Scope and Contents
This collection consists of 1 folder containing the notebook kept by Dr. Warwick detailing his obstetrics practice in Augusta County, Virginia (1838-1856) and Scioto County, Ohio (1857-1877). Warwick’s notebook begins with a short preface in which the author describes his intentions of documenting his obstetrical cases for his own curiosity and the educational benefit of himself and others. The work contains records of approximately 290 deliveries that he performed over his career. His patients included white and black women, as well as a few apparently single women that Warwick attended at the local poorhouse. His notes describe the condition of the mother, the position and presentation of the fetus, any complications during the birth, and the outcome. Warwick’s writings recount the many dangers of childbirth in rural America during the mid-nineteenth century, including stillbirths, hemorrhage, and the potential loss of mother and child. One entry describes an unsuccessful “Ceasarian Operation” attempted in 1856 by Dr. Vincent T. Churchman at which Warwick was present; neither mother nor child survived. Included among the entries are the births of Warwick’s own children.
Biographical / Historical
Dr. Beverly Green Warwick (1805-1880) was born in Nelson County, Virginia. He attended lectures at the Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1837, possibly his only formal medical education. Warwick and his wife, Mary, resided in Augusta County, Virginia, where Warwick practiced medicine from the late 1830s to the 1850s. Warwick specialized in obstetrics and sometimes attended his patients with the aid of a midwife or another local doctor. In 1857 he left Virginia and moved to Scioto County, Ohio where he continued to work as a physician. From 1838 to 1877, Warwick kept a notebook in which he recorded the patients he attended, many of whom lived in Deerfield and Middlebrook, small communities in Augusta County, Virginia. The notebook also includes later cases which Warwick continued to document after his move to Ohio. Warwick’s writings suggest that he often felt inexperienced in his work, but he was eager to improve his medical knowledge and strived to care for his patients to the best of his ability. Warwick died in Lucasville, Scioto County, Ohio on June 15, 1880.