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Interment Glossary of Terms and Background Information

Interment Books (1846-1979) | Helpful Hints -Tombstones - Removals - Spellings - Interment Book Dates | Explanation for Entries in the Interment Books
Specific Terms Definitions | 2000-2007 Interments | Sextons & Years of Service
Local Undertakers and Funeral Homes | Glossary of Ancient Diseases

Nashville City Cemetery Interment Books (1846-1979)

The original volumes of the Nashville City Cemetery are in the collection of the Metropolitan Governmental Archives. These volumes are too fragile to be used by researchers. To make this important information available to the public, the Metro Archives and the Nashville Town Committee of Colonial Dames sponsored a joint project. The Dames provided funding to the Friends of Metro Archives so that an intern could be engaged to prepare a completely new transcription of the Interment Books. Ken Fieth, Director of the Metro Archives, set up the computer database. Sarah Meacham, a graduate student in the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, was engaged for this database entry work. Her endeavors were supported by Metro archivists Debie Cox and Linda Center. The final proofing for corrections and additions to the entries was provided by Colonial Dames volunteers Fletch Coke and Bertie Shriver. The proofing was completed in December 2006. Because of the very large size of the entries, Ken Fieth asked the Nashville Public Library to post the 19,745 interments on its web site. With special thanks to Donna Nicely, Director, Nashville Public Library, and to Suliang Feng, head of Technical Services, the Interment Books went online on the Nashville Public Library web site in November 2007.

Helpful Hints to Using the Interment Books

Burials prior to 1846. The City Cemetery opened in 1822, but no Interment records exist prior to 1846.

Tombstones. Every person listed in the Interment Books does not have a tombstone at the City Cemetery. Of 19,745 burial entries, there are only 3,000 tombstones in the cemetery today. Wooden markers did not last long. Other stone markers have been destroyed by weathering or lost over time. Visit “Inscriptions” on this web site for tombstones with legible inscriptions.

Removals. Occasionally graves and monuments were relocated to other cemeteries. The Interment Books did not report these removals. Visit “Interments” on this web site and click-on Removals for a list of some of these re-interred to other cemeteries.

Spellings. In this new transcription, entries were transcribed exactly as spelled in the Interment Books. Often there were misspellings of even the names of Nashville’s most prominent citizens such as “Eweing” for “Ewing” and Rutlege” for “Rutledge.” In using the search engine to look for a family name, it is advisable to try various spellings.

Interments 1846 - 1979. Burials were recorded in the City Cemetery Interment Books from 1846-1979. Beginning in 1979, 30 burials have been listed in the records at the Metro Historical Commission.
Diseases. There are many diseases listed in the Interment Books which are unfamiliar to us today. To learn more about 19th century diseases, visit the web site of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia or see the Ancient Diseases section of this website. In the Interment Books, there were different spellings of the same disease.

Glossary of Abbreviations & Terms. To understand the meanings of abbreviations and terms, Visit the Specific Terms in this section.

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Explanation of Entries in the Interment Books

Volume.  City Cemetery Interment Book for this burial

Number.  Number on the computer data base for this burial

Date.  Date of burial. Not the date of death

Name.  Name of the deceased. Children under 6 years of age were usually called “Infants.”

Age. The age of the deceased at the time of death

Sex. Male or Female

Race. White. Mulatto. Negro. Colored. Indian. These terms were used by the Sextons.

Residence. Permanent residence of the deceased at the time of death. City meant City of Nashville. Country meant outside the City of Nashville limits. County meant Davidson County. Other towns, counties & states were also listed. Note: In the 19th century, people were sent to the Insane Asylum for many reasons other than mental illness, such as serious head injury, old age, senility and no means to care for the person at home.

Disease. Cause of death of the deceased.

Location. The burial site was identified by the nearest Avenue on the City Cemetery map of the interior carriage roads or hearse roads.

