A Spunker Club Might Exert Itself for the Benefit of Mankind

in about Warren

Author:  Jonathan Norwood

Date:  June 5, 1775

[To Dr. John Warren posted from Falmouth, Casco Bay]

“Sir, I suppose all thoughts of the West India Expedition are laid aside, and that you determine to exercise your talents for the benefit of your countrymen. I need not assure you how great satisfaction it would give me to accompany you to the army, where possibly a Sp[unke]r Club might again exert itself for the benefit of mankind.

Brother [Nathan Bond, Harvard BA 1772] Bond, it seems, has been in Limbo, but whether he has regained the esteem of his countrymen, or came out the same heterogeneous Quiddam he went in, I have not been able to learn. If you have leisure, your answer to the following queries will much oblige your friend and humble servant,

Jon[athan]. Norwood.

Is not the best way of curing old spinous ulcers – where they are free from pain, but the part feeble –by stimulants?

What are proper?

What distinguishes bilious cholic from inflammation of the bowels?

Yours, J.N.”

Source Edward Warren’s Life of Dr. John Warren, Boston: Noyes, Holmes, and Co., 1874, pp. 23-24

Commentary: Jonathan Norwood [Harvard BA 1771] and John Warren were alumni of the same college class.  Both became physicians. Here Norwood defers to Warren’s advice on clinical situations. Another alumnus, Nathan Bond [Harvard BA 1772], is mentioned, though it is unclear what Quiddam (i.e. something) perplexed Bond at this juncture. All three were resurrectionist Spunkers and had been Joseph Warren’s apprentices in medicine.  Norwood proposed continuing the association.

John Warren’s sojourn and fledgling medical practice in Salem, October 1773 into June 1775, was apparently not as successful as 19th century Warren family lore suggests.  John contemplated relocating to the Dutch East Indies in Surinam, going so far as to learn the Dutch language.  The Revolutionary War intervened.  Warren stayed in America as a Continental Army doctor; married Abigail Collins, the daughter of the Governor of Rhode Island in 1777; and went on to be a successful medical academic and practitioner in Boston of the Early Republic.

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