John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemical Healing, and the Medical Culture of Early New England
This chapter describes Jonathan Brewster's concern that news of his discovery of the “Elixer, fitt for Medicine, and healing of all maladyes” would bring a throng of people to his remote woodland plantation. It reflected the reality he had seen in the demand for the alchemical medical services of John Winthrop, Jr. Demand for his advice and medicines came from all over New England and as far away as Barbados and across the Atlantic in England. Suffering people arrived at New London in numbers that strained the capacity of the town and of Winthrop himself to provide for them. Cotton Mather said of Winthrop, “Where-ever he came, still the Diseased flocked about him, as if the Healing Angel of Bethesda had appeared in the place.” Mather praised his “noble Medicines” and called him “a true adept.”
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