The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin on July 26, 1959 · Page 11
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The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin · Page 11

Racine, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 26, 1959
Page 11
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Page 11 article text (OCR)

Cotton Mather Versus fhe Smallpox Weather Forecast Map for the Urtited States (Continued from Page I) to instruct tiie medical profession. The physicians, probably upon Douglass' advice, decided •gainst the method. Mather persisted and one doctor, Zab- dlel Boylston, in total opposition to his confreres, decided to accede to Mather's proposal. On June 26 he inoculated his young son and two of his slaves. Several days later a small number of other persons underwent the treatment. Douglass flew up in arms. He fiercely opposed Mather's sponsoring of inoculation, based as it was only on the reports of two little-itnown Turkish doctors and on the testimony of some uneducated slaves. There was the added hazard that the inoculated patients would become a source of further spread of the epidemic. Surely it would be irresponsible to permit inoculation on the say-so of a mere layman. Mather was indignant. Had n't his interest in medical problems always been more than casual? Hadn't he even at one time contemplated becoming a physician? Above all, was he not an instrument of the Lord burdened with the responsibility of watciiing over and protecting his flock? The two men had much in common, and there was much that separated them. Well educated and literate, with wide and varied interests, theyl^y- were both imbued with a sense of the importance of their callings. Mather, aging, deeply conservative, was well established; Douglass, young, liberal, if not radical, was a newcomer, an interloper. Mather was in the eyes of Douglass a bigoted, pompous, vain old man; Douglass was to Mather presumptuous. The bitterness with which they fought one another contributed greatly to the discomfiture of the stricken town. The Feud Is On The news of Boylston's Inoculations was received with such indignation that the doctor felt compelled to justify his actions in an advertisement in the Boston Gazette. The "new Practice." Boylston averred, had come well recommended by "Gentlemen of Figure and Learning" and had been embarked on by him for the good of the public. And, "for Encouragement," he assured the reader that if he were inoculated he need not fear having pockmarks and scars on the face or ever having smallpox again. On July 21 the selectmen and His Majesty's justices of the peace called a meeting at the Town House at which Boylston was confronted by other physicians. The practitioners were overwhelmingly opposed to Inoculations and in a strongly worded statement declared it to be fraught with peril for the patient and likely to prove of "most dangerous Consequence" to the welfare of the community since it tended to spread and perpetuate the infection. Boylston was ordered by the authorities to desist from further inoculations. Backed by Mather and other members of the clergy, he defied the inter- Capture Shark by Frisco Beach SAN FRANCISCO — i/Pi ^ Two fishermen—a father and son—-Saturday netted a 12-foot shark similar to the one which klHtd an IS-year-old swimmer outside the Golden Gate in May. The shark, weighed 700 pounds, was caught off the coast of Marin County, north of the Golden Gate, within 100 yards off Indian Beach, a favorite spot for swimmers. William Fairbanks, attendant at Tomales Bay State Park, Immediately issued a warning for swimmers to stay in shallow water and to be on the alert. Anthony Konatich and his son, Felix, commercial fisher men, dropped drift nets for striped bass Friday night. They found the big shark struggling In the net Saturday morning. Felix said he caught two 500-pounders in the same net last year. Churchill Arrives ot Copri in Yacht ISLE OF CAPRI —m^ Sir Winston Churcliill arrived at Cupri Saturday aboard the yacht Christina, owned by Greek shipowner Aristotle Onassis. Another guest aboard was soprano Maria Meneghini Cillas. Cotton Mather still diction. He inoculated other persons. The opposing factions carried their feud into the newspapers. The opening blast came from Douglass. In a letter to the Boston News-Letter he called Boylston ignorant and illiterate and accused him of rashness, negligence, and lack of consideration. Promptly Boylston's clerical friends came to his defense. Cotton Mather and his father, Increase Mather, and four other ministers — the "Inoculation Ministers," as they came to be known — repudiated the charges agaihst their protege and called upon the people of Boston to "treat one another with decency and of his inoculated patients died. In August there