#InoculateColonists: Colonial Perspectives on Smallpox Inoculation

by Meagan Schulman*


*
Author’s Note: The title is a play on words based on one of New York’s slogans during the Covid-19 pandemic (#VaccinateNY).

Introduction

Smallpox is the only disease humans can talk about in the past tense that once ravaged colonial towns, sparing no one from its deadly scourge. Unfortunately, this disease had no method of prevention in the ‘New World’ until 1721. It was at this time that inoculation was introduced in colonial Boston.[1] The use of inoculation led to many colonists formulating opinions for or against this terrifying, new medical procedure. As threats of war became evident in colonial America, the threat of smallpox took on a new meaning, as did colonial outlook on the practice. As the colonies came closer to the War for Independence, more colonists began accepting the practice of inoculation. It is this change over time that this paper seeks to track.

Inoculation was a way to prevent getting smallpox the ‘natural way’ (passed on from one individual to another), and it provided those who braved the procedure with lifelong immunity from the disease. Inoculation before the onset of the American Revolution was illegal, so the only prevention against the rapid spread of smallpox was strict quarantine laws. Before inoculation was available, colonists were amenable with the quarantine, with a few outliers who were in favor of inoculation. However, as tensions between those in favor and those against inoculation rose, as well as the impending threat of the revolution, it became clear that a key outbreak of smallpox would have a fatal effect on the outcome of battles and the war itself. As this realization became clearer, more colonists were in favor of the use of inoculation both in war efforts and in daily life.

Inoculation before the onset of the American Revolution was illegal, so the only prevention against the rapid spread of smallpox was strict quarantine laws.

Inoculation was not a practice that was by any means easy to accept. Willingly injecting a deadly disease into a healthy body was what many colonists believed a “certain way to die.” As the American colonies came closer to the revolution, many colonists began to reconsider perceived threats. These perceived threats created the dreaded question of “What is worse: getting smallpox the natural way, getting it from the British as a form of germ warfare, or getting it the inoculated way?” In reality, colonists had no choice but to accept inoculation as a medical practice until the other threats lessened. Three hundred years later, historians are still exploring reasons why inoculation became such a controversy in colonial times.

Historiography

Since 1953 historians have examined the question of colonists’ reactions and opinions on the inoculation controversy. This controversy was whether or not to potentially sacrifice people to this new medical practice. John Blake published an article titled “Smallpox in Colonial Boston,” which analyzed how the constant debate over inoculation led to other questions such as whether or not the clergy were “allowed” to meddle in medical affairs.[2] Blake’s research works in conjunction with Ola Elizabeth Winslow’s 1974 publication A Destroying Angel: The Conquest of Smallpox in Colonial Boston, which centers around the lives of everyday colonists and shows how terrified the people of Boston were of this practice.[3] Winslow simplifies colonists’ fears into two questions: “is inoculation safe?” and “did inoculation give colonists lifelong immunity?”

Smallpox was a disease in which even the most miniscule contagion had the ability to infect a person.

It was these questions that led to a recent wave of medical doctors such as Arthur Boylston and Cynthia Geppert asking the ‘why’ of colonial inoculation.[4] This question was, “why were healthy individuals purposefully injecting themselves with a deadly disease?” The answer, as historian John Duffy would argue in his 1953 work Epidemics in Early America, was that there was no question.[5] Using inoculation data, he shows the reader that the success rate of inoculation was extremely clear to colonists as evident in the growing inoculation rates. Duffy’s evidence is supported by the fact that as the colonists got closer to the revolution, the number of those who were inoculated grew until the uninoculated became a minority. Although Duffy’s clear decisiveness on colonial opinions regarding inoculation is supported by numerous charts and statistics, it lacks the presence of colonial voices that both John Blake and Ola Winslow incorporate.

After understanding the questions everyday colonists had when it came to smallpox inoculation, it is important to turn to the Revolutionaries’ perspective. A question that emerged during this time from both colonists and later historians was, “Were the British attempting to use smallpox as a form of biological warfare?” More specifically, “why did George Washington order all of his troops to be inoculated?” Historians Elizabeth Fenn and Ann Becker both use this assumption to determine that George Washington moved to inoculate his troops as a direct threat of British use of germ warfare.[6] However, as Fenn states in her article “Biological Warfare in 18th Century North America,” unlike other atrocious acts of warfare during this time, “smallpox had the advantage of deniability.”[7] This deniability is what led historians Richard Gabriel and Mary Gillet to cite a different reason for the inoculation of Washington’s troops.[8]

The ability of the disease to lay latent for over a week supported fears that a new recruit could possibly bring down an entire regiment.

The reason these historians were able to deduce a different conclusion to Washington’s inoculation was because of how contagious the disease was. Smallpox was a disease in which even the most miniscule contagion had the ability to infect a person. This was a major issue because of the way smallpox patients would “shed” the disease as the skin would fall off.  Taking into account the fact that the British use of biowarfare cannot be proven, this begs the question of what was the “real” reason behind Washington’s inoculation of troops. To Gillet, who published her work The Army Medical Department 1775-1818, in 2004, the reason Washington inoculated his troops was to prevent an outbreak among the ranks as they travelled. The ability of the disease to lay latent for over a week supported fears that a new recruit could possibly bring down an entire regiment.  Gabriel’s work supports this claim when he states that in 1775 there were “numerous occasions [when] entire campaigns were called off following an outbreak of smallpox among the troops.”[9] Since there was no way of proving that biological warfare occurred, this conclusion is one that is supported more by military historians.

