gather% / fish % / hunt %
fat % / protein % / carb%
A rough estimate to help us understand how carnivorous and how ketogenic these people were before being exposed to western civilization
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Jan 2, 320
"Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity" or Baopuzi, attributed to Ge Hong in 320 CE.
I have personally observed for two or three years men, who were foregoing starches, and in general their bodies were slight and their complexions good. They could withstand wind, cold, heat, or dampness, but there was not a fat one among them. Therefore, by giving up starches one can become immune to weapons, exorcize demons, neutralize poisons, and cure illnesses. On entering a mountain, he can render savage beasts harmless. When he crosses streams, no harm will be done to him by dragons. There will be no fear when plague strikes; and when a crisis or difficulty suddenly arises, you will know how to cope with it.
I have personally observed for two or three years men, who were foregoing starches, and in general their bodies were slight and their complexions good. They could withstand wind, cold, heat, or dampness, but there was not a fat one among them. I admit that I have not yet met any who had not eaten starches in several decades, but if some people cut off from starches for only a couple of weeks die while these others look as well as they do after years, why should we doubt that the (deliberate) fasting could be prolonged still further? If those cut off from starches grow progressively weaker to death, one would normally fear that such a diet simply cannot be prolonged, but inquiry of those pursuing this practice reveals that at first all of them notice a lessening of strength, but that later they gradually get stronger month by month and year by year. Thus, there is no impediment to the possibility of prolongation.
Therefore, by giving up starches one can become immune to weapons, exorcize demons, neutralize poisons, and cure illnesses. On entering a mountain, he can render savage beasts harmless. When he crosses streams, no harm will be done to him by dragons. There will be no fear when plague strikes; and when a crisis or difficulty suddenly arises, you will know how to cope with it.
“The Daoist Immortals are often described as “abstaining from grain” (bigu) as part of their training and progression in the Dao… Likewise, the “abstention from grain” of Saints must be seen to be a fundamental technique of achieving immortality, perhaps only inferior to a magical plant or elixir that would instantly fulfill the same function as the practice of bigu.” (Dannaway, Frederick R. (2009)Yoked to Earth: A Treatise on Corpse-Demons and Bigu)
The “cutting off” of grains, which were the basic staple food for the peasants, was a rejection of the sedentary life and the peasant condition as such. This refusal should not solely be interpreted in the light of the miseries endured by farmers, but also in a much more fundamental way. Agriculture has occasioned, since Neolithic times, a radical break with the way of life that prevailed for almost the entire prehistory of humankind. Agriculture has also been the main culprit of the imbalances of human civilization over the last ten thousand years or so: the systematic destruction of the natural environment, overpopulation, capitalization, and other evils that result from sedentariness. (Schipper, Kristofer (1993), The Taoist Body, translated by Karen C. Duval, University of California Press. p. 170)
“What becomes evident in the study of the tensions between Confucians and Daoists is a fundamental difference in their assessments of the prehistorical period of China. The Confucian’s viewed primordial times as period of starvation, of violence and wilderness, to loosely paraphrase and translate Levi (1982), contrasted to the Daoist view of a golden-age of uncontrived Eden-like bliss. “Zhuangzi praises that idyllic age with these words: ‘Spirits and gods show their good will and nobody dies before his time’” (Levi 1982). This is anathema to the Confucian view that it took a civilizing divine-potentate to rescue humanity from it’s own ignorance and helplessness in a brutal wilderness. This expresses a fundamental cosmological orientation that is the foundation for much of the social movements in China, perhaps even into modern times.“ Ancient man imbibed dew” and “fed on primordial breath and drink harmony” and ate not the toilsome, vulgar crops of the red dust that are exemplified in the Five Sacred Grains (wuku).” (Dannaway, Frederick R. (2009)Yoked to Earth: A Treatise on Corpse-Demons and Bigu)
Jul 5, 1742
"The sea cow's meat tasted like the finest beef, and its fat was equally succulent. Until harried out of existence, the beast was to provide the most favored sustenance of the Bering Sea fur traders. The largest sea cows were 35 feet long and 20 feet in girth, The sea cow which Steller dissected weighed 8,000 pounds"
DEATH AND LIFE ON BERING ISLAND The expedition members who had strength enough set about providing some shelter against the wind and snow flurries that swept the beach. Winter was fast approaching, and there was an immediate need to improvise some protection for Bering and the other seriouslv ill men who were carried ashore. The men instinctively constructed shelters which resembled the Aleut dwellings traditionally built in the same latitudes- pits hollowed out of the sand, roofed with canvas sails and other material from the St. Peter. Succor did not come soon enough for some of the seamen. Several expired soon after they were conveyed ashore- the death toll was mounting. Blue foxes, at first observed joyfully by the mariners as a potential food supply, soon proved to be a great nuisance. The animals, unawed by the presence of men, darted about the camp, thick as flies, stealing any tood left unguarded and terrorizing men too weak to drive them off. In one day, Steller and Plenisner killed sixty of the audacious beasts, felling some with axes and stabbing others with knives, using their carcasses as a temporary shelter wall. Each day the slaughter continued, until heaps of carcasses were strewn about the camp site, and still the foxes came, blind to their destruction in their mad quest for food. The bodies of the dead seamen were horribly mutilated before the surviving seamen could summon up enough energy to bury them in the sand. Even then, the The sows foxes desecrated the shallow graves, digging the bodies from the carth and farrying away bloody limbs. Foxes also marauded the rowinkat and stores which the Russians were gradually bringing ashore from the St. Peter. They scattered the provisions, carried off clothing, tools, and anything else that was not secured. Steller recalled the greed of the Russians for the furs of Kamchatka foxes during the preparated of the voyage and wondered whether they were being chastised for it by the Scourge of the Bering Island animals. Half crazed by the persistentche she thieving beasts, the Russians tortured and maimed as many rokee of They killed, gouging out eyes, slicing off ears and tails, half skinning some and half roasting others in their camp fires. Neither torture nor wholesale hutchering helped. The foxes infested the camp in increasing numbers and with unchecked audacity.
On November 14, a week after the initial landing, Steller and other hunters clubbed to death four sea otters; the first ones killed on Bering island. From their Kamchatka experiences the Russians were familiar with the sea otter and knew the value of its pelt in the Chinese trade. But the precious skins meant nothing to them now; they stewed up the best parts of the otter flesh to make a dish more palatable than that from the despised foxes and left the pelts to be devoured by the camp robbers. In the wake of the Bering expedition, better-fed Russians were to visit Bering Island and the Aleutians for the primary purpose of hunting sea otters. The discovery of the sea otters in November 1741 initiated the conquest of the Bering Sea, the exploitation of its resources and people. For the succeeding century, the quest of the sea otter was to underlie every event that took place. On December 8, Commander Bering's long suffering came to an end. For days he had lain half buried in the sand that had drifted into his wretched hut, protesting any efforts to clear it away. "The deeper in the ground I lie," he told Waxell, "the warmer I am; the part of my body that lies above ground suffers from the cold." 1 Bering's body was dug from the sand, tied to a plank, and thrust down into the ground, after which the burial service was read over his remains. Throughout December other deaths followed that of Berings; a total of thirty men expired in November and December. "Our plight was so wretched," wrote Waxell, "that the dead had to lie for a considerable time among the living, for there was none able to drag the corpses away; nor were those who still lived capable of moving away from the dead."? For days a dead man shared the hut in which Waxell and Khitrovlay: Whil the only able-bodied men left took time from hunting and other larks to undertake burial. Weak as he was, Waxell offered some direction. Neither then nor later, when he had recovered his health, did he attempt to drive the men. That was not an acceptable way of exerting one's power and authority. ' "Severity would have been quite pointless. Discussions on courses of action were participated in by all; the distinction between officers and seamen was erased by the circumstances waxell was cheered when the sick seamen felt well enough to sit up for card games; their play helped them pass the time and overcome the melancholy that was as deadly as scurvy. All did not share his lenient view. There were, though, certain members of our company who criticized my attitude on this point and told me to my face that I was nor discharging my duties in accordance with the regulations." + These illiberal complaints did not originate with severe, regulation-minded Russian officers, but with the expedition's most notable civilian, Georg Steller. "The sickness," wrote Steller, "had scarcely subsided, when a new and worse epidemic appeared, I mean the wretched gambling with cards." In lurid terms he described the men's obsession with gambling, their constant conversation over gains and losses, a general debauchery that resulted in theft, hatred, quarrels, strife, and the wasteful killing of sea otters for their pelts. On this last result, Steller did have a point, if it was true that otters became scarce because their furs were used as gaming stakes. Yet it does seem that the naturalist overstated his case--whether out of concern for a dwindling food supply, his abhorrence of a mindless animal slaughter, or because of a revulsion at a recreation with which he had no sympathy. While lacking the sunny bliss of the palm-studded islands of the South Pacific Ocean, Bering Island was not an entirely unfortunate place to wash up upon. Though unpromising in its rock-girded appearance, the island was not by any means infertile and desolate. Sea and land birds nested there in prodigious numbers. Foxes abounded all over the island, and its shores were the refuge of teeming herds of seals, sea lions, sed cows, and sea otters. With the Pribilof Islands of St. Paul and St. George far to the east on the Bering Sea, the Commander Islands constituted the world's major breeding rookeries of the fur seal. Hunters had no difficulty finding plump ptarmigans, foxes, seals, and sea otters, and Steller busied himself gathering antiscorbutic herbs. By this time Lieutenant Waxell, one of the iron men of the expedition, Was ultering from scurvy and was nursed by seller. Steller was one of a handful of men who remained in good health, a blessing for the less fortunate. He had strength enough to turn his energies to the care of the sick, forgetting, for a time at least, the actual and imagined insults suffered on the voyage. For the first time, the young naturalist's word had weight; no one interfered with his supervision of the scurvy victims. For once Seller would have the leisure to make a close investigation of a newly discovered land, and the island seemed to offer more natural curiosities than had been noted on the two previous landings of the vovage.
