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Nope, it’s NOT all online

There’s a really interesting statute that was passed by the Mississippi legislature in 1819, dealing with the licensing of physicians and surgeons.

None of us, The Legal Genealogist included, tend to think of medical licensing going back that far, but — poking around in the early Mississippi laws in anticipation of the seminar of the Mississippi Genealogical Society on Saturday1 — the law is quite clear that, in Mississippi:

if any person or persons in this state shall, from and after the time this act takes effect, presume to set him or themselves up surgeon as a physician or surgeon, and shall positively practice, without having previously received a license from the board of medical censors, organised in conformity to “An act, to regulate the admission of physicians and surgeons to the practice of medicine and surgery in the state of Mississippi,” passed the twelfth day of February, 1819, he or they shall, for every such offence, and on conviction thereof, pay a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, recoverable before any court having competent jurisdiction of the same.2

The person bringing the complaint could get half of the fine, and the Board of Medical Censors was supposed to meet twice each year to determine who could and couldn’t practice.3

And it’d be really neat to read that “An act, to regulate the admission of physicians and surgeons to the practice of medicine and surgery in the state of Mississippi,” passed the twelfth day of February, 1819, wouldn’t it?

Except for one little problem.

The digitized version of this particular volume, digitized by Harvard University and online at Google Books, doesn’t include pages 409-417, containing all or parts of chapters 80-91 of The Revised Code of the Laws of Mississippi… 1823. Including, if the index to the volume is correct, the section we’d like to read with that 1819 act.

missing

Oh, you can look at HathiTrust, if you’d like, and you can look an Internet Archive as well. There’s no alternative version of this book on either of those digitized services either.

Now there’s no doubt there are print versions of the 1819 act in law libraries all across the United States.

But if you’re looking for that one statute, sitting at home at 3 a.m. in your bunny slippers, the fact that it’s only been digitized once, by one library, and is online from one service, means the answer is not going to be found.

It’s simply Not All Online.

Not when it comes to records.

Not even when it comes to the laws.


SOURCES

  1. Come on out and join us! Walk-ins are welcome at the Clyde Muse Center, Hinds Community College, Rankin Campus, in Pearl, with doors opening at 8 a.m., this Saturday, January 31st.
  2. Chapter 92, The Revised Code of the Laws of Mississippi… 1823 (Natchez: Francis Baker, 1824), 418; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 26 Jan 2016).
  3. Ibid., §§2-3.
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