had been 26 deaths, in September 101, in October over 400. Indignation against Boylston and Mather turned into rage. On November 14 a lighted bomb was thrown into Mather's house, but the fuse came off and it failed to explode. Although this assault was generally condemned, the controversy continued in what has been called the "War of Pamphlets." Also, Douglass renewed his attack upon inoculation and its clerical sponsors by recalling the persecution of the Quakers and the hanging of the Salem "witches," blemishes on the ministers' escutcheons that time had not blotted out. The Mathers answered in kind. Support From England Then, however, came news from London to warm the hearts of the inoculators. In England, too, there occurred in 1721 a severe outbreak of smallpox, and there, too, inoculation found an impetuous lay advocate. But the advocate, far from being another stern Puritan divine, was one of the most broad-minded, charming women of the age, an earl's daughter, a poetess who quarreled in verse with Alexander Pope. Ever since she had accompanied her husband on a diplomatic mission to Turkey, where .she had become ac­ tion was of Lady Mary's crusade j the inoculation of the daughters of the Prince and Princess of Wales. In Boston the epidemic gradually spent its force and tempers cooled. When a final evaluation of inoculation was made it appeared in a more favorable light. Of over 240 persons inoculated during the epidemic six had died, a ratio of one in 40. Among the rest of the population the mortality was about one in six. Smallpox acquired by inoculation was apparently often less severe and mortality from it less high than when acquired "in the common way." That inoculation had its merits even Douglass acknowledged, and when several years later there was a new outbreak of smallpox in Boston he loo availed himself of it. But he never gave up his contention that Mather and Boylston had acted injudiciously and irresponsibly. With improvement in its techniques, inoculation gained increasing favor as a method for the prophylaxis of smallpox until it finally, nearly 80 years later, gave way to Jennor's magnificent discovery of vaccination. KACffm itTMOAT BinLlfittlf .Inly M, 19B9 See. 1, Page 1] Chind Says U.S. Plane Violated Its Air Space TOKYO — (i ^n— Peiping Radio claimed a U.S. Navy patrol plane Intruded In Chinese Communist air space over Yungh- sing and Shih Islands of the Paracels In the East China Sea Saturday. It said a Chinese Communist foreign affairs spokesman was authorized to issue the "60th serious warning against military provocation" by an American military aircraft. Rain is expected today in the Carolinas, Florida, eastern Gulf states, southern Ohio Valley, northern part of lower Mississippi Valley, southern Plains, western pai*l of central Plain.s. upper Mississippi Valley and the area of the .south and cenlral Rocky Mountain states to the .Sierra Range. It should be cooler over the northern and cenlral Plains; slightly warmer in the Lakes region. Puerto Rico Observes Commonwealth Day SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—(-1') —Puerto Rico celebrated Saturday the .seventh anniversary of its U. S. commonwealth istatus. The day of festivities jeconomir progrcf."?. Gov. Luis , , , , , JMunoz Marin reviewed the pa uiciuded a massive parade, l , , Authorities estimated .10,000:"'""R ^'^^^ ^S- officials turned out in this capital to watch the parade featuring floats portraying the island's and (lelcgallons from Venezuela, Cuba. Honduras, Haiti, Su rinam and Liberia, siiiie%vij huyera fimmcii their TH SIDE m Mflmhur r.D.I.O. charity, meekness and humili-LuaJnied ^jij, inoculation and Ail the while the epidemic took on greater dimensions. Was this not. people asked themselves, in consequence of Boylston's and Mather's unholy doings? Boylston was molested and insulted on the streets by "the vulgar." Even "sober, plus people" declared he ought to convinced of its merits, it had been Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's ambition to bring "this useful invention into fashion in England." In the 1721 epidemic she asked Charles Maitland. the physician who four years earlier had inoculated her young son in Constantinople, to perform the operation now on her be treated as a murderer if any I little daughter. The culmina It was no fun then, either. An old drawing of a vaccination against smallpox, three quarters of a century after Cotton Mather's time. 4 JONES HARDWARE DEPT. 31S SIXTH ST. PHONE ME 2-2724 For your Gardening Pleasure NOW—jobs that used to take hours con be done in minutes! , . . safely, easily, and electrically with the all new . . . ... Silex "ESTATE" ELECTRIC Trimmer-Edger TRIMS hord-to-get-at placet before you con even toy "jock rabbit." 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