Prison Thoughts

ON

Vaccination

BY

HENRY PITMAN,

THIS narrative, commenced in prison, is intended to serve as a general letter to my "troops of friends" who may desire to know my reasons for coming here (Knutsford house of Correction), how I have fared, how I got out, and my objections to vaccination, for the non -practice of which disgusting and dangerous operation upon my youngest child I was sentenced to fourteen days’ imprisonment.

Our first four children were duly vaccinated. My wife and I had taken no particular thought about the right or wrong of the thing, and the mysterious rite of vaccination was submitted to as a matter of course, which chiefly concerned our doctors (Homeopathists—surely they ought to know better), for the children, poor innocents, could not protest, excepting by their cries.

Upon reflection, we saw no sufficient reason for the hazardous operation; moreover, we thought that certain ailments in our children resulted wholly or partly from vaccination, so we resolved to have no more of it ? Our resolution was in due time put to the test having disregarded repeated notices to vaccinate, I was summoned before the late Mr. Frafford for the non-vaccination of our bonny Rosy. By this time I was acquainted with the arguments for and against vaccination, and I was simple enough to think that a statement of my objections would convince any sensible magistrate that we were justified in not subjecting our child to this law-inflicted disease. I knew that the Act imposed a penalty for non-vaccination of twenty shillings and costs, distraint upon goods, or 14 days’ imprisonment; but I also read in the Act that magistrates had a discretionary power, and could fine or not; as they might "see fit," upon "reasonable" excuse being offered. Of course, my defence was stopped by the stereotyped objection that magistrates have no alternative, but must enforce time penalty. I was fined time full penalty of twenty shillings and costs (ten shillings), which I paid, I am sorry to say; for even at that time I felt it to be my duty not to pay the fine, but I could not screw my courage to face that terrible sticking place, the County jail.

This occurred about seven years ago. From that time to time present, I have laboured to make known the evils of vaccination, have spent much money upon the agitation, and, of course, injured my business and incurred considerable odium. For above two years I issued a weekly publication called the Anti-Vaccinator. As enquiries are still made for this periodical, I may mention that it is out of print; but its place is better supplied by the Occasional Circular (price 1d.) issued by the National Anti-Compulsory Vaccination League, and which may be had from the President, Win. Hume-Rothery, Esq., Merton Lodge, Tivoli, Cheltenham, and from all Branch Leagues. This able and devoted anti-vaccinator, and his equally earnest and accomplished wife (Mary C. Hume-Rothery, daughter of that incorruptible statesman, Joseph Hume, M.P.), are the joint editors of the Circular, and are the main springs of the Anti-Vaccination Movement. As my object is to induce people to read and think about this subject, I may also mention here that the secretary of the Manchester Branch of the Anti-Vaccination League, is Mr. Edward Heywood, of 6, Polygon Street, Ardwick, who will give a good account of any contributions, large or small, which may be sent to him to aid our local endeavours on behalf of personal purity and parental freedom.

The Anti-Vaccinator and the Circular contain a mass of irrefutable evidence against the State system of blood poisoning, as well as numerous authenticated cases of shocking injury and death resulting therefrom; while the reports of repeated prosecutions and imprisonment of parents who conscientiously object to the practice, are enough to stir time blood of any Englishman.

I mention time above personal matters to explain how I came to be a "marked man." Passing over a period of seven years, during which I was not summoned, though many of my friends were, I come to time present case.

Our daughter Violet, the seventh living child, was born at Knutsford, in Cheshire. Her birth was registered; no attempt being made to evade the law in this or any other way. I like to fight in the open, and therefore rejoice to hear of the law being enforced, believing with President Grant that time speediest way to get a bad law repealed is to strictly enforce it. On removing from Knutsford to Altrincham, the zealous vaccination officer found me out, and I received the customary notice, which being disregarded, I was commanded by the magistrates under the 31st section of the Act of 1867, "in Her Majesty’s Name," to appear before them, and "also to bring the said child." I hold that this last command was informal, and that the first process should have been to make an order for vaccination. I could not appear personally owing to engagements, and the notice being short—only three days—I had not time to get a medical certificate of the child’s "un fitness," nor to obtain the advice of counsel. A barrister has a right to defend his client in court; but magistrates, as a rule, will not hear anti-vaccinators plead in their own defence, yet how can they know if there be a "reasonable" excuse, unless they hear the particulars?

My request for adjournment was disregarded, and as the fine was not paid a warrant was issued for my apprehension. As "coming events cast their shadows before," I did not like the prospect of being marched off to jail at any moment. In the first place, it is not considered "respectable" to be sent to prison, and an enforced "retreat" interferes with one’s business arrangements. However, having vowed I would not pay another fine, and having often preached this doctrine of resistance to others, I resolved now to practice it. When my mind was once made up I found that the fear of imprisonment, like the "fear of death," is most in "apprehension." Now it is all over I rejoice at this new experience of life, and say reverently that, in the order of Divine Providence (for it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps), all has been for the best; I feel better in body and spirit; I have had three days’ holiday at a. stately mansion in a district noted for its sweet air, and without costing me a penny. But that is not all; I rejoice most because the object in view is likely to be served—namely, the abrogation of an oppressive and injurious law.

But I am going too fast with my story. The constable called once or twice during my absence. Of course I made no effort to avoid him. On Wednesday, March 22, 1876, having completed all my booked engagements to report meetings, discussions, &c., I felt that the time was opportune for letting the law take its course, I had said to friends, jokingly, that I needed rest, and did not see my way to getting a holiday voluntarily. My desk being thus cleared of work I went home on that day early to tea. We had just given Violet her evening bath, and she had fallen asleep in my arms, when there was a ring at the door bell, The children exclaimed, "Here’s the policeman again!" I went to the door, and there was the gentleman in blue, and I must say that he acted like a gentleman. He may have had a pair of handcuffs in his pocket, but they were not paraded, and there was no occasion for them. He asked me to pay the fine. I told him respectfully and firmly I would not—that I had made up my mind upon the subject. He said, " You had better come with me and see our Superintendent." I agreed. Foreseeing that I was not likely to return, I took a quiet leave of my family, and beginning to feel hungry, hastily pocketed some bread and butter, a couple of apples, and a bit of simnel cake. The "pain of parting" was thus lightened, and there was no "scene." I mention these apparently trivial incidents in confirmation of my faith that the smallest as well as the greatest events of our lives are ordered for the best.

The Superintendent also advised me to pay the fine. I told him that I thought I had been hardly and illegally treated. I was summoned under the 31st section of the Vaccination Act of 1867. (You can get time Act for a few pence at Meredith’s, King Street.) The catch words of the first part of the section are, " Justices may make an Order for the Vaccination of any Child under 14 Years." The Justices, by this section, are first empowered to summon the parent who has disregarded the Notice to vaccinate ; amid "if the Justice shall find that the Child has not been vaccinated, he may, if he see fit, make an Order directing such Child to be vaccinated within a certain time." That should clearly have been the first process—to make an Order. The second part of the section is headed "Penalty for Disobedience" of the Order to vaccinate, which Order had never been issued. The section proceeds— "And if at the expiration of such time the child shall not have been so vaccinated, the person upon whom such Order shall have been made shall be proceeded against summarily, and unless he can show reasonable ground for his Omission to carry the Order into effect, shall be liable to a Penalty not exceeding twenty shillings."

