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Dr. Zabdiel Boylston/smallpox/Increase & Cotton Mather/
Posted by: Janice McCarty (ID *****5429) Date: April 20, 2003 at 16:29:28
  of 33482

Dr. Zabdiel Boylston performed the first inoculations in Boston for the smallpox problem. He was opposed by all the other doctors in the city, but encouraged by the clergymen, Increase and Cotton Mather. He inoculated his own two sons, ages six and thirteen, then some 240 others........this was the outbreak in 1721 when more than half of the population of Boston was infected.

Another epidemic happened in 1752 with more than a third of the city's population infected, but over 2,000 were inoculated by then and the loss was very small amongst them, which showed that Dr. Boylston and the Mathers had been right.

Depending on how you broke out after the inoculation, you would be three to four weeks in isolation followed by rest in a room with no visitors allowed.... When John Adams was inoculated in 1764, he described it like this: 'Dr. Perkins used his lancet to divide the skin on his left arm for about a quarter of an inch, waited for the blood to appear, then buried a thread infected with smallpox in the open cut. Lint was laid over the scratch, then a piece of rag, then a bandage. They were given red and black pills [unknown ingredients] and put in the house where ten inoculated men were quarantined.....he said he had a short shivering fit and a succeeding hot glowing fit, a want of appetite and 8 or 10 smallpox, two on the face....When he returned to his Home, he was locked in a room in his mother's house-[to further recover and not spread it around].'

Dr. Boylston was Abigail Smith's cousin and great uncle to her husband John Adams, who became the second President of the United States and the first Vice President.

*Info from the book by I. Stone called Those Who Love- chapter 13/14.

Does anyone know the lineage of this Dr. and where he fits into the Adams line exactly?


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