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CURIOUS DOCUMENT RESPECTING THE SPREAD OF VACCINE INOCULATION.

To the Editor of the Oriental Herald.

SIR, July 20, 1826.

I was lately examining' an old collection of papers, when I found the following document, given me at the time of its date by my friend Dr. Jenner, with whom I had very frequent intercourse on questions connected with his great discovery.

This translation of a state paper, first published in ' La Gazeta de Madrid del Martes, 14 de Octubrede 1806,'can scarcely, even now, be uninteresting. The narrative of such an expedition, projected by the Government, or rather the misrule, of Spain, may be gazed on as " a spot of azure in a cloudy sky," or, " a light shining in a dark place." It may perhaps lead to some information by your foreign correspondents, as to the further progress of Dr. Jenner's discovery. This will peculiarly gratify

Adjutor.

'On Sunday, the 7th of September last, Dr. Francis Xavier Balmis, Surgeon Extraordinary to the King, had the honour of kissing his Majesty's hand, on occasion of his return from a voyage round the world, executed with the sole object of carrying to all the possessions of the crown of Spain, situated beyond the seas, and to those of several other nations, the inestimable gift of Vaccine Inoculation. His Majesty has inquired, with the liveliest interest, into all that materially related to the expedition, and learned, with the utmost satisfaction, that its result has exceeded the most sanguine expectations that were entertained at the time of the enterprize.

'This undertaking had been committed to the diligence of several members of the faculty, and subordinate persons, carrying with them twenty-two children, who had never undergone the small-pox, selected for the preservation of the precious fluid, by transmitting it successively from one to another, during the course of the voyage. The expedition set sail from Corunna, under the direction of Balmis, on the 30th November, 1803. It made the first stoppage at the Canary islands, the second at Porto-Rico, and the third at the Caracas. On leaving that province, by the port of La Guayra, it was divided into two branches: one part sailing to South America, under the charge of the Subdirector, Don Francis Salvani; the other, with the Director Balmis on board, steering for the Havannah, and thence for Yucatan. There a subdivision took place: the Professor Francis Pastor proceeding from the port of Sisal to that of Villa Harmosa, in the province of Tobasca, for the purpose of'propagating vaccination in the district of Ciudad Real of Chiapa, and on to Goatemala, making a circuit of four hundred leagues, through a long and rough road, comprising Oaxaca; while the rest of the expedition, which arrived, without accident, at Vera Crui, travelled not only the Viceroyalty of New Spain, but also the interior provinces; whence it was to return tQ .Mexico, which was the point of leiaiion.

• 'This p.ecious preservative against the ravages of the smallpox has already been extended through the whole of North America, to the coasts of Sinora and Sinaloa, and even to the gentiles and neophytes of High Pimeria. In each capital a council has been instituted, composed of the principal authorities and the most zealous members of the faculty, charged with the preservation of this invaluable specific, as a sacred deposit, for which they are accountable to the King and to pns. terity.

'This being accomplished, it was next the care of the Director to carry this part of the expedition from America to Asia, crowned with the most brilliant success, and with it the comfort of humanity. Some difficulties having been surmounted, he embarked in the port of Acapulco for the Philippine islands; that being the point at which, if attainable, it was originally intended that the undertaking should be terminated.

'The bounty of Divine Providence having vouchsafed to second the great and pious designs of the King, Balmis happily performed the voyage in little more than two months; carrying with him, from New Spain, twenty-six children, destined to be vaccinated in succession, as before; and, as many of them were infants, they were committed to the care of the matron of the Foundling Hospital at La Cornnna, who, in this, as well as the former voyages, conducted herself in a manner to merit approbation. The expedition having arrived at the Philippines, and propagated the specific in the islands subject to his Catholic Majesty; Balmis having concluded his philanthropic commission, concerted with the captain-general the means of extending the beneficence of the King, and the glory of his august name, to the remotest confines of Asia.

'In point of fact, the cow-pox has been disseminated through the vast archipelago of the Visayan islands, whose chiefs, accustomed to wage perpetual war with us, have laid down their arms', admiring the generosity of an enemy who conferred upon them the blessings of health and life, at the time when they were labouring under the ravages of an epidemic small-pox. The principal persons of the Portuguese colonies, and of the Chinese empire, manifested themselves no less beholden, when Balmis reached Macao and Canton; in both which places he accomplished the introduction of fresh virus, in all its activity, by the means already related: a result which the English, on repeated trials, had failed to procure, in the various occasions when they brought out portions of matter in the ships of their East India Company, which lost their efficacy on the passage, and arrived inert.

'After having propagated the vaccine at Canton, as far ; s possibility and the political circumstances of the empire would permit, and having confided the further dissemination of it to the physicians of the English factory at the above-mentioned port, Balmis returned to Macao, and embarked in a Portuguese vessel for Lisbon; where he arrived on the 15th of August. In the way he stopped at St. Helena, in which, as in other places, by dint of exhortation and perseverance, he prevailed upon the English to adopt the astonishing antidote which they had undervalued for the space of more than eight years, though it was a discovery of their nation, and though it was sent to them by Jenner himself.