Lot. Sexton recorded “Lot” if the burial took place on a private lot. In this column, other places were also identified: Vault for public vault, Shelby Vault or other named family Vault (these were above ground mausoleums or underground vaults), old grave for a burial on a former grave site, pauper lot for person unable to pay for a grave site, “50” for payment of a 50 cents lot, “200” for payment of a $2.00 lot.

Remarks. The Sexton added information about the deceased, such as family connections, the occupation of the deceased, local official office or military rank, the place of an accidental death such as on a steamboat.

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Specific Terms Definitions

Word/Words Definition
Avenue burial lots were located by the nearest "Avenue" on cemetery map
bespoke by J. Corbitt, Esq. burial fees to be paid by J. Corbitt, Esq.
box wooden burial box
bp box paid
brick brick lining to grave
brick vault brick vault above and around the grave
brick work brick work for base of tombstone
brought from below exact meaning not determined
burial in Catholic Cemetery located on 5 acres at southwest corner of City Cemetery
buried by Odd Fellows buried by Independent Order of Odd Fellows  IOOF
buried by Temple of Honor special services provided by fraternal organization
buried in a box buried in a wooden box
cadet Western Military Institute Western Military Institute opened in Nashville 1855
Catholic Asylum renamed St. Mary's Orphanage in 1863
charge to C. R. Cornelius burial fees to be charged to undertaker C. R. Cornelius
charge to Father Scatch burial fees to be paid by Catholic Church ( Father Schacht))
charge to Grooms & Combs burial fees to be charged to undertakers Grooms & Combs
charge to R. H. Grooms burial fees to be charged to undertaker R. H. Grooms
charge to Sons of Temperance burial fees to be paid by Sons of Temperance
charge to Tennessee Hospital See Tennessee Hospital for the Insane
charged to Relief Committee Provided by City or Corporation which operated the cemetery
Cnr. abbreviation for "Junior"
contry abbreviation for "country";
cooper person who made or repaired casks and barrels
corener a spelling for "coronor"
Corporation hand person employed by City Cemetery Corporation
Cumberland Lodge No. 8 Masonic Lodge. Established in Nashville 1815
Dec'd abbreviation for "Deceased"
deposited in the Currin vault deceased interred in Currin vault at City Cemetery
deposited in vaultt deceased deposited in vault. City Vault burned 1878.
died below exact meaning not determined
dug the grave themselves Sexton was not paid to dig the grave
E.N. abbreviation for East Nashville (also called Edgefield))
Edgefield City across Cumberland River from Nashville
Esylam a spelling for "Asylum"
Fees to be paid by Wm.Jennings burial fees to be paid by a particular personn
free African-Americans who were free before Civil War
free child of color Interment Books used this term until 12-31-1867
free man of color Interment Books used this term until 12-31-1867
free woman of color Interment Books used this term until 12-31-1867
Freeman's Lot Masonic Lot at City Cemetery. Reserved for Masons
Freemason member of a Masonic Lodge
from Blind Institution established in Nashville in 1846
from Medical College opened by University of Nashville in 1851
from Memphis, to be removed deceased to be removed for reburial in Memphis
from steamboat Bolivar deceased was brought from steamboard "Bolivar"
from the college University of Nashville opened 1824
from work house deceased died in work house
G. L. of Tenn. OOF abbreviation for Grand Lodge of Tennessee IOOF
Grand Lodge of Tennessee Masons. Established in Nashville 1813
grave on Turner lot burial lot identified by name of lot owner
Infant slave to J. Brown burial fees paid by owner J. Brown
IOOF Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Instituted in Nashville 1839
Knowles Home for the Aged burial lot on Central Avenue, City Cemetery
L & N RR Louisville & Nashville Railroad
L. A. abbreviation for Lunatic Asylum
lic burial ground abbreviation for Catholic burying ground, adjoining City Cemetery
lot 10 x 40 measurement of the size of a family lot
Masonic Lot Lot reserved for burials of Masons
member of Macani Assoc. Mechanics Association formed in Nashville 1831
