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Letter from Thomas Jefferson

3rd president of the United States: 1801-1809

Letter To Dr. Edward Jenner On is Discovery of the Small Pox Vaccine - Monticello, May 14, 1806

        _To Dr. Edward Jenner_
        _Monticello, May 14, 1806_

        SIR, -- I have received a copy of the evidence at large
respecting the discovery of the vaccine inoculation which you have
been pleased to send me, and for which I return you my thanks.
Having been among the early converts, in this part of the globe, to
its efficiency, I took an early part in recommending it to my
countrymen.  I avail myself of this occasion of rendering you a
portion of the tribute of gratitude due to you from the whole human
family.  Medicine has never before produced any single improvement of
such utility.  Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood was
a beautiful addition to our knowledge of the animal economy, but on a
review of the practice of medicine before and since that epoch, I do
not see any great amelioration which has been derived from that
discovery.  You have erased from the calendar of human afflictions
one of its greatest.  Yours is the comfortable reflection that
mankind can never forget that you have lived.  Future nations will
know by history only that the loathsome small-pox has existed and by
you has been extirpated.

        Accept my fervent wishes for your health and happiness and
assurances of the greatest respect and consideration.