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Cotton Mather's medicine, with particular reference to measles.
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Cotton Mather's medicine, with particular reference to measles.

Author: PE Kopperman Affiliation: 1 Oregon State University, School of History, Philosophy and Religion, Corvallis, OR, USA.; J Abrams Affiliation: 2 University of Denver, Denver, CO, USA.
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Journal of medical biography, 2019 Feb; 27(1): 30-37
Summary:
While the vocation of Cotton Mather (1663-1728) was his ministry in Boston, he made important contributions to medicine, most famously in helping to introduce variolation to New England in 1721-22 and in writing The Angel of Bethesda (1724), the first medical treatise produced in Colonial North America. This article, however, focuses on an earlier initiative, Mather's efforts to quell the epidemic of measles that  Read more...
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Details

Named Person: Mather C
Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: PE Kopperman Affiliation: 1 Oregon State University, School of History, Philosophy and Religion, Corvallis, OR, USA.; J Abrams Affiliation: 2 University of Denver, Denver, CO, USA.
ISSN:0967-7720
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 6924581399
Awards:

Abstract:

While the vocation of Cotton Mather (1663-1728) was his ministry in Boston, he made important contributions to medicine, most famously in helping to introduce variolation to New England in 1721-22 and in writing The Angel of Bethesda (1724), the first medical treatise produced in Colonial North America. This article, however, focuses on an earlier initiative, Mather's efforts to quell the epidemic of measles that struck Boston in 1713, killing among many others his wife and three children. Historians have devoted little attention to this episode or to measles in general, even though the disease was highly mortal during the colonial period. To help victims, Mather published a 'letter' on treating measles. Such a specific discussion of treatment would have been rare in Europe and it was unprecedented in America. The therapy that Mather proposed not only reflected popular medicine but also incorporated newer practices, notably those associated with Thomas Sydenham. In contrast to heroic therapies for measles, which were often dangerous but became more popular across the eighteenth century, Mather's recommendations were moderate.

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