Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Charles Douglas, 27 June 1801

From Charles Douglas

Alexandria 27th. June 1801.


I beg you to permit the inclosed letter to apologise for this application.

I have sought to introduce the Inoculation of the Kinepox into this place, (from a conviction derived from authentic inteligence, of its importance in every consideration) by an application to Dr. Waterhouse, whom from a publication in a Newspaper, I recognised for a former acquaintance at Lectures in London; whose idea of its importce. is evidenced by his application to yourself. Dr. Jenner of Berkely in Gloustershire I believe was the first adventurer; and was my particular acquaintance; but the distance, and novelty, together with my not being extensively concern’d in Inoculation; have conspired to prevent my applying to him.—It was he who inoculated the Duke of Yorks Regt: with their Wives, and Children, without one fatal instance; and who caused experiments to be made on sixty so inoculated, by insertions of fresh infection from all degrees of the disease, natural and inoculated; and every other method that cou’d be devis’ed—no instance of reinfection occurring to either.

Shou’d you Sir think proper to confide to me a part of the Vaccine matter, be pleased to let me know if you wish to be inform’d with the result.

I have the honor to subscribe myself Sir Your most respectful & Obedient Servant.

Ch. Douglas

Mrs. Douglas begs leave to offer her Respectful regards.

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 28 June and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

Benjamin Waterhouse had been publicizing his ideas on inoculation in newspapers and by circulating copies of his letter to TJ of 8 June: see TJ to Benjamin Waterhouse, 25 Dec. 1800.

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