Memphis & C RR Memphis & Chattanooga Railroad
military student see Western Military Institute
N & C RR Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad
Nashville Fire Company first Fire companies organized in Nashville 1829
Nashville Inn Original Inn opened on the Nashville Public Square in 1796
Negro Ground/ Negro Lot burial area set aside for African-Americans
Odd Fellows See IOOF
old grave buried in a former burial site
old ground buried in former burial area
on Cornelius lot lot owned by undertaker Cornelius
ordered by Mayor Mayor ordered burials of paupers and wayfarers
Orphans Lot burial area set aside for orphans
p. abbreviation for fees "paid" for burial
P.O.A. or P.O. abbreviations for Protestant Orphan Asykum. Est. Nashville 1845
pauper no means of support, dependent on charity
Pest House In Nashviille mid-1800s for care of people with infectious diseases
poison uremic poisoning or poisoning by suicide
public vault deceased interred in vault at City Cemetery
Refugee person seeking shelter in Nashville during the Civil War
removed from Calvary vault deceased was re-interred from Calvary Cem vault to City Cem.
removed from Greenwood vault deceased was re-interred from Greenwood Cem vault to City Cem.
removed from Memphis re-interred from Memphis to Nashville City Cemetery
removed from Mt. Olivet deceased was re-interred from Mt. Olivet Cemetery to City Cem.
removed from New Orleans deceased brought from New Orleans for burial
removed from the country deceased to be re-buried in City Cemetery from family graveyard
returned soldier from Mexico Mexican War 1846-1847.  U.S. vs. Mexico
Robertson Assoc. will pay 6.00 possibly connected to local philanthropist Duncan Robertson
S of T No. 30 abbreviation for Sons of Temperance No. 30
S.N. abbreviation for South Nashvillee
saddler person who made saddles and other equipment for horses
same grave, mother & infant mother and infant buried in the same grave
sent out by the Corporation Corporation operated the City Cemetery
servant Beginning 11-20-1852, slaves were called servants in interments
Sextons see separate listing of Sextons of the City Cemetery
sextons fees paid Sexton at City Cemetery in charge of burials & Interment Books
Slave of J.Brown & Union Hall burial fees paid by owners J. Brown & Union Hall
Smiley Lodge IOOF Odd Fellows. Smiley Lodge instituted in South Nashville 1854
Snr. abbreviation for "Senior"
Soldier Ground Gravesites of former Federal soldiers re-used after 1869 for new burials
son of Daniel Watkins, free child was son of a freeman before the Civil War
Son of Temperance Independent Order of Good Templars (Temperance) Est. Nashville 1847
Southern Soldiers Ground burial area set aside for Confederate Soldiers
spoken for by J. Morrow, D.D. fees to be paid by Pastor Morrow
spoken for by McCombs fees to be paid by undertaker McCombs
St. Cloud Hotel well known hotel located on Church Street
stone cutter from Capitol Hill stone cutter employed to build State Capitol, Nashville
Strangers Ground burial area set aside for wayfarers to the city
sutler person who followed an army and sold provisions to soldiers
Sylum a spelling for "Asylum"
taken to the country deceased to be re-interred in family graveyard in country
Tenn. Hospital for the Insane on Murfreesboro Pike. Opened in Nashville 1852
to be taken to Mill Creek  deceased to be reburied at Mill Creek Baptist Cem., Nashville
to be taken to Mississippi deceased to be reburied in Mississippi
to be taken to Mt. Olivet deceased to be reburied at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Nashville
Trabue No. 10 IOOF Odd Fellows. Trabue No.10 instituted in Nashville 1845
undertakers See separate listing of undertakers in Nashville
vaults (family) Vaults owned by Shelby, Currin, Johnson, McNairy & other familiea
vp vault paid
Weakley's Tavern local tavern where person died
wishes a lot 20 x 40 person wished to purchase a burial lot measuring 20 ft. x 40 ft.
Prepared by Fletch Coke 12-10-2007

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Interments 2000 -2007

9-16-2000. Mary Humes Meadors July 1, 1913 – Sept. 14, 2000
Section 18. Boyd Lot. Lot 8
Harlan Perry
Howard September 8, 1927 - March 3, 2002
Section 20  Lot 21
9-1-2007. Gaytha Lamb-Luck May 4, 1944 – Aug. 30, 2007
Section 4. Martin C. Cotton Lot. Lot 2