In the next place, I contend that the sentence of imprisonment was illegal; because (to quote the words of my fellow-sufferer, Mr. Milner, Chairman of the Keighley Board of Guardians) "the magistrates had no ground for supposing I was without property, or that distraint would distress my family, neither did I plead want of goods. Therefore the 43 cap. 19 sec. of Jarvis’s Acts bears me out in my contention, that the magistrates have exceeded their duty, and laid themselves open to censure in time whole of this illegal sentence."

The following report from the Daily Telegraph confirms this view of the illegality of my committal:

"Andover—Mr. F. Pearse, photographer, and Mr. W. Harvey, tailor, were summoned to-day for non-compliance with the provisions of the Vaccination Acts. The Bench inflicted the full penalty in each case, or fourteen days’ imprisonment in default, under the Small Penalties Act. Both defendants having firmly refused on principle to pay the fines, the learned counsel for time defence pointed out. that the magistrates were clearly exceeding their powers in committing them to prison in default of payment, as the Vaccination Act specially provided that justices are authorised to commit defendants only in default of sufficient distress. The Bench reconsidered their decision, and finally determined to recover the penalties by distraint on defendants’ goods. The affair has caused great excitement, much sympathy being manifested for the defendants, who have each suffered eighteen previous convictions, and paid a large sum in fines and coats."—Daily Telegraph, March 4, 1876.

Mr. Pearse had previously paid 14 2s. 6d. and Mr. Harvey 12 4s. 6d., thus showing time strength of their conscientious objections to vaccination.

Other anti-vaccinators have been handcuffed to felons and sentenced to hard labour, respecting which the Secretary of State, in a letter to the magistrates who tried Mr. Milner’s case (dated March 23rd, 1876), asks—" By what authority you imposed hard labour, as Mr. Cross is advised that there is no power to do so either under the Vaccination or Small Penalties Acts. Neither does time Statute 11-12 Vic., cap. 43, autimorise hard labour to be given for non-payment of a fine so imposed."

I state thus part of my case here (though, of course, I did not argue it with the Superintendent), because the Bowdon and Altrincham Guardian, in noticing my committal, said: "We believe Mr. Pitman is under some doubt as to the legality of his conviction, and that he will ultimately have this tried." I have no personal or vindictive feeling in time matter, and I dislike litigation, yet it seems a public duty to call to account those who, while professing to administer the law themselves, do an act of injustice. The same newspaper, in a previous notice of the case, said that I refused to pay the fine because I had some "ulterior object to serve." That object was to vindicate the right of parents to keep their children in health; and I will show presently that vaccination cannot possibly lessen but must increase the total amount of disease. I shall not bring an action for false imprisonments knowing the "law’s delay" and uncertainty—my friends may do as they please. I confess that my suffering during the first night in jail prompted a course of tit for tat, but kinder treatment made me resolve not to spend myself upon any side issue or cross scent. We war against the law and not against its originators, supporters, or administrators.

I did not stay in the Superintendent’s office a minute. I told the constable I was ready, for I thought it best not to return home, though I was not suitably equipped for my jaunt. So we walked to the railway station, and the constable handed me a third-class ticket, and having taken my parole, he considerately intimated that he would keep aloof until the arrival of the train. It was now seven o’clock, and I was ready for my evening meal, which I ate with extra relish.. On the arrival of the train my convoy got into a separate carriage, partly to save my feelings (it was his proposal, not mine) and partly, I suspect, for the sake of having a smoke; for he possibly knew that I detest tobacco smoke almost as much as vaccination. I finished my meal in the train and felt in a peaceful frame of mind. It. was nearly dark when we reached Knutsford. I was the only prisoner. On entering the prison thr first process was to have the Rules read to me. I told the Warder that I might break the first rule, which was against "singing." Talking, whistling, exchanging food, &c., are also punishable offences. Though I was not in a singing key just then, I did not see why the commendable occupation of Paul and Silas in their dungeon should be an offence in a House of Correction provided by professing Christians for the improvement of their fellow-sinners. I hold that the primary object of the law should be to reform and not to punish. Our penal system would be a disgrace even to pagans. It is intended to be remedial and deterrent, but it is a huge and costly blunder. The hard "silent" system, with its almost useless labour, tends to make prisoners callous and revengeful. O, for an army of Howards and Frys and Martins to administer wise, humane, profitable, and reforming treatment to these unfortunates!

Excuse my keeping you waiting in the vestibule. A minute longer, however, if you please, for I have to yield up the contents of my pockets,--pencils, paper, knife, watch, money, &c. I knew the property was in safe hands, yet I parted with some of these articles regretfully. I was then weighed and measured. My height doesn’t signify, for that was not affected by my treatment; but I think it speaks well for the Knutsford House of Correction that I weighed only 1531bs. on entering and 1541bs. on leaving; and this improvement after only three days’ treatment. What a pity my friends would not let me stay my fourteen days at the establishment! My improved condition will, I hope, encourage those timid fathers to face the law who have feared that prison diet and discipline would not suit their delicate constitutions.

Nothing was said about donning the prison uniform. Had I not found "friends at court," the piebald dress would doubtless have been included in my punishment. I was then conducted through the long corridors to my bedroom, a cell about big enough for a dog kennel. In this respect Knutsford House of Correction does not compare favourably with "Belle Vue" Prison, which is a more modern erection, and where friend Tarr served his full term for a similar "offence." My cell contained an iron bench on one side, a small grated window, an iron pipe to warm it, and a can of drinking water. The prison was quiet, and all the other visitors had gone to bed at the regulation hour of six o’clock. I was not asked if I wanted anything to eat, so it was fortunate my appetite had been appeased in the way mentioned. My bedding was brought. It consisted of a narrow mattress, a large blanket and a rug. There was no pillow. The officers kindly showed me the way to make the best of my bedding, and then bolted and barred the double doors. I was advised to keep on some of my clothing, and I did so. You will remember what winterly weather we had in March. For once in my life I wished during the night that I had kept my boots on, for the mattress being about ten inches too short my feet got cold. O, that dreadful night! There was a horror of great darkness, and for a time an indescribable feeling of forsakenness. I commended myself to the care of my Heavenly Father and His ministering spirits, and my mind became composed; but there was no sleep for me on that hard couch. I made an apology for a pillow with my cap and handkerchief. I turned first on one side and then on time other, and I heard the prison clock strike the quarters during every hour of that wretched night. I had thus ample time for reflection, and I went over the whole of the pros and cons of the matter, the conclusion being that conscience said you have done right to yourself, your family, your country, aye! and the world---for England set the nations the bad example of doing evil that good may come, and she must make atonement. Yes, I felt happy, and welcomed the wished for dawn with Milton’s "Song of Praise":—

"Let us, with a gladsome mind,
Praise the Lord for he is kind."