By far, cultural historians have the most variance in their conclusions regarding how other scholars perceived colonial perceptions of smallpox inoculation. Elizabeth Fenn in her 2001 work Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 focuses on individual stories from colonists and their reactions to the devastation that occurred as a result of repeated smallpox outbreaks.[10] Along with Fenn, Margot Minardi focused on colonial perceptions of race during the time of inoculation.[11]  Minardi argues that historians should have focused more on race when researching inoculation due to the 18th century being a time where race distinctions in medicine became commonplace. She concluded that while primary evidence reveals a distinction between races, historians do not acknowledge it to the fullest extent possible. Both Fenn and Minardi dedicate large portions of their respective works to attempting to understand individual colonist perspectives regarding the question of whether or not to inoculate. They determined that those who chose to inoculate only did so because of the perceived threat of getting smallpox the natural way.  However, other historians such as Sara Stidstone Gronim, Amalie Kass and Maxine Van De Wetering fault them for not discussing the extent that colonists had to reconstruct their views of medicine.[12] It was those standards that inspired Gronim and Kass to observe differences between colonists in New York and Boston.

Seeing the positive effect that inoculation had on the British population instead of hearing about the horrors allowed New Yorkers to submit to the practice more willingly.

According to Gronim and Kass, a better framework to observe colonial opinions on inoculation is by understanding how colonists had to reconceptualize modern medicine to accept the practice instead of relying on individual examples. Both accomplish colonial reconceptualization by showing case studies of states. Gronim uses 1730’s New York as a case study to show how colonists were able to reconcile the practice of inoculation and rework it in a way that made it feel safer. Gronim accomplishes this by showing how New York differed from Boston when inoculation first arrived. While Boston’s initial reaction was fear, New York’s first narrative on inoculation was showcasing its success overseas. This action led to trust of the practice and Long Islanders began to inoculate themselves without hesitation. Seeing the positive effect that inoculation had on the British population instead of hearing about the horrors allowed New Yorkers to submit to the practice more willingly. On the other hand, Kass uses 1721 Boston as a case study to show how cultural perception led to widespread fear as colonists could not reconcile their beliefs of the practice. Like Gronim and Kass, Wetering believes other historians have complicated the inoculation debate. What the controversy really was about, was the question of “what was worse: getting smallpox the natural way or getting it the inoculated way?”

Colonial America

Smallpox in 1720’s Boston was not a new phenomenon; however, the presence of inoculation in the ‘New World’ was.

Smallpox in 1720’s Boston was not a new phenomenon; however, the presence of inoculation in the ‘New World’ was. But where did inoculation come from? It was not a practice that originated in America. Inoculation found its beginnings with Muslim, Asian, and African cultures and largely gained the title of a “heathen” practice in the American colonies because of this.[13] The process of inoculation was simple; someone (it was not always a medical professional) would make an incision on the patient’s arm or leg and insert a small amount of the pus from another patient who was infected. This would start an immune response in the patient that after the disease ran its course would provide lifelong immunity.[14] Although this immunity was a benefit, some colonists felt it was not worth the risk. In fact, inoculation required colonists to adapt a whole new reconsideration of the practice of medicine as they were willingly injecting disease into their bodies.[15] This meant that people likely had varying reactions to a practice that undermined everything they had believed before. In the past, colonists had no way to prevent any disease. Instead, they took on a more treatment-based approach that had little to no effect on epidemics such as smallpox.

Colonial Perceptions Against Smallpox Inoculation

The origin of inoculation raised many questions, one of which was “who could be a doctor?” Although eighteenth-century America did not have strict rules on “who” could be a doctor, Scotsman William Douglass had other opinions. As one of the only formally educated medical practitioners, Douglass on numerous occasions warned against trusting both Cotton Mather and Zabdiel Boylston, who pioneered the practice in the colonies.[16] According to historian Ola Elizabeth Winslow, the main problem of medicine in early America “was the lack of uniformly high standards,” as to become a practicing medical professional, all that had to be done was an apprenticeship.[17] This of course does not bring into consideration all that could have been left out in medical training due to shadowing only one individual. This was an important point to Douglass, who felt that Mather was just interfering with medical matters as a “credulous, vain, preacher,” while Boylston was just an accused quack doctor because he was not as formally educated as Douglass.[18] This defamation continued through the next year and through several publications against their names. Douglass went on to say that he would always “exclaim against… that decetable weakness of spreading disease.”[19] The perspective of questioning “who” could be a doctor was one that many formally educated members of the community took when regarding smallpox inoculation. For reference, Douglass was educated in Paris, Utrecht and Leiden where he received his medical degree in 1712. Most others who practiced medicine did not have his extensive education.

The process of inoculation was simple; someone (it was not always a medical professional) would make an incision on the patient’s arm or leg and insert a small amount of the pus from another patient who was infected.

Although the eighteenth century saw an increased role of preachers acting as healers, it was not supported among many.[20] As Douglass noted, there was a certain level of discontent among colonists who believed that a preacher had no business delivering unsolicited medical advice. Many colonists felt that getting smallpox was “God’s punishment for individual and communal sins,” and that inoculating was essentially playing God.[21] To support this, colonists cited the sixth commandment as a reason to not inoculate.[22] The fact that colonists associated inoculation with ‘thou shalt not kill’ reveals much about their perceptions of the practice. Bostonian John Williams in his pamphlet “Several Arguments, Proving that Inoculating the Smallpox is Not Contained in the Law of Physick,” addresses several religious points against smallpox inoculation.[23] At one point Williams exclaims, “Oh! What a fountain of Blood are the Promoters guilty of!” which clearly reveals his opinion on the matter. [24] Colonists also believed that since inoculation was not created by God, or written about in the Bible, it should not be used.[25] Along with fearing the wrath of God, colonists begin to slip into hysteria.

Historian Elizabeth Fenn acknowledges that at this time, smallpox was one of, if not the most feared disease that spread across colonial America.[26] This meant that while under the watchful eye of colonists, Mather and Boylston knew that if even one death occurred as a result of inoculation, the public would be in extreme dismay.[27] This dismay ties into the fact that Bostonians could not comprehend this new practice of medicine as an advancement. Instead, the colonists only saw the fact that someone who was not formally educated as a doctor was purposefully poisoning people.[28] This practice was a stark contrast from the exclusive use of treatments used in the past which led to fears about patient safety.[29] This fear led to colonists attempting to firebomb Cotton Mather’s house at three a.m.[30] Overall, this shows how far colonists were willing to take matters into their own hands regarding their health. To make matters worse, James Franklin, owner of the New England Courant, who was vehemently against inoculation, wrote that the practice was “never done by wise physicians.”[31] This, along with other publications only managed to increase colonist fears.

