Richmond Dispatch, 12/13/1862
From the Richmond Dispatch, 12/13/1862, p. 3, c. 2
City Council. – The Small Pox Excitement.—A called meeting of this body was held at the City Hall at 12 o'clock yesterday. Present; Messrs D. J. Saunders, N. B Hill James A. Scott, Thomas H. Wynne, Thomas C. Epps, David J Burr, Richard H. Haskins, Fleming Griffin, E. H. Stokes, and P. R. Grattan. The President announced that the object of the meeting was to consider what means were best adapted to prevent the spread of small-pox amongst the inhabitants of this city. The Mayor being present, on motion of Mr. Scott he was permitted to address the Council relative to the subject. He expressed the opinion that it was entirely competent for the city, through her constituted authorities to curtail the spread of small-pox by removing directly to the City Hospital, or without the corporation limits, all persons afflicted with the disease, and announced his readiness to perform any duty enjoined on him in regard thereto. A long discussion ensued between the members as to the propriety of adopting this or that course in order to prevent the spread of the disease, which it was rather broadly intimated, was becoming epidemic in our midst.
The following resolutions were offered by Mr. Burr, and, after discussion and amendment, were adopted:
1. Resolved, That the health officers of the city be requested to employ assistants and make arrangements at once for the vaccination, voluntary or involuntary, of all persons who are not able to pay for it themselves, at the expense of the city.
2. Resolved, That the Board of Health be requested to inquire and report to the Council how the hospital accommodations for small-pox patients may be speedily increased, and generally what measures should be adopted to prevent the spread of this disease.
3. Resolved. That the physicians of the city be requested to report to the health officers of the city such cases of small-pox as may occur from time to time in their practice.
Mr. Thos H. Wynne, chairman of the select committee appointed at the last meeting read the following report, which was adopted:
The Committee on the City Hospital, to whom was referred the letter of Dr. Snead, Health Physician of the city, dated December 6, 1862 respectfully report that they have considered the subjects therein embraced, and report adversely to the proposition for erecting sheds around the City Hospital; adversely to the proposition of removing patients from the suburbs of the city into the City Hospital, and in favor of the suggestion made by this officer to increase the price of patients to $2.50 per-diem.
They also recommend to the Council that the ordinance concerning health be so amended as to allow the committee to pay the hospital physician ten dollars per-diem to take off at from the time at which there, were five patients in the hospital.
Dr. Carrington, C. S. A., in charge of the small-pox hospital, corner of 25th and Cary streets, by permission, addressed the Council. There were in that hospital 149 patients, of which 40 were convalescent, and could not communicate the disease — An order was given Thursday for their removal to the new hospital at Howard's Grove, and they had been sent there. The removal of the other patients would be effected speedily. The number in the hospital was composed of soldiers, and was exclusive of those in the city hospital, some of whom were a so soldiers, and would be removed at an early day to Howard's Grove, where there were accommodations for 600 patients.
Mr. Wynne offered the following resolution, which was adopted:
Resolved, That the Committee on the Hospital respectfully recommend to the Surgeon General of the Confederate States to cause all small-pox persons in the employment of the Confederate States to be removed from the city and its suburbs to houses in the surrounding country, or, in the event of this not being practicable at once, to select some portion of the suburbs for this purpose, and to establish a strict quarantine around the portion so selected, and to use all other means at his command to prevent the introduction into and spread of this disease in the city.
On motion, adjourned.
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