While on Bering Island, Steller did his most important work- dissecting and describing the sea cow- -a scientific task which would assure his fame for all time. Seller also devoted much attention to the bird life of Bering Island, much of which was familiar. One bird, however, followed the sea cow's road to extinction and was long known only through Steller's description. This was a large cormorant, unable to fly, hence a prime target for food hunters. This bird, which weighed 12 to 14 pounds, was seen by only one naturalist, Steller, and disappeared about 1850. Other birds he was the first to discover were Steller's Jay, Steller's Eider, the rare Steller's Eagle, and Steller's White Raven. Steller's botanical work was of equal distinction to his observations of marine life, birds, and land animals. He classified scores of unknown plants for the first time.
Through the winter the castaways subsisted on birds and various mammals, and in May the hunters brought in the first of the sea cows that fulfilled all the needs of the expedition. The first was a 4-ton monster with enough meat to feed the men for two weeks. Its rich, red flesh tasted like excellent beef, and its snow white, almond-flavored fat was "of such exceptionally good flavor and nourishment that we drank it by the cupful without experiencing the slightest nausea."& Steller's enthusiasm for the sea cow's potential was unbounded. "These animals are found at all seasons of the year everywhere around the island in the greatest numbers, So that the whole population of the eastern coast of Kamchatka would always be able to keep itself more than abundantly supplied from them With fat and meat." Truly, Steller's sea cow, as it came to be called, was a marvelous beast; yet the naturalist's prediction for its future was based in a false estimate of its numbers. It is probable that the sole grounds of the mammal were the coasts of the Commander Islands. In the spring it was decided to build a small ship from the remains of the St. Peter. Dismantling the stoutly built St. Peter occupied all of April, and on May 6, the keel of the new ship was laid. All three of the St. Peter's carpenters had died earlier. However, by good luck, one survivor of the voyage, a Siberian Cossack, had some shipbuilding experience and supervised the construction. Twenty men constituted the building party. The others were responsible for providing food for all. In July, the ship was completed, and provisions- -mostly sea cow meat and water were laid aboard. On August 10, the launching of the new St. Peer took place, and three days later the survivors were ready for the sea. Severe restrictions had to be imposed on individual baggage because of the limitation of space. Space had to be reserved for the valuable sea otter pelts which, as Waxell pointed out, were the spoils that repaid the men somewhat for their sufferings. Proceeds from the otters were divided, apparently according to rank. Steller received 80 skins of the 900 which were carried back, but he was outraged by his weight allotment of 360 pounds. He had to abandon what we recognize today as the single most precious trophy of the expedition-_the stuffed skin of a young sea cow, as well as a sea cow skeleton and specimens of the sea otter, fur seal, and sea lion. Plant seeds, a pair of the sea cow's horny palatal plates, field notes, and personal items accounted for the 360 pounds he was allowed. Waxell's weight allowance was twice that of Seller's, but others' allowances must have been much less, since the total weight allowed the forty-six men was only 3½ tons. Steller stormed and raged, but to no avail. Crowded aboard, the men took a last look at their abandoned camp. New occupiers had already taken over. "We watched the foxes on shore ransacking our dwellings with the greatest glee and activity and sharing among themselves what was left of fat and meat." 8 Their passage to Petropavlovsk, the port they had left fifteen months earlier, took just two weeks. At long last the first American expedition had ended. Steller survived the voyage but died in Siberia shortly after reaching the mainland. Considering the limited landfalls of the expedition, Seller had gathered a comprehensive picture of the natural life of the Bering Sea. And despite his own reservations regarding his work, Steller deserves his high rating among the world's pioneer scientists.
Georg Wilhelm Seller's hard-won fame rests on the accurate descriptions of the sea cow and other marine mammals which were published in his De Besis Marims. His dissection of a female sea cow in July 1742 can easily be considered one of the high points of Pacific Ocean scientific activity. This great northern manatee is known only through Steller's notes and the few skeletons collected years later. For 100 years, the sea cow has been extinct. A living specimen was last seen in 1768, a mere 27 years after its discovery by the Bering expedition. Steller observed these mammals along the entire shore of the island. where they fed on seaweed near the mouths of streams. The sea cow's appetite was huge. When not mating or caring for their young, they were continuously occupied in feeding along the sea edge, usually with half their body above the surface. June was the mating season and a strict ritual ensued. "The female flees slowly before the male with continual turns about, but the male pursues her without cessation. When, however, the female is finally weary of this mock coyness she turns on her back and the male completes the mating in the human manner." In mating, the males penetrated their mates with a six-foot-long penis of corresponding thickness. Sea cows were unafraid of people and allowed their approach without showing any sign of alarm. Prior to the landing of the Bering party, they had never known an enemy, but, unfortunately for their survival, their bulk and shore-feeding habits were to make them a helpless prey. The Russians found the flesh of seals strong and coarse and liked that of the sea otter even less, but the sea cow's meat tasted like the finest beef, and its fat was equally succulent. Until harried out of existence, the beast was to provide the most favored sustenance of the Bering Sea fur traders. The huge mammal had instincts that seemed almost human. Although unwary in its own defense, the manatee tried to protect its kind from the butchering hunters. When the Bering men harpooned a sea cow and towed it to the beach, other animals formed a circle about the victim as if to prevent its sacrifice. "Some attempted to upset the yawl; others laid themselves over the rope or tried to pull the harpoon out of [his] body, in which they succeeded several times." In astonishment, the Russians observed "that a male came two days in succession to its female Which was lying dead on the beach, as if it would inform himself about her condition. For all this sensitivity, the sea cows were otherwise obtuse. Regardless of the slaughtering that went on among the herd, they never shifted location to escape the bloody executions.
As a scientist, Steller's chief resources were his own intellizence and energy: While men like Johann Georg Mcclit and Louis Delisle held chorere traveled with servants, provisioned with European foods and wines, Steller traveled light eating native foods for convenience and wifetife interest. Typically, Steller tackled the problem of the dissection and description of the sea cow with dedication and energy. Handling the huge manatee was extremely difficult. In shape, the sea cow resembled a seal, though it had a large fluke like a whale. The largest sea cows were 35 feet long and 20 feet in girth, The sea cow which Steller dissected weighed 8,000 pounds. The heart alone weighed 36¼ pounds and the stomach was 6 feet long, 5 feet wide, and so stuffed with food and seaweed that four strong men using a rope could scarcely move the animal from its place and only with great effort were able to drag it out of the sea. Rain and cold impeded Steller's efforts, while Arctic foxes were tearing at the mammal's flesh and carrying off Steller's paper, books, and inkstand. This unpleasant work could not be performed without considerable manpower: Steller recruited seamen and paid them in tobacco. Fortunately Sneller was a nonsmoker. Not unexpectedly, the seamen's work did not meet Seller's standards; yet, at the time, he expressed satisfaction that they did not desert him altogether in this gigantic task. Steller complained often of a lack of assistance, but he seemed to have received a great deal of help from Plenisner, who made the six sea cow drawings that enhanced De Bests Marins, and from other members of the surgical staff, as well as the Cossack, Lepekhin.