Colonial Perceptions for Smallpox Inoculation

Inoculation at its inception in the colonies led to many colonists believing that it was either allowing certain death, or a way to get punished by God.

After witnessing how devastating smallpox could be in Colonial America, inoculation provided a welcome relief for those who had faith in the practice. For some, like William Cooper it did not matter the manner in which he had the disease as it was “still the work of God.”[32] For others, it was the fear of getting smallpox the natural way which pushed them to inoculation.[33] Both Mather and Boylston state that this practice granted those inoculated with smallpox in the “gentlest manner imaginable.”[34] Along with a less intense version of smallpox came a lower death toll. Boylston, and later historian John Duffy confirm that the death rates from inoculated smallpox were significantly lower than those who had caught the disease naturally.[35] A large reason that colonists in Boston did not see the reduced death rates and therefore begin to support inoculation was because of the fear that was generated by publications in the area.

On the other hand, local publications played a large role in colonial New York to garner support for inoculation when it became available. The first publications on smallpox inoculation that New York had were published in the Gazette. This 1728 publication was on the success of smallpox inoculation in England.[36] The immediate success of this practice led to a different kind of reconsideration of medicine than colonial Boston had. This led to a 1730 publication that printed instructions for inoculation after the death rates began rising in the colony.[37] Because of this, colonists in New York began inoculating themselves and their families, even without medical professionals, without the mass hysteria that Boston faced. As historian Sara Gronim states, the reason for New York’s success with inoculation was “an urgent threat, a set of clear instructions, and the concrete local experience of its efficacy.”[38] While inoculation in the colony did stop following the declining cases of the 1747 outbreak, it was because of its success that other colonists were beginning to see its value.[39]

Provincial Americas Colonial Perspectives on Smallpox Inoculation

As more data was released surrounding the inoculation of smallpox and its success, there began to be a transitional period where colonists as well as their governments were more accepting of it. In 1772 colonist Richard Starke addressed this exact issue in a publication of the Office of Authority of a Justice of Peace. Starke posed the question of whether or not inoculation should be considered a nuisance to society. In the end, Starke acknowledged that people had the right to do anything that made them feel comfortable without repercussions.[40] This acknowledgment shows a huge contrast from previous years where inoculation was strictly forbidden. It is in this period where inoculation slowly begins to be used because colonists began to fear getting smallpox the natural way more than they feared inoculation.

The practice was new, untried, and nothing like colonists had ever relied on before.

This premise is present in the laws of the colonies at this time. 1738 South Carolinians saw a fine of five hundred pounds if they were caught giving or receiving inoculation.[41] In 1764 Georgia and Massachusetts both enacted strict laws forbidding inoculation. If these laws were broken, there would be large fines in place.[42] However, as smallpox began spreading rapidly across the nation, some colonies began to alter their laws. In 1765 the Georgia Session amended their previous act and set a timeframe where inoculation would be allowed in the colony. The act stated that “[i]f at any time it shall be thought expedient during the continuance of this act, to admit inoculation, then it shall be lawful…”[43] This change became normal in colonial America as more colonists feared getting smallpox naturally.[44] As well as Georgia’s change towards supporting inoculation, middle colonies such as Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey were more lenient in their laws surrounding the practice. These colonies saw the presence of inoculation hospitals, with more colonists participating.[45] The first of these inoculation hospitals were erected in Boston in the 1760’s with a strict opening and closing date, where a few physicians were granted permission to inoculate colonists who chose to participate.[46] However, just because some colonial governments erected inoculation hospitals did not mean they were supported extensively among colonists. Extreme rejection of inoculation led to one inoculation hospital in Marblehead, New England getting razed to the ground, while others were burned entirely.[47]

In the past, colonists had no way to prevent any disease. Instead, they took on a more treatment-based approach that had little to no effect on epidemics such as smallpox.

As more information was published on inoculation, more colonists participated in the practice. In 1730, inoculation in Massachusetts reached four hundred people and began gaining support. Even William Douglass, who had forcefully opposed inoculation, began to use it in his practice in the 1730’s, stating that “we may confidently pronounce that those who have had … inoculation, never can have the small-pox again…”[48] In 1752, and 1764 that number rose to 2,190 (13.9 percent of the population) and 4,977 (32 percent of the population) respectively.[49] An 18 percent increase in inoculation is no small number, which is why after gaining the support of medical professionals, colonists soon began to acknowledge other reasons to inoculate.

One of these reasons was the looming threat of war. Smallpox was endemic in Europe, which allowed many British soldiers to be immune once in the colonies.[50] This was worrisome to colonists who began to fear that the British might use this fact to their advantage. Ben Franklin, unlike his older brother James, became a key advocate for inoculation of smallpox. In 1736, after rumors that his son died of inoculation went public on the matter, Franklin stated that his son’s death was in fact not a result of inoculation and began promoting the practice once more. He stated:

Tis a current report, that my son Francis, who died lately of the smallpox, had it by inoculation… I do hereby since declare, that he was not inoculated… I suppose the repost could only arise from its being my known opinion, that inoculation was a safe and beneficial practice.[51]

 His advocacy continued into 1759 when he stated that inoculation helped trade remain stable as compared to previous smallpox outbreaks, when trade suffered significantly.[52] As a result of Franklin, and other key advocates such as William Douglass, and Dr. Heberden (another colonial Doctor), this period saw a large transition from fear to acceptance and controlled use of inoculation to prevent smallpox outbreaks.

