Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/544

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WATERHOUSE


4S4


WATERHOUSE


earnestly, encountering much oljliqu)- and abuse, but doing as much for his native country and for humanity as he would had he foregone a lengthy foreign education and served during the Revolution either as an army surgeon or in the ranks, as did many of his con- temporaries.

At this late day it is hard to appreciate the awful ravages made by the small-pox. .Vccording to Moore (James Moore, "The History of the Small-pox," London, 1815), the annual loss of life had l)eon }irogressively augumented until in the last thirty years of the eighteenth century it was estimated by Sir Gilbert Blane and Dr. Lettsom (who reported their in- vestigations to a committee of the House of Commons), that the number of deaths from this disease in Great Britain and Ireland was between 34,000 and 36,000 annually. It is glory enough to have made permanent the practice of vaccina- tion and thus saved countless thousands of lives.

In Dr. Waterhouse's middle life and later years he was beset by professional jealousies and intrigues among the physicians connected with the medical school, so in 1812, when only fifty-six years old, he felt constrained to resign his professorship. His time from now on was devoted mainly to literature. Pres. Madison gave him the medical super- vision of nine medical posts in New Eng- land, thus providing for the family a means of support, for Waterhouse's long- continued efforts to make known the true doctrines of Jennerian vaccination had impoverished him. This position he held seven years. Appeals to the Massachusetts Legislature were in vain. Intrigues had deprived him of his posi- tion as physician to the United States Marine Hospital with a stipend of

£500 a year and he felt himself too old

to take up a new means of gaining a livelihood.

Waterhouse wTote the first work on vaccination published in this country, entitled, "A Prospect of Exterminating the Small-pox," pubHshed in 1800. In


1 802 he published a larger pamphlet on the same subject. At the close of the course of lectures in the Medical School in 1804, he delivered to the students of the university a lecture on "Cautions to Young Persons Concerning Health," containing the general doctrine of chronic disease, showing the evil tendenc}' of the using of tobacco upon young persons, more e.specially the ruinous effects of smoking cigars, with observations on the use of ardent and vinous spirits in general." This lecture won great fame, much to Dr. Waterhouse's pleasure. During the next fifteen or twenty years, six editions were printed and the lecture was translated into several foreign languages.

Dr. Waterhouse married twice, the last time to a daughter of Thomas Lee, of Cambridge. In personal appearance Dr. Waterhouse was of medium height, compactly built and destitute of any superfluous flesh; quick and alert in all his movements, he seemed at all times to be prepared both bodily and mentally, for immediate action or speech. Being of Quaker origin he was scrupulously nice in his attire, dressing always in the Eng- hsh medical style in fine black broad- cloth, and carrying a gold headed cane. When speaking he gesticulated freely and enunciated strongly. In conver- sation he was full of information and of anecdote, and very entertaining."

He died in Cambridge, October 2, 1846, at the advanced age of ninetj^-two years and seven months, having been in poor health for many years before the end.

The following are the titles of some of his publications: "The Botanist;" " Lectures on Natural History with a Discourse on the Principle of Vitality;" "Circular Letter to the Surgeons in the Second MiUtary Department of the Unit- ed States Army (on dysentery)," Cam- bridge, 1817; "Dissertatio Med. de Sym- pathia," Ludg. Bal., 1780; "An Essay Concerning Whooping Cough, with Ob- servations on the Diseases of Children," Boston, 1822; "Essay on Junius and his Letters; Life of W. Pitt, etc.," Boston,