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P. R. E. F. A. C. E.
HE observations, contained in
the following pages, were made during the time that I lived in Jamaica, or while I attended some part of the army in America. The materials were colle&ted between the years 1774 and 1782; and the present performance would have been offered to the public before this time, had I sooner found leisure to attend to the business of publication. The insufficiency of Dr. Hillary’s work, the most esteemed book on the diseases of the West Indies, and the only one with which I was acquainted while I remained in that country, furnished me with a motive for the undertaking; a motive, which may be thought, perhaps, no longer to exist, as two treatises have been published lately by Dr. A 2 Hunter Hunter and Dr. Moseley, expressly on the diseases of which I have written. I might remark, that the present attempt, such as it is, was nearly completed before the treatises to which I allude came to my hands. The views which they afford of fevers, as they differ from each other, so they likewise differ from those which I have ventured to advance. I have weighed their merits maturely, and cannot say that I discover any information, which gives me cause to change those opinions which I had formed, or which renders the publication of the present work unnecessary. I may observe that Dr. Hunter details, with candour and perspicuity, the mode of practice, which was followed by the most respectable medical people of Jamaica, at the time that I lived in the island. He perhaps prescribes the bark in larger quantities, than was then cus.
tomary; but I do not perceive any thing in the plan of treatmentessentially new : neither will Dr. Moseley, tho’ he pursues innovation with great eagerness, be better able to establish his claim to original discoveries. The plentiful and long continued purging, on which he places a confiderable share of his merit, has been a favourite practice with numbers for many years past; and the free use of the lancet, which he recommends so much in severs, was employed in several districts of Jamaica, before this authour's name was known. Dr. Spence, a practitioner of some eminence at Lucea, in the Western extremity of the island, wrote a pamphlet (I believe in the year 1776) with a view to enforce its safety and utility, in promoting the cure of the general class of febrile dis. eases. The publication was well re
ceived, and served to remove the dread of