N January, 1817, Dr. Lyman Spalding, * of New York City, sub-
mitted to the Medical Society of the County of New York a project
for the formation of a National Pharmacopeia. †
Dr. Spalding's plan was as follows : The United States were to be
divided into four districts—Northern, Middle, Southern, and Western ;
the New England States to form the Northern District ; New York,
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of
Columbia, the Middle District ; and the States south and west of these
borders to constitute the other two districts.
The plan provided that a Convention should be called in each of these
districts, to be composed of delegates from all the medical societies and
schools situated within each of them. Each District Convention was to
* Born at Cornish, N.H., June 5, 1775 ; died at Portsmouth, N.H., October 30, 1821.
† While European pharmacopoeias were chiefly relied upon as authorities previous
to the appearance of the first official Pharmacopeia of the United States of America,
yet a few works had appeared, previous to this time, which deserve to be recorded
In 1778 there was published at Philadelphia a small Pharmacopeia for the use
of the Military Hospital of the U.S. Army located at Lititz, Lancaster Co., Penn-
sylvania, under the title : “Pharmacopæia simpliciorum et efficaciorum, in usum
nosocomii militaris, ad exercitum fæderatarum Americæ civitatum pertinentis ;
hodiernæ nostræ inopiæ rerumque angustiis, feroci hostium sævitiæ, belloque
crudeli ex inopinato patriæ nostræ illato debitis, maxime accommodata.” A second
edition of this appeared in 1781, on the title-page of which Dr. William Brown is
mentioned as author.
On October 3, 1805, the Counsellors of the Massachusetts Medical Society ap-
pointed a Committee to draft a Pharmacopeia adapted to the special wants of their
section of this country. The Committee, consisting of Dr. James Jackson and
Dr. John C. Warren, endeavored to secure the co-operation of medical institutions
in other States, with the object of making the work national, but without success.
They presented the result of their labors to the Counsellors on June 5, 1807, and
the work was issued some time in the early part of 1808. It was based upon the
last preceding edition of the Edinburgh Pharmacopeia, but contained much original
matter, among which was a posological and prosodial table.
In 1815 the Physicians and Surgeons of the New York Hospital appointed Dr.
Samuel L. Mitchill and Dr. Valentine Seaman a Committee to prepare a Pharma-
copæia for the use of that institution. This was issued in 1816, and enjoyed for
some years an authority of more than local character.