The Speckled Monster: The Disease Of Smallpox

1356 Words6 Pages
The Speckled Monster detailed the process of battling the disease of Smallpox. The story centered on the activities of Mary Wortley Montagu in England who brought the process of vaccination from Turkey to England. At the same time that she was performing her trials of vaccination in England. Zabdiel Boylston in Boston was performing his own inoculations against the disease after an outbreak of the disease in the city. Mary turned to inoculation out of her own fears. She had been stricken with the disease which had robbed her of her considerable beauty. The beauty that she had used to make her way into the personal court of King George I. When her husband was appointed the ambassador to the Ottoman Empire she encountered the local practice of…show more content…
The smallpox entered the city through H.M.S. Seahorse which brought the disease to the city on April 27, 1720. The Seahorse brought small pox from the West Indies. The Seahorse which was a frigate under the authority of its Captain Thomas Durell ignored quarantine regulations and docked in the harbor. After docking the crew was released on liberty. Several of the crewmen were sick with the disease and proceeded to spread it to the population of the city. Boston unlike London was isolated from the disease due to its location in North America. The population of the city was small at the time and was unable to provide a consistent population to make the disease endemic. This was not the case in London which had regular outbreaks of the disease. This made the population of Boston particularly susceptible to the…show more content…
Boylston had suffered through the disease early in his medical career and was therefore immune to the disease. Following the instructions of Reverend Mather’s letter Boylston infected his sons with smallpox through the variolation method of inoculations. From this small start he began to inoculate friends and those that sought him out. This would eventually include reverend Mather’s son. The response to his practice was hostility by the population which saw him as spreading the disease instead of fighting it. Eventually a mob would attack his home. He also came into conflict with Dr. Douglass. This led to a confrontation between the two in a meeting of the town’s selectmen. During the confrontation Boylston was forced to accept a settlement that would prevent him from inoculating patients. The struggle however was also played out in newspaper articles published by each of them in the local newspapers. Dr. Douglass was particularly vicious in his attacks. With the help of Reverend Mather Boylston would eventually publish a book describing the process of inoculation. As the outbreak of the disease continued Boylston would resume his inoculations. This would lead him to inoculate the son of the chief lawyer for the crown in New England. With this inoculation Dr. Boylston was free from threats of prosecution for performing the

    More about The Speckled Monster: The Disease Of Smallpox

      Open Document