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[p. 20] sick person, they should give that person liberty to go to the smallpox house and be inoculated under the proper restrictions. The epidemic again visited Medford in 1788.1 The freeholders were called together for a consideration of what the town should do concerning the removal of the William Cutter family, who had the smallpox, and what the town should do concerning the establishment of an inoculating hospital for two months. It was ‘voated’ to remove all persons who were subject to the smallpox to a suitable house, subject to the will of the Selectmen. It was voted that if any person ‘chanced to have the smallpox’ he might obtain permission to be inoculated in such a house as might be obtained for that purpose. This order also provided that if a person desired to be inoculated he must pay the expenses of this house for two months. Under these severe regulations it was not likely that many persons were inoculated. A petition from Governor Brooks and others relative to further inoculation was discussed at a town meeting in 1789 It was decided that any person could be inoculated if he desired to pay the expenses. It was also voted that the Selectmen could put a stop to inoculation if they thought it expedient. Another epidemic made its appearance in 17922 At a meeting of the townsmen in September of that year it was voted to take all possible measures to prevent the spread of the existing epidemic, and to provide houses for those who were taken with the disease. The town meeting voted to provide a house, and decided to prosecute to the fullest extent any person who inoculated or was inoculated. This method of treatment failed in Medford as elsewhere, and no further measures of this sort were taken until the introduction of vaccination. It will be seen that Medford has had her full share of the burden of the smallpox which caused such devastation in early Massachusetts.
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