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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/272

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ness of the conclusions of the American commission. It has been well said that Reed's experiments 'will always remain as models in the annals of scientific research, both for the exactness with which they were adapted to the points to be proved and the precautions taken that no experiment should be vitiated by failure to exclude all possible sources of error.'

Appreciation of Reed's work was instant in the scientific world. Honorary degrees from Harvard University and the University of Michigan were conferred upon him, learned societies and distinguished men delighted to honor him, and after his death congress voted a special pension to his widow.

To the United States the value of his services can not be estimated. Ninety times has yellow fever invaded the country, carrying death and destruction, leaving poverty and grief. New Orleans, Memphis, Charleston, Galveston, Portsmouth, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and many smaller towns have been swept by the disease. The epidemic of 1853 cost New Orleans eight thousand lives, that of 1793 wiped out ten per cent, of Philadelphia's population. The financial loss to the United States in the one epidemic of 1878 was estimated as amounting to fifteen million three hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars; but suffering, panic, fear and the tears of widows and orphans can never be estimated. Now, however, if yellow fever should again cross our southern border, there need be no disturbance of commerce or loss of property in the slightest degree comparable with that which epidemics in the past have caused.

The death of Major Reed took place November 23, 1902, in Washington, from appendicitis. It is gratifying to think that, although his country and the scientific world were deprived of one from whose future services more benefit to humanity might reasonably be expected, nevertheless he was privileged before his life's close to know that his discovery had been tested, and that a great city was freed from her ancient foe, to know that his conscientious work had contributed immeasurably toward the future prospects of an infant republic, and even more to the welfare of his own beloved country, whose flag he had served so faithfully.

In the national capital and in the great cities of the United States there are stately monuments to the country's great ones. Statues of warriors, statesmen and patriots stand as silent witnesses of a people's gratitude. Is there not room for the effigy of Walter Reed, who so clearly pointed out to his fellow man the way to conquer America's worst plague?