The Pox and the Covenant: Mather, Franklin, and the Epidemic That Changed America's Destiny

The Pox and the Covenant: Mather, Franklin, and the Epidemic That Changed America's Destiny

Tony Williams / May 22, 2019

The Pox and the Covenant Mather Franklin and the Epidemic That Changed America s Destiny For one hundred years God had held to his promise and the colonists had as well When the first Puritans sailed into Massachusetts in the seventeenth century weak from the ocean journey they formed

  • Title: The Pox and the Covenant: Mather, Franklin, and the Epidemic That Changed America's Destiny
  • Author: Tony Williams
  • ISBN: 9781402236051
  • Page: 212
  • Format: Hardcover
  • For one hundred years, God had held to his promise, and the colonists had as well When the first Puritans sailed into Massachusetts in the seventeenth century, weak from the ocean journey, they formed a covenant with each other and with God to establish a city on a hill a commitment to live uncorrupted lives together or all suffer divine wrath for their collective sin BuFor one hundred years, God had held to his promise, and the colonists had as well When the first Puritans sailed into Massachusetts in the seventeenth century, weak from the ocean journey, they formed a covenant with each other and with God to establish a city on a hill a commitment to live uncorrupted lives together or all suffer divine wrath for their collective sin But now, a century later, the arrival of one doomed ship would put this covenant to its greatest test On April 22, 1721, the HMS Seahorse arrived in Boston from the West Indies, carrying goods, cargo, and, unbeknownst to its crew, a deadly virus Soon, a smallpox epidemic had broken out in Boston, causing hundreds of deaths and panic across the city The clergy, including the famed Cotton Mather, turned to their standard form of defense against disease fasting and prayer But a new theory was also being offered to the public by the scientific world inoculation The fierce debate over the right way to combat the tragedy would become a battle between faith and reason, one that would set the city aflame with rage and riot.The Pox and the Covenant is a story of well known figures such as Cotton Mather, James Franklin, and a young Benjamin Franklin struggling to fight for their cause among death and debate although not always for the side one would expect In the end, the incredible results of the epidemic and battle would reshape the colonists view of their destiny, setting for America a new course, a new covenant, and the first drumbeats of revolution.Praise for Pox and the Covenant A welcome shade of gray into the traditional depiction of Puritans as repressive and closed minded Boston Globe A fascinating aside to American medical history Publisher s Weekly With present day controversy over vaccination, everything old is new again And Williams history is timely as well as engaging Booklist

    Chickenpox Symptoms and causes Mayo Clinic Prevention The chickenpox varicella vaccine is the best way to prevent chickenpox Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC estimate that the vaccine provides complete protection from the virus for nearly percent of people who receive both of the recommended doses. The Pox University of Michigan The Pox One of the most common diseases we treat here at TPIH is the Pox, otherwise known as Syphilis or Gonorrhea This rarely talked about venereal disease is Chickenpox in Adults Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Chickenpox and shingles Shingles is a painful viral infection that is characterized by a blistering skin rash that forms in a band in a specific location of the body It most often appears on the left or right side of your torso, sometimes around one eye or on one side of the face or neck. Chickenpox Symptoms, treatment, stages, and causes Table of contents Chickenpox chicken pox , also known as varicella, is a highly contagious infection caused by the varicella zoster virus Although uncomfortable, most people recover within weeks There is a blister like rash, which first appears on the face and Pox definition of pox by The Free Dictionary pox a contagious disease characterized by purulent skin eruptions that may leave pock marks contagion , contagious disease any disease easily transmitted by contact smallpox , variola , variola major a highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever and weakness and skin eruption with pustules that form scabs that slough off Chickenpox Overview, Causes, and Symptoms Healthline Chickenpox, also called varicella, is characterized by itchy red blisters that appear all over the body A virus causes this condition It often affects children, and was so common it was considered a childhood rite of passage It s very rare to have the chickenpox infection than once. Pox Pox may refer to Diseases Poxviruses Cowpox, a rodent disease that can infect cattle, and also transmissible to humans used for vaccination against smallpox Goatpox, also Sheeppox, an infectious disease of sheep and goats Horse pox, an infectious disease of horses. Vaccine Information Statement Chickenpox Varicella Varicella also called chickenpox is a very contagious viral disease It is caused by the varicella zoster virus Chickenpox is usually mild, but it can be serious in infants under months of age, adolescents, adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems Chickenpox causes an itchy rash that usually lasts about a week. Chickenpox Signs and Symptoms Varicella CDC Signs Symptoms The classic symptom of chickenpox is a rash that turns into itchy, fluid filled blisters that eventually turn into scabs The rash may first show up on the face, chest, and back then spread to the rest of the body, including inside the mouth, eyelids, or genital area It usually takes about one week for all the blisters to become scabs. The Link Between Chickenpox and Shingles Turning on a light, he saw a row of red bumps and knew immediately that he had shingles, also known as zoster, caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus, dormant since a childhood infection.

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    About "Tony Williams"

      • Tony Williams

        Librarian Note There is than one author in the database with this name taught history and literature for ten years, and has a Master s in American History from Ohio State University He is currently a full time author who lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, with his wife and children.


    1. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Today people are fighting over whether or not vaccinations are a good idea. The media gets caught up in the fray, furthering the flames of one side against the other. The exact same thing happened in Boston, Mass. in 1721. At the beginning of a horrible smallpox epidemic, Cotton Mather and Dr Boyleston were on the side For inonculations. The doctors of the town were Against. Each side slandered and attacked the other side, with James Franklin [...]

