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                       Pasteur & Galt Apothecary Shop

The April 15, 1775, issue of the Virginia Gazette contains the following
notice of the opening of a Williamsburg apothecary shop:

"The Subscribers having this Day entered into Partnership, beg leave to
acquaint the Publick in general, and their Friends and Neighbours in
particular, that they intend practicing Physick and Surgery to their fullest
Extent, and that they intend also, as soon as the Situation of the Times
will admit, to keep full and complete Assortments of Drugs and Medicines,
which they will endeavour to procure of the very best in Quality, and will
take Care to have them fresh by making several Importations in the Year. It
is proposed that John M. Galt shall pay his particular Attention to Surgery,
to whom our Friends are desired to apply on all such occasions, but will be
advised and assisted by W. Pasteur in all difficult cases. They both desire
to make their most grateful Acknowledgments to their Friends and Customers
for the many Favours and Civilities they have received, and hope, by this
Union, they will be enabled to carry on their Business to the entire
Satisfaction of their Friends; as, on their Part, the strictest Assiduity
and Attention shall be observed." PASTEUR & GALT

There had never been more than five such shops operating in colonial
Williamsburg at one time, and usually there were three. Before they combined
forces, Pasteur and Galt had run two separate apothecary shops as
competitors. All of the city's apothecaries seemed, like them, to be
doctors, but not all doctors were apothecaries. The capital was crowded with
doctors, and competition was intense.

Perhaps Pasteur and Galt looked on the combination of their efforts in the
little business near the Capitol on Duke of Gloucester Street as a likely
way to improve their incomes by reducing their overheads.

In any event, their timing was poor. Six days later the Revolution all but
began in Virginia with the theft of gunpowder from the Magazine. The
partnership was dissolved in 1778, but their reconstructed shop stands today
where the original did. It is stocked and furnished much as it was then,
down to Galt's medical certificates hanging on the walls.

Dr. William Pasteur established his first Williamsburg shop in 1759. He had
apprenticed under Dr. George Gilmer of the town, then studied in London for
about a year at St. Thomas's Hospital.

Dr. John Minson Galt also was a product of St. Thomas's, but he also had
trained under London's eminent Hugh Smith and attended lectures on midwifery
by Colin McKenzie. Galt had been to the College of William and Mary and
later to the University of Edinburgh, but there is no record of what he
studied. He returned to Williamsburg and opened his apothecary in 1768.

Most such establishments had a consultation room and a laboratory. Tools for
preparing and mixing medicines, for bleeding patients, for surgery, for
setting broken bones, and for extracting teeth were close at hand.

But the showplace of the shop was a salesroom with shelves of green glass
vials and an occasional decorative delftware jar. From them came the
compounds and decoctions of the 18th-century pharmacopoeia that would be
rolled into pills and mixed for elixirs. Peruvian bark, chalk, juniper
berries . . .

Most of the mystery and art of the apothecary was in mixing the raw
ingredients of the potions he prescribed, but his stock in trade might range
from groceries to bedpans. The advertisement of another Williamsburg
apothecary, printed in September 1774, promised a fresh assortment of drugs
and medicines in addition to:

"Anchovies, Capers, Allspice, Pepper, Ginger, Best Sallad and Barbers Oil,
Durham Mustard, Sago, Salop, Saltpetre, Cloves, Cinnamon, Nutmegs, Honey,
Lavender, and Orange Flower Waters, Anodyne Necklaces, Court Plaister, White
and Brown Sugar Candy, Barley Sugar, Candied almonds, Carraway Comfits,
Orange Chips, Prunes, Essential Salt of Lemons, which make good Punch, and
takes all Kinds of Stains and Spots out of Linen, &c. Anderson's, Lockyer's,
and Keyser's Pills, Eau de Luce, Hill's Balsam of Honey, Do. Tinctures of
Valerian, Golden Rod, Elixir Bardana, and Essence of Water Dock,
Turlington's Balsam, Godfrey's and Freeman's Cordials, James's Fever
Powders, Bateman's and Jesuit's Drops, British Oil, Stoughton's Bitters,
Blackrie's Lixivium for the Stone and Gravel, Squire's and Daffey's Elixirs,
Dickenson's Drops for Convulsion Fits, Copperas, Logwood, Borax, Birdlime,
Red and White Lead, Verdigrise, Prussian Blue, French and Pearl Barley,
Breast Pipes, Nipple Glasses, Urinals, Smelling Bottles, Tooth Brushes,
Antimony, Brimstone, Spelter, Zink, Rotten Stone, Pewter, Syringes, Lancets,
Crucibles, Black Lead Pots, Pill Boxes, Vials, Gallipots, Glister Pipes,

Galt advertised Keyser's Pills in August 1772 with testimonials from four
dukes and a lord. They cured "Rheumatism, Asthma, Apoplexy, Palsy, Giddiness
of the Head, Dropsey, the Sciatica . . . Diseases of the Eyes . . . and
afforded vast relief in the Gout." They also combated a complaint called
"the Flour Albus" and effectively removed "Every Appearance of a Certain
Fashionable Distemper." Discounts were offered for purchases in quantities
larger than a dozen.

Both doctors prescribed the standard purging, bleeding, and vomiting to
restore health, and both were well regarded.

Among Pasteur's patients was Governor Botetourt. With Dr. John de Sequeyra
of the Public Hospital, he treated Botetourt in his final illness in October
1770. They diagnosed his sickness as "a bilious fever and St. Anthony's
fire." Pasteur remained in practice until 1791.

During the Revolution, Galt became a military surgeon and served as director
of the state apothecary until 1780. In 1795 he became a visiting physician
to the Public Hospital, then was appointed to its court of directors,
serving in both capacities until his death in 1808.