Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Samuel Savage Jr. and his medical bill

   My 4th great-grandfather, Samuel Savage Jr., was taken ill while an enlisted soldier in the American Revolution. His father, Samuel Savage, presented a bill1

“For Expences and Trouble occasioned by the Sickness of his son Saml Savage an Enlisted soldier from Durham when apprentice to Gerad Whedon, under the Command of Capt. James Arnold in Genl Woosters Regiment; when Sick on his return Home, and got as far as my House in Middletown on the 8th day (December 1775"

   Among the items for which he sought reimbursement were medicines,“Towls applyd to his Feet,” fire wood, candles, doctors’ visits, and “tenders” for a total of 69 days, “said Soldier being wholly helpless . . . Delirious & needing watchers at night.” More surprising were expenditures for:

“To 2 pints Wine 0.3.0"
“To 5 Gallons Rum @ 5/- for Medicines Watchers and Attendants, his sickness being very Loathsom and Infectious 1.5.0”                           
   Two physicians certified that the “soldier was extremely sick with the malignant nervous fever [probably typhus] and lay along time very dangerous,” “looked upon his case almost fatal for many weeks,” and believed the bill for £16.8.1 1/2 just and reasonable.
   On April 10th, 1776 Samuel Savage [Sr.] “Received an order on Colony Treasurer in full of the above acct.”
   Medical treatment was certainly very different back then - and so were allowable medical expenses!

     1Connecticut Revolutionary War Records, Office of the State Comptroller, 1758-1984, Connecticut Pay Table Accounts, 1775-1776, Sick Bills, Jeffrey Copy, p. 18, Samuel Savage Jr.; call no. 973.3/fP292/Main Vault (1983); Connecticut State Library, Hartford