Steller's description of the sea otters on Bering Island was the first comprehensive report on the mammals to be published. The stranded Russian mariners appreciated the value of the pelts enough to tan them carefully, but they also depended upon them for a food supply. Steller noted that the sea otter had been confused bv Russians in Kamchatka with the beaver, because its fur more closely resembled the beaver than that of the familiar, smaller, river otter. Indisputably, argued Steller, the sea otter was an American sea animal which only occasionally tound its way to the coast of Kamchatka. A full-grown prime skin is 5 feet long, and 24-30 inches wide, covered with a fine fur, the hairs of which are 3/4 inch in length. Its jet black, glossy surface revealed a silver tinge when ruffled, and the presence of scattered white hairs enhanced its beauty. Unlike other marine mammals, the sea otter does not depend upon a thick blubber layer under the skin to maintain its bodr emperature in the frigid waters of its habitat. Instead it relies upon the islation of air trapped in its hair; consequently the mammal"s constantly preening and grooming its hair. Seller was unaware of this and other findings of modern biologists that have made the uniqueness of the sea otter even more clear. Of all its singularities, none is more amazing than its use of a tool to aid feeding. As it floats on its back, the after breaks clams, crabs, and other crustaceans held in its front paws against a stone resting on its chest. Otter spend most of their existence on their backs feeding, preening, and sleeping. Females carry and suckle their offspring and copulate in this position. Despite its apparently leisurely habits the otter's appetite is ravenous. Each day it requires a quantity of crustaceans and fish equaling ¼ of its total body weight of up to 80 pounds. The Aleuts of the Aleutian Islands were skilled hunters of the sea otter long before the Russians enslaved them to that purpose. They Aleuts hunted at sea from their swift kayaks, using a spearlike weapon which was thrown from the cramped sitting position of the boatman. Hunting from such a platform was a difficult exercise even in the calmest seas. A keen eve and strong, steady throwing arm were essential to accuracy. Sea otters did not present a large target above the surface, and it required a consummate skill to strike them in the water. Once hit, the otter could offer little resistance. It could dive beneath the surface for a time, but if the spear had deeply penetrated its body, this evasion only exhausted and weakened the animal. Before long the otter had to return to the surface to breathe and die as its life's blood poured from the wound. As life ebbed away, the Aleut hunter guided his craft close and lifted his prey from the water. "The sea otter is the mildest of all marine animals. It never makes any resistance to hunters, and only saves itself by running away if it can." 12 Thus Stepan Krasheninnikov in his report on Kamchatka reported of the most important resource of the Bering Sea. Natives of Kamchatka hunted the sea otter off the island's shores by spreading nets among the kelp beds where otters fed, by harpooning the mammals at sea from their small boats, and sometimes by catching them on ice floes that grounded near the coast. Kamchadals did not prize the sea otter pelt as highly as that of foxes and sables, but the Cossacks who traded for them knew better.
When Europeans discovered them, there may have been only 2,000 individuals left. This small population was quickly wiped out by fur traders, seal hunters, and others who followed Vitus Bering's route past its habitat to Alaska. It was also hunted to collect its valuable subcutaneous fat. The animal was hunted and used by Ivan Krassilnikov in 1754 and Ivan Korovin 1762, but Dimitri Bragin, in 1772, and others later, did not see it. Brandt thus concluded that by 1768, twenty-seven years after it had been discovered by Europeans, the species was extinct. In 1887, Stejneger estimated that there had been fewer than 1,500 individuals remaining at the time of Steller's discovery, and argued there was already an immediate danger of the sea cow's extinction.
The first attempt to hunt the animal by Steller and the other crew members was unsuccessful due to its strength and thick hide. They had attempted to impale it and haul it to shore using a large hook and heavy cable, but the crew could not pierce its skin. In a second attempt a month later, a harpooner speared an animal, and men on shore hauled it in while others repeatedly stabbed it with bayonets. It was dragged into shallow waters, and the crew waited until the tide receded and it was beached to butcher it. After this, they were hunted with relative ease, the challenge being in hauling the animal back to shore. This bounty inspired maritime fur traders to detour to the Commander Islands and restock their food supplies during North Pacific expeditions.
Sep 20, 1770
A Journey from Prince of Wales’ Fort in Hudson’s Bay, to the Northern Ocean . . . in the years 1769, 1770, 1771 and 1772
A London explorer named Samuel Hearne was tasked with exploring the Northern lands of Canada and failed at his endeavors twice before finally figuring out the secret to traveling long distances overland on a subsistence hunting way of life - According to an Indian named Matonabbee, women were necessary to process the meat and help haul the camp equipment or repair clothing and tools.
In the evening of the twentieth, we were joined from the Westward by a famous Leader, called Matonabbee, mentioned in my instructions; who, with his followers, or gang, was also going to Prince of Wales’s Fort, with furrs, and other articles for trade. This Leader, when a youth, resided several years at the above Fort, and was not only a perfect master of the Southern Indian language, but by being frequently with the Company’s servants, had acquired several words of English, and was one of the men who brought the latest accounts of the Coppermine River; and it was on his information, added to that of one I-dot-le-ezey, (who is since dead,) that this expedition was set on foot.
September 20th 1770.
The courteous behaviour of this stranger struck me very sensibly. As soon as he was acquainted with our distress, he got such skins as we had with us dressed for the Southern Indians, and furnished me with a good warm suit of otter and other skins: but, as it was not in his power to provide us with snow-shoes, (being then on the barren ground,) he directed us to a little river which he knew, and where there was a small range of woods, which, though none of the best, would, he said, furnish us with temporary snow-shoes and sledges, that might materially assist us during the remaining part of our journey. We spent several nights in company with this Leader, though we advanced towards the Fort at the rate of ten or twelve miles a day; and as provisions abounded, he made a grand feast for me in the Southern Indian style, where there was plenty of good eating, and the whole concluded with singing and dancing, after the Southern Indian style and manner. In this amusement my home-guard Indians bore no inconsiderable part, as they were both men of some consequence when at home, and well known to Matonabbee: but among the other Northern Indians, to whom they were not known, they were held in no estimation; which indeed is not to be wondered at, when we consider that the value of a man among those people, is always proportioned to his abilities in hunting; and as my two Indians had not exhibited any great talents that way, the Northern Indians shewed them as much respect as they do in common to those of very moderate talents among themselves.
During my conversation with this Leader, he asked me very seriously, If I would attempt another journey for the discovery of the Copper-mines? And on my answering in the affirmative, provided I could get better guides than I had hitherto been furnished with, he said he would readily engage in that service, provided the Governor at the Fort would employ him. In answer to this, I assured him his offer would be gladly accepted; and as I had already experienced every hardship that was likely to accompany any future trial, I was determined to complete the discovery, even at the risque of life itself. Matonabbee assured me, that by the accounts received from his own countrymen, the Southern Indians, and myself, it was very probable I might not experience so much hardship during the whole journey, as I had already felt, though scarcely advanced one third part of the journey.
He attributed all our misfortunes to the misconduct of my guides, and the very plan we pursued, by the desire of the Governor, in not taking any women with us on this journey, was, he said, the principal thing that occasioned all our wants: “for, said he, when all the men are heavy laden, they can neither hunt nor travel to any considerable distance; and in case they meet with success in hunting, who is to carry the produce of their labour? Women, added he, were made for labour; one of them can carry, or haul, as much as two men can do. They also pitch our tents, make and mend our clothing, keep us warm at night; and, in fact, there is no such thing as travelling any considerable distance, or for any length of time, in this country, without their assistance.” “Women, said he again, though they do every thing, are maintained at a trifling expence; for as they always stand cook, the very licking of their fingers in scarce times, is sufficient for their subsistence.” This, however odd as it may appear, is but too true a description of the situation of women in this country: it is at least so in appearance; for the women always carry the provisions, and it is more than probable they help themselves when the men are not present.
Image: By w:Samuel Hearne, flickr upload by  - originally posted to Flickr as A Map of Part of the Inland Country to the Nh Wt of Prince of Wales Fort Hs, By Samuel Hearne 1772 (1969)Uploaded using F2ComButton, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8544311
Aug 1, 1774
Ketones: The Fourth Fuel
Joseph Priestly carries out an experiment and realizes that life, flame, and air are woven together after noticing that he could isolate oxygen and observe a mouse fainting after a flame consumes the air.
"A few days prior, Priestly had made a curious discovery: He had lit a flame in a large jar, then sealed the container until the flame burned itself out. He then place a mouse in the container and watched as it soon collapsed, apparently due to the lack of air. Had the flame consumed the life-giving gas within the ar? Inspired, Priestly then repeated the same experiment--depleting the air inside the constainer with the candle--but this time, in addition to placing the mouse inside the container, he added a mint plant from the garden, sealed the container quickly before gas could be exchanged with the outside air, and set the container in the sunlight. The mouse regained consciousness. Somehow, the combination of plant and sunlight revitalized the air and infused the mouse with life force. Additionally, he found that the flame would again burn inside the container after the plant had "restored" the air. Life, flame, and air, Priestly realized, were somehow woven together.
For today's experiment he would again use the sun. He magnified the sunlight spilling through the laboratory's only window onto a small amount of a reddish substance known as mercuric oxide. He then used his apparatus to capture the gas that was released as the mercuric oxide began to burn. For the remainder of the day Priestly would perform a series of experiments with the newly isolated gas. He began with the flame. He noticed that it burned with much more intesity when placed inside a container with the new gas. He again filled ethe container with the new gas and sealed the mouse inside. Amazingly, when comparing results to those seen with a container filled with normal air, the mouse stayed conscious four times longer. This new gas, declared Priestly , was "five or six times as good as common air."
"The feeling of it in my lungs was not sensibly different from that of common air, but I fancied that my breast felt peculiarly light and easy for some time afterwards. Who can tell but that in time, this pure air may become a fashionable article in luxury. Hitherto only two mice and myself have had the privilege of breathing it," he wrote, late in the night.
Jun 10, 1792
David Thompson's narrative of his explorations in western America, 1784-1812 / edited by J.B. Tyrrell
In the interior where the climate is not so severe, and hunting more successful, the Men attain to the stature of six feet; well proportioned, the face more oval, and the features good, giving them a manly appearance; the skin soft and smooth. They bear cold and exposure to the weather better than we do and the natural heat of their bodies is greater than ours, probably from living wholly on animal food.
