Catalogue description Medical and surgical journal of His Majesty's convict ship America for 4 March to 31...

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Details of ADM 101/2/3
Reference: ADM 101/2/3
Description:

Medical and surgical journal of His Majesty's convict ship America for 4 March to 31 August 1829 by Alexander Stewart, Surgeon, during which time the said ship was employed in a passage to New South Wales.

Folios 1-2: Jonathan McQuire, aged 19, Private, 63rd Regiment; disease or hurt, phymosis and measles. Put on sick list, 28 March 1829, Woolwich. Discharged to headquarters, 4 April 1829.

Folio 2: Jonathan Davis, aged 17, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 29 March 1829, Woolwich. Discharged, 14 April 1829. Had been ill two or three days before embarking from Justitia.

Folios 2-3: Peter O'Neal, aged 23, Private, 63rd Regiment; disease or hurt, syphilis. Put on sick list, 13 April 1829, Margate Roads. Discharged to duty, 24 August 1829.

Folio 3: Jonathan Lambshin, aged 26, Seaman; disease or hurt, rubeola. Put on sick list, 16 April 1829, in the Downs. Sent to hospital at South Barracks, Deal, 20 April 1829. Had been affected with diarrhoea for which he took Dover's Powders.

Folio 4: Robert Owen, aged 36, Convict; disease or hurt, hepatitis. Put on sick list, 19 April 1829, in the Downs. Discharged, 25 April 1829.

Folio 4: Richard Montgomery, aged 3, youngest son of Adjutant Montgomery, Officer of the Guard; disease or hurt, rubeola. Put on sick list, 27 April 1829. Discharged, 3 May 1829.

Folios 4-5: George O'Neil, aged 17, Convict; disease or hurt, abscess and then dysentery. Put on sick list, 13 April 1829. Died, 19 May 1829. The surgeon did not perform a dissection out of consideration for the high number of sick in the hospital.

Folios 5-5a: Thomas Moss, aged 29, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 1 May 1829, at sea. Died, 4 May 1829. With a description of the body examined three hours after death.

Folios 5a-6: Thomas Wright, aged 24, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 9 May 1829, at sea. Died, 15 May 1829.

Folios 6-7: George Reeks, aged 27, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 9 May 1829, at sea. Discharged, 19 June 1829.

Folio 8: William Grey [George Grey], aged 28, Convict; disease or hurt, rheumatism. Put on sick list, 9 May 1829, at sea. Discharged, 21 May 1829.

Folios 8-9: Jonathan Stockings, aged 25, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 9 May 1829. Discharged, 16 June 1829.

Folio 9: Jonathan Brown, aged 43, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 15 May 1829. Discharged, 25 May 1829.

Folios 9-10: James McGarvie, aged 38, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 20 May 1829. Discharged, 28 May 1829.

Folios 10-11: James Robertson, aged 20, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 20 May 1829, at sea. Discharged, 6 June 1829.

Folios 11-13: Laurence Gathens, aged 29, Private, 63rd Regiment; disease or hurt, phthisis. Put on sick list, 5 June 1829, at sea. Died, 6 July 1829. With a description of the body dissected the morning after death.

Folios 13-14: William Cherry, aged 54, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 3 July 1829, at sea. Died, 12 July 1829. Before this illness he had been confined to bed with a dislocated shoulder, since which his health had been impaired. No dissection was performed because of the crowded state of the hospital.

Folios 14-15: William Bamford, aged 27, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 11 July 1829, at sea. Died, 20 July 1829.

Folios 15-16: James Browning, aged 19, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 11 July 1829, at sea. Discharged, 28 July 1829.

Folios 16-17: Alexander Prise, aged 24, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 23 July 1829. Discharged, 25 August 1829.

Folios 18-19: Jonathan Brown, aged 43, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 29 July 1829, at sea. Died, 12 August 1829.

Folios 20-21: Thomas Scott, aged 51, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 3 August 1829. Died, 11 August 1829. With a description of the body dissected after death.

Folio 21: Jonathan Humphries, aged 18, Convict; disease or hurt, dysentery. Put on sick list, 9 August 1829. Died, 20 August 1829.

Folio 22: Abstract of the preceding journal, being a summary of all the cases contained therein, nosologically arranged. Hepatitis, 1; Rheumatismus, 1; Rubeola, 2, of which 1 was sent to the hospital; Phthisis, 1, who died on board; Dysenteria, 15, of which 8 died on board; Syphilis, 2.

Folio 23: Nosological return of the sick and hurt aboard the America Convict Ship between the 28th March and the 31st August 1829. Employed in a passage to New South Wales. Total of 117 cases.

Folios 24-25: Surgeon's general remarks. The last of 176 prisoners received on 30 March 1829, the voyage begins from Woolwich on 8 April 1829. Wind direction and strength for each month of the journey, with number of days rain, and the average temperature and range, are recorded. The remarks continue with observations on the rubeola, phthisis and dysentery cases during the voyage. The measles began affecting children of the guards on 31 March 1829 and spreading to some of the soldiers. No convicts suffered. The disease was very prevalent at Chatham barracks and was brought on board by the guard who embarked from there. The phthisis affected 1 of the soldiers of the 63rd Regiment and was characterised by a very unusual cough, the breathing was easy and he seldom complained of his chest, which led the Surgeon to believe the seat of the disease to be the liver. On dissection the lungs were found to be very much diseased. The most remarkable symptoms of the dysenteria cases were severe griping in the hypogastrium tenesmus and urgent desire to go to stool. Stools were at first watery and mixed with gelatinous substance and blood, but changed in consistency as the disease progressed. Occasionally there was sickness at stomach and in all cases thirst. The tongue at first would be whitish but later brown and dry, especially at the centre and towards the root. There is some discussion of treatment. The disease was very prevalent on board the Justitia and the Surgeon thinks a predisposition existed among the prisoners on their embarking which was brought into action by the change of diet and exacerbated by the bad weather in June and July. Although there are circumstances which indicate contagion, all were exposed equally to the exciting cause whatever that might have been, without any reference to contagion'. He relates the case of Moss, who had been very ill aboard the Justitia, and 3 of whose messmates, including one who attended whim while sick and was present at the dissection, also became ill. In the neighbouring mess, 3 died, 1 recovered and 4 had no attack at all. There were other cases in distant parts of the ship but the Surgeon and the hospital attendants were not attacked at all. The solution of chloride of lime was liberally employed in the hospital's closestools and privies and immediately overcame the offensive smell of the stools, for this reason it is a valuable addition to the medicine chest. Signed, J G Stewart, Surgeon.

Folios 26-27: Copy of the daily sick book of the convict ship America for 28 March to 24 August 1829.

Date: 1829
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

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