George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Eustis, 11 April 1782

West Point April 11th 1782.


I conceive it my duty to represent to your excellency, that since the troops have gone thro’ the small pox, the infection is still kept up in the quarters of every regiment on West point by the arrival of recruits and men from command or furlough who have not had it.

So long as these men are permitted to come into the garrison it is necessary to inoculate them, and the barracks cannot be cleansed: but a more serious consequence ensues, experience having taught us in several disagreeable instances that they take the infection in the natural way.

I have doubted whether your excellency was apprized how much the quarters on the point were infected, of the tendency of inoculation to keep up this infection, and of the time necessary to remove it after inoculation ceases.

If your excellency chooses that the recruits should be inoculated will it not be more eligible to have an hospital opened for the purpose at the New Hampshire Hutts or in some other convenient place? If no more of them are to be inoculated I beg leave to submit to your excellency the propriety of their being detained in some place untill the quarters on the point are cleansed. I have the honor to be with the greatest respect, your excellency’s most obedient humble servant

William Eustis

Hospital Surgeon

PHi: Gratz Collection.

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