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Sunday 12

Wd. Easterly & Chilly Thermomiter 25° Cloded and
began to snow in the evening, John W. Pettis
was caried to the Gard house in the fore part
of the evening intoxicated after being there
a short time he vomited and appeard to be ime-
diately sleepy. was carried to another room
caled the black hole wraped in his blankets
The Guard suposing him to be in a sound sleep
did not visit him as they suppose for about
2 hours on going in to see him they found him
dead I had just gone to bed when I was called
up on the occasion there was no appearance
that He has srugled much as the blankits
were not deranged, his Tongue was forced
out of his mouth more than an inch and
held by his teeth & the por Man really dead

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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American soldiers were more likely to die from disease or accidents than they were to fall in battle. Dr. Joseph Goodhue was the United States Army surgeon assigned to Fort Constitution, New Hampshire. His graphic description of John Pettis' death highlights the role drinking played in American culture at that time. The per capita consumption of alcohol was much higher than in the 20th century and led to the temperance movement of the 19th century.


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Excerpt of Dr. Joseph Goodhue's Diary

author   Dr. Joseph Goodhue (1762-1849)
date   Jan 12, 1812
location   New Hampshire
height   12.25"
width   7.75"
process/materials   manuscript, paper, ink
item type   Personal Documents/Diary
accession #   #L99.185

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See Also...

Dr. Joseph Goodhue (1762-1849)

Letter to Doctor Joseph Goodhue

Promissory note to Joseph Goodhue

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