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natural produce and such like things. I have minutes of all these as they from time to time fall under my own observation, or from very good vouchers. I expect from you returns of the same nature; but pray send nothing but what is exactly true and fact; take nothing from credulous people. If from the Governor's favor you can contrive a method of Franking our letters, our correspondence may be more full and more frequent. My humble service to Dr. Johnson, Captain Kennedy and our good friends. I am Your most humble servant,
WIL. DOUGLASS. P. S. If Governor Burnet make a progress to the great falls this summer, as I am informed he hath some design, it is probable your curiosity may send you along with him, and you may bring back something worth communicating.
DR. CADWALLADER COLDEN, New-York.
Boston, July 28th, 1721. DEAR SIR, Yours by Mr. Nicols I received; I thank you for your account of the state of the Barometer and Thermometer at Philadelphia part 1717 and part 1718. I continue to keep a journal of the winds and weather and shall yearly transmit you the same. My simpling or botanizing is lost by reason of the small-pox; about middle of April last from Barbadoes via Saltertudas we had the distemper imported here; it was kept under strict confinement till middle of June, then broke loose and spreads moderately (it is now nineteen years since we had it in Boston last); by lucky-chance my first patient was an intricate case and her recovery gained me some credit so that at present my hands are full which diverts me from all amusements. I keep an account of all intricate incidents and shall freely communicate them to you. I have now a prospect of being well acquainted with the mazes of that distemper, having at present a large share of that practice and there are seven or eight thousands expectants of that disease in Town. The general and most common sort is the cohe
rent depressed sort accompanied with a salivation; some have the distinct, a few the confluent sort. The late noise of inoculation I refer to the Boston News letter.
Excuse my not touching on any other subject at pres-
Boston, May 1st, 1722. DEAR SIR, Yours of the twelfth of March last I received, and the inclosed to Captain Kennedy I forwarded by a ship which sailed in a few hours after the receipt thereof; your letter concerning the Indians I lent to a news writer that he might extract something for the public, but not with a design of inserting it at length, there being some words in it which ought to have been omitted ; however in time coming write me freely. It shall be safe unless you give me some innuendo that it may be public; your reasons against inoculation of the small-pox are strong, and I return you thanks for the communication. Having the opportunity of my good friend Mr. Relf I could not neglect writing and your present entertainment shall be the general history of our small-pox in 1720 in Boston, and the inoculation thereof, without descending to particulars. I have by me some practical observations relating to the history, and method of cure in this distemper which if desired shall candidly communicate, providing you give a large allowance for the imperfections of a young practitioner; circiter eighty have died with purple Spots and profuse hemorrhage which cases I have particularly noted; the cases of the inoculated as far as I have been able to learn and of which I am assured of for fact, being either eye witness or from good information, shall also in due time communicate.
Letters from Dr. William Douglass
After nineteen years intermission we received via Saltertudas from Barbadoes the small-pox, middle of April 1721, and by the January following it was nearly over, having affected only Boston and two or three adjacent Towns, which demonstrates that no condition of air &c can produce the small-pox without some real communication of infection from a small-pox illness. At first it makes but small progress, the month of May proving a cold wet month and the infected houses being shut up and guards set over them; about the change of the moon, middle of June, it spread so much that the watches being of no use were removed, of this first parcel very few died; beginning of July another and large parcel taken down whereof severals die, thus in the beginning they were taken all in distinct parcels at about sixteen or eighteen days distance from seizure to seizure; but when the infection became universal this could not be so distinctly observed. Hence I made this remark, that the more decumbents, the infection was the more intense (abstracting from the influence of the weather and season v. g. in October though a fine Autumn month, was the time of the greatest decumbiture and mortality) and more died than in proportion to the number of the sick. My second remark is, I have frequently observed all along our sick time, that if one of a family by some accidental infection was taken down, it proved generally sixteen or eighteen days thereafter before the rest of the family were ill (if the infection was received at home). I shall not pretend to account for this only I observe first that about the eighth, ninth or tenth day of decumbiture, the small-pox pustules begin to crack run and smell, the infection then perspiring and making its way abroad; secondly, that the inoculated generally begin to sicken the seventh or eighth day from their inoculation; and of those who were taken ill of the small-pox at sea, having received the infection ashore, none, so far as I can learn exceeded nine or ten days being from home.
Our small-pox burials were as follows, May 1; June 8; July 20; August 26 ; September 101; October 402; November 249; December 31; January 6; in all 844 persons in Boston. Last February an exact scrutiny was
made, it was found that Boston consisted of 10,565 souls whereof 6000 have now had the small-pox and of those 899 dyd; about 700 who never had it escaped and a few who remained in the country are free of it.
Having, sometime before the small-pox arrived, lent to a credulous vain preacher Mather, Jr., the Philosophical Transactions No. 339 and 377 which contain Timonius' and Pylermus' accounts of Inoculation from the Levant; that he might have something to send home to the Royal Society who had long neglected his communications as he complained; he sets inoculation to work in month of June; by 18th of November one hundred were inoculated, and by January in all some few more than 250 in Town and Country. Whereof some have been inoculated oftener than once before it took effect; with some it never wrought; they all complained much of head disorders, even with those who had but very few and these imperfect pustules their incisions grew up in a few days as in common superficial wounds of the skin; but about the seventh or eighth day generally they begin to complain (some few sooner or later), are feverish, their incisions inflame, open, and discharge profusely with a peculiar noisome fetor, and continue running some weeks after their small-pox pimples are dried up and they abroad about their affairs infect wherever they go (this spreading the infection and consequently rendering it more intense is a great objection against inoculation practised at random in a place whose greatest part of the people are liable to the distemper). We all knew of nine or ten inoculation deaths besides abortions that could not be concealed, we suspect more who died in the height of the small-pox, it being only known to their nearest relations whether they died of inoculation or in the natural way; some had the confluent kind, many were very full of a distinct kind, some had a large red burrow round every pustule, in some they appeared like red face pimples, but not of a determined round as in the natural distinct sort, some like the Chicken Pox, others so free and without pus, that they can scarce be said to have had the small-pox, in some the running of their incision sores has been troublesome many months and endangered the loss of limbs, with some
there still remains a crusty scab which falls and returns on the place of incision. Many have had a good genuine distinct kind. What the consequences may be and if some of them may not be liable to the small-pox in the natural way, time only can determine. But to speak candidly for the present it seems to be somewhat more favourably received by inoculation than received in the natural way. I oppose this novel and dubious practice not being sufficiently assured of its safety and consequences; in short I reckon it a sin against society to propagate infection by this means and bring on my neighbor a distemper which might prove fatal and which perhaps he might escape (as many have done) in the ordinary way, and which he might certainly secure himself against by removal in this country where it prevails seldom. However many of our clergy had got into it and they scorn to retract; I had them to appease, which occasioned great heats (you may perhaps admire how they reconcile this with their doctrine of predestination); the inclosed pamphlets which unwillingly I was obliged to publish, may inform you more at large of the controversy, they were calculated for New York,* and I am afraid will scarce bear reading anywhere else. Our People at present are generally averse to it.
Favour me with the nature and cure of that distemper you call “ pain in the side” in New-York, as also of your dry Belly ache; my service to all friends. I am Your obliged humble servant
WIL. DOUGLASS. - To CADWALLADER COLDEN, New-York.
Boston, 25th July, 1722. DEAR SIR, Having the opportunity of our good friend Captain Kennedy I thought myself obliged to pay my respects to you in writing. The accounts of our late Indian disturbances and the procedure of the Government in that affair,