Finding Aid: Mitchell and Bouchelle Account Books, 1820-1845, PC.AB.83

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Finding Aid: Mitchell and Bouchelle Account Books, 1820-1845, PC.AB.83

Abstract

Dr. Lueco Mitchell (approximately 1794-1837) practiced medicine in Salisbury, North Carolina from 1823 to 1837. On 15 May 1834, Dr. R. M. Bouchelle (died 1849) joined the practice. The men dissolved their partnership on 1 May 1837. Bouchelle continued to practice in Salisbury until 1839. This collection consists of three ledgers and one day book. There is a partial index of patients for the medical practice attached to the finding aid located in the Account Book binder located in the Search Room of the State Archives of North Carolina.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Mitchell and Bouchelle Account Books, 1820-1845
Call Number
PC.AB.83
Creator
Mitchell family
Date
1820-1845
Extent
4.00 volumes
Language
English
Repository
State Archives of North Carolina

Series Quick Links

  1. Collection Contents

Restrictions on Access & Use

Access Restrictions

Available for research

Use Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Private Collections: Account Books, PC.AB.83, Mitchell and Bouchelle Account Books, 1820-1845, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Collection Overview

These account books record daily transactions of Mitchell and Bouchelle's medical practice. Mitchell started the practice in Salisbury in 1823. Bouchelle joined him in 1834. Although the partnership was dissolved on 1 May 1837, Bouchelle apparently continued to practice in Salisbury until 1839.
Mitchell and Bouchelle treated visitors from Rowan County, from other nearby counties, and occasionally from other states. Their patients represented a variety of social classes and occupations, including barbers, blacksmiths, cabinetmakers, stage drivers, stone cutters, teachers, tailors, prisoners, planters, overseers, slaves, apprentices, judges, lawyers, and housewives. The ledgers sometimes included diagnoses, though most of the remarks are brief. Patients suffered from diseases such as scarlet fever, measles, gonorrhea, and syphilis. They also experienced apoplexy and fits, generic diagnoses which covered a range of unspecified causes in nineteenth-century medicine.
Mitchell and Bouchelle paid house calls, generally charging $1-2 per visit, depending upon the severity of the case and sometimes the severity of the weather. Occasionally they allowed patients to barter with them. In one case, a mattress was listed as payment; in another case, the promise of paying the account in fish was extracted. The doctors prescribed a variety of herbal cures, fungi, chemicals, distilled liquids, and patent medicines. These included hydrangea, sarsaparilla, digitalis, Epsom, cream of tartar, sulfur, chalk powder, quinine, iodine, silver nitrate, ointment, purging pills, shop pills, cough drops, opium and its derivatives such as paregoric and laudanum, anodyne drops, French brandy, wine, Henry's Calcium Magnesia, and Barton's Brown Mixture. Mitchell and Bouchelle performed complex surgeries such as removing tumors from a neck to simpler treatments such as opening abscesses, pulling teeth, and removing splinters from eyes. Cupping and bloodletting procedures were often performed.

Physician. Also lectures on "Materia Medica and Botany," 1820. Ledgers and daybooks.

Arrangement Note

The day book (Volume 83.2) is arranged by date (month and year), then by name. Numbers in the left column correspond to page numbers where patients' names are recorded in the ledgers.
The three ledgers are arranged by name, then date. Alphabetical indexes of names can be found near the front of Ledger B (Volume 83.3) and the last ledger (Volume 83.4).

Biographical/Historical

In 1880, a somewhat inaccurate Salisbury newspaper account claimed that Lueco Mitchell served as a surgeon aboard the schooner in the Battle of New Orleans, during the War of 1812. Official naval documents do list one Leuco Mitchell as a surgeon's mate, i.e. not a surgeon, during the War of 1812. However, the first name is spelled differently and the index does not list birthplace or any other evidence that would help to substantiate the information or establish a clear connection to the Salisbury doctor.
What can be documented with certainty is that Lueco Mitchell received his doctor of medicine degree in April 1821 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in the City of New York [later Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons]. There he studied dyspepsia while attending lectures by Dr. David Hosack (1769-1835) and Dr. Samuel L. Mitchill (1764-1831). Notes from these lectures can be found in Volume 83.1.
Although Dr. Bouchelle's first name is not identified in the account books, the evidence strongly suggests that Mitchell's younger partner was Robert M. Bouchelle of North Carolina, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a medical degree in March 1834. Dr. Bouchelle, who focused on pneumonia during his studies, joined the Salisbury practice on 15 May 1834. This was corroborated by a brief item in the , announcing the partnership of Doctors L. Mitchell and R. M. Bouchelle. Their office was located in Dr. Mitchell's former house, across from Slaughter's Hotel.
Both men married Salisbury natives. Mitchell married Sarah Jane Henderson [later Boyden] (1805-1884) on 24 December 1835, with Robert M. Bouchelle serving as bondsman. Bouchelle married Jane G. Polk (1814-1841) on 1 May 1838.
In May 1837, the announced that the men had agreed to dissolve their partnership. Within a year, Mitchell had died on a plantation near Hayneville, Alabama. By August 1838, Dr. Pleasant Henderson (died 21 October 1851) had announced his acquisition of Mitchell's brick office space for his own medical practice. Dr. Bouchelle continued to practice elsewhere in Salisbury until 1839. Presumably, he and his wife moved to LaGrange, Tennessee, where they are both buried.