The first bell rung at 5-30 am. I rose and dressed, as I had been bidden. There was no provision for washing. I went through my gymnastics as well as the lack of space would allows and got up the animal heat. Presently my bedding was fetched—I had folded it up, as directed—and after another interval for meditation, my breakfast was brought. There was a piece of bread, perhaps six ounces, and a tin of gruel, commonly called "skilly." With a good appetite and a thankful heart, I ate that gruel with my wooden spoon, and slowly munched every crumb of the dry bread. There was just enough. Possibly some of my neighbours wanted more, but whether they had heard of Oliver Twist or not, they did not ask for more. I cannot say that I liked the gruel as well as our home-made oatmeal porridge, which has made the staple of my breakfast for nearly half-a-century; but then I am rather extravagant, and make our porridge of Embden Groats, which are superior to even Pinhead meal. The groats are sixpence a pound; half-a-pound makes plenty for nine of us—Mamma, May, Flora, Freddy, Lily, Rosy, Percy, Violet, and myself. If any of you know a healthier, more palatable and cheaper breakfast, please let me know. I make these remarks in connection with my first prison meal partly to relieve your sympathetic souls by showing that my mode of living made prison diet and discipline no hardship. The only fault I found with the bread was that it was not black enough; some of the bran had been abstracted, and that is an essential element, not only for keeping the bowels in order, but it supplies that essential for literary men, phosphorus, or brain-power, which Mr. Frank Buckland tells us can also be had in the oyster at the cost of nine shillings a-pound. I am further, by this apparent digression, indicating one of my remedies for small-pox—namely, simple and nourishing food—especially fruit, and no flesh. Of course cleanliness, temperance, and ventilation are equally important.

After breakfast I was called into the corridor with a few other recent arrivals, and questioned by the Doctor, who must have recommended better treatment for me, for henceforth my lot was almost an enviable one, in comparison with my first experience of "durance vile," I neither asked for nor expected exceptional treatment. I was prepared to endure all things. Thus happily was fulfilled time saying, " Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Not that I shed a tear (nor did my wife) excepting when I was overpowered with time feeling of God’s goodness, or gazed again on the lovely sky, exclaiming with Carlyle—

"So here hath been dawning another blue day"

or with Whittier—

"I see the wrong that round me lies,
I feel the guilt within,
I hear, with groans and travail cries,
The world confess its sin;

"Yet in the maddening maze of things,
And tossed by storm and flood,
To one fixed stake my spirit clings—
I know that God is good!"

I was removed to the infirmary and ordered mixed milk and egg as extra food. Here I had a decent crib, and slept like a top. There was a good fire, which was kept up day and night. The Governor came to see me, accompanied by Mr. Joynson, chairman of the visiting magistrates. Both gentlemen expressed their sympathy. I was allowed to have writing materials—my only request—and no restriction was put upon the number of letters I wrote or received. While thankful for this concession I felt regret that my fellow-prisoners had not time same privilege. My wife, three children, and Mr. Ed. Heywood came to see me. Then I had friendly visits from the Governor, the Doctors, and the Chaplain, and books were lent me. The officers in charge were more like friends than jailors. I knew most of them when living in Knutsford. There was no relaxation of discipline, however. My respect and gratitude are great for all with whom I came in contact; not omitting two fellow-prisoners—Francis Moran and Doctor, Shaw—who waited upon me. The willinghood of Moran was unbounded. His term would end with mine. Perhaps this first gave us a fellow-feeling. He had been in for twelve months. It was his second time ; and drink was his turnkey both times. Many others told the same sad story of drink, and so-called "crime." In my opinion the law makers and the vendors of drink are the real criminals. I hope it is no breach of confidence to say that the Governor is an anti-vaccinator. He has never been vaccinated. Officers and prisoners told me of their children being diseased and killed by vaccination.

The first letter I received was from my Wife. I want my relatives and friends to know her mind, anti nothing will show it better than her letter, because it was written without a thought that other eyes than mine would read it

"My Dearest Henry,—I suppose you are suffering the penalty of the just (?) English Law! I sent May and Flora to ask about your fate, and they told them you had gone to Knutsford. I only fear that you will have your health injured by the cold you must endure. Tell me how you are treated, and if I can do anything in the way of writing to friends or business people. Should we put a card on the Office door, to say at what stylish country house you are being entertained? I only wish the anti-vaccinators knew where you are. Well, it seems sad that you should be so treated, but as it is for a good cause we must try to bear it as well as we can. The children send kisses and their very best love, and would rather bear the suffering than papa should. Do you think you will be allowed to go to Mr. Birch’s on Sunday? I have written to tell him where you are, and I hope he will come to see you. Can we visit you? I don’t know even whether you are allowed to write—I do hope so. I wonder what you will have to do, and how you will pass the weary time and I also wonder how we shall pass it too, with this sadness continually with us. I hope the good spirits will comfort us both. Heaven give you strength to endure this hardness. I would you had paid the fine rather than injure your health,, but I hope you may be better treated than I fancy you are. I hope you may be able to sleep, but the thought of a cold cell drives sleep away from me—so how must you feel, who have to bear it? I dare not give way to my feelings of revenge, but I don’t feel in a very holy state of mind at present. But I won’t say anything dreadful. Good night, dearest!—From your loving HELEN."

The second letter I received was from a friend with a name of happy omen, Mr. T. W. Hope, of Knowsley Street, Cheetham Hill, who sent substantial sympathy

"My Dear Friend,—I was not aware of your position till I saw the account in the Evening News, at 9-30 to-night. I have tried to telegraph to you, but the clerk in charge refused to try the instruments, it being after time, so all I could do was simply write a letter, in which I enclose 2 (a cheque), which I expect will be sufficient to pay your fine, &c. Be sure and telegraph first thing in the morning, and tell me how you get on. They may not be satisfied with a cheque, but if they telegraph to the bank they can then satisfy themselves about it. It is quite time in this country, that boasts of its civilization, that men should cease to suffer for ‘conscience’ sake,’ but there appears to be so much interest at stake that we are thereby prevented from following the first principle of Christianity, ‘Do unto others as you would they should do unto you.’—Yours truly, T. W. Hope."

Mr. B. Thorpe, of Middleton, who has made great sacrifices in the anti-vaccination cause, communicated early with my wife and my deliverer, William Hume Rothery, Esq.

The next letter was from a clear old phonographic friend, and was marked "Private." He began by asking who was my lawyer, and went on "No doubt you are merry, and sincerely think you are right in principle. I think you wrong to incur this extremity, but do not presume to argue with you. I only know that the inconsistencies of life and the world are a daily crucifixion, but one feels it a duty to bow in the faith that a good over-ruling Providence will in the end bring Truth and Goodness out of the Evil. We are not called to be martyrs for the great Jackass of Popularity. Besides, I think the comfort and happiness of your dear wife and children should be ample justification to your own conscience, if you submit a little even to what you are welcome to maintain is an injustice. If you punish yourself ever so much, you have no business to pain your friends without precious good reason."

