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Selectmen of Raynham, Massachusetts vote that there should be an inoculating hospitals in the houses of three inhabitants, with Dr. David Cobb as physician

Selectmen of Raynham, Massachusetts vote that there should be an inoculating hospitals in the houses of three inhabitants, with Dr. David Cobb as physician

Autograph document signed, written on18th century hand-laid watermarked paper, 6 3/8 by 8 ½ inches, creased where folded, missing upper part of right recto with some loss of few letters of text, otherwise in very good condition.

A handwritten letter, undated, describing a public meeting at which time the Selectmen of Raynham, Massachusetts voted to develop Inoculating Hospitals for the Smallpox in the houses of Noah Hall, Stephen Dean and John Shaw. The document further states that Dr. David Cobb was voted to be the physician (inoculator). It bears the signatures of Joshua Leonard and Phillip King. Although the letter is not dated as to its year, it is most likely in the period of 1775-1776, as this was the year when Leonard and King were the Selectmen. Dr. David Cobb, a Harvard graduate, was an influential and well-known hero of the Revolutionary War, physician and politician.

The letter reads:

“We the Subscribers Select Men hereby certify that a meeting held at the Publick Meeting House in said Raynham on Wednesday the 1st day of March current, the inhabitants at said meeting voted that there should be improvised for Innoculating Hospitals in said Town the Dwelling Houses Messrs. Noah Hall, Stephen Dean & John Shaw During the Term of Two months & that Doctor David Cobb be the Physician.

Joshua Leonard

Philip King”

On the verso, there is a small text block which reads “Select Men of Raynham certified in respect to a hospital”.

Doctor David Cobb, Major General (September 14, 1748 – April 17, 1830). David Cobb was a Revolutionary War soldier and aide-de-camp to General George Washington, speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and president of the Senate, physician, judge, member of Congress, lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, and a founder of the Society of the Cincinnati and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He studied medicine with Dr. Perkins (Dr. Richard Perkins of Bridgewater, a well-known physician) and afterward practiced in Taunton, Massachusetts. He was a member of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress in 1775; lieutenant colonel of Colonel Henry Jackson’s 16th regiment in 1777 and 1778, serving in Rhode Island and New Jersey; was aide-de-camp on the staff of General George Washington; appointed major general of militia in 1786 and rendered conspicuous service during Shays' Rebellion. The degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon him by Princeton College in 1783, and by Brown University in 1830.In 1976, David Cobb was honored by being on a postage stamp for the United States Postal Service. The David Cobb papers are in the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Capt. Joshua Leonard was born on 5 Jan 1724/25 in Raynham, MA. He died on 27 Nov 1816 in Raynham, MA and was buried in Town Center Cemetery. He lived on a large farm near Raynham Forge.

Contributed by anonymous.