Panacea Mania I

David Claypoole Johnston (American, 1798–1865)

Catalogue Raisonné

Karolik (1962) cat. 418


Sheet: 20.8 x 33.7 cm (8 3/16 x 13 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Pen and ink; brush and colored washes on paper

Not On View


Americas, Prints and Drawings



Two quacks in tall hats left, prescribing “cure-alls” for crowd of waiting patients; woman with sick child the last patient.


Remarks inscribed in balloons: Why friend your / arm is badly broken / and does not appear / to be half bound; No the Doctor's / just put it up in / boards for the present; That doctor's such a / d-d liar. I don't know / whether to take this stuff or / not . Tho' he says it'll make my face as smooth / as a paring stone.; Doctor I don't know / what's the matter with / my poor sick Fidel - I put / a collar on him t'other night / & he hasn't been well since; Night's a bad time to / put on a collar ma'am / the system being then in / a morbid state - it al-/ways bring on a / cholera a morbus.; What! not recovered / yet friend!!; No - but I am in / hopes this doctor can / recover me - he has / recovered a great many / I'm told; yes he has recovered / a great many - / old books; I say, I lost one of my glarers at Bunker hill / do you think he can recover it?; yes to be sure - why he made my / marie see what never had no / eyes at all.; Doctor say dat / one bottle make me / white as ivory folding tick.; What an odd volume / of smoke comes from it.; T Curra a-me only / tin sucks - toes coming already - shiver my / timbers if I didn't / think it was nothing / but beige water; oh my belly; Don't cry marmy's pet / you'll make your nose as /dirty as a - paste bowl, & / your eyes as gummy / as a glue pot


Maxim Karolik, Newport; Gift to MFA September 21, 1960

Credit Line

Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Watercolors and Drawings, 1800–1875