Boylston is known for holding several "firsts" for an American-born physician: He performed the first surgical operation by an American physician, the first removal of gall bladder stones in 1710, and was the first to remove a breast tumor in 1718.
He was a great uncle of President John Adams.
His method was initially met by hostility and outright violence from some religious groups and most other physicians, and he was arrested for a short period of time for it (he was later released with the promise not to inoculate without government permission). In 1724, Boylston traveled to London, where he published his results as Historical Account of the Small-Pox Inoculated in New England, and became a fellow of the Royal Society two years later. Afterward, he returned to Boston.
A REVOLUTIONARY IN THE SMALLPOX WAR WHEN DR. ZABDIEL BOYLSTON INTRODUCED SMALLPOX INOCULATIONS IN BOSTON NEARLY 300 YEARS AGO, HE WAS DENOUNCED BY THE MEDICAL AND POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT. TODAY, WITH THE THREAT OF SMALLPOX AGAIN CENTER STAGE, HE IS CONSIDERED A HERO.
May 11, 2003; More than two decades after the World Health Organization declared the global eradication of smallpox, concern that it could be...