Smallpox

A History

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About the Book

Scientifically known as Variola major, the deadliest form of smallpox has plagued mankind since “time immemorial.” This text chronicles the worldwide effects of the killer disease, with particular emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries, including the devastations of the “speckled disease” during great armed conflicts. Specific attention is paid to the development and utilization of Dr. Edward Jenner’s vaccination, chronicling the anti-vaccination movement, the evolving concept of compulsory vaccination and the global march toward eradication. Legal and moral challenges, the National Vaccine Institute, the treatment of American Indians and African Americans, immigrants, the often bloody quarantine battles, germ warfare, superstitions and home remedies are addressed from the historical perspectives of those who lived through and those who died of this scourge.

About the Author(s)

S.L. Kotar of St. Louis has been writing (together with J.E. Gessler) for more than four decades, beginning with scripts for television’s Gunsmoke.
The late J.E. Gessler lived in St. Louis.

Bibliographic Details

S.L. Kotar and J.E. Gessler
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 432
Bibliographic Info: 42 photos, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6823-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9327-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

 1. Smallpox “from time immemorial” 3

 2. Enter Inoculation 11

 3. Smallpox in the New World 24

 4. Cotton Mather and Smallpox Inoculation in the American Colonies 33

 5. “This Distemper Is the King of Terrors”: Smallpox and the American Revolution 39

 6. The Father of Immunology 46

 7. “This inestimable discovery” 53

 8. “The state of medicine is worse than that of total ignorance” 58

 9. The Battle for Vaccination in the Early Years of the Republic 64

10. Testimonies to the High Value of Esteem 70

11. Compulsory Vaccination 75

12. The Health and Well-Being of the General Populace 86

13. The Vaccine Institution and Beyond 101

14. The American Indian Vaccination Act 109

15. Quarantines and Death Statistics 116

16. The Quarantine Wars 125

17. The Contagion of Smallpox 137

18. The Blue, the Gray and the Speckled 143

19. The Last Full Measure of Devotion 157

20. The Non-Eradication of Smallpox in England 167

21. The Franco-Prussian War and the Smallpox Pandemic of 1870–1874 173

22. Case Studies of Misdiagnosis 184

23. Smallpox: Variola, Varioloid and Vaccinia 191

24. The Hoffman Block Outrage and Other Stories 204

25. Smallpox in Canada and England Through the 1880s 212

26. “Providence does a great deal for us, the city fathers nothing” 224

27. Of Rags and Railroads 237

28. School Boards Win Some and Lose Some 246

29. Anti-Vaccination Hysteria in Great Britain 257

30. Incidence of Smallpox Worldwide Up to the 20th Century 262

31. New Century, Old Problems 275

32. Vaccination Creeds, Homeopathic Pills and Lettuce 289

33. Vaccination is Un-American 298

34. As the World Turns—The Continuing Scourge 308

35. Soldiers, the Law and Old-Fashioned Smallpox 330

36. International Public Health 343

37. A New Biological Philosophy 356

38. The Decade of the 1970s—Conflicting Reports 370

39. Stamping Out Smallpox 377

A Glossary of Medicine in the 19th Century 387

Chapter Notes 395

Bibliography 412

Index 419

Book Reviews & Awards

“Highly recommended”—Choice; “Recount[s] the history of smallpox, its spread, effects, and the medical, political, and moral issues of combating the disease around the world”—Reference & Research Book News.