Revolutionary Americas Colonial Perceptions on Smallpox Inoculation

On top of repeated smallpox outbreaks across the colonies, colonists now had to deal with the Revolutionary War and the consequences that came from it. In a letter to John Adams, Abigail Adams wrote that “the dissolution of war is not so distressing as the havoc made by the pestilence.”[53] Since the colonies had strict laws regarding when or even if colonists could inoculate, it was during this time when many colonists went behind the backs of their colonial governments and began to inoculate in secret (some even in the army). Fear rose to a point where the Continental Army had no other choice than to inoculate everyone who enlisted.

After witnessing how devastating smallpox could be in Colonial America, inoculation provided a welcome relief for those who had faith in the practice.

At the time of the outbreak of the revolution, laws were still transitioning to regulate inoculation instead of prohibiting the practice. Both Massachusetts and Virginia passed laws regulating inoculation of smallpox in 1776 and 1777 respectively. However, this regulation, which set a timeframe of a few weeks where inoculation became legal, still left many colonists unprotected during a majority of the year. To combat this, many colonists began to inoculate in secret.[54] This signals a key change in colonial perception of inoculation. To go behind the backs of a government they were now fighting for shows the fear the colonists had over getting smallpox the natural way. Many colonies such as Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut all had locations where colonists gathered and could be secretly inoculated without their governments knowing.[55] While many of these personal accounts have not survived due to the secrecy of the practice, Josiah Sabin’s account has. Sabin recounts that while stationed in Quebec, he would obtain smallpox from the hospital and begin to inoculate fellow soldiers in secret. To protect his identity, he would have his subjects blindfolded when they came in and left the room. Unfortunately, Sabin was caught by General Arnold, who would have forced punishment for his actions. However, Colonel Warner agreed with Sabin’s actions and protected him from consequences.[56] While the fear of getting smallpox naturally hit individual colonists hard, it was detrimental to the Continental Army.

The fear of smallpox spreading among recruits aided George Washington’s decision to order inoculation. By the time Washington took over the Continental Army, only twenty-five percent of recruits were immune from smallpox either by inoculation or childhood immunity.[57] This meant that the remaining recruits were susceptible. These men became so fearful of getting the smallpox naturally that it led to enlistments declining. In a letter from George Washington to Patrick Henry, Washington stated that “I am induced to believe that the apprehensions of the Small pox & its calamutious consequences, have greatly retarded [e]nlistements.”[58] Along with this, fear of smallpox also increased the number of people who deserted.[59] At one point in 1775 a startling fifty-five percent of troops were unable to march due to an outbreak of smallpox.[60] And yet, anxiety about protecting his troops was not the only reason why Washington later made the decision to inoculate his troops.

A large reason that colonists in Boston did not see the reduced death rates and therefore begin to support inoculation was because of the fear that was generated by publications in the area.

One major reason that caused George Washington to push inoculation was the threat of germ warfare. For colonists, especially those in the army, getting smallpox was bad, but getting it as a result of the British weaponizing it was substantially worse. Rumors of the British use of biological warfare began as early as 1775.[61] Even though biological warfare cannot be proven, the colonists’ fears were not unfounded.[62] Not only did the British use it against Native Americans during the Seven Years’ War, but they also infected and then sent 700 African Americans into the Continental Army as a way to infect them.[63] Once fears of biological warfare spread, the desire to use inoculation skyrocketed. Colonists soon began sending letters to each other warning of the possibility of germ warfare. In a letter to John Adams, Joseph Ward wrote that “the smallpox is now spreading.” He echoed the concerns of many when he wrote that he “conceive[d] the enemy have a design to spread it into our army,” yet he assured Adams of his “hope [that] our precautions will defeat all their malicious designs.”[64] Ward was relying on inoculation as a way to prevent the devastation that he feared the British intended.

Such fears led to Washington enforcing inoculation in his ranks. He was not alone in his anxieties. As early as January 1777, the Continental Congress was recommending George Washington make inoculation a requirement to protect the number of troops eligible to fight.[65]

As more information was published on inoculation, more colonists participated in the practice.

Less than two weeks later, Washington, evidently in agreement, wrote to John Hancock expressing his fears of the continuous spread of the pestilence. He wrote, “the smallpox has made such a head in every quarter that I find it impossible to keep from spreading thro’ the whole army in the natural way.” To combat the fear, Washington decided to “not only innoculate all the troops now here,” as a surefire way to diminish the spread, but he also went on to mandate “Shippen to innoculate the recruits as fast as they come into Philadelphia,” to prevent outsiders from bringing the disease back into the Continental Army.[66] One month following this, Washington posted a circular to the Colonels of Various Continental Regiments ordering them to “march all recruits you have to Philadelphia, where they will be inoculated.”[67]  The inoculation of troops during the American Revolution shows that the fear of getting smallpox the natural way eclipsed fears of dying from inoculation.

Conclusion

Three hundred years later, historians are still exploring reasons why inoculation became such a controversy in colonial times.

Inoculation at its inception in the colonies led to many colonists believing that it was either allowing certain death, or a way to get punished by God. The practice was new, untried, and nothing like colonists had ever relied on before. At the same time, smallpox was a disease that spared no one, and repeated outbreaks left colonies vulnerable. This is why colonists had to face the question of “What was worse: getting smallpox the natural way or getting smallpox through inoculation?” The change in perception of inoculation over time was a direct result of perceived threats. When smallpox arrived in 1721, colonists were more fearful of death by inoculation over natural smallpox. As the smallpox epidemic wore on and colonists became weary, they began to reassess the threat of smallpox. As it became clear that the colonies would go to war with Great Britain, there began a transition to favor the practice of inoculation. While the Revolution was in full force, colonists began to support inoculation over the fear of getting smallpox the natural way. But what happened when the threat was gone?

