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[p. 19] because it prevented travellers from Boston and vicinnity, which was the base of smallpox epidemics in Massachusetts, from entering Medford without being unceremoniously stopped and fumigated at the smoke house. In the Treasurer's report one item states that Mr. Timothy Waite was paid £ 1 16 shillings 4 1/2 pence, ‘for Work & some Nails for the Smoke House & some work at the School House.’ Another item states that 6 shillings were paid Doctor Rand ‘for a Night to Capt. Blodget when taken with ye Small Pox.’ Also another item states that £ 14, 8 shillings were paid Captain Eben Morrow ‘for Tending the Smoke House from ye 16th of April to the Ninth day of June 1764 both days included @ 6s per day.’ Another town meeting was held May 24, 1778,1 to see what the town would do concerning an inoculating hospital. Previous to this a hospital of this kind had been situated at Point Shirley for the use of all people in Boston and vicinity. Inoculation had been introduced in Boston in June, 1721, by the Rev. Cotton Mather, who, hearing of the great success it had had in Europe and the Orient, interested himself in it, and thus introduced it in Boston. It met with violent opposition hardly second in bitterness to that of the witchcraft period; but he faced the fury of the mob, and did noble service in its defence in spite of threats of personal violence. Inoculation was beginning to reap success about 1778, so Medford people desired to have a hospital of their own. When the British troops were besieged in Boston, smallpox broke out among them, and after they evacuated the town it raged among the inhabitants, and thus spread to Medford. The townsmen decided to attack this epidemic by inoculation. It was voted that the town should provide a house for the reception of any person who was taken with smallpox in the ‘Natural Way.’ It was also voted that if the Selectmen should find any person who had been attending a
1 Town Records, Volume III., page 239.
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