Postponing death, relieving pain, and making money are the principal motives undergirding medical quackery. Most human beings will do almost anything to prolong their existence or to relieve the suffering of disease. Some will do almost anything to exploit these desires by selling what they claim are pain-killing remedies or life-prolonging nostrums. During the days of the Republic of Texas , Texas newspapers regularly advertised Burnham's Drops, Lin's Balm of China, Connel's Pain Extractor, Christie's Galvanic Belt, and many other alleged panaceas. "Thousands are daily quacked , out of comfort, out of temper, out of health, out of money, out of liberty, out of their senses, and finally into their graves," declared one Texan. Humbuggery abounded. The vast territory of Texas made it impossible for trained doctors to serve all families, and there was no convincing evidence that trained doctors provided remedies that were any better than the cheaper nostrums offered by entrepreneurial quacks. Saddlebags easily held pills, or bottles of tonics that often contained large amounts of alcohol and, in some cases, morphine. By the time of the Civil War , ads in the Galveston Weekly ??News touted Hostetter's Stomach Bitters; or Dr. Leroy's French Specific for All Affections of the Urinary Organs, and those Affections Only; or Daly's Aromatic Valley Whiskey for Medicinal Purposes; or Brown's Bronchial Troches; or Sanford's Family Blood Purifying Pills; or Old Sachem Bitters and Wigwam Tonic. Texans imbibed gallons of the tonics and ate tons of the pills, as ads for these and other nostrums appeared again and again in newspapers throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century.


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