VIGNÉ (Jean-Baptiste)

Copies of his correspondence with colleagues, learned societies and patients.


In-8 (200 x 125 mm), 134 pages, marbled brown calf, gilt roulette, ornate smooth spine, speckled edges; title page missing, binding rubbed (Period binding).

A very interesting collection of around 80 copies of letters from the correspondence of Rouen physician Jean-Baptiste Vigné (1771-1842), a pioneer in the practice of vaccination in Rouen. He was head of the city's General Hospice, and one of the first full members of the Académie de Rouen when it was re-established in 1803. He was also active in Paris, as a corresponding member of the Académie de Médecine and the Société de Médecine Clinique.

This correspondence brings together the most important letters he sent between 24 Nivose An XI (January 14, 1803) and July 8, 1806.
His correspondents were mainly doctors and members of learned societies in Paris and Rouen, including leading medical figures of the period such as “[s]his ami” Jean-Etienne Esquirol (1772-1840) [8 letters], Michel-Augustin Thouret (1749-1810) [6 letters], François Chaussier (1746-1828) [4 letters], Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) [2 letters], J. J. le Roux (b. 1749) [1 letter], and Henri-Marie Husson (1772-1853).

Among the most interesting items are three letters relating the early beginnings of vaccinia in Rouen.
One is addressed in his capacity as Corresponding Member of the Paris Academy of Medicine to Henri-Marie Husson (1772-1853), secretary of the central vaccinia committee in Paris, dated 26 Pluviose an XI, 1 page: “Do not doubt, Sir, the pleasure I would have in communicating to you some observations favorable to vaccinia inoculation, which I believe, against the feeling of its detractors, to be powerfully anti-smallpox”.
Two are addressed to Monsieur G. Robert, pharmacist at the Hôtel Dieu in Rouen and secretary of the correspondence office of the central vaccinia committee of that city, dated 8 brumaire an XIII, 1 page and 3 pluviose an XIII, 8 pp.
They concern the shipment of vaccine fluid taken from a 12-year-old child, and give detailed observations on the vaccinations he carried out in Rouen, reporting a few special cases such as the vaccination of a 9-month-old baby surrounded by sick people.
"I have vaccinated only 26 people since Messidor, Year XI, three of whom were unsuccessfully. In twenty-two others, I have seen all the symptoms of true vaccinia develop successively, with a reddish, superficial aureole forming around the injections as soon as they have been given, and disappearing in a few moments. "

Other letters concern the distribution of his own works or articles, such as his analysis of Philippe Pinel's treatise on insanity, his Essai sur la petite vérole, his Essai sur l'utilité de l'anatomie (1803) or De la Médecine légale (1805).

The volume also contains interesting observation letters and reports on a variety of subjects: care of wounds, obstetrical observations, peritonitis, digestive tumors, the case of a person with live salamanders coming out of his anus, convulsions, etc. There are 23 sheets of observations reported to the Paris Society of Clinical Medicine on Mr. Loger's illness.
Some letters are addressed directly to patients, with instructions for their care, and medical certificates and attestations.

An important source on the activities of a particularly active corresponding member of several medical societies, and a pioneer in the practice of vaccination.

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