What would the Founding Fathers have thought about mandatory vaccinations?
We know what George Washington thought.
In 1777, General George Washington mandated that every soldier in the Continental Army had to be inoculated against smallpox.
“Necessity not only authorizes but seems to require the measure, for should the disorder infect the Army . . . we should have more to dread from it, than from the Sword of the Enemy.”
In an age when 90% of deaths in war were caused by disease like smallpox, Washington’s order to protect his army had a hand in helping America gain independence.
“Washington knew firsthand the misery of the disease having survived a smallpox infection years earlier; he was well aware that a smallpox epidemic would ravage his fledgling armies.”Gen. George Washington – A Threat of Bioterrorism, 1775
Did surviving smallpox influence his decision?
More on George Washington and Vaccines
- US Presidents and Vaccines
- U.S. Military and Vaccine History
- Gen. George Washington – A Threat of Bioterrorism, 1775
- George Washington and the First Mass Military Inoculation
- Smallpox and the American Revolution
- How Smallpox Inoculations Helped Win the American Revolution
- George Washington, the First Vaxxer
- Smallpox in Washington’s Army: Strategic Implications of the Disease during the American Revolutionary War