Sunday, October 18, 2009

Josiah Bartlett — The Historical Figure

A message I received from JJC this evening:

i'm currently reading Pox Americana during Friday night davening, a book I bought at Penn because it looked so cool and I never actually got to until this year. It chronicles an historical phenomenon that, seemingly, had been totally ignored before Duke historian Elizabeth Fenn chose to write a book about it: the impact of smallpox on the Revolutionary War. the impact, to say the least, was kind of ginormous.

on page 85, I encountered the following gem Friday night:

Many susceptible delegates [to the Continental Congress] sought inoculation upon their arrival in the pox-plagued metropolis [that would be Philadelphia]. "The Small Pox [sic] is in the City," wrote New Hampshire's Josiah Bartlett to his wife in September 1775.

The Bartlett discussion goes on for two paragraphs.

Ethan tells me that the show references this fact at one point. I don't recall it. Another nugget of wisdom from Aaron Sorkin, in any case.

In quasi-related news, in ninth grade in Mr. Holt's class, we put on a mock Continental Congress. I was James Oglethorpe of Georgia. Good times.

No comments:

Post a Comment