Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Washington and Smallpox

I talked before about Washington's interest in the smallpox vaccination. Mt. Vernon recently acquired Washington's order to vaccinate his troops and will be displaying it:
On Tuesday, the estate will begin displaying a one-page manuscript signed by Washington as a military general ordering the inoculation of troops against smallpox. In 1777, the disease was spreading fast. Washington worried it would weaken the army.

Curators believe this is the first time the document is being publicly displayed. It is on view through January.

I found this piece of information interesting as well:
The museum says Washington’s decision to inoculate new recruits in the Revolutionary War effort reduced the death rate from 17 percent to 1 percent.

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