As more and more people got immunity from inoculation and the battles of the American Revolution began to die down, perceptions on smallpox inoculation once again changed. It was no longer an urgent rush to inoculate everyone en masse, but rather on a needed basis. At first, inoculation was halted in the army following the end of the war. This was precautionary and done to prevent the spreading of the disease when new recruits arrived.[68] Outside of military requirements, talk about inoculation moved to the peripheral. No longer were there riots against the practice or hospitals burned to the ground, but rather a cautious colonial acceptance. This preventative medicine became such a common occurrence that during a small outbreak in 1792, John Quincy Adams stated that a “general inoculation has taken place,” where “ten thousand people [were] under its operation.”[69] It is impossible to understand how each individual colonist felt about smallpox inoculation, but it is clear that the perceived threat of inoculation substantially decreased by the time the last shot of the American Revolution was fired.


Notes

[1] This process is now referred to as ‘varioation;’ however the literature of the time reflects the use of the term ‘inoculation’.

[2] John Blake, “Smallpox Inoculation in Colonial Boston.” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 8, no.3 (July 1953): 284-300.

[3] Ola Elizabeth Winslow, A Destroying Angel: The Conquest of Smallpox in Colonial Boston, (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1974).

[4] Arthur William Boylston, Defying Providence: Smallpox and the Forgotten 18th Century Medical Revolution, (South Carolina: CreateSpace Publishing, 2012), Cynthia Geppert and Reid Paul. “The Shot that Won the Revolutionary War and is Still Reverberating.” Federal Practitioner 36, no.7 (2019): 298-299.;There has been a recent wave of medical doctors wanting their share of medical history. These works tend to focus on individual rights and free will as compared to colonist’s fear. It would be unsurprising to see an increase in research done by both medical doctors and historians after the COVID-19 pandemic due to the debate over the vaccine. In-fact many of these publications follow a trend of following a pandemic. For instance, the 1953 publications follow the polio epidemic, the 1980 publications follow the AIDS epidemic and the 2000’s publications follow the SARs CoV epidemic.

[5] John Duffy, Epidemics in Colonial America, (Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1953).

[6] Elizabeth A. Fenn, “Biological Warfare in Eighteenth-Century North America: Beyond Jeffery Amherst,” The Journal of American History 86, no. 4 (2000): 1552-580, Ann Becker,“Smallpox at the Siege of Boston: ‘Vigilance against the most dangerous Memory,’” Historical Journal of Massachusetts 45, (2017): 43-75. This became a perceived threat after Amherst began distributing blankets infected with smallpox to the Native Americans as a way to kill them.

[7] Fenn, “Biological Warfare,” 1564.

[8] Richard A. Gabriel, and Karen S. Metz, A History of Military Medicine Vol. II. From the Renaissance through Modern Times, (New York: Greenwood Press, 1992), Mary Gillett, The Army Medical Department 1775-1818, (Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History United States Army, 2004).

[9] Gabriel and Metz, Military Medicine, 108.

[10] Elizabeth A. Fenn, Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82, (New York: Hill and Wang, 2001).

[11] Margot Minardi, “The Boston Inoculation Controversy of 1721-1722: An Incident in the History of Race,” The William and Mary Quarterly 61, no.1 (January 2004): 47-76.

[12] Amalie Kass, “Boston’s Historic Smallpox Epidemic,” Massachusetts Historical Review 14 (2012):1-51; Sara Stidstone Gronim, “Imagining Inoculation: Smallpox, the Body, and Social Relations of Healing in the Eighteenth Century,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 80, no. 2 (Summer 2006): 247-268; Maxine Van De Wetering, “A Reconsideration of the Inoculation Controversy,” The New England Quarterly 58, no.1 (March 1985): 46-67.

[13] Kass, “Boston’s Historic,” 32; Duffy, Epidemics, 29; Minardi, “An Incident in Race,” 66.

[14] Fenn, Pox Americana, 32.

[15] Kass, “Boston’s Historic,” 31, Cotton Mather introduced this radical idea in 1721 after gaining information from his slave who had undergone the process before coming to America. For more information on Colonial perceptions on sickness read Ola Winslow’s A Destroying Angel.

[16] Ibid., 17.

[17] Winslow, Destroying Angel,1-2.

[18] Kass, “Boston’s Historic,”19.

[19] Douglass, William, The Abuses and Scandals of Some Late Pamphlets in Favour of Inoculation of the Small Pox, Modestly Obviated, and Inoculation Further Considerd in a Letter to A- S- M.D. & F.R.S. in London. [Three Lines of Verse]. 2331. Franklin, James, 1697-1735, printer., 1722. (Early American Imprints): 9.

[20] Winslow, Destroying Angel,12. Most of the time these preachers were not educated in medicine, which contributed to colonial unease of their medical advice.

[21] Kass, “Boston’s Historic,” 3.

[22] Kass, “Boston’s Historic,” 31.

[23] John Williams, 1664-1729. Several Arguments Proving, That Inoculating the Small Pox Is Not Contained in the Law of Physick, Either Natural or Divine, and Therefore Unlawful. Together with a Reply to Two Short Pieces, One by the Rev. Dr. Increase Mather, and Another by an Anonymous Author, Intituled, Sentiments on the Small Pox Inoculated. And Also, a Short Answer to a Late Letter in the New England Courant.  By John Williams. [Ten Lines of Scripture Texts]. 2307. Franklin, James, 1697-1735, printer., 1721. (Early American Imprints)

[24] Williams Several Arguments,2.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Fenn, “Biological Warfare,” 1558-9.

[27] Boylston, Defying Providence, 85.

[28] Kass, “Boston’s Historic,” 14.

[29] Winslow, Destroying Angel, 9,78.

[30] Kass, “Boston’s Historic,” 29.

[31] James Franklin, TheNew England Courant “‘Since in Your Last Courant You Was Pleased to Say, That Both Anti-Inoculators and Inoculators Should Be Welcome to Speak Their Minds in Your Paper…’” MHS Collections Online:http://www.masshist.org/database/632. Number 20, 11-18 December 1721.

