Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Benjamin Waterhouse, 1 March 1803

From Benjamin Waterhouse

Cambridge March 1st. 1803.


I here transmit for your acceptance, a copy of my Treatise on the Kine Pock, which, though dated Novr. 1802 is just out of the press. The first part contains the history of the progress of this new inoculation in America; The second contains the theory of morbid poisons, together with practical rules & observations.—

Being aware that this first narrative would probably be referred to, in time to come, I was desirous to give it all the dignity in my power, by recording the patrons of this new discovery & practice. The unreserved applause which some of its most distinguished patrons have received in all the newspapers in this part of the Union, has given us high satisfaction. The same strain of eulogium pervades many of the British publications, especially the volume of public characters for 1803 just come to my hands, in sheets. In Jenner’s character page 47, a paragraph begins thus,—“This beneficial practice is patronised by Jefferson in the New world, & by the Emperor of Germany, the Empress Dowager of Russia in the old.” Then follows a copy of the letter from the Empress to Dr Jenner, dated Panlowsky Augt. 10th. 1802.

A second edition of this Treatise will I believe follow in a few months, before which I hope to receive from my friends & correspondents such corrections, hints for additions, or omissions as will make it less exceptionable to the scholar & physician. With high respect, I am

your very humble servt.

Benjn. Waterhouse

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “President Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 18 Mch. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Waterhouse’s A Prospect of Exterminating the Small Pox, Part II, Being a Continuation of a Narrative of Facts Concerning the Progress of the New Inoculation in America; Together with Practical Observation on the Local Appearance, Symptoms, and Mode of Treating the Variola Vaccina, or Kine Pock (Cambridge, Mass., 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. 946).

The second part of Waterhouse’s treatise included a narrative of his efforts to spread the cow pox vaccine throughout the United States and some of his communications with TJ and other distinguished patrons (Prospect of Exterminating the Small Pox, Part II, 5–74).

Index Entries