Observation at West Falmouth, Mass., Sept 1, 1877. I made five observations in like manner about the marshes and bogs of this town, which is, as it were, situated on the tendo achillis of Cape Cod, Mass. In only one of these observations did I find any palmellae like the ague plants, and they were not characteristic.
Chelsea, Mass., near the Naval Hospital, September 5, 1877. Three sets of observations. In all spores were found and some sporangia, but they were not the genuine plants as far as I could judge. They were Protococcaceae. It is not necessary to add that there are no cases of intermittent fever regarded as originating on the localities named. Still, the ancient history of New England contains some accounts of ague occurring there, but they are not regarded as entirely authentic.
Observation. Lexington, Mass, September 6, 1877. Observation made in a meadow. There was no saline incrustation, and no palmellae found. No local malaria.
Observation. Cambridge, Mass. Water works on the shore of Fresh Pond. Found a few palmellae analogous to, but not the ague palmellae.
Observation. Woburn, Mass, September 27, 1877, with Dr. J. M. Moore. Found some palmellae, but scanty. Abundance of spores of cryptogams.
Observation. Stonington, Conn., August 15, 1877. Examined a pond hole nearly opposite the railroad station on the New York Shore Line. Found abundantly the white incrustation on the surface of the soil. Here I found the spores and the sporangias of the gemiasmas verdans and rubra.
Observation 2. Repetition of the last.
Observation 3. I examined some of an incrustation that was copiously deposited in the same locality, which was not white or frosty, but dark brown and a dirty green. Here the spores were very abundant, and a few sporangias of the Gemiasma rubra. Ague has of late years been noted in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Observations in Connecticut. Middlefield near Middletown, summer of 1878. Being in this locality, I heard that intermittent fever was advancing eastward at the rate of ten miles a year. It had been observed in Middlefield. I was much interested to see if I could find the gemiasmas there. On examining the dripping of some bog moss, I found a plenty of them.
Observations in Connecticut. New Haven. Early in the summer of 1881 I visited this city. One object of my visit was to ascertain the truth of the presence of intermittent fever there, which I had understood prevailed to such an extent that my patient, a consumptive, was afraid to return to his home in New Haven. At this time I examined the hydrant water of the city water works, and also the east shore of the West River, which seemed to be too full of sewage. I found a plenty of the Oscillatoreaceae, but no Palmellae.
In September I revisited the city, taking with me a medical gentleman who, residing in the South, had had a larger experience with the disease than I. From the macroscopical examination he pronounced a case we examined to be ague, but I was not able to detect the plants either in the urine or blood. This might have been that I did not examine long enough. But a little later I revisited the city and explored the soil about the Whitney Water Works, whence the city gets its supply of water, and I had no difficulty in finding a good many of the plants you describe as found by you in ague cases. At a still later period my patient, whom I had set to use the microscope and instructed how to collect the ague plants, set to work himself. One day his mother brought in a film from off an ash pile that lay in the shade, and this her son found was made up of an abundance of the ague plants. By simply winding a wet bandage around the slide, Mr. A. was enabled to keep the plants in good condition until the time of my next visit, when I examined and pronounced them to be genuine plants.
I should here remark that I had in examining the sputa of this patient sent to me, found some of the ague plants. He said that he had been riding near the Whitney Pond, and perceived a different odor, and thought he must have inhaled the miasm. I told him he was correct in his supposition, as no one could mistake the plants; indeed, Prof. Nunn, of Savannah, Ga., my pupil recognized it at once.
This relation, though short, is to me of great importance. So long as I could not detect the gemiasmas in New Haven, I was very skeptical as to the presence of malaria in New Haven, as I thought there must be some mistake, it being a very good cloak to hide under (malaria). There is no doubt but that the name has covered lesions not belonging to it. But now the positive demonstrations above so briefly related show to my mind that the local profession have not been mistaken, and have sustained their high reputation.
I should say that I have examined a great deal of sputa, but, with the exception of cases that were malarious, I have not encountered the mature plants before. Of course I have found them as you did, in my own excretions as I was traveling over ague bogs.