Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/212

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gusting mixture of herbs, soap, and honey, boiled in water; and the pills were made of "calcined wild-carrot seeds, burdock-seeds, ashen keys, hips, and haws—all burned to a blackness—soap and honey."

Contemporary with Mrs. Stephens lived another impostor, Mrs. Mapp, sometimes known as "Crazy Sally of Epsom," and described as an "enormously fat, ugly creature, accustomed to frequent country fairs, about which she loved to reel, screaming, abusive, and in a state of beastly intoxication." This attractive lady was by profession a bone-setter, and was patronized by patients of rank and wealth, who sought her charily bestowed favors with ill-disguised contempt of her person. The town authorities of Epsom greatly esteemed Mrs. Mapp, or, perhaps we should say, highly valued the benefit the town derived from the influx of wealthy patients, and they offered her the sum of five hundred dollars per annum if she would continue to reside in the town.

The first half of this century has witnessed the career of a few women eminent in the art of healing; in France Madame La Chapelle had an extensive gynecological practice, and Madame Boivin attained to such distinction that she was honored with the degree of Doctor of Medicine by the University of Marburg. In Germany Charlotte Heidenreich and Fran Heiland, her step-mother, were similarly honored with doctors' diplomas.

It is the glory of America that she is distinguished above all countries not only as the cradle of liberty but also as the foster-mother of the intellectual advancement of women. Yet this has not always been the case; in the early chronicles of the colonists (themselves refugees from persecution) we find, strangely enough, many laws of an exacting and repressive character, some of which were aimed directly at the ambition and zeal of women. In the famous Blue Laws of Connecticut the following curious entry occurs under the date of March, 1638: "Jane Hawkins, the wife of Richard Hawkins, had liberty till the beginning of the third month called May, and the magistrates (if shee did not depart before) to dispose of her; and in the mean time shee is not to meddle in surgery or phisick, drinks, plaisters or oyles, nor to question matters of religion except with the Elders for satisfaction." ("True Blue Laws of Connecticut," by J. H. Trumbull, 1876.)

A hundred and forty years later we find marked progress in liberality in the State of Connecticut. As early as 1773, in the town of Torrington, Litchfield County, two women were greatly honored and much sought for on account of their remarkable skill as accoucheuses. The first of these, Mrs. Jacob Johnson, to quote the historian of Torrington (Rev. Samuel Orcutt), was as thoroughly known and trusted in her profession as any physician that was ever in the town. "She rode on horseback, keeping a horse for the special purpose, and traveling night and day, far and near," to meet her engagements. "She kept an account of the number of cases she had, and the success