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 diseases in modified forms, is most probable. An early historian says of this region, “Men and women keep their complexions, but lose their teeth. The falling off of their hair is occasioned by the coldness of the climate.” He enumerates the diseases prevalent here in 1638: “Colds, fever and ague, pleurisies, dropsy, palsy, sciatica, cancers, worms.” Consumption is not mentioned! We apprehend that the health of our fathers was unusually good. There is scarcely mention of any epidemic. A new climate, poor food, scanty clothing, necessary exposure, hard work, unskilful physicians, may, in some cases, have caused desolating disease to do its rapid work of death; but, as a general fact, health prevailed through the first fifty years. 1764: With reference to the prevalence of smallpox in Medford, we find the following vote: “That a fence and gate be erected across the main country road, and a smokehouse also erected near Medford great bridge, and another smokehouse at the West End, and guards be kept.” In 1775, a smokehouse was opened for the purification of those persons who had been exposed to the contagion of smallpox. It stood on the west side of Main Street, about forty rods south of Colonel Royal's house. Visitors from Charlestown were unceremoniously stopped and smoked. 1775: During this and some following years, there was fatal sickness in Medford from dysentery. Out of fifty-six deaths in 1775, twenty-three were children. In 1776, there were thirty-three deaths; in 1777, nineteen; in 1778, thirty-seven; and in 1779, thirteen. No reason is given for these differences in numbers. Out of the thirty-seven deaths of 1778, eighteen were by dysentery, and twenty were children. Whooping-cough has, at certain times, been peculiarly destructive. Throat-distemper, so called, is often named among prevalent causes of death. In 1795, ten children and three adults died of it between the 20th of August and the 1st of November. Apoplexy seems to have destroyed very few lives. During the first fifteen years of Dr. Osgood's ministry, only one case occurred! Oct. 15, 1778: The town voted to procure a house for those patients who had the smallpox. No disease appeared to excite so quick and sharp an alarm as this. The early modes of treatment gave ample warrant for any fears. In 1792, the town voted that Mr. Josiah Symmes's house is the only one authorized as a hospital for inoculation. At this
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