Sextons & Years of Service

1822 – 1846 Alpha Kingsley
1847 – 1848 Smith Criddle
1849 – 1854 Benjamin Clements
1855 – 1862 Martin O. Cotton
1862 - T. M. McBride
1862 – 1865 George W. Norvell
1868 - James W. Pratt
1874 – 1879 Daniel M. Martin
1880 – 1888 William T. Perry
1889 – 1911 Daniel M. Martin
1912 – 1917 John B. Norman
1918 – 1937 Charles H. Wallace
1937 – 1944 Delbert C. Puckett
1948 – 1955 Robert I. Taylor
1956 – 1974 Douglas A. Pardue
1977 – 1978 Wesley Paine, Metro Board of Parks
1979 – 1982 Naomi Levia, Metro Board of Parks
1982 – present Metro Historical Commission

List of Sextons prepared by Carole Bucy. 2000

Sexton. The job of the Sexton at the City Cemetery was difficult. He was in charge of arrangements for all burials, in having the graves dug prior to funerals and filled after interments, in keeping the Interment Books and in collecting the fees for burials. During periods of Epidemics this was unending work. We must be grateful to the endeavors of the Sextons in faithfully keeping the Interment Books at the City Cemetery so that we have knowledge of the many people who were buried in this cemetery. Today of the 19,745 burials in the Interment Books, only a fraction have tombstones. Of the 3,000 tombstones in the cemetery, in 2006, only 2000 tombstones had legible inscriptions.

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Local Undertakers and Funeral Homes

Bracey - Welch
Cole & Garrett
Combs, M. S. & Co.
Cornelius, C. R.
Finley - Dorris
Grooms, R. H.
Grooms & Combs
Peters & Pisen
Roach, John C. & Co.
W. R. C. & Co. (W.R. Cornelius & Co.)

Glossary of Ancient Diseases

Abscess: A localized collection of pus buried in tissues, organs, or confined spaces of the body, often accompanied by swelling and inflammation and frequently caused by bacteria. See boil.

Addison's disease: A disease characterized by severe weakness, low blood pressure, and a bronzed coloration of the skin, due to decreased secretion of cortisol from the adrenal gland. Synonyms: Morbus addisonii, bronzed skin disease.

Ague: Malarial or intermittent fever characterized by paroxysms (stages of chills, fever, and sweating at regularly recurring times) and followed by an interval or intermission of varying duration. Popularly, the disease was known as "fever and ague," "chill fever," "the shakes," and by names expressive of the locality in which it was prevalent--such as, "swamp fever" (in Louisiana), "Panama fever," and "Chagres fever."

Ague-cake: A form of enlargement of the spleen, resulting from the action of malaria on the system.

American Plague: yellow fever

Anasarca: Generalized massive dropsy. See dropsy.

Apoplexy: paralysis due to stroke

Aphthae: See thrush.

Aphthous stomatitis: See canker.

Ascites: See dropsy.

Asthenia: See debility.

Bad Blood: Syphilis

Bilious fever: A term loosely applied to certain intestinal and malarial fevers. See typhus.

Biliousness: A complex of symptoms comprising nausea, abdominal discomfort, headache, and constipation--formerly attributed to excessive secretion of bile from the liver.

Blood Poisoning: Septicemia

Boil: An abscess of skin or painful inflammation of the skin or a hair follicle usually caused by a staphylococcal infection. Synonym: furuncle.

Brain fever: See meningitis, typhus.

Bright's Disease: Glomerulonephritis (kidney inflammation)

Bronchial asthma: A disorder of breathing, characterized by spasm of the bronchial tubes of the lungs, wheezing, and difficulty in breathing air outward--often accompanied by coughing and a feeling of tightness in the chest.

Camp fever: See typhus.

