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Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) to James Mease re: thanks for Mease's dissertation on canine madness

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06510 Author/Creator: Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1792/05/31 Pagination: 1 p. + addr 19.4 x 23.7 cm

ALS in the third person, written horizontally and signed in text at the beginning. Thanking Mease for his "very learned and ingenious dissertation on canine madness" and discussing insanity. Jefferson mentions a cure by mercury of an American captive in Algiers, a cure mentioned in Mease's book. He suggests an experiment with animals, infecting them with madness and then attempting the cures. Docketed, with loss at the upper right corner of the address leaf.

Th:Jefferson presents his compliments to Dr. James Mease and his thanks for his very learned & ingenious dissertation on canine madness. he had not before heard of the method of prevention by the use of water in a stream as mentioned page 103. the theory of which appears probable & the application easy. he has lately had a letter from Algiers informing him of the cure of one of our captives there by [struck: the] a very strong use of Mercury, as recommended pa 125. Whether the disease were real or not, it shews that this opinion is favored by the Arabic school of medecine, if we may use the expression. he has often thought that in order to discover some certain method of treatment of a disease, the most distressing of all of those to which we are liable, it would be practicable & well worth while, to confine in a safe place a number of animals, communicating the disease successively to them, and subjecting them to various treatments till some one should be found the success of which might be relied on. The experimentalist who should be successful in establishing by multiplied trials a certain method of cure, would merit an altar.
May 31. 1792.

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