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Journeys

1850

DRAKE, DANIEL. A systematic treatise, historical, etiological, and practical, on the principal diseases of the interior valley of North America... Cincinnati: Winthrop B. Smith, 1850.

Daniel Drake was a child of the Western frontier who became its foremost scientist and popular educator. Born in 1785 in New Jersey, Drake moved as a young child with his parents to Mason County, Kentucky. At age 15 he was apprenticed to a physician, Dr. William Goforth, and later received the first Medical Diploma granted by the University of Cincinnati.

This book, A Systematic Treatise ... on the Principal Diseases of the Interior Valley of North America, was the crowning achievement of Drake's life. In 1810, Drake began his travels through the interior regions of the United States, gathering data on topography, meteorology, customs, diet, and diseases of the people living on the frontier. When volume one was published in 1850, Dr. Oliver Wendall Holmes wrote, "Dr. Drake's work belongs to the very highest rank of our medical literature, and may very probably come to be regarded as the most valuable original work yet published in America."

[View of Buda] Daniel Drake began his travels through the American frontier in 1810, gathering data on, among other things, the diseases of the people living there.