Smallpox and Cowpox under the Southern Cross: The Smallpox Epidemic of 1789 and the Advent of Vaccination in Colonial Australia

  title={Smallpox and Cowpox under the Southern Cross: The Smallpox Epidemic of 1789 and the Advent of Vaccination in Colonial Australia},
  author={Michael James Bennett},
  journal={Bulletin of the History of Medicine},
  pages={37 - 62}
  • M. Bennett
  • Published 27 March 2009
  • History
  • Bulletin of the History of Medicine
In histories of smallpox and vaccination, little attention has been paid to their progress in the southern latitudes. In this paper, I focus on the appearance of smallpox around Sydney Cove in 1789 and the introduction of cowpox (vaccine) to New South Wales in 1804. I demonstrate the connections, historical and virological, between the two events and examine the role of variolation in the spread of smallpox and in anticipating vaccination. I argue that imported "variolous matter," perhaps… 

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