New-York: Printed by John Buel, for the Association, 1797. 62pp. A few contemporary ink corrections in a neat hand. Near Fine, in attractive modern red cloth.
The pamphlet, a weapon in the Association's efforts to repeal laws prohibiting soapmaking in populated areas, is "an interesting early American contribution to public health and industrial controls, issued by the soap and candle makers to refute charges of causing 'infectious distempers,' and to prevent their being banned from New York City. Included are texts of several laws on public health, medical opinions, etc." [Eberstadt].
Mitchill's arguments were not easily dismissed: he was a respected professor of various sciences at Columbia College and Editor of the New York Medical Repository, as well as a public-minded New Yorker, Jeffersonian Congressman, and U.S. Senator. Mitchill agrees that "exhalations from substances on shore," not merely those "brought from sea into the harbour," cause the "Pestilential Distempers" that had plagued New York. Having "the matter investigated upon its merits," Mitchill concludes that tallow chandlers and soap makers are not responsible for "the peculiar nature of pestilential air."
168 Eberstadt 22. Cohen 9419. Rink 3173. Evans 32564. Austin 90. ESTC W30225. Item #36307