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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Contribution to the History of Medicine in Southern California


This installment of Lost and Found offers a fascinating glimpse into the medical beliefs and practices of three very different nineteenth-century California communities, written by a knowledgeable pioneer physician, Cephas Little Bard. Dr. Bard was born in Pennsylvania in 1843, and served as an army physician during the Civil War; he moved to Ventura in 1868, where he practiced medicine until his death in 1902. He seems to have been an avid collector of Indian artifacts, and was regarded by his contemporaries as an authority on California Indians. The paper presented here was originally given as an address in San Diego in 1894 on the occasion of Bard's retirement as president of the Southern California Medical Society. It was published first in the Southern California Practitioner [9(8):287-313,1894], and was then privately printed in a limited edition as a pamphlet. In 1930, Bard's paper was reprinted, slightly edited, in Touring Topics [January, 1930, pp. 20-30] as "Medicine and Surgery Among the First Californians." Most of the plants mentioned by Bard are discussed in detail in Jan Timbrook's forthcoming book, Chumash Ethnobotany.

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