Illness and Healthcare in Nineteenth-CenturyStrasburg Township,

Pennsylvania

by Janelle M. Zimmerman

 

Abstract: The Funck Family Journal provides important details about contemporary understandings of illness in early post-colonial Pennsylvania. Remedies are listed for specific diseases, indicating that diseases were seen as specific, treatable entities. The remedies are relatively simple, and utilize readily available ingredients, suggesting use by lay and/or family members. This manuscript illustrates the shift toward a rationalist approach to medicine, with limited reference to occult or lunar forces. The Funck manuscript could serve as the basis for an extended study of the development of folk and professional medicine in colonial Pennsylvania.

About the Author

Janelle Zimmerman, RN is a Multidisciplinary Studies major at Millersville University. Her research interests lie in the intersections of nursing and sociology, or sociocultural nursing. She is developing skills and knowledge for holistic nursing practice, specifically focusing on the impact of culture on healthcare practices and outcomes. A course on the history of medicine (HIST 480) provided the impetus for this paper, and Miss Zimmerman plans to pursue study of the history of folk and professional healthcare practice in Pennsylvania through an Independent Study with Dr. Erin Shelor.