Boston: Printed by Damrell & Moore, N. 16 Devnonshire Street. 1851. Fourth Edition. Not in Cardasco, though see 40-1051, for the 3rd Edition, and 20-0463 & 20-0464 for the 1st & 2nd editions respectively. 216 pp (including Index). 12mo. 7-5/8" x 4-7/8". Original publisher's deep purplish-brown cloth binding, with gilt stamped lettering to spine & boards stamped in blind. Square & tight. Backstrip lightly sunned. Library bookplate, stamped “withdrawn”, on front paste-down. Two bookseller tickets to front paste-down. Pencil signature of ship captain “J. Warren Perkins / Salem / Mass” to ffep [a known Captain of the era, with Harvard holding the logbook of the Syren, commanded by Perkins, 1868-69]. Crease in blank vertical margin of pages through p. 12. Overall, Very Good - Very Good Plus. Item #49508
The first two editions of Parsons’s book were entitled Sailor’s Physician…. (1820 and 1824). The third edition was entitled Physician for Ships... (1842). This fourth edition contains new material on California to address the medical demands imposed by the Gold Rush..... “A new chapter of several pages on California has been added, containing advice to persons bound to that region, both by sea and overland, for the preservation of health and cure of disease on their way and while employed at the gold diggings” (Preface, p. ).
“The former editions of this book were silent respecting climate and diseases on the Pacific coast, north of Panama. Vessels rarely touched at any of the ports, which are few and far between, and the population in them comparatively small, having declined ever since the country became independent of Spain. Within the last two years, however, the gold fever has become epidemic throughout the Union, causing a rush of people to California, who, being strangers to its climate, and ignorant of the perils and vicissitudes to be encountered in going, and after their arrival, stand in great need of advice for preserving their health. Having been at much pains to collect information, we shall give advice to persons crossing the isthmus of Panama to San Francisco and to the gold placers; also to those who take an overland passage, commencing with the Gulf of Mexico” (p. 155).
The section on “Climate and diseases of San Francisco” is found at pp. 161-164 (with pp. 163-64 about health matters for gold diggers, e.g., "Diggers of experience in the mines travel by night during the dry season, to avoid rays of the sun.").