I wish to be fair, and give both sides; lot I know that many condemn me for letting the law proceed to its " extremity." Why not pay the fine and have done with it? Because we might pay fines forever without lessening the grip of the law. Paying fines is a virtual acknowledgement that the law is just. Besides, what about, time tens of thousands of parents who cannot pay the fines? They have no option but going to prison. I have not only submitted a "little," but a great deal. Bad laws will never be repealed by " bending" to them. I think I have "precious good reason" for "paining" those who won’t lend a helping hand to cut away this cancer; not that I would pain them needlessly, but I like to hear them sing out painfully against an atrocious law which sends parents to prison because they won’t commit a crime.

I received a treasured letter from my brother Isaac, the inventor of Phonography, whom I love as my Spritual Father. It was written to my wife. I transcribe a sentence or two :—

"I have received a Manchester paper with the intelligence that our dear Henry has chosen rather to go to prison, to testify his righteous abhorrence of the vaccination laws than go on paying fines. My only fear is that he will have to go again. Perhaps the magistrate will relent, if he should be summoned again. In the meantime please accept our sympathy, and the enclosed little help, 5."

This evidence of considerate love from a brother, to whom I owe my living, is worth going to prison for. He knew I could earn nothing there. I hope my pupils will so increase that I shall be able to repay him, that time Writing and Printing Reform may not suffer by his generosity.

I am sorry to break off in the middle of my story, but the Printer tells me he has enough copy. There is no time for revision, so please excuse faults, and look out for Part 2 in about a week.

Perhaps Mr. Heywood can squeeze in this letter and poem from H Strickland Constable, Esq. :—

"Sir, Circumstances that have lately come under my notice have led me to share the doubts now so largely entertained upon the subject of vaccination. It. is said that. vaccination is proved to be beneficial by the fact that small-pox is less fatal than formerly. But gaol fevers, camp fevers, black death, sweating fevers, Oriental plague, &c., are less fatal than formerly, without any corresponding causes. The fact, no doubt, is that in former times medical practice was barbarous and sanitary considerations undreamed of. At most, vaccination ought to be permissive, not compulsory. To imprison a man for refusing to have his younger child vaccinated, because he believes his elder child has been killed by the operation, is extremely cruel. Their sufferers are poor men. Their influence cannot tell upon political parties like that of brewers and railway directors, and therefore their cause has little chance of a hearing; but have yet to learn that a poor man is not every whit as fond of his children as a rich one. One can fancy the Devil chuckling over this bit of legislation. Such cold-blooded cruelty must be perfectly charming to any spirit of unmixed malignity. I Send you a new version of Coleridge’s celebrated poem.—Yours, &c., "H. STRICKLAND CONSTABLE," Athenoeum Club, Pall Mall,

"THE DEVIL AND VACCINATION
From his brimstone bed at dawn of day,
From his bed the Devil is risen,
Risen and dressed in his Sunday best,
To inspect a model prison.

"Villainous faces—burglars, thieves,
Murderers, too, he saw;
But the Devil was sad, for they put him in mind
Of just and righteous law.

"He saw a bare-backed garotter flogged,
Cursing and groaning with pain;
But the Devil was sad, for he thought of the Book
That says—’Behold, the measure ye mete
To thee will he measured again.’

"Plenty of grovelling souls he saw—
Plenty of vice and wrong---But petty and mean, so the Devil was bored,
For he loves it hot and strong.

"There wore two or three prisoners swearing hard,
And he caught the word ‘Damnation!’
The Devil was bored, yet he sneered a sneer
Of lazy approbation,

At length he came to an honest face---
"Hollo! My man" said he,
"How in the world did you get here?"
What crime can your crime be?"

"If I had a bairn,’ the man he said,
‘A bonnier could not be;
They poisoned his blood, and he died of sores,
A loathsome site to see.

"‘Another was born, but I swore an oath
That murdered he should not be
So here I am in a felon’s cell,
And in felons’ company.’

"Ho, ho! cried the Devil, as he rubbed his paws—
‘This is nuts, this is nuts,’ said he
‘A poor man crushed by the strong hand
Of legal tyranny.

"‘Oh! it’s a treat to see a good man
Ground down for doing right!
Doubly a treat when the grinding is done
By law iii its pitiless might!

"The Devil remained—he was far too pleased
To return to his place below—
He stayed and chuckled, and waved his tail
Gently to and fro."

PART II.

 

Part I brought me hundreds of sympathetic letters, and two abusive post-cards. One of these bears the Uxbridge post-mark :—

"Sir——I am happy to hear that if you have refused to comply with the laws of your country, the law has asserted its power and sent you to prison. I have no pity for such egotistical fools as yourself. Wishing you nothing worse than a visitation of malignant. smallpox to your house if you still disobey the law, I am, Sir,"A VACCINATIONIST."

The second card was from Ipswich ; the signature I cannot decipher. The writer says: "In your utterly selfish ignorance you would rather see hundreds killed or disfigured by smallpox than run a small risk yourself. Your course is a very cowardly and unpatriotic one."

The only condemnation of my conduct worthy of serious notice is contained in the following letter from Mr. Hugh Birley, MP. for Manchester:—

House of Commons, March 29, 1876.

" Dear Sir,—I have received your letter of the 24th instant, and seen the Secretary of State. As it appears that the success of your appeal is very doubtful, and might involve delay, I have arranged for the payment of your fine, and hope that you will be released forthwith. I must, however, strongly condemn your conduct in violating the law——Yours faithfully, HUGH BIRLEY

"Violating the law "has an awful sound to the ears of law—loving Englishmen. No light matter would induce me to violate tile law ; but I shall not scruple to break any human law when my conscience tells me it is opposed to the Divine law. When church-rates were compulsory I paid them, under protest; but I honoured my Quaker friends who refused to pay. That law (which is gone the way of all bad laws) merely demanded your money or your goods;" this burglarious law says, in effect, "your money or your life!" Hence I am dead against a law that threatens death to my child. But have I violated the law in objecting to the vaccination of my child? The vaccination law is presumed to be "compulsory;" but it is not really so. In my wicked moments I have sometimes wished that Lord Redesdale’s proposal had been adopted, namely, to send a policeman with the doctor, and vaccinate the child by force ! Such compulsion would lead to what the Daily News called a "mother’s rebellion," and be death to the law as well as to the vaccinators. My wife is one of the gentlest of women, yet her motherly love has forced her to say: "Let them attempt to vaccinate my child and I’ll vaccinate them!’

It is impossible to enforce vaccination—hence the folly of the attempt. The Vaccination Committee (1871) admit this in their report. They say: "Your Committee cannot recommend that a policeman should be empowered to take a baby from its mother to the vaccine station.". Mr. Candlish, M.P. for Sunderland, who was the first witness before that Committee, said: "No House of Commons would dare to pass a law to take children by violence from their parents and vaccinate them. If vaccination be a protection, the unvaccinated can do no harm; if it be not a protection, it is wrong to enforce it. There is a conscience at work in resistance to this law in the case of a large number of intelligent and respectable persons."

