Smallpox in Boston: A Complex Affair

THU, NOV 18, 2004 (35:29)

Professor emeritus Philip Cash lectures on the history of the smallpox epidemic in Boston. The debate surrounding Smallpox inoculation in Boston began in 1721 when an epidemic struck the town. The Reverend Cotton Mather attempted to convince physicians to try the then controversial practice of inoculation, without success. In 1800, Benjamin Waterhouse, a Harvard professor of medicine, became the first person to test the smallpox vaccine in the United States. His first test subject was his 5-year-old son Daniel whom he infected with a sample of cowpox sent from England.

+ BIO: Philip Cash

Philip Cash received his PhD from Boston College and is Professor Emeritus at Emmanuel College. He has written extensively on medicine in Colonial Massachusetts.

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