Thursday, October 23, 2008, 5:30–7:00 p.m.
The Siege of ‘Castle Pox’: Marblehead, Massachusetts’ Medical Revolution, 1764–1777
Andrew Wehrman, Northwestern University
After an epidemic of smallpox broke in Marblehead, Massachusetts, in 1773, several of the town’s rising Whig leaders built a private inoculation hospital to combat the distemper. By January the maritime workers and other members of the “Savage Mobility” burned the hospital, nicknamed “Castle Pox,” to the ground. Far from being ignorant or anti-inoculation, as some historians have claimed, the desperate action by the people of Marblehead was a true act of revolution. This paper recreates the explosive events and argues that the people of Marblehead sought equal access to medicine as raucously as they did political rights.
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Jenny Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (312) 255-3524.
The Newberry Library Seminar in Early American History and Culture
Co-sponsored by the History Departments of DePaul University, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago
The Newberry Library
Dr. William M. Scholl Center for
American History and Culture
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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