Josiah Howell Culver's
Admission Exam for the U. S. Navy
From Dr. Echols' Collection
process for admission to the Navy Medical Corps in relation to medical
following is the translation of the original hand-written application exam
for the Navy with period
spelling and mistakes.
Biography for Josiah Howell Culver:
born in the town of Brookhaven, county of Suffolk and state of New York on
the 10th day of September 1837.
assuming a common school education I spent two years and six months at
Clinton Academy in Easthampton Long Island. I there studied Latin, read
Caesar and Virgil. I began Greek and went through the Greek reader. I also
studied Algebra, Geometry, Natural + Mental Philosophy, Rhetoric, Chemistry
beginning of spring of 1857 I commenced the study of medicine in Brookhaven
with Dr. E. P. Jarvis. And the autumn of the same year I entered the
University of New York Med. Dep’t. and took my first course of lectures; in
the spring returned th th th th if to Brookhaven and continued for a year
under the tuition of Dr. Jarvis.
March 1859 I went to New York again and became a pupil of Dr. P. A. Aylette.
I attended the spring, summer and autumn courses of lectures at the
University and visited Bellevue + New York hospitals daily. I spent the
next winter in New York and graduated at the University of New York in the
spring of 1860.
went into private practice at Huntington L. I. While in practice I
compounded and put up my own prescriptions. Last August I was examined by a
medical board in New York and was admitted as an acting assistant surgeon in
the army. Since that time I have resided in the United States General
Hospital David’s Island New York where I have been treating gun-shot wounds,
typhoid fever, diarrhœa dysentery and other diseases incident to soldiers.
staying at the La-Pierre house in this city.
address is U.S. Hospital David’s Island New York.
in Writing to be answered, by Dr. Josiah H. Culver
What are the symptoms, cause + treatment of Internal Hemorrhoids?
Describe the mode of tying the umbilical cord.
Write a formula, (Latin) for compound Cathartic pile, without symbols, or
Name four preparations of iron.
What is the pathology and treatment of Arthritis?
Diagnosis and prognosis in Diphtheria.
What are the great organs of the circulation.
What is the great sympathetic nerve.
What is chemistry.
The symptoms of Internal hemorrhoids are pain and a burning sensation above
the anus, a feeling of weight or tension in the groin and testicles. During
defecation there will be an increase of the pain with tenesmus and if the
disease be of long duration the hemorrhoids will be protruded as soft
vascular tumors; there will also be hemorrhage of a bright red color.
Sometimes the hemorrhage is the first symptom. The most frequent cause is
constipated bowels, congestion of the liver or anything which obstructs the
portal circulation will produce it. A violent attack of dysentery may cause
The treatment consists in regulating the bowels by laxatives, by which a
mixture of sublimed sulphur + bitartrate of potash is one of the best.
Daily injections of ice water are beneficial, also astringent injections, as
solutions of acetate of lead or sulphate of zinc. After each evacuation
from the bowels, if the tumors are protruded, they should be washed,
anointed with on ointment of powdered galls and opium, and returned into the
bowel. If these means fail to effect a cure, the hemorrhoids should be
extirpated by means of the ligature or
After the child has been expelled from the mother and breathes, the cord
should be examined to ascertain if it may contain any portion of the bowel.
It should then be tied tightly at the distance of three or four inches from
the abdomen with a piece of tape or other cord with a double reef knot. The
cord is then divided on the distal side of the ligature.
Hydrargini Submuriatis grana decem
Pulveris Rhei grana quindecem
Extracti Nucis Vomicur granum anum
Misce, fiat in pillulis sex.
4th. Tinctura Ferri muriatis
Syrupus Ferri Iodidi
5th. Arthritis is on
inflammation covering the cartilages of incrustation and lining of the
cavities of joints; this inflammation may extend to the fibrous tissue
surrounding the joint. The results of the inflammation is an effusion of
serum within the cavity of the joint. Plastic material is seldom effused
into a joint. If the disease be not checked suppuration may follow,
together with ulceration of the cartilages of incrustation and caries of the
extremities of the bones.
Arthritis should be treated by keeping the affected part at perfect rest in
an elevated position. A saline cathartic should be given an [sic] the
patient put upon low diet. Leeches must be applied to the joint followed by
evaporating lotions or warm fomentations as may agree best with the
patient. After the acute symptoms have subsided, a succession of blisters
may be applied to the joint and then it may be painted over with Tincture of
Iodine. Iodide of potassium with Syrup of sarsaparilla may be administered
6th. The principle diagnostic
symptom in Diphtheria is the diptheritic exudation which forms on the
tonsils and posterior surface of the fauces. This exudation is of a dirty
grayish color. It is soon cast off and the mucous membrane is seen dark and
bleeding. The exudation is soon renewed however to be again thrown off, and
this process is frequently repeated. Meanwhile the diptheric deposit
spreads. It extends down the larynx to trachea into the lungs; through the
oesophagus into the stomach and bowels, and upward into the nasal cavities.
I have seen it on the conjunctiva in cases where I believe every mucous
membrane in the body was affected by it. The discharge from the nose and
the mouth have a gangrenous odor. The pulse is very frequent and feeble,
and there are the general symptoms of blood poisoning.
The prognosis is very grave unless the
disease be seen by the physician in the very beginning and in some epidemics
of the disease, many of the cases will die under any treatment.
The heart, systemic arteries, capillaries and veins, and the pulmonary
arteries, capillaries and veins.
8th. The great sympathetic
nerve is a chain of ganglia, composed of gray, granular, nervous material,
situated upon the vertical column. These ganglia are connected with each
other, and with the cranial and spinal nerves by filaments of white
medullary matter. They give branches to all that great nervous plexuses.
Chemistry is the science which treats of the relations which the ultimate
atoms of matter bear to each other, and of the laws which govern them.
Josiah H. Culver.
of Physical Capacity
declare on honor that, my health at this time is good and robust; and to the
best of my knowledge and belief, I am free from any accidental or
constitutional defects, and without any predisposition to Epilepsy, Phtisis,
Gout, Apoplexy, or any chronic disease of any kind.
not at present affected with varicocele, disease of the urinary organs,
hernia, hemorrhoids; nor am I aware that there is anything hereditary in my
constitution which would hereafter be likely to incapacitate me for the
arduous duties of a medical officer of the navy.
All my organs of sense are without imperfection.
Josiah Howell Culver
Naval Asylum} Candidate for the office of
March 3rd } Assistant Surgeon in the navy
1863 } of the United States