Cancer: A malignant and invasive growth or tumor. In the nineteenth century, cancerous tumors tended to ulcerate, grew constantly, and progressed to a fatal end and that there was scarcely a tissue they would not invade. Synonyms: malignant growth, carcinoma.

Cancrum otis: A severe, destructive, eroding ulcer of the cheek and lip. In the last century it was seen in delicate, ill-fed, ill-tended children between the ages of two and five. The disease was the result of poor hygiene. It was often fatal. The disease could, in a few days, lead to gangrene of the lips, cheeks, tonsils, palate, tongue, and even half the face; teeth would fall from their sockets. Synonyms: canker, water canker, noma, gangrenous stomatitis, gangrenous ulceration of the mouth.

Canker: An ulcerous sore of the mouth and lips, not considered fatal today. Synonym: aphthous stomatitis. See cancrum otis.

Catalepsy: seizures/trances

Catarrh: Inflammation of a mucous membrane, especially of the air passages of the head and throat, with a free discharge. Bronchial catarrh was bronchitis; suffocative catarrh was croup; urethral catarrh was gleet; vaginal catarrh was leukorrhea; epidemic catarrh was the same as influenza. Synonyms: cold, coryza.

Chlorosis: iron deficiency anemia

Cholera: An acute, infectious disease characterized by profuse diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps. Cholera is spread by feces-contaminated water and food. Major epidemics struck the United States in the years 1832, 1849, and 1866. .

Cholera infantum: A common, noncontagious diarrhea of young children, occurring in summer or autumn. It was common among the poor and in hand-fed babies. Death frequently occurred in three to five days. Synonyms: summer complaint, weaning brash, water gripes, choleric fever of children, cholera morbus.

Chorea: Any of several diseases of the nervous system, characterized by jerky movements that appear to be well coordinated but are performed involuntarily, chiefly of the face and extremities. Synonym: Saint Vitus' dance.

Colic: Paroxysmal pain in the abdomen or bowels. Infantile colic is benign paroxysmal abdominal pain during the first three months of life. Colic rarely caused death. Renal colic can occur from disease in the kidney, gallstone colic from a stone in the bile duct.

Congestion: An excessive or abnormal accumulation of blood or other fluid in a body part or blood vessel. In congestive fever the internal organs become gorged with blood.

Congestive Fever: malaria

Consumption: A wasting away of the body; formerly applied especially to pulmonary tuberculosis. Synonyms: marasmus (in the mid-nineteenth century), phthisis.

Convulsions: Severe contortion of the body caused by violent, involuntary muscular contractions of the extremities, trunk, and head. See epilepsy.

Coryza: See catarrh.

Croup: Any obstructive condition of the larynx (voice box) or trachea (windpipe), characterized by a hoarse, barking cough and difficult breathing occurring chiefly in infants and children. In the early-nineteenth century it was called cynanche trachealis. The crouping noise was similar to the sound emitted by a chicken affected with the pip, which in some parts of Scotland was called roup; hence, probably, the term croup. Synonyms: roup, hives, choak, stuffing, rising of the lights.

Debility: Abnormal bodily weakness or feebleness; decay of strength. This was a term descriptive of a patient's condition and of no help in making a diagnosis. Synonym: asthenia.

Diphtheria: An acute infectious disease acquired by contact with an infected person or a carrier of the disease. It was usually confined to the upper respiratory tract (throat) and characterized by the formation of a tough membrane (false membrane) attached firmly to the underlying tissue that would bleed if forcibly removed. In the nineteenth century the disease was occasionally confused with scarlet fever and croup.

Dropsy: A contraction for hydropsy. The presence of abnormally large amounts of fluid. Congestive heart failure

Dysentery: A term given to a number of disorders marked by inflammation of the intestines (especially of the colon). There are two specific varieties: (1) amebic dysentery (2) bacillary dysentery. Synonyms: flux, bloody flux, contagious pyrexia (fever), frequent griping stools.

Eclampsia: A form of toxemia (toxins--or poisons--in the blood) accompanying pregnancy. See dropsy.

