Captain still ill

Surgeon’s journal

On the 28th of this month, as we were lying before the fortress of Chama, our captain Jan Minkenveld came to me. He complained bout pain in all of his limbs and about vomiting. I found that he had a fever intermittens, sporadic fever. He asked for a doses of laxative pills as he had an aversion to taking powders.

I gave him five pills (prescription 12) of the kind that I had given him often before, and he said that they were easy on him. Afterwards, as the vomiting and fever got worse, I prescribed another mixture (prescription 13). I could not get him to take a emetic on my request.

Since he strongly complained about pain in his head, which in my view was caused by the fever, I also laid two bandages on his head. During the fever attacks he was delirious. I boiled a barley drink (prescription 14) for him, of which I let him drink to his satisfaction. I continued with that till the head fortress of St. George D’Elmina, where he declared to be feeling reasonably well after having used a leaf laxative (prescription 15).

But afterwards he relapsed into vomiting, which was accompanied by a lot of slime mixed with bile. I prescribed the earlier mentioned mixture (prescription 13) again and also give him a big pill (prescription 16). But since the vomiting was still persisting, I insisted that he must use an emetic from vomit root, which he did. That relieved him of much slime and bile, and he was a lot better afterwards. I gave him a cold compress (prescription 17) to drink.


Prescription 15

R/ Misce fac haustus (mix and make a sip), use in case of diarhea, stomach ache and constipation

  • Folium sennae [senna; laxative] : ℥ ß
  • Semen anisi [anise seeds]: a thimble full
  • Saccharum candij [rock sugar]: quantum sufficit (as much as needed)


  • ℥ uncia = ounce = 8 drachmae, so approximately 31 g
  • ß = ½ of the given amount


Prescription 13

R/ Misce fac mixtura cardialga (mix and make a mixture against heavy pains in the stomach area), in case of vomiting, every 3 hours a tea cup full.


  • ℈ scruple = 20 grain, so approximately 1,3 g
  • ℥ uncia = ounce = 8 drachmae, so approximately 31 g
  • tea cup = 6 drachmae, so approximately 25 g


Prescription 16

R/ Misce fac bolus [mix and make a fatty substanc], use in cases of vomiting, dysentery

  • Diascordium Fracastorii: ℥ ß
  • Laudanum liquidum Sijdenhami [diascord, is a kind of electuary, or opiate, first described by Fracastorius, and denominated from the dried leaves of scordium, which is an ingredient therein]: Gutta, plural guttaedrop guttae XX
  • Oleum menthae [mint oil]: guttae V


  • ℥ uncia = ounce = 8 drachmae, so approximately 31 g
  • ß = ½ of the given amount


Prescription 17

R/ Misce fac cardiacum frigidum (mix and make a cold compress).

  • Vinum rhenanum [Rhine wine]: uncias decem
  • Succus [de] limonibus recentur expressae [fresh lemon juice]: unciam unam
  • Aqua communis et sacchari albi [normal water and white sugar]: quantum satis (as much as needed)