Thomas Jefferson Papers

List of Inoculations, 7 August 1801–17 September 1801

List of Inoculations


Aug. 7. Burwell
<Thenia> Melinda. taken

13. Brown
Jamy 21. taken
Critta. 21. q.
<Thenia> Thenia.
Lavinia. 21. taken

16. Nancy Jeff. from Joe & Burw. 21. taken
Elen. Joe & Bur. 21. Joe’s inflamd.
Cornelia. Bur. failed
Priscilla. Bur. 21. taken
Wormely Bur. 21. taken
Edwin. Bur. 21. taken
Philip Ev. Bur. & Joe 21. taken
Thenia. Joe & B. taken
Ben Joe & B.
Cary Joe & B.
B. Davy Joe & B. 21. taken
B. Phill Joe & B. 21. taken
Bartlet Joe. 21. taken
John. Joe & B. 21. taken
21. mr Chisolm
mrs Carr
23. Betsy
30. Lilly’s family
Sep. 1. <Jame Hub.> from Betsy.
Barnaby do.
Bedfd. John do.
Shepherd. do.
Moses. do.
9 Esther } Bagwell’s
Scilla } Ned’s
Thruston } Isabel’s
Beverly. Patty’s
Sally } Lewis’s
Dolly. Doll’s
Abram } Rachael’s
Suckey. Jerry’s
17. Jame Hubbard
Isab’s Davy
Jamey. Lewis’s

MS (Roger W. Barrett, Chicago, 1947); partially dated; entirely in TJ’s hand; on recto of a narrow sheet of paper with lists of vaccinations dated 1802, 1816, and 1826 on verso; written in several sittings; with canceled names shown in italics within angle brackets.

The information provided by this list supplements TJ’s correspondence about his experiments with cowpox, or smallpox vaccine, at Monticello. He began by infecting six slaves with cowpox sent by Benjamin Waterhouse that arrived at Monticello on 6 and 13 Aug. 1801. On the 16th, William Wardlaw conducted arm-to-arm inoculations using matter from the first two successful subjects, Burwell Colbert and Joe Fossett. TJ documented the effectiveness of the 16 Aug. procedure on day five, the 21st, and wrote to Waterhouse the same day. Thereafter TJ kept up a “succession of cases” with vaccine drawn on the eighth day, as urged by Waterhouse in his letter to TJ of 4 Sep. (Waterhouse to TJ, 24, 26 July, 1 Aug; TJ to Waterhouse, 14, 21 Aug.).

For the ages and occupations of slaves on the list, see Stanton, Free Some Day description begins Lucia Stanton, Free Some Day, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., 2000 description ends ; Betts, Farm Book description begins Edwin M. Betts, ed., Thomas Jefferson’s Farm Book, Princeton, 1953 description ends , especially 58a; and Vols. 29 and 32. Many of the young men vaccinated on the first three days and 1 Sep. worked in the nailery (Vol. 32:417–8).

q: TJ typically wrote “q” to indicate “query.” In the case above, he probably meant that the success of Critta’s vaccination was questionable.

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