2 pages, 4to. Fine condition." />
18 December 2003
JENNER, Edward (1749-1823), English physician, discoverer of vaccination. Autograph letter signed ("Edwd. Jenner") to an unidentified correspondent ("My Lord"), Thursday, 18 October 1804. 2 pages, 4to. Fine condition.
JENNER APPROVES A PATIENT'S DESIRE TO OBTAIN ANOTHER OPINION AS TO HIS TREATMENT.
A warm, deferential letter from Jenner, the physician who first clinically demonstrated the effectiveness of vaccination in the treatment of smallpox only a few years earlier (1798). Here, he responds to a patient who had evidently apologized for seeking another medical opinion on the course of treatments he should follow. Jenners reassures him: "I am truly happy at your Lordship's having consulted Sr. Walter Farquhar [1738-1819, a well-known physician]. Indeed I am quite flattered at the result, as our opinions respecting the medicinal plan you should pursue, harmonize so exactly. If anything could vex me, it would be your Lordship's having troubled yourself in making an apology. To morrow I intend doing myself the honor of calling upon you. With great pleasure I would take a seat at your hospitable table Sunday, but circumstances won't admit of it."
There had been many prior attempts to use a mild strain of the disease to inoculate against the deadly smallpox, but Jenner successfully demonstrated that vaccination with the cow-pox conferred immunity. His work constitutes "the foundation of the modern science of immunology" (Printing and the Mind of Man).
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