Medicine: Through a Stomach Hole

The summer of 1822 Fort Mackinac, Michigan Army and fur-trading post, was a rough, brawling, drunken community of about 5,000 Indians, French-Canadians and half-breeds spending the proceeds of their winter fur catches. Only doctor within a 300-mi. radius was William Beaumont, an Army surgeon who meticulously recorded in a diary every medical tittle and jot he performed. For June 6, 1822, the entry, now a precious incunabulum in the history of U. S. Medicine, reads:

"St. Martin, a Canadian lad, about 19 yrs. old, hardy, robust and healthy, was accidentally shot by the...

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