HAVING passed six years in different parts of this Region, exploring and surveying it, I may be allowed to know something of the natives, as well as the productions of the country. It's inhabitants are two distinct races of Indians; North of the latitude of fifty six degrees, the country is occupied by a people who call themselves " Dinnie," by the Hudson Bay Traders " Northern Indians " and by their southern neighbours " Cheepawyans " whom I shall notice hereafter. Southward of the above latitude the country is in the possession of the Nahathaway Indians their native name (Note. These people by the French Canadians, who are all without the least education, in their jargon call them "Krees" a name which none of the Indians can pronounce; this name appears to be taken from " Keethisteno " so called by one of their tribes and which the french pronounce " Kristeno," and by contraction Krees (R, rough, cannot be pronounced by any Native) these people are separated into many tribes or extended families, under different names, but all speaking dialects of the same language, which extends over this stony region, and along the Atlantic coasts southward to the Delaware River in the United States, (the language of the Delaware Indians being a dialect of the parent Nahathaway) and by the Saskatchewan River westward, to the Rocky Mountains. The Nathaway, as it is spoken by the southern tribes is softened and made more sonorous, the frequent th of the parent tongue is changed to the letter y as Neether (me) into Neeyer, Keether (thou) into Keeyer, Weether (him) into Weeyer, and as it proceeds southward [it] becomes almost a different language. It is easy of pronunciation, and is readily acquired by the white people for the purposes of trade, and common conversation.
The appearance of these people depends much on the climate and ease of subsistence. Around Hudson's Bay and near the sea coasts, where the climate is very severe, and game scarce, they are seldom above the middle size, of spare make, the features round, or slightly oval, hair black, strong and lank; eyes black and of full size, cheek bones rather high, mouth and teeth good, the chin round; the countenance grave yet with a tendency to cheerful, the mild countenances of the women make many, while young, appear lovely; but like the labouring classes the softness of youth soon passes away.
In the interior where the climate is not so severe, and hunting more successful, the Men attain to the stature of six feet; well proportioned, the face more oval, and the features good, giving them a manly appearance; the complexion is of a light olive, and their colour much the same as a native of the south of Spain; the skin soft and smooth. They bear cold and exposure to the weather better than we do and the natural heat of their bodies is greater than ours, probably from living wholly on animal food. They can bear great fatigue but not hard labor, they would rather walk six hours over rough ground than work one hour with the pick axe and spade, and the labor they perform, is mostly in an erect posture as working with the ice chissel piercing holes through the ice or through a beaver house, and naturally they are not industrious; they do not work from choice, but necessity; yet the industrious of both sexes are praised and admired; the civilized man has many things to tempt him to an active life, the Indian has none, and is happy sitting still, and smoking his pipe.
The dress of the Men is simply of one or two loose coats of coarse broad cloth, or molton, a piece of the same sewed to form a rude kind of stockings to half way up the thigh, a blanket by way of a cloak; the shoes are of well dressed Moose, or Rein Deer skin, and from it's pliancy enables them to run with safety, they have no covering for the head in summer, except the skin of the spotted northern Diver; but in winter, they wrap a piece of Otter, or Beaver skin with the furr on, round their heads, still leaving the crown of the head bare, from which they suffer no inconvenience.
The dress of the women is of !•$■ yards of broad cloth sewed Hke a sack, open at both ends, one end is tied over the shoulders, the middle belted round the waist, the lower part like a petti- coat, covers to the ankles, and gives them a decent appearance. The sleeves covers the arms and shoulders, and are separate from the body dress. The rest is much the same as the men. For a head dress they have a foot of broad cloth sewed at one end, ornamented with beads and gartering, this end is on the head, the loose parts are over the shoulders, and is well adapted to defend the head and neck from the cold and snow. The women seldom disfigure their faces with paint, and are not over fond of ornaments. Most of the men are tattoed, on some part of their bodies, arms &c. Some of the Women have a small circle on each cheek. The natives in their manners are mild and decent, treat each other with kindness and respect, and very rarely interrupt each other in conversation; after a long separation the nearest relations meet each other with the same seeming indifference, as if they had constantly lived in the same tent, but they have not the less affection for each other, for they hold all show of joy, or sorrow to be unmanly; on the death of a relation, or friend, the women accompany their tears for the dead with piercing shrieks, but the men sorrow in silence, and when the sad pang of recollection becomes too strong to be borne, retire into the forest to give free vent to their grief. Those acts that pass between man and man for generous charity and kind compassion in civilized society, are no more than what is every day practised by these Savages; as acts of common duty; is any one unsuccessful in the chase, has he lost his Httle all by some accident, he is sure to be relieved by the others to the utmost of their power, in sickness they carefully attend each other to the latest breath decently... the dead.. }
Of all the several distinct Tribes of Natives on the east side of the mountains, the Nahathaway Indians appear to deserve the most consideration; under different names the great families of this race occupy a great extent of country, and however separated and unknown to each other, they have the same opinions on region, on morals, and their customs and manners differ very little.
They are the only Natives that have some remains of ancient times from tradition. In the following account I have carefully avoided as their national opinions all they have learned from white men, and my knowledge was collected from old men, whom with my own age extend backwards to upwards of one hundred years ago, and I must remark, that what [ever] other people may write as the creed of these natives, I have always found it very difficult to learn their real opinion on what may be termed religious subjects. Asking them questions on this head, is to no purpose, they will give the answer best adapted to avoid other questions, and please the enquirer. My knowledge has been gained when living and travelling with them and in times of distress and danger in their prayers to invisible powers, and their view of a future state of themselves and others, and like most of mankind, those in youth and in the prime of life think only of the present but declining man-hood, and escapes from danger turn their thoughts on futurity. After a weary day's march we sat by a log fire, the bright Moon, with thousands of sparkhng stars passing before us, we could not help enquiring who lived in those bright mansions; for I frequently conversed with them as one of themselves; the brilliancy of the planets always attracted their attention, and when their nature was explained to them, they concluded them to be the abodes of the spirits of those who had led a good life.
A Missionary has never been among them, and my knowledge of their language has not enabled me to do more than teach the unity of God, and a future state of rewards and punishments; hell fire they do not believe, for they do not think it possible that any thing can resist the continued action of fire: It is doubtful if their language in its present simple state can clearly express the doctrines of Christianity in their full force. They believe in the self existence of the Keeche Keeche Manito (The Great, Great Spirit) they appear to derive their belief from tradition, and [believe] that the visible world, with all it's inhabitants must have been made by some powerful being: but have not the same idea of his constant omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence that we have, but [think] that he is so when he pleases, he is the master of life, and all things are at his disposal; he is always kind to the human race, and hates to see the blood of mankind on the ground, and sends heavy rain to wash it away. He leaves the human race to their own conduct, but has placed all other living creatures under the care of Manitos (or inferior Angels) all of whom are responsible to Him; but all this belief is obscure and confused, especially on the Manitos, the guardians and guides of every genus of Birds and Beasts; each Manito has a separate command and care, as one has the Bison, another the Deer; and thus the whole animal creation is divided amongst them. On this account the Indians, as much as possible, neither say, nor do anything to offend them, and the religious hunter, at the death of each animal, says, or does, something, as thanks to the Manito of the species for being permitted to kill it. At the death of a Moose Deer, the hunter in a low voice, cries " wut, wut, wut "; cuts a narrow stripe of skin from off the throat, and hangs it up to the Manito. The bones of the head of a Bear are thrown into the water, and thus of other animals; if this acknowledgment was not made the Manito would drive away the animals from the hunter, although the Indians often doubt their power or existence yet like other invisible beings they are more feared than loved. They believe in ghosts but as very rarely seen, and those only of wicked men, or women; when this belief takes place, their opinion is, that the spirit of the wicked person being in a miserable state comes back to the body and round where he used to hunt; to get rid of such a hateful visitor, they burn the body to ashes and the ghost then no longer haunts them. The dark Pine Forests have spirits, but there is only one of them which they dread, it is the Pah kok, a tall hateful spirit, he frequents the depths of the Forest; his howlings are heard in the storm, he delights to add to its terrors, it is a misfortune to hear him, something ill will happen to the person, but when he approaches a Tent and howls, he announces the death of one of the inmates; of all beings he is the most hateful and the most dreaded.
The Sun and Moon are accounted Divinities and though they do not worship them, [they] always speak of them with great reverence. They appear to think [of] the Stars only as a great number of luminous points perhaps also divinities, and mention them with respect; they have names for the brightest stars, as Serius, Orion and others, and by them learn the change of the seasons, as the rising of Orion for winter, and the setting of the Pleiades for summer. The Earth is also a divinity, and is alive, but [they] cannot define what kind of life it is, but say, if it was not alive it could not give and continue life to other things and to animated creatures.
Nahathaway is one of several variants of the name applied by the Cree Indians to themselves, and is that form of the name which is commonly used by the Cree who live in the country around Isle k la Crosse and the upper waters of the Churchill river. Among the Cree of the Saskatchewan river and the Great Plains the th sound is eliminated and the word is pronounced Nihlaway. Kristeno, the name by which this great tribe was usually known to the early traders, and of which the word Cree is a corruption, was the name which the Chippewa applied to them, and as the white people came in contact with, and learned to speak the language of, the Chippewa first, they naturally adopted the Chippewa name. The Cree are one of the most important tribes of the Algonquin family. They are naturally inhabitants of the forest. Their range was from the Rocky Mountains eastward north of the Great Plains, and thence north of Lake Winnipeg to the southern shore of Hudson Bay.
