooper, botanist physician, Puritan, Mayflower descendent

Daniel S. Dean and John R. Todd, Pointers or Calipers

Jedediah Tallman, 1799, Electric Glass Cylinders

Shadrach Ricketson, 1802- , Quaker

Mrs. Smith, Christian faith healer

Dr. Joseph Hamilton, Puritan, Botanist, Inoculations

Bartow White, physician and congressman

David Arnell, Medical topographer/geographer

Chancellor Livingston

Esquire John Watkins

Moses Younglove, New Lebanon

Hunting Sherrill, Epidemiologist, very early Homeopath

Thomas Lapham, Thomsonian

John Bovee Dods, Galvanics, Electric Psychology

Andrew Jackson Davis, Seer



Other Hudson Valley, NY Projects

Review of the Poughkeepsie Journal, 1797 forward, and several other local newspapers, photographing all articles and ads related to all topics of cultural and medical history research noted elsewhere on this page/blog [ongoing]


Explorers and Trappers

New France–the Nun’s Hospital

Traditional Trappers and Mountainmen


Hudson’s Bay Company-Trappers, etc.


Oregon Trail

William Dain, Indian Root Doctor/Botanic Physician/Thomsonian

John Kennedy Bristow

Medicines in the Trail Diaries project


Oregon/Oregon Trail

Susannah Gabbert/Elijah Bristow

Edmund G. Browning, Evangelical Circuit Rider/Minister, Botanic Medicine Doctor, probably Alva Curtis student



Oregon/Pacific Northwest

Early herbalism and local plant-derived patent medicines

The “New Eclectics”, 1895-7

NCNM and the history of Naturopathy