Cullen

The Consultation Letters of Dr William Cullen (1710-1790) at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

 

[ID:2034] From: Dr John Alves / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Captain Ross (Patient) / 31 July 1781 / (Incoming)

Letter from John Alves, concerning the case of Captain Ross.

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 2034
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/1112
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date31 July 1781
Annotation None
TypeAuthorial original
Enclosure(s) No enclosure(s)
Autopsy No
Recipe No
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Letter from John Alves, concerning the case of Captain Ross.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:1352]
Case of Captain Ross, a young soldier, who caught a venereal infection when in America - which was treated - but who after recently attending a recent review at Ford George has started to display signs of a severe mental disorder.
5


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:148]AuthorDr John Alves
[PERS ID:1]AddresseeDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:147]PatientCaptain Ross
[PERS ID:3188]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / Apothecary
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:148]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr John Alves
[PERS ID:3191]Patient's Relative / Spouse / Friend
[PERS ID:3193]Patient's Relative / Spouse / Friend
[PERS ID:3194]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMr Ross
[PERS ID:3195]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMrs Ross
[PERS ID:3187]Patient's Relative / Spouse / Friend
[PERS ID:3189]Other
[PERS ID:3196]Other
[PERS ID:3197]Other

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Inverness North Highlands Scotland Europe certain
Destination of Letter Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain
Mentioned / Other Europe certain
Mentioned / Other England Europe certain
Mentioned / Other USA North America certain
Mentioned / Other Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain
Mentioned / Other London London and South-East England Europe certain
Mentioned / Other New York New York USA North America certain
Mentioned / Other Fort George Ardersier North Highlands Scotland Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Inverness 31st July 1781
Dear Sir


Yesterday I visited Captn Ross a
poor young Gentleman whose unhappy case I send for
your Consideration, and beg to have your advice & Directions
as soon as convenient, his friends being anxious that every
thing possible may be done for him without loss of time.


He is about twenty two years of age, naturaly of a Com¬
posed, sedate and rather reserved Disposition, tho' sufficiently
social & chearfull upon proper occasions: from inclenation,
sober & temperate, and of so healthy a Constitution, that he
suffer'd nothing from serving several years as a light Infantry
Officer in America. Sometime before he left New York in
february last he got a Virulent gonorhea for which he was
treated in the usual way, and he was so far cured that
there remain'd only a Gleet when he embarked for Europe.
during his passage he was ↑for ten days↑ more silent & reserv'd than usual,
and more inclin'd to be alone, but his servant (who has been
with him since he was a boy) never observed that he said any
thing out of joint, tho' he seem'd sometimes to be muttering
and speaking to himself, and suppos'd his uneasiness was
occasiond by his not finding himself in a state of health



[Page 2]

fit for associating with the officers & Company on board, for he
avoided as much as possible drinking to excess on account of his
Gleet. After his arrival in England, both at London & Edinburgh
he took medicines for his complaint, but having lived too freely
& irregularly in those places, he receive no benefit from them,
and indee this was also the case for sometime after he came
to this Country about two or three months ago. At length
however, becoming more regular & temperate, some strengthening
medicine
carried off the gleet together with a general weakness
& uneasiness in his back which he said had accompanied
it for sometime.


About three weeks ago being at Fort George at the time
of a Review, he was much in Company, and drank a great
deal for several days. he then took a jaunt across the
Country, but soon after return'd again to the Fort, had
several more nights of hard drinking ↑by which he was much intoxicated↑ danced a great
deal & sleep'd very little. From this time he became
more lively & flighy than was natural to him, sudden
& impetuous in his motions, and confus'd in his Ideas
and before his friends were certain that he was actually
disorderd in his mind, he made several harty excursions
thro the Country, sometimes in the night, rode hard, and
sleep'd very little for several nights. At length on Thursday



