Spurious Vaccination in the Civil War: December 13 Talk

December 8, 2016 Karie Youngdahl

Robert Hicks in Civil War surgeon uniform
Robert Hicks in Civil War surgeon uniform

Join us December 13 at 6:30pm for an illustrated talk about smallpox vaccination in the American Civil War.

Several smallpox epidemics swept through the Confederate states during the war. Southerners blamed the outbreaks on the northern states. Confederate doctors attempted to prevent smallpox spread by vaccinating soldiers, but then discovered that some vaccinations were ineffective (“spurious”) and spread other diseases, particularly syphilis. Director of the Mütter Museum and Historical Medical Library, and William Maul Measey Chair for the History of Medicine, Robert Hicks, PhD, will discuss how the Confederacy managed vaccinations and tried to address the problem of spurious vaccination. His illustrated talk includes the use of children on plantations as a source of vaccine and allegations of vaccination poisoning in the conflict’s only war crimes trial.

Hicks has previously written on the problem of spurious vaccination in the Civil War in this blog post. His December 13 talk expands on this research and will be richly illustrated with period images.

Register for the talk here.

The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
19 S. 22 Street

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Missing filter. All text is removed
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.