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Letter from William Powell


A Letter from Mr˙ William Powell was read and filed, and is in the words following, to wit:

"New-York, September 28, 1775.

SIR: Being very desirous of my wife' s inoculating for the small-pox, in order to put her out of danger of that fatal disorder in the natural way, (as I purpose, and my business calls me this fall amongst the West-India Islands,) but was informed that there had been a resolution of the honourable Congress of this Province, not to inoculate in it; but not being certain whether it extended to the whole or a pan, I applied to Mr˙ J˙ Seares, in New-Haven, for better information, who told me he thought it only respected this City and County, and was in consequence of the Connecticut Forces being so near this City, and advised our going. Whereupon I hired a vessel, and carried with me my wife and four others, (ladies,) to Brookhaven, and applied to Doctor Muirson to inoculate them; he then turned to a resolution of your honourable Congress, of the 15th June last, which respected the whole Province, and told me he should by no means act contrary to them; but, taking my situation into consideration, and my wife' s extreme dread of catching it the natural way, he thought it best for me to make application to you, with assurance of his utmost diligence and care of its not spreading, as his hospital is detached ten miles from the country road, and remote from any other house or road that can cause alarm; but as it has been suggested to me here, that it might cause uneasiness to the inhabitants, Doctor Muirson had not the least doubt but that it would be agreeable to them. Should that be any bar, I firmly promise to drop the thought of it, but hope that my prayer may be granted.

I am, Sir, with great respect, your humble servant,


To Commissioner Haring, Esq, Chairman of the Honourable Committee of Safety."

On perusing the Resolve of the Congress of this Colony, against inoculation for the Small-Pox, the Committee informed Mr˙ Powell that they could not give any permission for that purpose.

The Committee then adjourned till nine o' clock, tomorrow morning.