[32] William Cooper, A Letter to a Friend in the Country, Attempting a Solution of the Scruples and Objections of Conscientious or Religious Nature, Commonly Made against the New Way of Receiving the Small-Pox.  By a Minister in Boston. [Eight Lines of Scripture Quotations](Early American Imprints):7

[33] Fenn Pox Americana, 28. Though it was not known by colonists at the time, Smallpox in Britain was endemic which meant it was essentially a childhood disease which gave lifelong immunity. It was not the case in America.

[34] Increase Mather, Some Further Account from London, of the Small-Pox Inoculated. With Some Remarks on a Late Scandalous Pamphlet Entituled, Inoculation of the Small Pox as Practisd in Boston, &c. By Increase Mather, D.D.,4. (Early American Imprints)

[35] Zabdiel Boylston, Zabdiel Boylston 1679-1766., Historical Account of the Small-Pox Inoculated in New-England, upon All Sorts of Persons, Whites, Blacks, and of All Ages and Constitutions. With Some Account of the Nature of the Infection in the Natural and Inoculated Way, and Their Different Effects on Human Bodies. With Some Short Directions to the Unexperienced in This Method of Practice. Humbly Dedicated to Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales,  by Zabdiel Boylson, F.R.S., 3259 (Gerrish, Samuel, d. 1741, bookseller., 1730), (Early American Imprints):.iii; Duffy Epidemics,36. Boylston’s numbers were 5759 (natural)- 844 (dead), and 286 (inoculated)- 6 (dead).

[36] Gronim, “Imagining Inoculation,” 252.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Ibid.,253.

[39] Ibid.,264. Inoculation did not stop because of fear but rather it was no longer needed to curb the spread of smallpox.

[40] Richard Starke, “The office and authority of a justice of peace explained and digested, under proper titles. To which are added, full and correct precedents of all kinds of process necessary to be used by magistrates; in which also the duty of sheriffs, and other publick officers, is properly discussed. By Richard Starke, Esquire.“ (Williamsburg: Printed by Alexander Purdie and John Dixon.,1774), (Early American Imprints)::268-9.

[41] Fenn Pox Americana, 39

[42] Georgia Session Laws May 1764, “ Acts passed by the General Assembly of Georgia, at a session begun and holden at Savannah, on Saturday the 26th day of May, anno Domini 1764 … and from thence continued by several adjournments to the 29th day of May 1764, being the fourth session of this present Assembly,” (Savannah: Printed by James Johnston.,1764), (Early American Imprints): 3,4; Blake “Inoculation in Col.,” 289.

[43] Georgia Session Laws March 1765, “Acts passed by the General Assembly of Georgia, at a session begun and holden at Savannah, on Tuesday the 20th day of November, anno Domini 1764 … and from thence continued by several adjournments to the 25th day of March 1765, being the first session of this present Assembly,” (Savannah: Printed by James Johnston.,1765), (Early American Imprints):53.

[44] Blake, “Inoculation in Col.,” 291.

[45] Fenn Pox Americana, 40.

[46] Blake, “Inoculation in Col.,” 291.

[47] Fenn, Pox Americana, 38.

[48] William Douglass, A Dissertation Concerning Inoculation of the Small-Pox. Giving Some Account of the Rise, Progress, Success, Advantages and Disadvantages of Receiving the Small Pox by Incisions Illustrated by Sundry Cases of the Inoculated. 3274. (Henchman, Daniel, 1689-1761, bookseller., 1730):17.

[49] Duffy, Epidemics, 36; City of Boston Archives and Records Management Division. City Census records, 1820-1855 with gaps. .https://www.cityofboston.gov/images_documents/Guide%20to%20the%20City%20Census%20records_tcm3-20688.pdf . This census has a historical note stating the population number before the start of the official census.

[50] Fenn Pox Americana, 27-8.

[51] Benjamin Franklin, “On the Death of His Son, 30 December 1736,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-02-02-0025. (Original source: The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, vol. 2, January 1, 1735, through December 31, 1744, ed. Leonard W. Labaree. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961):154.

[52] “Preface to Dr. Heberden’s Pamphlet on Inoculation, 16 February 1759,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-08-02-0073. (Original source: The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, vol. 8, April 1, 1758, through December 31, 1759, ed. Leonard W. Labaree. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1965): 281–286.

[53] “Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams,” 25 September, 1775, Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive, Massachusetts Historical Society, http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/.

[54] Blake, “Inoculation in Col.,”293.

[55] Fenn, Pox Americanai, 94; This page also provides a list of all the towns connected to the states where these inoculations occurred.

[56] John C. Dann, ed., The Revolution Remembered: Eyewitness Accounts of the War for Independence, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980):19; Ann Becker, “Smallpox in Washington’s Army: Strategic Implications of the Disease during the American Revolutionary War,” The Journal of Military History 68, no.2 (April 2004): 414-5.

[57] Geppert and Paul, “The Shot that Won,” 298.

[58] “From George Washington to Patrick Henry, 13 April 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-09-02-0142. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, vol. 9, 28 March 1777 – 10 June 1777, ed. Philander D. Chase. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1999, pp. 146–148.]

[59] Becker, “Washington’s Army,” 383.

[60] Gabriel and Metz, Military Medicine, 108.

[61] Fenn Pox Americana, 89.

[62] Fenn, “Biological Warfare,” 1564,73.

[63] Becker, “Washington’s Army,”400; Fenn, “Biological War,” 1573.

[64] “To John Adams from Joseph Ward, 3 December 1775,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/06-03-02-0178. (Original source: The Adams Papers, Papers of John Adams, vol. 3, May 1775 – January 1776, ed. Robert J. Taylor. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979): 342–345.

[65] “To George Washington from William Shippen, Jr., 25 January 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-08-02-0163. (Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, vol. 8, 6 January 1777 – 27 March 1777, ed. Frank E. Grizzard, Jr. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998):,156–159.