Mar 10, 1794
David Thompson's narrative of his explorations in western America, 1784-1812 / edited by J.B. Tyrrell
David Thompson: While exploring the Kazan river, in 1794, I encountered a tribe of Eskimo who live on its banks and rarely visit the salt water. They subsist chiefly on the meat of the caribou, which they kill with their spears in great numbers.
The Esquimaux are a people with whom we are very little acquainted, although in a manner surrounding us, they live wholly on the sea coast, which they possess from the gulph of the St. Lawrence, round the shores of Labrador to Hudsons Straits, these Straits and adjacent Islands, to Hudson's Bay, part of it's east shores ; but on the west side of this Bay, only north of Churchill River, thence northward and westward to the Coppermine River ; thence to the McKenzie and westward to Icy Cape, the east side of Behring's Strait. Along this immense line of sea coast they appear to have restricted themselves to the sea shores,* their Canoes give them free access to ascend the Rivers, yet they never do, every part they frequent is wholly destitute of growing Trees, their whole dependence for fuel and other purposes is on drift wood, of which, fortunately there is plenty. The whole is a dreary, monotonous coast of Rock and Moss without Hills or Mountains to the McKenzie River, thence westward the Mountains are near the shore. In the latter end of February and the months of March and April, from the mouth of the River seaward for several miles the Seals are numerous, and have many holes in the ice through which they come up : how these holes are made in the apparent solid ice, I never could divine ; to look into them, they appear like so many wells of a round form, with sides of smooth solid ice and their size seldom large enough to admit two seals to pass together.
The Seals do not come up on the ice before nine or ten in the morning as the weather may be, and go down between two and three in the afternoon ; they are always on the watch, scarce a minute passes without some one lifting his head, to see if any danger is near from the Bear or Man, apparently their only enemies. Three of us several times made an attempt to kill one, or more ; but to no purpose, however wounded they had always life enough to faU into the ice hole and we lost them ; and I have not heard of any Seal being killed on the spot by a Ball. The Esquimaux who live to the northward of us kill these animals for food and clothing in a quiet and sure manner : the Hunter is armed with a Lance headed with Bone or Iron, the latter always preferred : the handle of which, sometimes is the length of twenty yards (measured) made of pieces of drift larch wood, neatly fitted to each other, bound together with sinew, the handle is shortened, or lengthened, as occasion may require. The Esquimaux Hunter in the evening, when the Seals are gone to the sea, examines their holes, the places where they lie, and having selected the hole, best adapted to his purpose, early in the morning before the seals come up, goes to the ice hole he has selected, on the south side of which he places his Lance, the handle directed northward, the point of the Lance close to the hole, for the seals He on the north side of the ice hole, and directing his Lance to the spot [where] the Seals have been lying, having firmly laid the helve of his lance, he retires to the end of it, and there hides himself behind some broken ice, which if he does not find to his purpose, he brings pieces of ice to make the shelter he requires. Lying flat on his beUy he awaits with patience the coming up of the Seals ; the first Seal takes his place at the north edge of the hole, this is also the direction in which the Lance is laid ; the other seals, two, or three more, are close on each side, or behind ; if the Seal is not in the direct line of the Lance, which is sometimes the case, he gently twists the handle of the Lance until it is directly opposite to the heart of the Seal ; still he waits with patience until the Seal appears asleep ; when with all his skill and strength he drives the Lance across the hole (near three feet) into the body of the Seal, which, finding itself wounded, and trying to throw itself into the ice hole, which the handle of the lance prevents, only aids the wound ; the hunter keeps the handle firm, and goes on hands and knees to near the hole, where he quietly waits the death of the seal ; he then drags the seal from the hole, takes out his lance and carefully washes the blood from it. When the hunter shows himself all the seals for some distance around dive into the ice holes, and do not come up for several minutes ; this gives time to the Esquimaux to place his lance at another hole, and await the seals return, and thus he sometimes kills two of them in one day but this is not often, as the weather is frequently stormy and cloudy.
The Esquimaux are of a square, plump make, few of them exceed five feet eight inches in height, the general stature is below this size, and the women are in proportion to the men, their features though broad are not unpleasing, with a tendency to ruddy, they appear cheerful and contented, they are supple active and strong ; from the land, in the open season, they have berries, and a few reindeer, but it is to the sea they look for their subsistence : the sea birds, the seal, morse, beluga, and the whale ; living on these oily foods, they are supposed not to be clean, but the fact is, they are as cleanly as people living as they do, and without soap can be expected [to be], all their cooking utensils are in good order.
In summer part of them dwell in tents made of the dressed skins of the reindeer, these are pitched on the gravel banks, and kept very neat, they make no fire in them to prevent [them] being soiled with smoke, which is made near the tent. The salmon and meat of the reindeer they cure by smoke of drift wood of which they have plenty. They are very industrious and ingenious, being for eight months of the year exposed to the glare of the snow, their eyes become weak ; at the age of forty years almost every man has an impaired sight. The eyesight of the women is less injured at this age. They make neat goggles of wood with a narrow slit, which are placed on the eyes, to lessen the light. They all use Darts, Lances, Bows and Arrows, as weapons of defence, and for hunting ; their Darts and Lances are made of drift Larch wood, headed with bone of the leg of the Rein Deer,^ or a piece of iron, the latter preferred, and the length of the Dart is proportioned to it's intended use — for Birds, the Seal, the Beluga, Whale or the Morse ; * to the Dart or Lance for the three latter, a large bladder made of sealskins, and blown full of air is attached by a strong line of neatly twisted sinew. This not only shews the place of the wounded animal but soon tires him, [so] that he becomes an easy prey, though sometimes with risque to the Hunter and Canoe.
In their conduct to each other they are sociable, friendly, and of a cheerful temper. But we are not sufficiently acquainted with their language to say much more ; in their traffic with us they are honest and friendly. They are not of the race of the north american Indians, but of european descent. Nothing can oblige an Indian to work at anything but stern necessity ; whereas the Esquimaux is naturally industrious, very ingenious, fond of the comforts of life so far as they can attain them, always cheerful, and even gay ; it is true that in the morning, when he is about to embark in his shell of a Canoe, to face the waves of the sea, and the powerful animals he has to contend with, for food and clothing for himself and family, he is for many minutes very serious, because he is a man of reflection, knows the dangers to which he is exposed, but steps into his canoe, and bravely goes through the toil and dangers of the day.
*^ In a general way, this statement that the Eskimo Hve exclusively on the sea coast is correct. Nevertheless, while exploring the Kazan river, which flows into Chesterfield Inlet, in 1894, I encountered a tribe of Eskimo who live on its banks and rarely visit the salt water. They subsist chiefly on the meat of the caribou, which they kill with their spears in great numbers, and from the skins of the caribou they make their clothing and the coverings for their kayaks or small canoes.
Mar 20, 1797
Cases of the diabetes mellitus : with the results of the trials of certain acids
A 30 year old woman: "several years she has indulged in fruit, pickles, and sweetmeats." She met Dr Rollo and was put upon his all-meat diet, but when she introduced carbohydrates, the diabetes came back. "Since the use of the bread, the disease has been reproduced. Since the first, has been strictly on animal diet; the several symptoms are removed, and she appears altogether better than I have yet seen her."
From Mr. Houston, Brewer Street, London.
L........... , aged about 30, fair complexion, light hair, and naturally of an extremely irritable constitution, in the month of February, 1793, received a violent shock by the death of one of her parents. On this melancholy occasion her grief was so very poignant, and at times so frantic, that serious apprehensions were entertained of a total derangement of intellect, and in this state she continued several weeks.
(several pages discussing the deterioration of her health leading to diabetes)
On their quitting the Wells, they, on their way home, stopped at Bath; and as her parent received benefit from the use of the waters of that place, they remained there eight weeks ; but before the expiration of the first fortnight, she found her stomach again disordered with heat and acidity, which in a short time increased to a height almost intolerable; the fauces were so sore, that it was a pain to swallow anything; and her tongue was equally so, being covered with a emit, or hardened slough on the top, and blisters round the edge. Her thirst was insatiable; to quench which, she ate a great quantity of fruit, and drank profusely of Seltzer Seltzer water and hock, but to no purpose.