The present law is in a measure optional or permissive. It exempts sickly children, and parents are allowed to purchase exemption for their healthy children by paying 20s. and costs. As it is wrong to compromise with evil, I object either to vaccinate or pay the fine. What then? Is prison the next thing? No; the law says: "If you won’t pay the -fine we must fetch it. Seize his goods, if he has any; if not, seize his body." But in my case (see Part I.)—and there are scores of others as unjust—.. the extremity of the law was instantly enforced. My child was legally exempt, for it was not in a "fit and proper state to be successfully vaccinated." (Schedule B.) Yet I was not allowed time to get a doctor’s certificate to that effect. It was further illegal to commit me to prison before making distraint. Therefore Mr. Joynson and his brother magistrates who committed me are the violators of the law. "Is there no redress for these wrongs?" "Why don’t you bring an action for false imprisonment?" Friends have offered me money towards the cost of trying this issue. No, I am not so much concerned to correct the maladministration of the law as to get the law repealed—a law which makes health a crime, and sends parents to prison without defence or fair trial. Well may Professor Newman say: "The law-makers are (in my opinion) the real criminals before God and man." I think the charges of "cowardice" and "ignorance" come with a bad grace from those who are foolishly afraid of smallpox, and who perpetrate such enormities on parents and little children.

If you still hold that I have violated the law, well, I have law makers and law administrators to keep me company. There are members of Parliament, magistrates, governors of jails, and policemen, who decline to have their children vaccinated. Must I give names? It is no secret that Mr. Jacob Bright, Sir Thomas Chambers, Mr. Leatham, and other members of Parliament, have unvaccinated children, not from oversight or neglect, but because they hate the unnatural and dangerous operation—yet we don’t hear of non-vaccinating members of Parliament being sent to prison. Truly there is one law for the rich and another for the poor.

To Sir Thos. Bazley, M.P., I am also indebted for kind services. Sir Thomas wrote: "I assure you that I have spoken and written strongly on your behalf to both the Secretary of State and the Local Government Board, and official inquiries will be instituted." In course of time I received the stereotyped reply from the authorities, that, " after careful inquiry and consideration of all the circumstances" of my case, they declined to interfere. Sir Thomas Bazley tries to comfort me (I was in prison at the time) by the assurance that my punishment is not likely to be repeated. That does not satisfy me, because I am liable to repeated prosecution until my child is fourteen years old—twice as long— (mark this)—as the vaccinators claim that the protection of this "sure prophylactic " lasts. Mr. Foster, chemist, of Preston, has been summoned more than thirty times, and has paid above 30 for the non-vaccination of one child. Mr. Charles Washington Nye, watchmaker, of Chatham, has been imprisoned six times, and illegally handcuffed and set to hard labour. I know hundreds of cases of heartless persecution of British fathers and mothers who demur to the defilement of the bodies of their children.

My prison petition to Parliament was entrusted to Mr. Jacob Bright, who wrote: "I shall be glad to present your petition. I am very sorry for this persecution which you and others are subject to, and see no way for some time for a change." The change of this law will come as soon as English fathers and mothers deserve and demand it. One of the most difficult things in the world is to get a bad law repealed. This should teach us to be watchful over our legislators, and not permit a few medical muffs in the Privy Council to earwig an overworked Parliament. Another lesson taught by this oppressive enactment is the danger of endowing opinions. What right have medical men to bind future generations to the practices of a changeable art? Endow opinions and practices, and you make it the interest of men to be false to conscience and opposed to reform. There are encouraging signs of an approaching "change." The Lancet makes it no secret that Mr. Simon, who is the head and front of this offending law, intends to resign. Although his seat is so lucrative, we have made it untenable. Any "change" in that quarter must be for the better. It is useless to argue with men who are fossilised by an Act of Parliament. "The older I grow the more I feel convinced that nothing vexes people so much and hardens them in their unbelief and in their dogged resistance to reforms, as undeniable facts and unanswerable arguments. Reforms are carried by Time." (From Professor Max Muller’s hopeful article on Phonetic Spelling in the Fortnightly Review for April, 1876.)

Another sign of the coming "change" is the fact that Boards of Guardians are refusing to put the vaccination law into force. No power in England can enforce vaccination. Sir Robert Peel knew that as well as any statesman, when he said "Compulsory vaccination is opposed to the mental habits of the British people, and to the freedom in which they glory, and therefore I will be no party to it." The attempt to make vaccination compulsory is only rendering the practice more hateful and inoperative. The Local Government Board is alarmed at what Mr. Jacob Bright rightly calls these "persecutions," and has told Boards of Guardians (in Circumlocution-office phraseology) not to prosecute conscientious parents repeatedly when there is no chance of making them submit, but to turn the screw as hard as they like on the feeble folk. The whole thing is based on fear and terrorism, which made it obnoxious to men like Sir Francis Burdett, Cobbett, and Henry Drummond. And there are not wanting statesmen now who denounce the law. Mr. John Bright writes of repeated prosecutions: "The law is monstrous, and ought to be repealed." Then why does he not protest against it in the House of Commons? I commend to Mr. John Bright this reason for granting the suffrage to women, especially mothers, that their votes would stop such stupid legislation as compulsory vaccination acts.

Mr. Andrew Leighton, of Liverpool, sent me the following brave letter when I was in prison :—

"My Dear Mr. Pitman,—Permit me to congratulate you on your pluck and determination to brave all the consequences of an iniquitous law rather than yield your conscience to its degradation. I hope this persecution by dominant and endowed medical priest-craft will all the sooner lead to its inevitable doom. I doubt not that the policy of good men suffering imprisonment, rather than bend to it or pay fines, is the true one for rousing the nation to a sense of the tyranny of this unrighteous law. ‘The faculty’ may stand by calmly enough so long as mere fines are paid, and a few poor men who are unable to pay are sent to prison; but they will tremble, and may well tremble, for their endowments, when conspicuous citizens, known for their integrity and intelligence, and ability to pay, reject the pecuniary alternative and go to prison. I wish every anti-vaccinator had the ‘grit’ in him necessary to maintain this policy. Members of Parliament would soon see that the Compulsory Vaccination Law was past praying for. I send you this word of good cheer, therefore, and sincerely hope that the occasion will be utilised in calling the attention of the members for Manchester to the consequences which their supineness, combined with that of others, is still allowing to be possible in this "free" and "happy" realm.—With kindest regards, I am, most noble criminal, your sympathising and admiring friend,
"ANDREW LEIGHTON"   P.S.—I have written to our three members for Liverpool on the subject."