Effluvia: Exhalations. In the mid-nineteenth century, they were called "vapours" and distinguished into the contagious effluvia, such as rubeolar (measles); marsh effluvia, such as miasmata.

Emphysema, pulmonary: A chronic, irreversible disease of the lungs.

Enteric fever: See typhoid fever.

Epilepsy: A disorder of the nervous system, characterized either by mild, episodic loss of attention or sleepiness (petittnal) or by severe convulsions with loss of consciousness (grand mal). Synonyms: falling sickness, fits.

Erysipelas: An disease. Synonyms: Rose, Saint Anthony's Fire (from its burning heat or, perhaps, because Saint Anthony was supposed to cure it miraculously).

Fatty Liver: Cirrhosis

Flux: See dysentery.

Furuncle: See boil.

Gangrene: Death and decay of tissue in a part of the body--usually a limb--due to injury, disease, or failure of blood supply. Synonym: mortification.

Glandular Fever: Mononucleosis

Gleet: See catarrh.

Gravel: A disease characterized by small stones which are formed in the kidneys, passed along the ureters to the bladder, and expelled with the urine. Synonym: kidney stone.

Grippe: an old term for influenza

Hectic fever: A daily recurring fever with profound sweating, chills, and flushed appearance-- often associated with pulmonary tuberculosis or septic poisoning.

Hives: A skin eruption of smooth, slightly elevated areas on the skin which is redder or paler than the surrounding skin. Often attended by severe itching. Also called cynanche trachealis. In the mid-nineteenth century, hives was a commonly given cause of death of children three years and under. Because true hives does not kill, croup was probably the actual cause of death in those children.

Hospital fever: See typhus.

Hydrocephalus: See dropsy.

Hydrothorax: See dropsy.

See jaundice.

Inanition: Exhaustion from lack of nourishment; starvation.

Infection: In the early part of the last century, infections were thought to be the propagation of disease by effluvia (see above) from patients crowded together. "Miasms" were believed to be substances which could not be seen in any form--emanations not apparent to the senses. Such miasms were understood to act by infection.

Inflammation: Redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, heat, and disturbed function of an area of the body. In the last century, cause of death often was listed as inflammation of a body organ--such as, brain or lung--but this was purely a descriptive term and is not helpful in identifying the actual underlying disease.

Jail fever: See typhus.

Jaundice: Yellow discoloration of the skin, whites of the eyes, and mucous membranes, due to an increase of bile pigments in the blood. Synonym: icterus.

Kidney stone: See gravel.

Kings evil: A popular name for scrofula. The name originated in the time of Edward the Confessor, with the belief that the disease could be cured by the touch of the king of England.

Lockjaw: Tetanus, a disease in which the jaws become firmly locked together. Synonyms: trismus, tetanus.

Lung Fever: pneumonia

Lung Sickness: Tuberculosis

Malignant fever: See typhus.

Marasmus: Malnutrition occurring in infants and young children, caused by an insufficient intake of calories or protein.

Meningitis: Inflammation of the meninges characterized by high fever, severe headache, and stiff neck or back muscles. Synonym: brain fever.

Milk Sick: poisoning resulting from the drinking of milk produced by a cow who had eaten a plant known as white snake root

Mormal: gangrene

Neuralgia: Sharp and paroxysmal pain along the course of a sensory nerve.

Paristhmitis: See quinsy.

Petechial fever: See typhus.

Phthisis: See consumption.

Plague/Black Death: Bubonic Plague

Pleurisy: Inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the chest cavity. Symptoms are chills, fever, dry cough, and pain in the affected side (a stitch).

Pneumonia: Inflammation of the lungs

Podagra: Gout

Potts Disease: Tuberculosis of the spinal vertebrae

Putrid fever: See typhus.

Putrid sore throat: Ulceration of an acute form, attacking the tonsils

Pyrexia: See dysentery.

Quinsy: An acute inflammation of the tonsils, often leading to an abscess. Synonyms: suppurative tonsillitis, cynanche tonsillaris, paristhmitis, sore throat.

Scarlatina: Scarlet fever. A contagious disease.

