Questions for Merryweather[sic] Lewis1
I. Physical history & medicine
What are the acute diseases of the Indians? Is the bilious fever attended with a black vomit.
Is goiture, apoplexy, palsy, Epilepsy, madness . . . ven.[ereal] disease known among them?
What is their state of life as to longevity?
At what age do the women begin and cease to menstruate?
At what age do they marry? How long do they suckle children?
What is the provision of their Children, after being weaned?
The state of the pulse as to frequency in the morning, noon, & at night—before & after eating? What is its state in childhood. Adult life, & old age? The number of strokes counted by the quarter of a minute by glass, and multiplied by four will give its frequency in a minute.
What are their Remidies?
Are artificial discharges of blood ever used among them?
In what manner do they induce sweating?
Do they ever use voluntary fasting?
At what time do they rise—their Baths?
What is the diet—manner of cooking & times eating among the Indians? How do they preserve their food?
1. What are their vices?
2. Is Suicide common among them?—ever from love?
3. Do they employ any substitute for ardent spirits to promote intoxication?
4. Is murder common among them, & do they punish it with death?
1. What Affinity between their religious Ceremonies & those of the Jews?2
2. Do they use animal Sacrifices in their worship?
3. What are the principal Objects of their worship?
4. How do they dispose of their dead, and with what Ceremonies do they inter them?
1. Donald Jackson, Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with Related Documents, 1783-1854, 2nd ed., 2 vols. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1978), 1:50. See Jackson also, 1:157-58, for Clark's 1804 compilation of Indian questions, possibly expanded by material from Dr. Caspar Wistar and Dr. Benjamin Smith Barton.
2. This is an allusion to the Lost Tribes of Israel, who at the time some believed to be the ancestors of Native Americans.
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