Here is a letter from the author of the "Life of Swedenborg" and "Other World Order," a. little book which wisely justifies the ways of God to men (E. W. Allen, London, 1876) :—

"My Dear Mr. Pitman,—I heard from Mr. Leighton of your imprisonment for conscience sake, and hope it may serve to awaken many to a sense of the cruel delusion under which we all, directly or indirectly, suffer. Our ancestors are frequently pitied for their belief in witchcraft, but we who submit to the filthy mystery of vaccination have no reason to exult in our superior enlightenment. Superstition has not ceased: it has merely changed its form.—Yours very truly, "WM White"

The Bishop of Manchester writes :—" I am always sorry for a man who suffers for conscience sake, even though I think his conscience is wrongly informed." I have had occasional correspondence with the Bishop on this subject. In 1870 the Bishop wrote :—" You, properly, are prepared to argue the vaccination question on the simple basis of ascertained facts. According to the preponderance of these one way or the other, so let the conclusion be." Again, "The vaccination question has become one of primary sanitary importance, If the facts alleged can be substantiated. They do not, however, prove to my mind that vaccination is mischievous—indeed its benefits to me seem to be established by an overwhelming weight of evidence—but, simply that vaccine lymph is often poisoned; in which case, of course, it must be mischievous, and may be fatally mischievous." How often the vaccine lymph is "poisoned" will appear from the Bishop’s remark at the Sanitary Association meeting in June, 1870, that:—

"Disease of the lungs, which is credited with nearly one-third of the whole mortality of Manchester in 1869, is a form of scrofula, and scrofula is propagated probably more than in any other way through syphilitic taint. The ground of the opposition to vaccination is, that the vaccine lymph carried from one person to another is so largely tainted with this poisonous matter, that parents dare not trust their children to be vaccinated."

Mr. Simon states that 68 per cent of the diseases of infancy are of syphilitic origin. And every one of these syphilitic children may have had syphilitic matter taken from its arm to taint the blood of many more. It is no longer doubted by medical men that syphilis—the "bad disease "—has been imparted by vaccination. Dr. James Whitehead, of Manchester, records a case in which he conveyed the venereal poison from a syphilitic child to a healthy one by vaccination. Previous to vaccination, he says, both it and an elder child were healthy. The tainted child died, when 44 months old, of constitutional syphilis. Shocking! The mother was also infected. Here is the sad record from the Westminster Review: "While sucking its mother, the child infected her system through the nipples, and she died at the age of 38, about three years after the invasion of the mischief occasioned by vaccination." The reviewer adds, "Dr. Whitehead has notes of nine similar cases. We believe that many such might be collected."

It ought to be sufficient to condemn vaccination that there is the risk of such calamities. I will record another case, not before made public, in which evil results were not observed by the vaccinator, though they may have been subsequently developed. Dr. Walter Whitehead, of the Manchester Royal Infirmary, lately made the following statement at Mr. Thomas Harrison’s Sunday School for working men, which meets at the Manchester Mechanics’ Institution, and where this question has been four times considered :—

"You have hinted that syphilis has been given to children by vaccination. I believe it impossible. I would risk myself being vaccinated from a syphilitic child as I would from a healthy one; but I would not, if they introduced the blood of the child along with the lymph, because I should be perfectly certain that if the blood of that child were introduced into my system, I should render myself liable to suffer from syphilis. One instance alone was sufficient to satisfy me. During the time I was a public vaccinator, I vaccinated a number of children—I have all the particulars somewhere, and the case made a profound impression on me at the time— from a child, which, three months afterwards, gave evidence of suffering from hereditary syphilis. When children inherit syphilis from their parents, it may not develop itself until they have grown to the age of thirty, though time syphilis may be latent in their systems, and an in the case of thin child may give no evidence whatever of its presence. I was so alarmed at having taken matter from a syphilitic child, that I traced every one of those cases, and kept them under observation as long as I remained in that district, and not a single one showed any ill effects from having been vaccinated from this syphilitic child. On the other hand, we know that. syphilis has been transmitted through vaccination from one child to another. Mr. Hutchinson, of London, could find only about thirty well authenticated cases of syphilis being transmitted by vaccination, and if the numbers were treble, the penalty would be slight in comparison with the amount of good that vaccination has done."

I should like to know how long Dr. Walter White-head observed the children whom ho vaccinated from a syphilitic child, seeing that by his own admission, the venereal poison might be latent in the system for many years.

The Bishop of Manchester, in 1871, when presiding at the annual meeting of the Hospital for Sick Children, said
"The strong feeling against vaccination which exists, and even seems to grow, is due in a great measure to removable causes. It commends itself to one’s common sense that limiting the period within which vaccination is compulsory to twelve weeks from the birth of the infant, is putting a most injudicious, and in many cases what may be a most mischievous limit upon what otherwise might be a beneficial operation. A legitimate extension of time would possibly remove a great deal of the prejudice which exists against vaccination. It would be extremely desirable if something like an accurate statistical inquiry might be instituted to see to what extent so-called vaccination has been properly conducted."

The first suggestion of the Bishop was based upon the report of the Medical Officers, who said :—

"The excitable glandular system of a child so young, may be (and sometimes is affected by the irritation and effects of the operation (vaccination) as to leave results which are, to say time least, undesirable, and which might be avoided if a longer period were allowed.’’

I hope these gentlemen will press for an extension of time. England is the only country in which the time allowed is so short. Mr. John Pickering, F.S.S., of Leeds, has made an "accurate statistical enquiry into the returns of the Smallpox hospital in that town, and has proved them to be unreliable, and that vaccination is no protection against smallpox. I have marked many passages for quotation, but must be content with recommending my readers to get the pamphlet. It is published by McCorquodale and Co., Leeds; 40 pages, price 3d.

Another extract from time Bishop’s letters :—

My own opinion is not changed upon the subject of the prophylactic effects of vaccination when properly administered, nor as regards the necessity of the proper conditions being observed in the administration, namely, that the lymph is procured from a healthy subject, and that the child is in a proper state to receive it into his system.’

In my reply I said—

‘It is just because the ‘proper condition’ you mention cannot possibly be observed that we object altogether to vaccination. Your first first requirement is that the lymph shall be procured from a ‘healthy subject’ You will admit that there is no such thing an a perfectly healthy human being. There may be no gross hereditary taint, but every child has some impurity in the blood, and when vaccinated, this morbid matter comes out with the virus, and forms those sickening sores which Jenner depicts in his book. This is the result when the child vaccinated is strong and of fair health. That is to say, Nature tries to got rid of the intruder, and hence the formation of the pusttules. In the case of weak and sickly children—and they form the majority—there is not sufficient vital force and purity to expel the poison; it then remains in the system, and predisposes to all manner of ailments, which are often fatal, and though directly caused by vaccination, are never so registered. Mr. Ayrton, a member of Mr Gladstone’s Government, when we waited upon him as a deputation, admitted that ‘deaths caused by vaccination are not infrequently certified as accruing from other causes.’ My position, therefore, is, that every vaccinated child or adult is necessarily for the time being unhealthy; and how many one can imagine that the corrupt matter from a sore can be of use in warding off a possible disease, amazes me.

