Fouquet, Henri. Observations sur la Constitution des Six Premiers Mois de l’An V, à Montpellier, et sur les Principales Maladies qui ont régné, pendant ce Sémestre, dans cette Commune et aux Environs, Communiqués aux Elèves de la Clinique, par Citoyen Fouquet, Professeur de Clinique interne près l’École de Santé de Montpellier, ci-devant Professeur de Médecine, ancien Médecin de l’Hôpital militaire et de la Citadelle, Membre de l’Académie de Padoue, de la Société libre des Sciences et belles Lettres de Montpellier, Correspondant de la Société de Médecine de Paris. A Montpellier : De l’imprimerie de Fontenay-Picot, rue des ci-devant Capucins, No. 200, an VI . 8vo ; [i ;viii ; 110 pages, errata (i) ; i]
First edition, untrimmed and uncut. Still in the printer’s marbled wrapper. Condition is fine. This copy is signed and inscribed by the author: « au Citoyen Baraillon, Médn de la santé de Montpellier, comme un faible témoinage d’attachement et d’Estime, de la part de l’auteur. H. Fouquet. » This copy also has the hand corrections in ink of the author in addition to the Errata.
An interesting report on the weather in Year IV (1797) and the subsequent local illness. During the winter of 1797-98, the weather was marked by extreme cold, wind (Sirocco) and ice. Dr. Fouquet recorded the barometric readings. He records chimneys being blown down on the first Sunday in Lent, doors yanked off their hinges, trees uprooted, even an earthquake. He remarks on the quality of a thermometer from Reaumur. Herds of sheep died. The illnesses which followed this extreme weather are recorded, as are treatments with l’ipécacuanha et la rhubarbe; racine de columbo, et de cachou, l’extrait de quinquina.
Fouquet records other treatments of other doctors in use at the time of his writing and discusses advantages of various treatments. He gives a graphic description of the progression of a gastric complaint that became septicemia. He refers to other bad winters, such as the winter of 1773. He also observed the usefulness of the pulse as essential diagnostic data. Autopsies were performed to determine causes of the deaths. Dr. Fouquet writes a very interesting description of the physical conditions that warrant the use of the word “epidemic.” Fouquet devotes many pages to a comparative study of epidemics from Galen, Hippocrates and Prosper Martian forward to his own time in the work of Plenciz, Stoll, Grant, Huxam, Rivière, Giudetti, Baillou, Santa-Cruce, Hoffmann, Robert and Baglivi.
Of great interest is the thorough comparison of treatments of fever (with quinquina) and of the history of treatments for péripneumonie. This is an extraordinary account of an epidemic caused by prolonged extreme weather (torrential rains) followed by prolonged cold and the public health response directed by Dr. Fouquet. Two copies were located in the United States at the Harvard Medical School and in the National Library of Medicine. Five additional copies were found in France, none recorded as being signed or annotated by the author.