Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from John Redman Coxe, 6 July 1802

From John Redman Coxe

Philadelphia July 6th 1802

Dear Sir

I hasten to forward to you the first copy of my treatise on the Vaccine, which has come to hand. Whilst I request your acceptance of it, I must apologise for the inaccuracies you will doubtless meet with in it. My time has been much occupied in the Dispensary since I put it to Press; I should perhaps have acted more prudently to have delayed it longer; but as I hoped it might prove beneficial to the extension of the disease, I considered it a duty to render the result of my experience public as early as possible. Through the kindness of several respectable practitioners, I have been enabled to add some valuable Communications; and I have most sincerely to thank you, for your kind permission to introduce your important observations; They must certainly tend to promote the speedy progress of Vaccination, wherever they are read. For this as well as for the Infection transmitted by You, I must ever be your Debtor.

As to the Engraving which accompanies the Work, You will find a vast difference between it & the original of Dr. Jenner’s; Yet I hope its presence will be serviceable; Nor do I think it a bad specimen of American improvement, considering the novelty of the Subject. The Painting I find the most difficult to execute properly;—Some are superior to others, as the Person improved as she advanced.

I hope in a few days to transmit You a copy on superior paper; and will thank you when You receive it, to deposit for me the present Volume in the Secretary of States Office, as the Law points out.—As I do not expect the Work will be published before the next Week, I thought I owed it to your kindness to transmit you a Copy immediately.

Excuse my interruption;—and be assured Sir of the best wishes for your prosperity, from your much obliged, & very humble Servant

John Redman Coxe

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 8 July and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: an advance copy of Coxe’s Practical Observations on Vaccination: Or Inoculation for the Cow-Pock (Philadelphia, 1802); Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 953.

Coxe was elected in January 1802 an attending physician of the DISPENSARY, which provided medical treatment for poor people in Philadelphia (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; An Account of the Philadelphia Dispensary, Instituted for the Medical Relief of the Poor, April 12, 1786 [Philadelphia, 1802]; Shaw-Shoemaker description begins Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819, New York, 1958–63, 22 vols. description ends , No. 2894).

TJ had given Coxe PERMISSION to publish a letter he had written to John Vaughan in which he reported the results of his vaccination efforts at Monticello, a request he had previously denied to Vaughan (Vol. 35:572–3; Vol. 37:364–5). In addition to the letter, Coxe included in his treatise an ENGRAVING that illustrated “a comparative View of the various Stages of the Vaccine and Small-Pox” (Coxe, Practical Observations, title page; Shaw-Shoemaker description begins Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819, New York, 1958–63, 22 vols. description ends , No. 2095).

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