Joyanna Adams

Nobody's Opinion

Nobody Remembers the Pandemic of 1776

Nobody Remembers

When you have a President who says “If you LIKE your doctor, you can KEEP your doctor..period.”—- And then you find out, it was the biggest lie of his Presidency, you tend not to believe anything else he says: and when he says that Ebola will not become a pandemic in America, he could put a “period” behind that statement, and it wouldn’t matter.Obama Burger King

Who in their right mind would believe him?

Ebola has been all over the news today…so naturally, it lead right into my Friday historical remembrances—- of another pandemic in our history, and how it affected MY favorite founder at that time:


The Smallpox pandemic of 1776.

It was the summer of 1776, and the Continental Congress had just celebrated their Declaration of Independence. John Adams was appointed chair of the Committee on War and Ordnance on July 13. John was responsible for all the large and small policy decisions governing the Continental Army. As many of you know, it was John who suggested George Washington be the commander of that army.

And what was going around America that summer? Smallpox.

Washington was coming out of Boston with 12,000 smallpox-infested men, and he faced a British force of over 30,000.GW and smallpox

John couldn’t leave his duties in Philadelphia…and he had taken the smallpox vaccination earlier, and survived, so Abigail, on her husband’s advice, took the family to Boston for inoculation against smallpox.

Most of the kids got deathly sick.

John wrote that he felt like “a savage to be here, while my whole Family is sick at Boston.”

From First Family by Joseph E. Ellis

In John’s mind’s eye he could simultaneously envision patriotic celebrations throughout the land, the largest fleet ever to cross the Atlantic gathering in Long Island Sound, and his entire family confined in quarantine amid a raging smallpox epidemic that, according to Abigail, had infected seven thousand people in and around Boston.

She wrote to John:

“Nabby (their daughter) has enough of the small pox for all the family beside. She is pretty well covered, not a spot but what is so soar that she can neither walk, stand, or lay with any comfort. She has above a thousand pussels are large as a great Green Pea. Little Charles in delirium for 48 hours. Has caught the pox in the natural way. ” She told John he should prepare for the worst.

While this was going on, John learned that only half of Washington’s troops were fit for duty.John and Abigail

He wrote back to her:

The Small Pox had done Us more harm than British armies, Canadians, Indians, Negroes, Hanoverians, Hessian, and all the rest. And now it was threatening to carry off “my little babes.”

While John’s boy lay dying… The Continental Army had suffered a devastating defeat, and retreated up Manhattan.

John desperately wanted to return home, but did not feel he could leave his post with the Continental Army in such disarray. He had been working eighteen to twenty hour days for over two months, his eyes were permanently bloodshot, and his sight was strained, making it difficult to read, especially at night. The emotional l toll of witnessing a colossal blow to the American cause was high, and he knew better than most that Washington’s army had gone through a near death experience. The celebratory mood of early July was now replaced by the somber recognition that it was going to be a long war.

After his great victory, General William Howe told the Continental Congress that he would put an end to it all, and was prepared to offer a new and more acceptable reconciliation.

John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Edward Rutlege of South Carolina met with Howe, and found out that Howe had no authority to negotiate.John Adams and Jeff

John informed him, ( And I LOVE this…sorry amfortas) that American had no need for pardon, because they had done nothing wrong.

Luckily little Charles survived until much later when he killed himself in a drunken stupor, but Abigail pulled the kids through the worst the summer of 1776, and John help pull the new country through its new birth.

And so, the smallpox epidemic that hit Boston, went on around the world—

From Wikipedia

 During the 18th century the disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans each year, including five reigning monarchs, and was responsible for a third of all blindness.

Between 20 and 60% of all those infected—and over 80% of infected children—died from the disease. During the 20th century, it is estimated that smallpox was responsible for 300–500 million deaths.  In the early 1950s an estimated 50 million cases of smallpox occurred in the world each year. As recently as 1967, the World Health Organization estimated that 15 million people contracted the disease and that two million died in that year.

Many are saying that Ebola WILL be the new epidemic and will kill millions…and even the very rich will not be immune.smallpox

Let’s hope we all can find the same courage that our forefathers had. As for believing anything that Obama says about Ebola? Let me refer us all, to a more recent reminder, about what to do when politicians lie:

 

October 2, 2014 Posted by | American History, Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments

   

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