[Page 3]

last the 26th. Current his disorder was very evident. His pulse
at that time was full & strong but not frequent
. A Surgeon
being at hand, Twenty ounces of blood were taken from his
Arm, and by some exertion of his hand during a violent
outrageous fit that evening, the vein open'd again and
le lost about a pound more. The same day he took a
strong dose of Salts. Next day a large blister was applied
between the shoulders which discharg'd plentifully. Saturday
he had another violent fit; took Tart. Emet. gr. vi which
operated powerfully both upwards & downwards. These
things were done as the Gentleman who attended could
get him to agree to them. Yesterday I saw him for the
first time. He was in bed, his skin had more than the
natural heat
, pulse 96 but not strong; some thirst
but his tongue pretty clean. Urine clear, in sufficient
quantity & of an Amber colour. he had been mostly
in bed since friday, and in almost a constant perspira¬
tion or moderate sweat
, ↑had sleep'd a good deal↑ was Sufficiently tractable, and
during some intervals of recollection & seemingly of
reason, he said what he had never been well since his
drinking at Fort George. he knows every body, and at
times seems to have some notion of his own Situation;


[Page 4]

But for ordinary he is incoherent & confus'd. He imagines
an Invasion of this Contry is to take place immediately
and he is often employìd in contriving the means of de¬
feating & preventing it. Upon the whole, Military Ideas
prevail with him, but it may be proper to mention that
having lately heard a Seceding Minister preach, some
Religious Imaginations now & then disturb him: and
about the beginning of this disorder, he told a particular
friend in Confidence, that he had had for years a strong
Passion for a young Lady which he had never before reveald
to any person, but to the Lady herself by whom he does not
suppose that he will be refus'd. once or twice since, on
seeing the same friend, he mention'd the same subject to
him again, but in a whisper, and as a secret which he
wish'd nobody else to know, nor does it appear that he
has spoke of it to any other person.


I cannot find that he has any hereditary right to In¬
sanity
by either his Father or Mother's family; but I was
this day told by a person who saw it, that his Father was
once, after hard drinking, for two days in a state of great
disorder & confusion even after he had got several hours
of quite sleep.


Capt Ross' Acquaintances have remark'd that ever



[Page 5]

since he came to the Country he was more reserv'd silent
& thoughtfull than they either expected or wish'd him
to be after having been so much in the world.


I have now given you, perhaps too prolixly, all the
Information I could collect with respect to this young
Man's unhappy case & will only return one circum¬
stance more which is that he has a great load of hair
on his head which he is very unwilling to part with
I shall look for your Advice & Directions without loss of
time, for which the Bearer will make you a proper -
Acknowledgment, & I remain with particular
regard & Esteem


Dear Sir
Your most obedient Servant
John Alves



[Page 6]


Dr Cullen
Physician
at Edinburgh


J. Alves.
Concerning
Capn Ross
August 1781
XIII. p. 120

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Inverness 31st July 1781
Dear Sir


Yesterday I visited Captn Ross a
poor young Gentleman whose unhappy case I send for
your Consideration, and beg to have your advice & Directions
as soon as convenient, his friends being anxious that every
thing possible may be done for him without loss of time.


He is about twenty two years of age, naturaly of a Com¬
posed, sedate and rather reserved Disposition, tho' sufficiently
social & chearfull upon proper occasions: from inclenation,
sober & temperate, and of so healthy a Constitution, that he
suffer'd nothing from serving several years as a light Infantry
Officer in America. Sometime before he left New York in
feby last he got a Virulent gonorhea for which he was
treated in the usual way, and he was so far cured that
there remain'd only a Gleet when he embarked for Europe.
during his passage he was ↑for ten days↑ more silent & reserv'd than usual,
and more inclin'd to be alone, but his servant (who has been
with him since he was a boy) never observed that he said any
thing out of joint, tho' he seem'd sometimes to be muttering
and speaking to himself, and suppos'd his uneasiness was
occasiond by his not finding himself in a state of health



[Page 2]

fit for associating with the officers & Company on board, for he
avoided as much as possible drinking to excess on acct. of his
Gleet. After his arrival in England, both at London & Edinburgh
he took medicines for his complaint, but having lived too freely
& irregularly in those places, he receive no benefit from them,
and indee this was also the case for sometime after he came
to this Country about two or three months ago. At length
however, becoming more regular & temperate, some strengthening
medicine
carried off the gleet together with a general weakness
& uneasiness in his back which he said had accompanied
it for sometime.