Her skin was so parched, that the pores did not seem to emit the least moisture. To remedy this evil, some doses ofJames's powders were given, but to no effect ; towards the close of her time at Bath, she drank the waters for about a fortnight, they were supposed, however, to do more harm than good ; and growing daily worse there, she set out for London, where she arrived the 4th December, 1796. She immediately sent for her apothecary, who was greatly shocked ; as to all outward appearance, she seemed to be in the last stage of a consumption. Her pulse was exceedingly quick, but so feeble, that he could scarcely feel it, and so tremulous, that he could not with any certainty count or distinguish the strokes. For two days, he gave her every six hours a draught with kali ppt. magnef. alb. aa ^i, taken with half an ounce of lemon juice in the state of effervescence ; they agreed with her, and, as (he thought, cooled her; (he had no cough, but for some time back had loft her appetite, the stomach rejecting almost all solids; and when it did receive any, they generally laid heavy on it, or disagreed ; as some nourishment, however, was necessary, she was advised to eat eggs raw, or done very soft ; as also oysters and other shell-fish, as having a tendency to correct acidity. On the 3d day after her arrival in town (Dec. 6th) an eminent physician was sent for, who ordered a blister to be applied to her breast ; magnef. alb. qr. xv. in a draught every eight hours. These she took till the 15th, when she was ordered a draught with myrrh pulv. gr. xij. ferr. vitriol gr. iij. kali ppt. gr. viij. three times a day. This course she continued, with some trifling variations, but little interruption, till about the 19th February, 1797. By this time those medicines had the effect: of greatly recovering her appetite, and she had been allowed to eat such light animal food as she fancied ; but from this indulgence, of which she availed herself, with the return of her night's rest, which by this time she began to enjoy, she derived no other advantage than a small acquisition of strength ; for there was not the least appearance of bodily nurture, or any abatement of heat and acidity.
The physician having compared the tardy, if any progress in amendment, with the quantity of food she was able to take, (for her appetite was greater than before her illness) began to discover symptoms of diabetes, and therefore gave orders to measure the quantity of fluids drank, and the quantity of urine she made and finding the latter exceed the former, he had some of it evaporated, and found it to contain a considerable portion of saccharine matter ; upon which she was advised to eat less vegetables and more animal food.
On the 18th, a gentle opening draught was given, though she usually took magnefia when any thing of the kind was necessary. On the 20th March, Dr. R. was consulted with her former physician ; and as he is already so well acquainted with all that has since been done, or happened, it is unnecessary for the writer of this to carry it any further.
Continuation by the Author.
On the 20th March, 1797, I visited the patient, with her physician and apothecary; she complained of a burning sensation at her stomach, which she faid was intolerable, with the sense of a sharp and hot acid rising into her throat ; her teeth were on edge, tongue red, and gums full ; she had little thirst, and was occasionally sensible of a moisture on the palms of her hands, and on other parts of her body ; her appetite was keen, and she never felt satisfied, but said that this degree of appetite had only been lately remarkable ; and she complained much of a burning sensation in her stomach, and of great acidity ; she was extremely emaciated, feeble, and inactive ; her skin dry, and rather warm ; pulse about 88 ; her urine of a pale colour, but to the taste scarcely sweet ; the quantity could not be distinctly ascertained ; it did not seem, however, to have been so increased as to engage any particular notice ; a little of the urine was evaporated; the residuum resembled treacle, but was salty to the taste, and the extractive matter did not seem much to exceed the quantity in healthy urine. On the whole, the adoption of light animal food, with less vegetable matter, and the medicines, had mitigated the disease. The physician who attended had a copy of the notes of Captain Meredith's case the preceding January, and he now very readily agreed to the animal diet entirely.
On the 14th April I saw the patient, with the physician and apothecary ; her looks had more the appearance of returning health ; she moved about with more agility and strength, though she complained of not gaining flesh ; her appetite is now good ; the tongue is clean, but not so florid ; she has no thirst ; the urine does not exceed a quart, a small portion of which being evaporated, the residuum was quite saline, and urinous in smell, but it was not evaporated so much as to determine the tenacity. The burning sensation in her stomach is diminished, and there is less acidity ; however, another emetic is prescribed, and the matter thrown up is to be examined, in order to ascertain whether it possesses acid properties. The patient informed me to-day, that for several years she has indulged in fruit, pickles, and sweetmeats.
April 25th. The emetic ordered on the 14th brought up very acid matter, which was found by the apothecary to effervesce with an alkali ; the urine deposits a reddish sediment ; she has less uneasiness at the fiomach, has more strength, and a more natural appetite ; her skin is moister.
May 10th. Very little change. Asafoetida is added to the pills, with calcined soda, and the quantity of the hepatized ammonia increased. From the delicacy of circumstances, an accurate enquiry cannot be made ; deviation of diet may happen ; in this cafe, we can only hope for a certain compliance with regimen, and a certain information with regard to appearances, and ultimately a recovery with tardy and irregular advances ; it merits much attention however, even with the view of discovering points of importance in the treatment, under the most unfavourable progress.
June 8th. Very sensible of an increase of strength, and that health is returning, the urine continues in a natural state, at least there is no saccharine matter. The heat of the stomach is much diminished ; the appetite feels natural ; no thirst or hectic symptoms ; she has discontinued our medicines, and only takes Schweppe's acidulous soda water, which she likes, and says it has been of much service in relieving the uneasiness of her stomach. To be allowed about four ounces of bread in the day.
June 16th. Since the use of the bread, the disease has been reproduced ; the urine is clear, and of a sensibly sweetish taste ; 18 ounces yielded a saccharine residuum of 1 ounce and 5 drachms ; her skin is again hot and dry ; the pulse quicker, thirst: intenfe, appetite keen, tongue florid and red ; alfo the heat of the stomach extremely unpleasant. She promises to return to the entire use of animal food ; her antimonial opiate to be taken at night; Schweppe's water for drink ; and a blister to be applied to the region of the stomach.
lid. The urine, in smell and taste urinous, having become so in twenty-four hours after leaving off the bread; her appetite is not so keen ; the tongue is not more florid than common, and the uneasy hot fenfation of the stomach is much less, though occasionally troublesome ; the thirst is gone ; the blister relieved the stomach ; the regimen, with Schweppe's water, to be continued.
July 14th. In a state of apparent recovery ; me occasionally takes a biscuit or two, but perseveres in the diet generally, and Schweppe's soda water. Next week she goes to Bristol, where she is to observe the fame conduct, being fully sensible of the influence of a change of diet, and equally so, that everything depends on her own steadiness. No accurate account could be obtained with regard to the quantity of urine ; in general terms it was said that it corresponded with the quantity of drink.
February 5th, 1798. Returned a few days ago from Bristol and Bath ; at the latter place she bathed in the warm bath, and was relieved, by its being followed by a moist skin. The Bristol water was very grateful to her stomach, and generally superfeded the use of Schweppe's soda water. She appears much in the same state as when I saw her in July ; the disposition to the disease still remains, and the feels better or worse according to her diet ; she eats daily some biscuit, and has done fo generally all the time the has been away ; the acidity of her stomach still continues a distressing symptom ; the urine yields a saccharine extract.
March 6th. Since the first, has been strictly on animal diet ; the several symptoms are removed, and she appears altogether better than I have yet seen her.
March 21st. Continues better, perseveres in the diet. On the l7th she ate a sweet cake which was soon vomited in a sour state.
April 2nd. She assures me no change in the diet has yet been made ; she begins to loath food, but believes it is only animal food, as she feels a strong desire for vegetables ; and alleges that, even under the animal food, she has had the acid state of her stomach, especially at times when her mind has been uneasy ; tongue less red, indeed it is rather pallid ; the urine smells strongly, and has a greasy scum ; on evaporation, it yielded a saline and bitterish tailed residuum, without tenacity ; and when treated with nitrous acid, furnished scales. She was allowed a small quantity of broccoli, spinach, or salad, without sauce.
April 16th. In all respects better, and for these eight days has been eating broccoli and salad occasionally, without any reproduction of the disease.
April 18th. A portion of urine was examined, which was found clear, but of a urinous taste and smell ; its residuum, however, yielded oxalic acid when treated with the nitrous acid.
May 5 th. It was ascertained that she had eaten some biscuit between the l6th and 24th April.] Her skin is moist ; pulse 72, and regular; her appetite less keen, and she feels more uneasiness after eating, or rather has a sense of indigestion ; tongue clear, but not florid; she has gained flesh. She promises to leave off bread, and to take only cauliflower and spinach. The salad does not agree with her; she assures me, and so does her maid, that the other day, after eating more vegetables than usual, the urine smelt and tasted sour immediately after it was voided.
May 10th. Is again to visit Bath and Bristol ; she promises an adherence to the plan, though she acknowledges that her resolution is often likely to fail her; she will, however, be as steady as she can, being perfectly persuaded she has no other prospect of recovery but by so doing. She has again been sensible of the acid smell and taste in the urine, after vegetables. I examined her urine today, but it did not smell or taste of anything, except the urinous flavour and impression.
