|National Library of
successfully used in Charleston during the 1738 smallpox outbreak by Dr.
James Kilpatrick. Of 441 persons inoculated, 15 died. The death toll was much
heavier among those who were naturally infected, so the results of
variolation were seen as encouraging.
In September, 1738, the general assembly was called into session to
deal with the outbreak. By the end of September, the death toll was 295 of
1,675 reported cases. Charleston had
fewer than 5,000 residents.
|The disease had a
devastating impact on Indian communities, as it spread rapidly in a
population with no immunity. The
Cherokees lost half their numbers during the 1738 epidemic.
|John Duffy. (1953) Epidemics
in Colonial America. Louisiana
State University Press