[66] “From George Washington to John Hancock, 5 February 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-08-02-0268. (Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, vol. 8, 6 January 1777 – 27 March 1777, ed. Frank E. Grizzard, Jr. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998): 249–253.

[67] “Circular to the Colonels of Various Continental Regiments, 12 March 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-08-02-0590. (Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, vol. 8, 6 January 1777 – 27 March 1777, ed. Frank E. Grizzard, Jr. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998): 556.

[68] “General Orders, 19 April 1781,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/99-01-02-05453.

[69] “John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams, 2 September 1792,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/04-09-02-0170. [Original source: The Adams Papers, Adams Family Correspondence, vol. 9, January 1790 – December 1793, ed. C. James Taylor, Margaret A. Hogan, Karen N. Barzilay, Gregg L. Lint, Hobson Woodward, Mary T. Claffey, Robert F. Karachuk, and Sara B. Sikes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009, pp. 303–304.]

 

Bibliography

Primary

Adams, Abigail, “Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams,” 25 September 1775, Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive, Massachusetts Historical Society, http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/.

“John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams, 2 September 1792,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/04-09-02-0170. [Original source: The Adams Papers, Adams Family Correspondence, vol. 9, January 1790 – December 1793, ed. C. James Taylor, Margaret A. Hogan, Karen N. Barzilay, Gregg L. Lint, Hobson Woodward, Mary T. Claffey, Robert F. Karachuk, and Sara B. Sikes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009, pp. 303–304.]

Boylston, Zabdiel, 1679-1766. Historical Account of the Small-Pox Inoculated in New-England, upon All Sorts of Persons, Whites, Blacks, and of All Ages and Constitutions. With Some Account of the Nature of the Infection in the Natural and Inoculated Way, and Their Different Effects on Human Bodies. With Some Short Directions to the Unexperienced in This Method of Practice. Humbly Dedicated to Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales,  by Zabdiel Boylson, F.R.S. 3259. Gerrish, Samuel, d. 1741, bookseller., 1730. https://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:EAIX&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0F30158085401208&svc_dat=Evans:eaidoc&req_dat=FBE4AFBA400642DF861ADE9ED811C9BF.

City of Boston Archives and Records Management Division. City Census records, 1820-1855 with gaps. https://www.cityofboston.gov/images_documents/Guide%20to%20the%20City%20Census%20records_tcm3-20688.pdf .

Cooper, William, 1694-1743. A Letter to a Friend in the Country, Attempting a Solution of the Scruples and Objections of Conscientious or Religious Nature, Commonly Made against the New Way of Receiving the Small-Pox.  By a Minister in Boston. [Eight Lines of Scripture Quotations]. 2247. Kneeland, Samuel, 1697-1769, printer., 1721. https://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:EAIX&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0F3015663A2FA140&svc_dat=Evans:eaidoc&req_dat=FBE4AFBA400642DF861ADE9ED811C9BF.

Douglass, William, 1691?-1752. A Dissertation Concerning Inoculation of the Small-Pox. Giving Some Account of the Rise, Progress, Success, Advantages and Disadvantages of Receiving the Small Pox by Incisions Illustrated by Sundry Cases of the Inoculated. 3274. Henchman, Daniel, 1689-1761, bookseller., 1730. https://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:EAIX&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0F30144B427FB988&svc_dat=Evans:eaidoc&req_dat=FBE4AFBA400642DF861ADE9ED811C9BF.

The Abuses and Scandals of Some Late Pamphlets in Favour of Inoculation of the Small Pox, Modestly Obviated, and Inoculation Further Considerd in a Letter to A- S- M.D. & F.R.S. in London. [Three Lines of Verse]. 2331. Franklin, James, 1697-1735, printer., 1722. https://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:EAIX&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0F30158249114A00&svc_dat=Evans:eaidoc&req_dat=FBE4AFBA400642DF861ADE9ED811C9BF.

Franklin, Benjamin, “On the Death of His Son, 30 December 1736,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-02-02-0025. (Original source: The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, vol. 2, January 1, 1735, through December 31, 1744, ed. Leonard W. Labaree. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961):154.

— “Preface to Dr. Heberden’s Pamphlet on Inoculation, 16 February 1759,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-08-02-0073. (Original source: The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, vol. 8, April 1, 1758, through December 31, 1759, ed. Leonard W. Labaree. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1965): 281–286.

Franklin, James, The New England Courant “‘Since in Your Last Courant You Was Pleased to Say, That Both Anti-Inoculators and Inoculators Should Be Welcome to Speak Their Minds in Your Paper…’” MHS Collections Online:http://www.masshist.org/database/632.

“General Orders, 19 April 1781,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/99-01-02-05453.

Georgia Session Laws May 1764, “Acts passed by the General Assembly of Georgia, at a session begun and holden at Savannah, on Saturday the 26th day of May, anno Domini 1764 … and from thence continued by several adjournments to the 29th day of May 1764, being the fourth session of this present Assembly,” (Savannah: Printed by James Johnston.,1764): 3,4

https://infoweb-newsbank-com.eu1.proxy.openathens.net/iw-search/we/Evans/?p_product=EAI&p_theme=eai&p_nbid=S55I4CGHMTYxODM1OTk0NC45NTY2NjoxOjE0OjE4OC45Mi4xMzguMTkz&p_action=doc&p_queryname=9&p_docref=v2:0F2B1FCB879B099B@EAIX-0F2F81C80EF642E0@41446-@1-101A645F89884308&f_mode=printCitation