Scrofula: Primary tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands, especially those in the neck. A disease of children and young adults. Synonym: king's evil.

Septic: Infected, a condition of local or generalized invasion of the body by disease-causing germs.

Ship fever: See typhus.

Softening Of The Brain: cerebral hemorrhage/stroke

Spotted fever: See typhus.

Summer complaint: See cholera infantum.

Suppuration: The production of pus.

Teething: The entire process which results in the eruption of the teeth. Nineteenth-century medical reports stated that infants were more prone to disease at the time of teething. Symptoms were restlessness, fretfulness, convulsions, diarrhea, and painful and swollen gums. The latter could be relieved by lancing over the protruding tooth. Often teething was reported as a cause of death in infants. Perhaps they became susceptible to infections, especially if lancing was performed without antisepsis. Another explanation of teething as a cause of death is that infants were often weaned at the time of teething; perhaps they then died from drinking contaminated milk, leading to an infection, or from malnutrition if watered-down milk was given.

Tetanus: An infectious, often-fatal disease caused by a specific bacterium that enters the body through wounds. Synonyms: trismus, lockjaw.

Thrush: A disease characterized by whitish spots and ulcers on the membranes of the mouth, tongue, and fauces (the passage between the back of the mouth and the pharynx) caused by a parasitic fungus. Synonyms: aphthae, sore mouth, aphthous stomatitis.

Trismus nascentium or neonatorum: A form of tetanus seen only in infants, almost invariably in the first five days of life.

Typhoid fever: An infectious, often-fatal disease, usually occurring in the summer months--characterized by intestinal inflammation and ulceration. The name came from the disease's similarity to typhus (see below). Synonym: enteric fever.

Typhus: An acute, infectious disease transmitted by lice and fleas. The epidemic or classic form is louse borne; the endemic or murine is flea borne. Synonyms: typhus fever, malignant fever (in the 1850s), jail fever, hospital fever, ship fever, putrid fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, petechial fever, camp fever.

Variola: smallpox

Winter Fever: pneumonia

Yellow fever: An acute, often-fatal, infectious disease of warm climates--caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes

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1Blood Purifiers and Nerve Tonics left few claims out if the list of ailments they could cure. Dr. Green's for example for example, listed scrofula, Rheumatism, Neuralgia, Kidney Complaint, Liver Complaint, Lung Trouble, Salt Rheum, Constipation, Piles, Jaundice, Loss of Appetite, Female Weakness, Dyspepsia and Nervousness. And testimonials from happy users added yet more.

2Herbs, roots, barks and other natural products were sold by the Shakers to support their communities. Capitalizing on their reputation, the A. J. White Company launched several products using their name, the Shaker Soothing Plasters being a representative example. Plasters today are infrequently used, but still are an effective means of providing counter irritation.

3While cocaine has some positive medical indication, it is doubtful that its use in toothache drops is one of them. Lloyd's Toothache Drops were registered in 1885 and must have been a quick success, for shortly thereafter the firm stated that the product's "wonderful properties are fully demonstrated by the many recommendations it is daily receiving."

4Before and after pictures are natural illustration for proprietary medicines, and this 1872 card for Hamilton's Buchu and Dandelion is a classic example. The ingredients, buchu and dandelion, have excellent diuretic properties, giving patients evidence of some activity, but this does not necessarily mean that they are good for "all diseases of the kidney and liver."

5 H. H. Warner made his first fortune as a pioneer in the manufacture of safes in Rochester, New York. His company later became part of the Mosler Safe Company, and because of his background, Warner felt it appropriate to use the name "safe" in several of his products, including the Rheumatic Cure. Undoubtedly this word in the title aided sales.

6The reason Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup was effective in calming teething children was that it contained morphine, prompting some physicians and journalists to call it a "babykiller." In the nineteenth-century, the British public was better protected that the American, since their labels for this product had to be marked "Poison."

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The Nashville City Cemetery Association, Inc..
P.O. Box 150733
Nashville, TN 37215
© 2017 - Nashville City Cemetery Association

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