" Your Lordship’s second condition is, that the child should be ‘in a proper state to receive it.’ Here, again, I heartily say ‘Amen.’ I am sure the mothers of Manchester will agree with me when I say that no child is ‘in a proper state to receive’ this shock to the system at the tender age of three months. As to my calling vaccination a ‘medical nostrum,’ I employed the term more in sorrow than in anger, but I believe it to be fully warranted by the origin and history of the practice. John Hunter regarded it as a nostrum, and warned his brethren against tampering with the blood. I simply state a fact when I say that vaccination agrees with the definition of a ‘nostrum‘— for it is a quack medicine.’ If this should be taken for imputation I am sorry. I didn’t say that it is kept up for a money-profit in all cases. Still it is a fact that a very large sum is annually paid for so called gratuitous vaccination and, what is unusual Vaccinators are paid twice, once for doing their work, and again as a bonus for doing it ‘successfully.’ When I remember the fate of other nostrums, such as inoculation, once the pet practice of the faculty, and now a penal offence—bleeding, not long since the universal mode of doctoring, and now abandoned, I take hope that vaccination will not have a much longer life. Lastly, your Lordship says that medical men ‘almost unanimously advocate’ vaccination. I am happy to say that I know many legally qualified physicians who will not vaccinate. On Tuesday last I reported the meeting of the National Medical Association for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts. There were three medical men present known to me as anti-vaccinators. I do not include Dr. Meacham, of Manchester, who has stated that vaccination killed his child."

One other extract I will venture to make from time Bishop’s letters, for it seems to me important that his desire should be known and acted upon. I asked the Bishop to receive a deputation on the subject: but he did not think himself the "proper person," but made this remark :--

I should be unfeignedly glad to see the question once for all disposed of in a full and fair discussion between competent representatives of the opposing schools."

Why should we not have such a full and fair discussion ? A friendly conference, though it might not settle the question, would prepare the way for a Royal Commission of inquiry in the principal towns. We are all seeking the same end—the public health. I suggest a three days’ conference; papers to be read on the historical, medical, statistical, political, and other aspects of the subject, to be followed by discussion, and a verbatim report to be printed if the medical gentlemen of Manchester will appoint some one to confer with me, the details can soon be arranged, and the necessary funds will be forthcoming.

I select a few other letters from men of mark. Mr. Gladstone writes:—

"Hawarden, April 17, 1876.

"Sir,—I regard compulsory and penal provisions, such as those of the Vaccination Act, with mistrust and misgiving, and were I engaged on an inquiry I should require very clear proof of their necessity before giving them my approval but; I am not able to undertake to enter upon an examination of the question.—I remain, Sir, your obedient and faithful, " W.E. Gladstone"

We contend that whether vaccination does or does not prevent smallpox, the practice ought not to be compulsory. Surely if there be virtue in vaccination it will be self—sustaining. Parental freedom is our demand as it is our right. We do not seek to make vaccination a penal offence. Statesmen must not be expected to take up this question; their hands and heads are too full already; but for that very reason they will be thankful for its full and fair discussion.’

When I was in Glasgow lately, reporting the Co-operative Congress, we held an anti-vaccination meeting. Professor Caird, of Glasgow University, was invited. He was not able to be present, but wrote :—

"Dear Sir—While I have every sympathy with you as a man who has suffered for opinions which he honestly holds, I must say that the opinions themselves seem to be mistaken. All competent medical authorities with whom I am acquainted are against you and on this subject I do not think that any one has a right to an independent judgment who has not devoted his life to medical science. No one point in a science can be judged of, it seems to me, apart from a knowledge of the rest. You may, for all I know, be thus prepared, but even then I do think it advisable to try to convince those competent to judge, first. A general audience must be totally incompetent. Pardon me for saying this, while I express at the same time my respect for you as one who has shown by the most convincing proof his own sincerity.—I am, yours very truly, " EDWARD CAIRD."

I am glad to say that we have many "competent medical authorities," both English and Foreign, on our side; but if we had not one, I should still say that vaccination can be understood by any one, and that a general audience is quite competent to judge it. Vaccination is on its Trial ; Common Sense is time Judge, and the Public the Jury. While waiting for the verdict we have to gather evidence. I have no doubt the verdict will be—" Guilty "—and the sentence, "Death."

Dr. Hodgson, of Edinburgh University, whom I also met in Glasgow, and who is highly esteemed by educationists in this city, wrote

‘‘Dear Sir,-—I have read your Prison Thoughts with great interest and sympathy, and I must expect good to come out of your suffering in this matter. As regards the questions either of Vaccination, or of Compulsory Vaccination, whatever my leanings may be, I delay committing myself by overt action or speech. I watch the course of things, and I do not neglect the growth of evidence. It seems to me, that the question even of Compulsory Vaccination depends not on the opinions of A or B, but on time facts for or against vaccination itself. If it can be shown that it is dangerous, nay pernicious (and it certainly seems unnatural and disgusting), the compulsion exercised becomes intensely odious. The other side you will not so readily admit—that if the absence of Vaccination greatly increases the risk of outbreaks and diffusion of disease even beyond the cases of the unvaccinated, the compulsion assumes another aspect. But I do not wish to argue the question, or to dogmatise upon. I wait for light, and I lean to the notion that in a doubtful case (if time case be doubtful), freedom should prevail —Yours most truly,W. B. HODGSON

Dr, Hodgson states our position exactly in saying that—" If it can be shown that vaccination is dangerous, nay pernicious, time compulsion exercised becomes intensely odious." We know it is "pernicious;" perhaps the vaccinators do not, and for this, amongst other reasons,—that the mischief does not usually occur until they have done with the child, that is after the eighth day. If you would know the mischief of vaccination you must visit the houses of the poor, talk with the mothers, and see the children. The chemists and druggists all know that vaccination is the chief cause of the ailments of children, As the utility of vaccination is doubtful, and its pernicious effects are certain, "freedom should prevail ."

I must not overlook this spirit-stirring letter from our champion, Professor F. W. Newman :— "Weston-super-Mare, April 3, 1876. To Mr. Henry Pitman, " My dear Sir, I heard with sorrow, yet with admiration, of your imprisonment for the crime of trying to save your children from artificial disease, the limits of which no physician can define. Unhappily, a medical clique has got itself ensconsed in office, where it can whisper into the ears of overworked legislators, who want only an excuse for not examining a medical topic, and dread to obey common sense and common morality. They compelled poisoning the rivers in 1848; now they compel poisoning the blood. To forbid perfect health is a sin against nature, a crime against society, a fatuous absurdity. To advise the infusion of corruption into the veins, and entitle the poison ‘pure lymph’, justifies common sense in retorting that the physician who advises it is a fool, be he ever so learned, and the legislator who commands it a tyrant, be he ever so learned, and the legislator who commands it a tyrant, be he ever so well intentioned. It is the clear duty of parents to defend their offspring from such monstrous tyranny; and the duty of other citizens to speak against it plainly without mincing words. The aim of the vaccinator is to keep us all in permanent cowpox. He confesses and proclaims that his poisons is apt to be rejected by powerful vitality; therefore he recommends a renewal of the poisonous process so quickly as to keep us in permanent disease. His panic about smallpox makes him overlook the total uncertainty what disease his beloved corrupt matter (misnamed pure lymph) may infuse, and the certainty that Jenner’s confidence in vaccination was unfounded. Nay, it makes him careless in removing the causes of smallpox, because he fancies he can prevent smallpox by vaccination. . Common sense tells me that if he leaves the causes of smallpox untouched, and by tampering with the blood hinder that disease from coming out on the skin, he can only drive the disease inwardly into some equally bad or worse disorder. Recent experience also abundantly shows, as in Birmingham and elsewhere, that while the causes of smallpox remain no vaccination can stamp the disorder out ; nor can anyone reasonably assert that it is desirable. For it is better to throw out a disease by the skin, than to nurture it in the vitals. Thus we, non-medical men, are forced into medical reasoning. But over the heads of physicians and legislators morality solemnly proclaims that to forbid perfect health is a crime similar to commanding vice. To inflict a certain disease in order to avert one very uncertain—one from which there are many escapes and many remedies—I repeat, is a fatuous tyranny.—I remain, yours sympathetically, "F.W. NEWMAN

