I am reading a biography of Benjamin Franklin. Ben was the quintessential American, probably the first one. I like him. Not as much as the Aniston GQ cover this month but, still, I like him.
Small pox struck on a regular basis during Ben’s time, killing quite a few children. The idea of inoculation was first raised by a slave, who talked about effective it had been in Africa. He didn’t get much attention until Cotton Mather took up the cause and pushed for inoculation. Cotton was a political leader and a church minister in Boston and was a key figure behind the witchcraft hysteria in Salem. He believed in witches. So, a guy who believed in witches pushed for inoculation as small pox prevention. The mind boggles.
Well, inoculation was not a slam dunk. Many people opposed it. At the time Boston had 10 doctors but only on actually had a medical degree. The one with the medical degree was opposed to inoculation. Mind boggles some more.