—  March 1765, “Acts passed by the General Assembly of Georgia, at a session begun and holden at Savannah, on Tuesday the 20th day of November, anno Domini 1764 … and from thence continued by several adjournments to the 25th day of March 1765, being the first session of this present Assembly,” (Savannah: Printed by James Johnston.,1765):53, https://infoweb-newsbank-com.eu1.proxy.openathens.net/iw-search/we/Evans/?p_product=EAIX&p_theme=eai&p_nbid=S55I4CGHMTYxODM1OTk0NC45NTY2NjoxOjE0OjE4OC45Mi4xMzguMTkz&p_action=doc&p_docnum=13&p_queryname=9&p_docref=v2:0F2B1FCB879B099B@EAIX-0F2F81C5D0536D98@41541-@1&f_mode=citation

Mather, Increase, 1639-1723. Some Further Account from London, of the Small-Pox Inoculated. With Some Remarks on a Late Scandalous Pamphlet Entituled, Inoculation of the Small Pox as Practisd in Boston, &c. By Increase Mather, D.D. 2259. Edwards, John, d. 1725, bookseller., 1721. https://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:EAIX&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0F2F830655724F88&svc_dat=Evans:eaidoc&req_dat=FBE4AFBA400642DF861ADE9ED811C9BF.

Shippen, Jr., William,“To George Washington from William Shippen, Jr., 25 January 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-08-02-0163. (Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, vol. 8, 6 January 1777 – 27 March 1777, ed. Frank E. Grizzard, Jr. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998):,156–159.

Starke, Richard, “The office and authority of a justice of peace explained and digested, under proper titles. To which are added, full and correct precedents of all kinds of process necessary to be used by magistrates; in which also the duty of sheriffs, and other publick officers, is properly discussed. By Richard Starke, Esquire.“ (Williamsburg: Printed by Alexander Purdie and John Dixon.,1774):268-9 https://infoweb-newsbank-com.eu1.proxy.openathens.net/iw-search/we/Evans/?p_product=EAIX&p_theme=eai&p_nbid=V63X5AEVMTYxODM1NjM1Ny45NDY3ODoxOjE0OjE4OC45Mi4xMzguMTkz&p_action=doc&p_docnum=15&p_queryname=7&p_docref=v2:0F2B1FCB879B099B@EAIX-0F301427D8FDACB0@13637-@1&f_mode=citation.

Ward, Joseph, “To John Adams from Joseph Ward, 3 December 1775,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/06-03-02-0178. (Original source: The Adams Papers, Papers of John Adams, vol. 3, May 1775 – January 1776, ed. Robert J. Taylor. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979): 342–345.

Washington, George, “From George Washington to John Hancock, 5 February 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-08-02-0268. (Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, vol. 8, 6 January 1777 – 27 March 1777, ed. Frank E. Grizzard, Jr. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998): 249–253.

–“From George Washington to Patrick Henry, 13 April 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-09-02-0142. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, vol. 9, 28 March 1777 – 10 June 1777, ed. Philander D. Chase. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1999, pp. 146–148.]

–“Circular to the Colonels of Various Continental Regiments, 12 March 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-08-02-0590. (Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, vol. 8, 6 January 1777 – 27 March 1777, ed. Frank E. Grizzard, Jr. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998): 556.

Williams, John, 1664-1729. Several Arguments Proving, That Inoculating the Small Pox Is Not Contained in the Law of Physick, Either Natural or Divine, and Therefore Unlawful. Together with a Reply to Two Short Pieces, One by the Rev. Dr. Increase Mather, and Another by an Anonymous Author, Intituled, Sentiments on the Small Pox Inoculated. And Also, a Short Answer to a Late Letter in the New England Courant.  By John Williams. [Ten Lines of Scripture Texts]. 2307. Franklin, James, 1697-1735, printer., 1721. https://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:EAIX&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0F2FD4CD4B3AFC18&svc_dat=Evans:eaidoc&req_dat=FBE4AFBA400642DF861ADE9ED811C9BF.

Secondary

Becker, Ann.“Smallpox at the Siege of Boston: ‘Vigilance against the most dangerous Memory,’” Historical Journal of Massachusetts 45, (2017): 43-75.

— “Smallpox in Washington’s Army: Strategic Implications of the Disease during the American Revolutionary War,” The Journal of Military History 68, no.2 (April 2004): 381-430.

Blake, John. “Smallpox Inoculation in Colonial Boston.” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 8, no.3 (July 1953): 284-300.

Boylston, Arthur William. Defying Providence: Smallpox and the Forgotten 18th Century Medical Revolution. South Carolina: CreateSpace Publishing, 2012.

Duffy, John. Epidemics in Colonial America.Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1953.

Fenn, Elizabeth A. “Biological Warfare in Eighteenth-Century North America: Beyond Jeffery Amherst,” The Journal of American History 86, no. 4 (2000): 1552-580.

—  Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82. New York: Hill and Wang, 2001.

Gabriel, Richard A. and Karen S. Metz.  A History of Military Medicine Vol. II. From the Renaissance through Modern Times, (New York: Greenwood Press, 1992), Mary Gillett, The Army Medical Department 1775-1818. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History United States Army, 2004.

Geppert,Cynthia, and Reid Paul. “The Shot that Won the Revolutionary War and is Still Reverberating.” Federal Practitioner 36, no.7 (2019): 298-299.

Gronim, Sara Stidstone. “Imagining Inoculation: Smallpox, the Body, and Social Relations of Healing in the Eighteenth Century,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 80, no. 2 (Summer 2006): 247-268.

Kass, Amalie. “Boston’s Historic Smallpox Epidemic,” Massachusetts Historical Review 14 (2012):1-51.

Minardi, Margot. “The Boston Inoculation Controversy of 1721-1722: An Incident in the History of Race,” The William and Mary Quarterly 61, no.1 (January 2004): 47-76.

Van De Wetering, Maxine. “A Reconsideration of the Inoculation Controversy,” The New England Quarterly 58, no.1 (March 1985): 46-67.

Winslow, Ola Elizabeth. A Destroying Angel: The Conquest of Smallpox in Colonial Boston. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1974.


Meagan Schulman is a graduate student in the M.A. History program.