This Case, though not as yet completely terminated, appears to me of so much importance, that I have inserted it in its present progress. There can be little doubt, that the adherence which has been bestowed on the animal diet since the 20th March, 1797, has not only prolonged life, but given strong hopes of the re-establishment of as great a degree of health, as can possibly be expected, under a long continued stomach complaint. The exact period when Diabetes Mellitus was actually formed cannot be determined : it was probably when the keenness of the appetite took place, but when that happened cannot be accurately ascertained. She had been long subject to stomach complaints, and the keenness of the appetite is only noticed in the account about the lft March, 1797 whereas the cardialgia is mentioned as long before as May, 1796 ; and before these periods the health was much impaired. These complaints had been partly brought on by the circumstances so well related by Mr. Houfton, and partly by the frequent use of fruit, pickles, &c. The animal diet, though not unremittingly perilled in, yet by a more steady use of it in March and the beginning of April, the disease was so far overcome, that the urine became as near as possible to the standard of health. It is to be regretted that a further perseverance did not at that time follow ; however, the progress shows, that certain vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, salad, &c. may be eaten at a proper time of the treatment, without reproducing the disease, while bread could not be eaten with impunity. This fact we consider of much advantage, as it enables us to guard against the effects of a long continued use of animal diet, and at the same time gratify, in some measure, our longing patient ; we say in some measure, because even these vegetables do not long check the ardent desire for bread ; indeed, the stomach appears very whimsical, for when it obtains its desires, other things are soon solicited. The circumstance of the urine having become acid after the use of more than the usual quantity of vegetables, is a curious fact, but as it merely rests on the testimony of taste and smell, we do not hold it, in this case, as satisfactorily ascertained; it deserves, however, to be kept in view.
Jan 3, 1800
It's a Great Day to Hunt Buffalo
A large hunt in the spring and another one in the fall kept the people alive, and choosing the right people could decide weather the tribe lives or dies. This spring hunt would be the most important in their lifetime as the starving time (winter) had come early and many in the tribe were ill or weak from lack of food
Ancient Buffalo Hunt
It’s a Great Day to Hunt Buffalo
Runs-With-Fire and Small Bear stood warming themselves over the cooking fire alternately rubbing their hands together and then rubbing their chest and arms. It was cold outside, but not as cold as it had been just a few days ago. Neither spoke as they watched the smoke figures dance in the tipi and then escape through the hole in the center of the lodge. The two, friends since their youth, and now the best hunters of their people had spent the early morning scouting for sign of a return of the great herds. By instinct they knew that as the days grew longer it would soon be time to jump the Buffalo. Small Bear and Runs-With-Fire now talked trying to decide who in their tribe they should take to help them lead the big spring hunt. A large hunt in the spring and another one in the fall kept the people alive, and choosing the right people could decide weather the tribe lives or dies. This spring hunt would be the most important in their lifetime as the starving time (winter) had come early and many in the tribe were ill or weak from lack of food. Several days had passed and Runs-With-Fire and Small Bear knew it was time. The two stood stoically at the Tipi opening, enjoying the warm morning sun, and greeting the five hunter-warriors they had selected be hunt leaders. Each of the five were chosen because they had proved themselves and each had a special skill, like White Weasel, selected for his cunning and stealth and Wind-At-Night selected because of his superior vision and hearing. Although it was an honor to be chosen each knew it was a time for great seriousness and careful planning. All of this made the selection of the sixteen-year-old Smiling Dog a mystery to the others because he seemed to be always joking and laughing but they would admit that he could throw his hunting spear farther and more accurately than any one else in the tribe.
This was a time long before the whites had come to the west and a time when the British still ruled America. This was a time when the natives of western America ranged free without horses, living season-to-season and year-to-year. This was a time when these seven men, none more than thirty yeas of age held the lives of their four hundred fellow tribe members in their hands. This was a time when life was hard, life was easy, life was sure and life was unsure. This was a time when the American Indian reigned supreme in his part of the world, the American West.
After three hours of smoking, offering prayers, burning the sweet grass and much planning for the upcoming hunt the council of seven was ready. Each of the seven picked two or three warriors to help with their part of the hunt, the rest of the tribe would wait nearby until they could hear the awful chunking sound as the buffalo hit the canyon bottom. When the sound came they would hurry to the area and begin the tedious skinning and butchering of the dozens of animals. The hunt plan was simple, the same as the ancients had used, run the buffalo off the cliff, kill the cripples, and collect the meat. The council could only hope that the kill would be that easy.
As the buffalo ranged ever closer to the jump sight the council and their helpers worked feverishly to repair the rock wall that would help turn the shaggy beasts into the cliff and into a six months supply of food for the tribe. No member of the tribe could remember the original building of the wall; it was so long ago that none of their stories or songs told of it. The tribal elders simply said it was built before “the sun brought light and warmth to the people”.
The jump sight had not been used in many years because the people always let the wind and rain and the seasons scrub the area clean of all scent and color related to a kill. Now the time was right and the buffalo were close. This night all of the tribe would sing and dance the buffalo dance around the fire tomorrow would be a good day!
A dreary gray March morning arrived but it didn’t dampen the spirit of the council because today was the day, Buffalo jump day. Theircamp was nearly an hour’s walk from the jump sight and the warriors left well before the first sight of light in the sky. They walked by instinct in complete silence until Wind-at-Night stopped them with a barely audible shee, shee. Wind-At-Night could smell the great heard as it had moved closer to their camp and farther from the jump sight. Runs-With-Fire and Small Bear looked at each other and smiled, the buffalo were not where they had expected but it still would be a good day because they had prayed and danced around the fire last night and the buffalo were waiting.
In a matter of a few short minutes White Weasel let out the low cry of a morning dove telling the others that he and his three helpers were in place, just behind the herd. They were crawling now within a few feet draped in wolf skins with the buffalo completely ignored them. When the spear from Smiling Dog landed almost silently beside them Gray Antelope and Old Tree lit their torches and the torches of the four warriors with them from the hot coals they carried in a hollow buffalo leg bone. The buffalo started to snort and move away startled as much by the men as by the fire. But it was too late. White Weasel and his followers were on their feet wildly swinging the wolf hides in the air and screaming pushing the herd forward. The prairie was being lit on fire beside the hairy beasts and the buffalo were now starting to move away from the fire and away from the wild wolf men but the rock wall blocked the other side. Panicking the buffalo stampeded over the cliff to what they thought was freedom and in some strange way it was.
The old people sang as they skinned and butchered the pile of buffalo flesh, assuring themselves health, wealth and shelter for many moons. It was a great day!
Jan 1, 1820
THE RURAL MAGAZINE, AND LITERARY EVENING FIRE-SIDE
Reverend Metcalfe began to try to get his message across by publishing his religious ideas. "The words of the Bible, Bible Christians believed, clearly called for the abstinence from the flesh of animals as food, intoxicating liquors as beverages, as well as war, capital punishment, and slavery."
In 1820, Metcalfe began trying to appeal to a wider audience, utilizing the development of the printed press while connecting the ideas of the Bible Christian Church with those of a variety of reform movements.
Under Metcalfe’s guidance, ten prevailing principles of the Bible Christian sect were codified in a constitution, emphasizing the real world applications of a biblically guided life. While existing biblical interpretations were invaluable and even prophetic, Bible Christians argued that continued study and interpretation was necessary to avoid the pitfalls of narrow, sectdriven loyalties. The Bible, when approached with an open, scientific mind would continue to reveal new secrets to healthy, ethical living. The Bible Christians emphasized the power of revelation through concerted study rather than blind adherence to the dictates of religious leaders or sects. Meat abstention, temperance, and moral living served to transform an individual “conjoined to the Lord, and the Lord to him.” Thus believers had the capacity to be reformed, regenerated, and finally saved.
The Bible Christians argued that religion, like science, could be rationally understood—emphasizing the power of individual, lay study over bombastic sermonizing. The group downplayed the idea of heavenly revelation in favor of learned epiphany, even questioning the ultimate divinity of Jesus Christ in favor of strict monotheism. The group emphasized that right living in body, mind, and soul ensured salvation for the individual as well as the community at large. The words of the Bible, Bible Christians believed, clearly called for the abstinence from the flesh of animals as food, intoxicating liquors as beverages, as well as war, capital punishment, and slavery. The second coming of the messiah was not a literal, physical event but rather the personal attainment of the divine truths revealed by concentrated study.
There were, of course, ironies in the principles of Bible Christianity. At the same time that the Bible Christians criticized established churches led by cults of personality, the group was led by a vocal, gregarious personality in Metcalfe. And as church ranks grew, the group sought to build institutions that provided social legitimacy. While the religious and political views of the Bible Christian Church were radical, the group was decidedly conservative in its structure and notion of self-righteousness, sharing these values with other more established Philadelphia churches.
Metcalfe’s exhortations met harsh responses from Philadelphia’s established religious elite. Warning of the dangers of “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” one Philadelphia religious body accused the Bible Christians of having “attacked the most plain and important doctrines of our holy religion” while seeking to “impose their own creed upon mankind, and take away from us the doctrines for which martyrs bled.” Bible Christians were often met in the streets with accusations of heresy. It seemed apparent to the Bible Christians that meat did, in fact, stir up animalistic responses in its consumers.
Despite the angry reactions, the church and its membership continued to grow, thanks in part to a series of articles published in The Rural Magazine and Literary Evening Friend , an agricultural and literary-themed periodical headquartered in Philadelphia. In a series of “Letters on Religious Subjects” published throughout 1820 and 1821, Metcalfe expounded on a variety of reformist ideals, connecting them with religious justifi cations and explanations. In “The Duty of Abstinence from All Intoxicating Drinks,” he off ered one of the fi rst arguments in the United States for total avoidance of alcohol.
Jan 1, 1823
Other naturalists were critical of Diluvialism: the Church of Scotland pastor John Fleming published opposing arguments in a series of articles from 1823 onwards.
