Lessons from the 1721 Boston Smallpox Epidemic – Tony Williams Interview

The world continues to endure the Coronavirus pandemic with many locations reaching their peak in the coming weeks. This isn’t the first virus or disease to affect the world, so what can we learn from one previous example in American History?

To answer that question, Tony Williams joins me to discuss a book he had written detailing the 1721 Smallpox epidemic. Though Tony’s book isn’t Virginia History exactly, he mentions that one particular Virginian used Cotton Mather’s incredibly controversial inoculation method to protect his army more than 50 years later.

Join us as we discuss the events surrounding that fateful 1721 outbreak, and discover how many things are still quite similar in how we approach these fearful situations.

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All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author. The Featured Image is of “The Cow-Pock or the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation” by James Gillray, 1802.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and Max Bruch – Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26 – Prelude. Allegro moderato performed by Sarah Chang and the Dresdener Philharmonie conducted by Kurt Masur, also available on iTunes.