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1848 Ledger New Hampshire Doctor Winchester/swanzey/richmond For Sale
475 page 9x13 inch folio size account book, filled front to back, of the monies collected for office visits by a New Hampshire doctor from the years 1848 to about 1880 or so. The ledger was owned by Dr Hosea Pierce of Winchester, New Hampshire, and records hundreds of patients from the towns of Winchester, Swanzey and Richmond, New Hampshire.Pierce practiced medicine for over 50 yrs, into his 90's, and his son George Pierce followed in his footsteps, becoming a surgeon in the New Hampshire Cavalry during the Civil War. In fact, there is an entry for him on page 357: "Geo Pierce 5th Reg NHC Co F." Pierce was the most prominent doctor in southern NewHampshire, which is evident by looking at the tremendous amount of patients he had. He was in fact so sought after that when he moved to New York in 1844, the residents of Winchester wanted him back so badly that they took up a collection and paid him great sums to lure him back home. He did, and this ledger presumably begins the day he arrived back in Winchester, in 1848. The ledger is set up rather ingeniously. He has alphabetized his patient lists in thebeginning, and when a patient came in for a visit, he flipped to their page and recorded the visit in this ledger, along with the amount of monies collected. There is also a page number next to his entry designating the page that his or her's issue was in another book, which presumably contained details as to his or her medical issue. A typical entry : Silas Priest- A. 255/$3.00. B. 342/.67 C. 254/.25 397/.17. That means that Silas visited Dr Pierce and he recorded it in Book A, page 255. He paid three dollars. Then he came back to see him. By then, Dr Pierce had filled up Book A and moved on to Book B. He appears on page 342 of Book B and paid .67 cents this time. Silas' last entry is for Book F. From this it can be inferred that Silas Priest was a very healthy guy, because many others have very long entries in the same book, ie, they will have scores of entries for book B, for instance, and then scores in book C, perhaps indicating a long term health issue or illness. A multiplicity of entries under one name could also mean that this was a family, and that there might have been many family members who were treated under the one person's name- this might be evidenced by the number of male patients in this ledger, which seem to outnumber female patients for sure. It certainly makes sense, given that people had many children back then. Since this was an account book, the male member of the family would also pay the bills, furthering the theory. Pierce had filled up 8 giant books during the time of this ledger, going to Book H. He also did work for theTownsof Winchester, Swanzey and Richmond. You will see entries for "TownOf Richmond, Swanzey," etc. The ledger records, as stated, literally hundreds of residents of southern New Hampshire, essentially people of the towns of Winchester, Richmond & Swanzey, and for a long period of time to boot. He collected quite alot of money for visits, three dollars being the most, and about a nickel being the least. It seems he had a very liberal credit system, waiting a long time to amass monies and crossing off people who paid and leaving uncrossed those that didnt pay. One record is highly amusing- it seems that one Amisa Thompson amassed $31.21 in bills, and didn't pay. The doctor records the following: 'Moved to California. Report says that the Indians skinned him alive. (Satisfied)" Dr. Pierce also did housecalls at the State Prison- some notes are, "died in State Prison", etc. All in all this is a rare item because of its breadth and because of the duration of the entires. It is also very instructive with regards how much money doctors made back then, as every office visit is catalogued along with his rate. Condition is very good, nice and clean and binding solid.
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1848 Ledger New Hampshire Doctor Winchester/swanzey/richmond: $76