Martha Jefferson Randolph’s Recipe for Medicinal Use of Coal for Mary House Gilmer

the charcoal should be taken fresh from the fire and the moment it is cool enough beaten to an impalpable powder and sifted through fine muslin. when, immediately put in to a phial and corked tight, as exposure to the air destroys it’s virtue. if the coal has been dead any time it must be thrown in to the fire and heated red hot before it is beaten. 1 or 2 heaping tea spoons full thrown in to as much cold water as will be necessary to mix it, say ½ glass taken before breakfast, in the middle of the day, and again at night before going to bed, continued 1, 2, or 3 days as the case may require I have allways found an infalible remedy against my sick headach particularly if taken upon the first symtom it is given in doses of a table spoon full sometimes when it proves gently aperient. I recommend it with the greater boldness My dear Mrs Gilmer from having felt it’s benificial effects upon my own health in all cases proceeding from acidity of the stomach or dyspepsia from any cause. I believe it is sovereign. it mixes better if thrown in the water and shaken round by a circular moti[on] of the hand and swallowed whilst in a state somewhat ressembling1 effervescence. it is getting in to general practice use to be the north and has even be found of wonderful efficacy in a desperate billious case where all other remedie[s?] had failed. that you may derive the same benefit from the use of it, that I have my self experienced, is My dear Mrs Gilmer2 one of the best as it is the sincerest wish for your comfort of your affectionate friend

M Randolph

My love to Mr Gilmer Emma, and all my friends little and big not forgetting William.

RC (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); conjectural date based on deaths of Dr. John C. Ragland and Mary Southall, mentioned in the covering letter, Elizabeth Trist to Mary House Gilmer, 30 Jan. [1824]; edge trimmed.
1Manuscript: “ressemblig.”
2Manuscript: “Mrs the Gilmer.”
Mary House Gilmer
Date Range
January 30, 1824