    2. If you are interested in young Ben Franklin or the Colonial period in New England, this will be an interesting read. Readers who have enjoyed "Mayflower" by Nathaniel Philbrick or "Caleb's Crossing" by Geraldine Brooks will discover the evolution of Puritan culture and faith in the 1720s.

    3. Examination of the smallpox vaccination controversy in colonial Boston, oddly echos current affairs. Cotton Mather, Zabdiel Boylston bravely and successfully inoculate family, friends despite censure from town officials. Benjamin Franklin stars as a scurrilous muckraking printer who whips up opposition to their innovative approach to smallpox. They first get the idea from African slaves who were immune due to pioneering inoculations on African continent years earlier. Franklin sneers at the idea [...]

    4. A review of how medical and scientific progress actually occurs reveals that it hardly follows the course that we imagine.

    5. The debate over inoculation as a cure for smallpox raged in Boston in 1721-2 with vicious personal attacks on each side's proponents in the early colonial newspapers. On one side were James and in a small way a young Ben Franklin and the other Cotton Mather. Of course, the heroes of the Enlightenment the Franklins supported the innovation and that fundamentalist hidebound Puritan Cotton Mather rejected it. Wait, was Cotton Mather on the right side of history in this one? It was Cotton who discov [...]

    6. Tony Williams wants so much to do more with this book than he actually does. He wants to present a snap shot of the city of Boston at the cusp of the 18th century, when Puritan domination of the government was starting to weaken and the city was becoming more cosmopolitan. In this he succeeds. He wants to present the history of an outbreak of smallpox in the city in 1621-22 and the devastation it brought to its population. In this he is mostly successful. He wants to present one individual - Cot [...]

    7. The debate about vaccinations is no less relevant today than it was in 1721. A smallpox epidemic was raging in Boston, Massachusetts, and the public dispute over the practice of inoculation was raging no less virulently. However, the Age of Enlightenment came in fits and starts; and the people involved in the argument were not lined up in the way you might expect.Led by Cotton Mather, it was the Puritan ministers who argued for pursuing the scientific method, and for saving people's lives throug [...]

    8. The Pox and the Covenant looks at the small pox outbreak in Puritan Boston in 1721 and follows the outbreak from the ship that brought it in to the aftermath of its effects on the population. It looks at how the Covenant (Puritan leadership) was challenged by the outbreak and the advent of inoculation which some members like Cotton Mather supported and many members did not. The rise of journalism in the Boston area with James Franklin (Ben Franklin’s older brother) criticizing much of the cove [...]

    9. Interesting and lively account of smallpox epidemic in Puritan Boston and debate among Mather, Franklin and various others on vaccination and the role of the church. Williams has no trouble bringing this period to life but his depiction of Cotton Mather as a man of science and reason taking on the superstitious peasantry is simply bizarre in light of Mather's role as unrepentant chief supporter and instigator of the Salem Witch Trials of the late 1600's -- which Williams completely and utterly g [...]

    10. In 1721, the scourge of smallpox was back in Boston, but this time, Rev. Cotton Mather was determined to offer an alternative to accepting the disease as God's punishment--an inoculation procedure commonly used on Africans and Ottoman subjects (heathens! infidels!), and replicated by Dr. Boylston with success (although with some serious quarantine hazards). The Boston establishment resisted, setting up a deadly argument between the ministers and the public, science and "common sense" and religio [...]

    11. Although I am familiar with the toll smallpox took over the centuries, first-hand accounts of both the suffering and the actions of Cotton Mather's family and neighbors was really interesting to me. The flow of this text wasn't completely smooth, such as someone dying in one chapter and then being alive again in the next. That sort of thing throws me. But the details of the public controversy around inoculation were really fascinating. And the parallels to our current state of science policy dra [...]

    12. The main premise of the book, an exploration of the religious and scientific divisions in Boston regarding inoculation in 1721, is its strong point. Sometimes, however, it gets distracted and runs elsewhere in haphazard fashion, and especially in these places it runs into a pet peeve of mine, mimicking historical fiction within nonfiction, that is, imagining and hazarding details to bring the story to life but in the process being boring and wasting time and paper space.

    13. I enjoyed the beginning and the end of this book very much. The details of the inoculations, and using them to fight smallpox and the results of that. However I could only give it two stars, because the middle of the book was boring and covered some other historical things. I really enjoyed the parts about Cotton Mather and the doctors fighting over whether inoculations helped. I had no idea inoculations were introduced so early in history.

    14. A bit too detailed at times, but mostly an interesting book about Cotton Mather, Benjamin Franklin and others and the smallpox epidemic of 1721. Cotton Mather had recently learned about inoculation and there was a lot of argument about whether it should be done. It seems like a no-brainer to me, since it was such a horrible illness, but that wasn't the case then. I enjoyed it.

    15. due @ BCPL 2010.0712Interesting story about an outbreak of smallpox in Boston in 1721. Ironically, Cotton Mather argued for innoculation as a way of limiting and defeating the epidemic while Benjamin Franklin argued against him.

    16. Written for the general reader, this history almost crosses the line into fiction at times. The story of the 1721 smallpox epidemic on Boston is interesting. The subtitle is misleading; James and Benjamin Franklin appear only briefly in the book.

    17. I totally geeked out when I met the author for this book, gushing that it combined two of my favorite subjects: early American history and epidemiology! Now, let's see it it lives up to my hype

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