Saturday, November 11, 2006

I've been reading about the 1804 Balmis-Salvany Smallpox Expedition, or Expedición de la Vacuna, and am fascinated by this sentence:

"The ship reached Puerto Rico in February 1804 with its cargo of vaccine serum preserved between sealed glass plates; also onboard were 21 children from the orphanage at La Coruña who carried the vaccine through arm-to-arm vaccinations performed sequentially during the ship’s journey . . ."

Who were these children? How were they chosen to do this? What was their life like? I think there may be a poem here.


Pamela said...

I think there's a poem here, too. I was trying to write a poem about smallpox a while back. Here's a source I found. Fascinating indeed.

Peter said...

P: Yes . . . that is exactly the article I had been reading!