242 | To Dr. William Barnet

    Castle William Novr. 7. 1763


    I have receivd yours of Octr. 22.941 I should be very glad to promote the practise of inoculation in this Province & encourage the Excercise of it by you. As the Law now stands, I dont see anything more wanting than the allowance of the Select men of the Town where the House proposed to be used stands, with the general consent of the Inhabitants. Our Assembly will sit about Christmas; & if anything will be wanted of them, I will recommend it. But I am satisfyed they will not authorise the setting up of an inoculating Hospital without the Consent of the Town’s People: so It will at all events be necessary to obtain that. I am Sir Ys


    Dr. Barnet

    L, LbC BP, 3: 8-9.

    Dr. William Barnet, a physician of Philadelphia, had been invited to Boston following the success of his mercury-antimony preparation. Inoculation was prohibited within Boston, and when the House of Representatives in Jan. 1764 refused to authorize Boston’s first inoculating hospital, the Governor’s Council, the selectmen, and local physicians established the hospital at Point Shirley. The hospital was operational by 20 Feb. and generated such demand that one week later FB permitted the Castle William barracks to be used as a second temporary hospital. Overall, the hospitals markedly reduced the impact of the 1763-64 smallpox epidemic. Philip Cash, “The Professionalization of Boston Medicine, 1760-1803,” in Medicine in Colonial Massachusetts, 1620-1820: Eds. Philip Cash, Eric H. Christianson, and J. Worth Estes (Boston, 1980), 69-100, at 73-75; Blake, “Smallpox Inoculation in Colonial Boston,” 289-291; Reports of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, 16: 102-103.