'Of that branch of the expedition which was destined for Peru, it is ascertained that it was shipwrecked in one of the mouths of the river de la Magdalena; but having derived immediate succour from the natives, from the magistrates adjacent, and from the governor of Carthagena, the Subdirector, the three members of the faculty who accompanied him, and the children, were saved, with the fluid in good preservation, which they extended in that port and its province with activity and success. Thence it was carried to the isthmus of Panama, and persons properly provided with all necessaries undertook the long and painful navigation of the river de la Magdalena; separating, when they reached the interior, to discharge their commission in the towns of Teneriffe, Mompox, Ocana, Socorro, San Gil y Medellin, in the valley of Cucuta, and in the cities Pamplona, Giron, Tunja, Velez, and other places in the neighbourhood, until they met at Santa Fe : leaving every where suitable instructions for the members of the faculty, and in the more considerable towns, regulations conformable to those rules which the director had prescribed for the preservation of the virus; which the Viceroy affirms to have been communicated to fifty thousand persons, without one unfavourable result. Towards the close of March, 1G05, they prepared to continue their journey in separate tracks, for the purpose of extending themselves, with greater facility and promptitude, over the remaining districts of the Viceroyalty, situated in the road of 530 Curious Document respecting Faccine Inoculation.

Popayan, Cuencas, and Quito, as far as Lima. In the August following they reached Guayaquil.

'The result of this expedition has been, not merely to spread the vaccine among all people, whether friends or enemies; among Moors, among Visayans, and among Chinese; but also to secure to posterity, in the dominions of his Majesty, the perpetuity of so great a bene6t, partly by means of the central committees that have been established, as well as by the discovery which Balmis made of an indigenous matter in the cows of the valley of Atlixco, near the city of Puebla de los Angeles; in the neighbourhood of that of \ alladolid de Mechoacan, where the Adjutant Antonio Gutierrez found it; and in the district of Calabozo, in the province of Caraccas, where Don Carlos de Pozo, physician of the lesidence, found it.

'A multitude of observations, which will be published without delay, respecting the development of the vaccine in various climes, and respecting its efhcacy, not merely in preventing the natural small-pox, hut in curing, simultaneously, other morbid affections of the human frame will manifest how important to humanity will prove the consequences of an expedition which has no parallel in history.

'Though the object of this undertaking was limited to the communication of the vaccine in every quarter, to the instruction of professors, and to the establishment of regulations which might serve to render it perpetual,—nevertheless, the director has omitted no means of rendering his services beneficial, at the same time, to agriculture and the sciences. He brings with him a considerable collection of exotic plants. He has caused to be drawn the most valuable subjects in natural history. He has amassed much important information ; and, among other claims to the gratituleof his country, not the least consists in having imported a valuable assemblage of trees and vegetables, in a state to admit of propagation, and which, being cultivated in those parts of the peninsula that are most congenial to their growth, will render this expedition as memorable in the annals of agriculture, as in those of medicine and humanity. It is hoped that the subdirector and his coadjutors, appointed to carry these blessings to Peru, will shortly return by way of Kuenos Ayres, after having accomplished their journey through that viceroyalty, the viceroyalty of Lima, and the districts of Chili and Charcas; and that they will bring with them such collections and observations as they have been able to acquire, according to the instructions given by the director, without losing sight of the philanthropic commission which they received from nis Majesty, in the plenitude of his zeal for the welfare of the human race.'

H18TORY OF THE MAHRATTAS.

An important historical work on the Mahrattas * having lately made its appearance, it becomes our duty to lay before our readers Buch an account of it as may enable them to form an estimate both of its merits and defects. In the performance of this tusk, it is, however, by no means our intention to follow the author through the details of his work. The brief abstract to which our limits would restrict us could only consist of a review of those more prominent features, with which our readers are already familiar, or with which a reference to any of the historians of India would render them acquainted; while all those minute particulars which constitute the peculiar value of the present publication must necessarily be passed over in silence. Under these circumstances, we must be excused from entering upon an analysis which it would be impossible to execute with justice to the author, or with advantage to the reader. Before proceeding farther, we will, however, warn the latter against an error into which the title of the work may lead him. This, indeed, sounds like something exclusively devoted to the affairs of a petty province, but the influence, which the turbulent race by whom that province is inhabited have for nearly two centuries exercised in India, has, in a greater or less degree, involved the affairs of every part of the peninsula with their own; and the supremacy thus obtained, together with their martial character, has brought them of late years so frequently into collision with the English, that the 'History of the Mahrattas,' during a considerable period, is scarcly less extensive then the history of India itself.

Declining then to enter into the wide field which lies before ns, we propose on the present occasion to offer a few observations ou the character of Captain Duff's publication, first indicating in what respects we conceive him to have erred, or rather, perhaps, to have been restrained by a mistaken sense of duty, and afterwards yielding to his work that portion of commendation, to which, as a whole, we still think it entitled. In entering upor. the consideration of a work so closely connected with the history of India, it may not be amiss briefly to contrast those leading principles which a glance at that unhappy country, under the dominion of its native tyrants on the one hand, and of its foreign conquerors on the other, always suggests to us as the dis

* A ' History of the Mahrallas,' by James Grant Duff, Esq., Captain inlh« 1st or Grenadier Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry, and late Political Resident at Sataru, 3 vols. 8vo. London, 1626.

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