Description

    Facts Connected with the Life of James Carey whose eccentrick [sic] habits caused a postmortem examination by Gentlemen of the Faculty; to determine whether he was Hermaphroditic: with Lithographed Drawings made at their request. (Philadelphia: James Akin, 1839), eight numbered pages, color frontispiece with two additional color plates showing anatomical details, and one plate reproducing the certificate signed by doctors attesting to the accuracy of the report, 8vo (5.75" x 8.25"), quarter leather over marbled boards, inscribed by the author to (and the personal copy of) James M. Porter who was secretary of war under President John Tyler. This book details the reclusive life, work habits, grooming, and personality of James Carey, an Irish-born immigrant living in Philadelphia as a man. His autopsy is the focal point and is introduced with the following poem:

    "Facts reveal'd by Goddard's knife,
    Sheds light upon the M.D. strife,
    (For centuries contended.)
    That Nature constant in her plan,
    Immutable in forming man,
    The sexes pure intended.

    But Carey's form, outré and strange!
    Discloses a most awful change;
    Where virile organs dwell.
    Defect of ducts, of glands, and muscle
    Brains of Physiologists puzzle,
    To solve the mystic spell!"

    Akin goes on to say in this present volume: "...may, perhaps, be useful to elucidate if not confirm the hypothesis, that hermaphroditic characters exist." James Akin, the author and artist, was a well-known copperplate and wood engraver, caricaturist, and designer. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina but spent most of his life in Philadelphia where he exhibited at the Philadelphia Academy. This interesting and important medical treatise exhibits only light effects of its age in the form of toning and foxing; the binding is tight. Our research has failed to disclose a copy ever sold at auction.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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