Contents of the Collection

Collection Contents
Ledger, 1820-1837
PC.AB.83.1

This ledger is leather bound. The binding is worn, scratched, and taped. Pages have been removed from the front of the volume. The volume was not explicitly identified as Ledger A but is designated as such by references to it in Ledger B. The earliest transaction date entered is 5 July 1823 and the last is 22 September 1837. The total number of pages is 412, with most being hand numbered at the top left of each verso (LH) and the top right of each recto (RH). Each single page receives a consecutive number, with the exception of numbering errors near the front of the volume. Front matter includes notes on the four humors as defined by Doctor Hosack and additional notes entitled "Materia Medica and Botany," from Samuel L. Mitchill's lectures. Presumably these notes were written approximately 1820 when Mitchell was a medical student in New York.
Measurement of volume in inches: 8 x 13 1/4 x 2

Day Book, 1829-1837
PC.AB.83.2

This volume is leather bound. The binding is worn and scratched. The volume is identified as "Dr. Mitchell's Day Book, July 1829" on an inside page. Entries run from 1829 to 1830 in this section. The volume was then flipped over, with the front cover becoming the back cover and the initial entries appearing to be upside down. "Doctor Lueco Mitchell's Day Book, Salisbury, N.C. 1830" appears on the first page of the newer section. The earliest date is 15 April 1829 and the last entry is 5 May 1837. There are 350 pages, which are not numbered. Measurement of volume in inches: 6 1/2 x 15 5/8 x 1 1/2

Ledger, 1832-1839
PC.AB.83.3

This ledger is leather bound, with the initials L. M. appearing on the spine. It is designated Ledger B on both the spine and in the front. It includes an alphabetical index to patients' last names. The earliest transaction date entered is 1 November 1832 and the last is 19 January 1839. The total number of pages is 496. The second half of the volume is not used. The first half is hand numbered at the top left of each verso (LH) and the top right of each recto (RH), with each pair of pages receiving the same number.
Measurement of volume in inches: 8 1/4 x 12 7/8 x 2 1/4

Ledger, 1834-1845
PC.AB.83.4

This ledger is leather bound. It includes an alphabetical index to patients' last names, with numerical cross-references. The earliest date is 15 May 1834, which coincides with Dr. Bouchelle's arrival. The debits end in 1839 but a few accounts are settled in the early 1840s. The latest date is 1 November 1845. The total number of pages is 496. The final third of the volume is not used. The first two-thirds of the volume is hand numbered at the top left of each verso (LH) and the top right of each recto (RH). Each single page receives a consecutive number, with the exception of a numbering error near the end of the used pages. Measurement of volume in inches: 8 1/4 x 12 7/8 x 1 3/4

Subject Headings

  • Mitchell, Lueco
  • Bouchell, _____
  • Mitchell and Bouchell
  • Account books
  • Herbs--Therapeutic use
  • Medicine--Practice--Accounting
  • Medicine--Practice--North Carolina
  • Patent medicines
  • Physicians
  • "Materia Medica and Botany"
  • Medicine
  • Botany
  • Traditional medicine
  • Herbs
  • Rowan County (N.C.)
  • Salisbury (N.C.)
  • Salisbury (N.C.)
  • Rowan County (N.C.)
  • Physicians--North Carolina--History--19th century
  • Acquisitions Information

    Unknown

    Processing Information

  • Finding aid prepared by Lea Walker, April 2013. Revised by Fran Tracy-Walls, July 2019, for publication in Discover Online Catalog (DOC).