Ben Franklin


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.

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