African slave, Onesimus, smallpox inoculation, Zabdiel Boylston

Smallpox Attacks 18th Century Boston; George Washington Risks Inoculating Troops

Wails and delirium of the dying and the putrid stench of smallpox seep from the windows and billow from the doors. They flood the streets of Boston and rise to fill the spaces between the living. Leeching or bleeding the patient do nothing to block death's invasion. Fear has the city in its vise. Every…

World Health Organization smallpox eradication medallion,

38 Years Ago Today Smallpox Declared Eradicated

Today, May 8, 2018 is the 38th anniversary of the World Health Organization's proclamation of a smallpox-free world. The photo above is the commemorative medallion presented to my husband for his part in eradicating that terrifying scourge. I'm posting this brief note before my next regular post just to mark that moment in time. An…

Inoculation Proves its Worth; Mozart Gets Smallpox as Dad Says No Inoculation

1717. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, feminist wife of Britain's ambassador to Ottoman Empire, is stunned by the Turks' means of conferring immunity against smallpox, inoculation/variolation with smallpox. Having been earlier ravaged by the disease herself, Lady Mary is passionate about this discovery and fights to get the practice adopted in England. 1767. Mozart gets smallpox. By…