By Rebecca Pou, Archivist
This is part of an intermittent series of blogs featuring advertisements found in our collection. You can find the entire series here.
I recently cataloged a small volume of clippings and manuscript notes. As is common in books of clippings, the clippings were pasted to the pages, with the article of interest facing up and whatever happened to be on the back facing the page, hidden from the reader’s view. In this case, some loose items gave me the chance to look at the back side of the clippings, which contained classified advertisements. Dated 1802, the ads were all intriguing, but one in particular stood out. Between a tailor advertising his services and a help wanted ad for a dry goods store, it read:
Strayed or Stolen, from the Subscriber lately a Red Cow with lofty horns, a white tail, a spot near her udder and very vicious. Any person giving information where she may be had, shall have two dollars reward with reasonable changes by applying to Robert Sleith.
An advertisement for a different lost cow offered three dollars as a reward. I suspect she was of a gentler disposition.
The back of another clipping showed cows were not the only things gone missing:
As amusing as the classified ads are, the clippings and manuscript notes hold the real appeal. The volume was the work of Felix Pascalis Ouviere (1762-1833), a French-born physician. Pascalis, as he is commonly known, studied in Montpellier, lived for a time in St. Domingo, and moved to America. He co-edited the Medical Repository, the earliest American medical journal. He also wrote about yellow fever, commenting on the outbreaks in Philadelphia and New York.1 The clippings in this volume are of his “Advice to the inhabitants of Philadelphia,” a series of nine parts published in the True American and Commercial Advertiser regarding yellow fever.
The volume of clippings will soon be available to readers after a visit to the Gladys Brooks Book & Paper Conservation Laboratory. In addition to this volume, our collection also holds several printed works by Pascalis, as well as considerable other materials (correspondence, manuscripts, diplomas, and more) that are not currently represented in our online catalog. If you are interested in these materials, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Kelly, Howard A. (1928) Pascalis-Ouviere, Felix A. In: Dictionary of American Medical Biography. New York: D. Appleton and Company.