Other naturalists were critical of Diluvialism: the Church of Scotland pastor John Fleming published opposing arguments in a series of articles from 1823 onwards. He was critical of the assumption that fossils resembling modern tropical species had been swept north "by some violent means", which he regarded as absurd considering the "unbroken state" of fossil remains. For example, fossil mammoths demonstrated adaptation to the same northern climates now prevalent where they were found. He criticized Buckland's identification of red mud in the Kirkdale cave as diluvial, when near identical mud in other caves had been described as fluvial. While Cuvier had reconciled geology with a loose reading of the biblical text, Fleming argued that such a union was "indiscreet" and turned to a more literal view of Genesis:
But if the supposed impetuous torrent excavated valleys, and transported masses of rocks to a distance from their original repositories, then must the soil have been swept from off the earth to the destruction of the vegetable tribes. Moses does not record such an occurrence. On the contrary, in his history of the dove and the olive-leaf plucked off, he furnishes a proof that the flood was not so violent in its motions as to disturb the soil, nor to overturn the trees which it supported.
Fleming was a vitalist who was strongly opposed to materialism. He believed that a 'vital principle' was inherent in the embryo with the capacity of "developing in succession the destined plan of existence." He was a close associate of Robert Edmond Grant, who considered that the same laws of life affected all organisms.
In 1824, Fleming became involved in a famous controversy with the geologist William Buckland (1784–1856) about the nature of The Flood as described in the Bible. In 1828, he published his History of British Animals. This book addressed not only extant, but also fossil species. It explained the presence of fossils by climate change, suggesting that extinct species would have survived if weather conditions had been favorable. These theories contributed to the advancement of biogeography, and exerted some influence on Charles Darwin (1809–1882). Flemings' comments on instinct in his book Philosophy of Zoology had influenced Darwin.
In 1831, Fleming found some fossils which he recognized as fish in the Old Red Sandstone units at Fife. This did not fit the generally accepted notion that the Earth was approximately 6,000 years old.
Partial list of publications
1821: Insecta in Supplement to the fourth, fifth and sixth editions of the Encyclopae-dia Britannica, with preliminary dissertations on the history of the sciences
1828: A History of British animals, exhibiting the descriptive characters and systematical arrangement of the genera and species of quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, fishes, mollusca, and radiata of the United Kingdom, including the indigenous, extirpated , and extinct kinds, together with periodical and occasional visitants Edinburgh: i–xxiii + 1–565.
1837: Molluscous Animals
1851: The Temperature of the Seasons, and Its Influence on Inorganic Objects, and on Plants and Animals
Jan 1, 1830
The Animal Kingdom
Cuvier proposed a series of catastrophes, each of which had totally wiped out animal and plant populations (thus producing the fossils), followed by a period of calm during which God restocked the earth with new (and improved) species.
Meanwhile, orthodox Christianity was saved from
the embarrassing inadequacies of the Diluvial Theory
by the French geologist, naturalist, and member of
the Académie des Sciences, Baron Georges Cuvier
(1769-1832). To explain the progressive sequences of
fossils found in rock sediments, Cuvier proposed
a series of catastrophes, each of which had totally wiped
out animal and plant populations (thus producing the
fossils), followed by a period of calm during which
God restocked the earth with new (and improved)
species, The Noachian Flood was just one of these.
The Catastrophe Theory was a great balm to many
troubled minds. Adam Sedgwick, a geologist at
Cambridge University and a teacher of Charles Darwin,
expounded the theory thus: 'At succeeding periods
new tribes of beings were called into existence,
not merely as progeny of those that had appeared
before them, but as new and living proof of creative
interference; and though formed on the same plan,
and bearing the same marks of wise contrivance, of-
tentimes unlike those creatures which preceded them,
as if they had been matured in a different portion of the
universe and cast upon the earth by the collision of
In formulating the Catastrophe Theory, Cuvier rou-
tinely took for granted an extreme rapidity of changes
in times past as compared with the present, but con-
ceded that perhaps a little more than six thousand
years was required. So, following the example of his
countryman, Comte Georges de Buffon (1707-1778),
he added eighty thousand years on to the age of the
earth. According to calculations of members of the
Académie, made after Cuvier's death, there had been
twenty-seven successive acts of creation, the products
of each but the last being obliterated in subsequent
catastrophes, thus providing a geological 'clock'. An
Englishman, William Smith (1769-1839), raised the
number of strata to thirty-two.
Opposite: This fossil
crocodile, illustrated in
Cuvier's book, The
Animal Kingdom (1830),
is obviously related to
and it was such finds
that posed a problem to
the proponents of the
Baron Georges Leopold
Cuvier, the French
explained away the
of fossils found in strata
by proposing a series of
catastrophes, the Flood
being just one of these.
Apr 1, 1831
Lectures on the Science of Human Life by Sylvester Graham
By the spring of 1831, Graham began delivering a series of lectures at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on what he labeled “the Science of Human Life,” including instruction on meat-free living, temperance, and the dangers of masturbation.
Within this growing temperance environment the Pennsylvania Society for Discouraging the Use of Ardent Spirits was founded in 1827. The name of the organization says much about its methodology, its attempt to discourage the use of alcohol through lectures, pamphlets, and education rather than advocating for the ban of spirits through legislation. Fear of alcohol abuse, including its medical, spiritual, and social eff ects, was widespread among members of Philadelphia’s medical elite, who saw the abuse of spirits as the primary cause of mortality and poverty in the 1820s and 1830s.
Though reticent to legislate absolute prohibition, the society worked with 19 local magistrates to prosecute public drunkenness, gambling, and Sabbath violations. The group warned against the destructive lives of both the “habitual drunkard” as well as the equally pernicious “occasional drunkard.” The society advocated for stiff punishments under existing laws and believed in the need for internment in hospitals, almshouses, and prisons to reform alcohol abuse. In addition to its published reports, the Pennsylvania Society aimed to curb alcohol consumption through a network of agents and lecturers sent out to spread the gospel of sobriety, temperance, and clean living.
In June 1830, Sylvester Graham set out to reach the masses, lecturing throughout Pennsylvania connecting alcohol consumption with both physical and spiritual debasement. Graham peppered his speeches with compelling evidence, anecdotes, and scientific reasoning, all under the umbrella of religious imagery. This methodology was part of Graham’s attempt to avoid “mere declamation against drunkenness” and instead provide his audiences with “the reasons why they should not use intoxicating drinks.” During this period Graham became fascinated with studying human physiology, connecting physical health with ethical development. Not surprisingly, given his existing preoccupation with the connections between alcohol and physiology, Graham eventually turned his attention to dietary habits.
While Graham lectured throughout Philadelphia in 1830, he was introduced to members of the Bible Christian Church, beginning a correspondence with William Metcalfe that continued for most of their lives. Graham later claimed that his dietary decisions were “neither . . . founded on, nor suggested by, the opinions of others who have taught that vegetable food is the proper aliment of the human species,” though this was more a rhetorical device aimed at building personal credibility. The growing Bible Christian movement undoubtedly infl uenced Graham’s own dietary conversion, given his connection to Metcalfe.
Graham’s specious claim that his vegetable diet was based purely on experimentation refl ected his methods as a lecturer, emphasizing rational science rather than loyalty to a mere philosophy. Graham’s time working solely on temperance was short-lived, and he resigned from his post aft er just six months. But his life as a public reformer and lecturer was established. By the spring of 1831, Graham began delivering a series of lectures at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on what he labeled “the Science of Human Life,” including instruction on meat-free living, temperance, and the dangers of masturbation. Despite these other concerns, Graham’s philosophy of healthy living hinged on the adoption of a meatless diet; of the twenty-four lectures included in the Lectures on the Science of Human Life , fourteen focused on food, digestion, and the benefits of avoiding flesh foods. At the core of this lecture series—which Graham delivered in New York City immediately after lecturing in Philadelphia— was the notion that the human body could be controlled and maximized through the mechanism of deep self-awareness. In this sense Graham’s lectures offered a democratic notion of personal health care, arguing that it was the individual’s responsibility to understand how the human body functioned and to react by initiating the healthiest path of living.
Graham presented a vegetable diet as “ the diet of man,” proven by a combination of anatomical and historical study. The fact that most Americans lived omnivorous lives was not proof of the dominant diet’s validity; rather, it reflected a general disconnect between humans and their natural, physiological state. Graham recognized the potentially controversial nature of his dietetics. A vegetable diet was not antireligious, he assured his audiences. Rather, there was “the most entire harmony between the Sacred Scriptures, and the dietetic and other principles” that he advocated. While Graham’s ideas about meat were radical, the traditional awareness of the need to keep the humoral body in balance provided some familiarity and legitimacy to Graham’s dietary dictates, as he claimed that meat overheated the body.
In the Science of Human Life lectures Graham presented the first unified theory of a meatless diet to general audiences, expunging the notion from the purely religious and placing it within the temporal and physical. Even though Graham’s dietary principles were controversial, they offered practical advice and reasoning on how to improve day-to-day life. Connecting the benefits of a vegetable diet to a variety of social changes, Graham successfully exploited the social reform spirit of the 1830s.