One Last: 18th Century Disease

An interesting side-note on Washington's ailments.

from Washington: A Life
Ron Chernow

For someone with Washington's robust physique, the dysentery must have had a profound psychological effect. His body had suddenly lost the strength and resilience that had enabled him to cross freezing streams and ride through snowy forests. And it was not the first time he had experienced a sense of physical fragility. By the age of twenty-six, he had survived smallpox, pleurisy, malaria, and dysentery. He had not only evaded bullet but survived disease with astounding regularity. If these illnesses dimmed his fervor for a military commission, they may also have reminded him of the forgotten pleasures of domestic life.

We forget that the world we live in is peppered through with all sorts of things that would, given lesser medicine/hygiene, do away with us entirely.  


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