About three weeks ago being at Fort George at the time
of a Review, he was much in Company, and drank a great
deal for several days. he then took a jaunt across the
Country, but soon after return'd again to the Fort, had
several more nights of hard drinking ↑by which he was much intoxicated↑ danced a great
deal & sleep'd very little. From this time he became
more lively & flighy than was natural to him, sudden
& impetuous in his motions, and confus'd in his Ideas
and before his friends were certain that he was actually
disorderd in his mind, he made several harty excursions
thro the Country, sometimes in the night, rode hard, and
sleep'd very little for several nights. At length on Thursday



[Page 3]

last the 26th. Curt. his disorder was very evident. His pulse
at that time was full & strong but not frequent
. A Surgeon
being at hand, Twenty ounces of blood were taken from his
Arm, and by some exertion of his hand during a violent
outrageous fit that evening, the vein open'd again and
le lost about a pound more. The same day he took a
strong dose of Salts. Next day a large blister was applied
between the shoulders which discharg'd plentifully. Saturday
he had another violent fit; took Tart. Emet. gr. vi which
operated powerfully both upwards & downwards. These
things were done as the Gentleman who attended could
get him to agree to them. Yesterday I saw him for the
first time. He was in bed, his skin had more than the
natural heat
, pulse 96 but not strong; some thirst
but his tongue pretty clean. Urine clear, in sufficient
quantity & of an Amber colour. he had been mostly
in bed since friday, and in almost a constant perspira¬
tion or moderate sweat
, ↑had sleep'd a good deal↑ was Sufficiently tractable, and
during some intervals of recollection & seemingly of
reason, he said what he had never been well since his
drinking at Fort George. he knows every body, and at
times seems to have some notion of his own Situation;


[Page 4]

But for ordinary he is incoherent & confus'd. He imagines
an Invasion of this Contry is to take place immediately
and he is often employìd in contriving the means of de¬
feating & preventing it. Upon the whole, Military Ideas
prevail with him, but it may be proper to mention that
having lately heard a Seceding Minister preach, some
Religious Imaginations now & then disturb him: and
about the beginning of this disorder, he told a particular
friend in Confidence, that he had had for years a strong
Passion for a young Lady which he had never before reveald
to any person, but to the Lady herself by whom he does not
suppose that he will be refus'd. once or twice since, on
seeing the same friend, he mention'd the same subject to
him again, but in a whisper, and as a secret which he
wish'd nobody else to know, nor does it appear that he
has spoke of it to any other person.


I cannot find that he has any hereditary right to In¬
sanity
by either his Father or Mother's family; but I was
this day told by a person who saw it, that his Father was
once, after hard drinking, for two days in a state of great
disorder & confusion even after he had got several hours
of quite sleep.


Capt Ross' Acquaintances have remark'd that ever



[Page 5]

since he came to the Country he was more reserv'd silent
& thoughtfull than they either expected or wish'd him
to be after having been so much in the world.


I have now given you, perhaps too prolixly, all the
Information I could collect with respect to this young
Man's unhappy case & will only return one circum¬
stance more which is that he has a great load of hair
on his head which he is very unwilling to part with
I shall look for your Advice & Directions without loss of
time, for which the Bearer will make you a proper -
Acknowledgment, & I remain with particular
regard & Esteem


Dear Sir
Your most obt Servt.
John Alves



[Page 6]


Dr Cullen
Physician
at Edinburgh


J. Alves.
C
Capn Ross
Augt. 1781
XIII. p. 120

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