I prize this hopeful note from Mr. George Dawson, of Birmingham Dear Sir,—I thank you for the papers about vaccination. I hope before long to find time to read them. At present I know little on the subject, but I am open to information and conviction. Yours truly—GEORGE DAWSON

"I am open to information and conviction." That is always the attitude of a wise man. The best managed and most useful of our institutions is the Post Office; but it is not perfect, nor are Postmasters infallible. I offered copies of my Prison Thoughts to the Manchester Post Office employees. Mr. Beaufort replied :— "Post Office, Manchester-, April 15, 1876." "Dear Sir., I thank you for your pamphlet, but you cannot expect me to assist you in supplying it to the officers of this establishment, seeing that one of the most stringent of our conditions for admission to the civil service is that the candidate must be, or have recently been vaccinated. I may say also that personally I have the strongest feeling in favour of vaccination, having ndd abundant proof for many years of its efficacy in preventing smallpox, and I have been very sorry to observe the persevering way in which you have spent so much time and wasted so much talent in endeavouring to upset a system which has been, and always will be a great boon to humanity. Nevertheless, I may add that I was really sorry to see that you exposed yourself to the legal consequences of opposing the law, and very glad that you were so soon released.—Yours faithfully, "J.S.L. BEAUFORT

I don’t pretend to the gift of prophecy, but I have the conviction that vaccination will have a short life. We have been gulled by it for eighty years; I don’t think it will last the century. If sentence on it were left to the Sovereign People, its fate would be sealed in a day. Our Postmaster is positive that "vaccination always has been, and always will be, a great boon to humanity." Many of his officers regard it as the opposite to a "great boon ; ‘in fact they detest it, but they are gagged. I have heard our letter-carriers denounce vaccination, and if Mm-. Beaufort will grant a dispensation for free speech he will hear startling disclosures of disease and death from vaccination.

The Police Force is another body in which vaccination is compulsory, and amongst policemen, also, I find strong objections to the infliction, I have a letter before me now from a Policeman (he must be an intelligent man, for the letter is written in Phonography) in which he says, " I don’t believe in vaccination." I have not give his name, or the worthy man might have to take himself into custody about his unvaccinated children. I made the same offer to our respected Chief Constable, who replied :— "Chief Constable’s Office, 18th April, 1876

Dear Sir—I am not sufficiently acquaintedd with the workingof the vaccination act to inform an opinion as to its merits; and, therefore, while I symphise with you most sincerely in the trials you have encountered for conscience sake, I feel that, having regard to the position I occupy as a public officer, I ought not to sanction the distribution among the members of the Police Force of your paphlet on the subject—Believe me, yours faithfully,
"W.HENRY PALIN.."

With all respect to Captain Palin, I think it is the duty of those who hold official positions in which vaccination is enforced to inform themselves as to its merits or demerits.

Mrs. Josephine Butler, leader in the kindred crusade against legalised prostitution, writes:--

" I shall be glad to subscribe for 24 copies of your Prison Thoughts. I have thought of you with much sympathy. I trust what you have suffered will help towards the speedy bringing to an end of all foolish and cruel tyrannical compulsion over souls and bodies. My son was very much pleased with your Phonetic book, and found he could teach himself with your Phonetic book, and found he could teach himself from it."

One of the latest, but not the least acceptable, letters I have received is from Mr. Ben Brierley, who says :—

"Dear Sir—I have been trying to discover how a little fun could be made out of time subject of vaccination, but I look upon the matter as being rather too serious for a joke, unless I trod in the footsteps of the Danbury News, and described its effect upon cats, horses, dogs, monkeys, donkeys, and parrot’s, by each becoming infected with the nature and characteristics of another. I am very much a sceptic in regard to the good attributed to blood poisoning, and could rail against it without the slightest nudges of conscience. Whether it would be discreet to do so is another thing; but we’ll see."—Yours faithfully, "B. BRIERLEY

The Vicar of Winston, Suffolk (Rev. Mundeford Allen) writes :—

I thank God that there are men in our age who have the boldness to stand out against the diabolical Vaccination Laws. I hope your example may tell upon the tyrannical spirit of the times."

I desired to present in detail all the arguments against vaccination, but I must be content with a summary of them. I may say that- I have interesting matter for a Third Part, and will prepare it if you encourage me to do so.
The moral objection to vaccination is based upon the sinfulness of defiling the body. It is impossible, in the nature of things, that disease can be prevented by imparting disease.
Of course you may change its nature, but that is not preventing it. You cannot cast out one devil by putting in a worse devil. As you sow you will reap.
The theory of vaccination is altogether untenable. It has been a shifting theory from the first. Jenner said that one cut was enough. Now, you must be cut in several places, and the ridiculous assertion is made that the more cuts the more protection. Then why not cut the patient all over? Have the doctors never heard of the circulation of the blood? Jenner also said repeatedly that, once Vaccinated you were secure for life from smallpox. It was on the faith of this that he got 30,000, and that the vaccination nostrum has been made compulsory. Now the doctors say that the protecting influence wears out., and you must be re-vaccinated. I can only repeat that the whole thing is a monstrous medical delusion.

I do not say that vaccination is entirely useless. Everything has a use, or it would not exist. One use of vaccination is to do indirectly what Plato in his Republic advised to be done directly-——destroy the sickly children. It is a kind of legislation for the " survival of the fittest." But it fails even in this, for it not only kills the weak, but weakens and diseases the strong and healthy. There is another negative good in vaccination. By indiscriminately circulating amongst all people——from the Queen to the costermonger—the concentrated corruption of the nation it practically illustartes that we are all of one blood; that when one member suffers all the members stiffer; and that we cannot escape bearing one another’s burdens.

Vaccination is a thousand times worse than smallpox. The latter is a passing affliction; the former is a life—long poisoning. Why should we fear smallpox? Because, said a certain lady, it destroys skin-deep beauty. Hence the practice of inoculation, which in trying to lessen smallpox in an unlawful way, increased it so fearfully that inoculation was prohibited. Yes, coward Fear began the mischief—fear of evil, not fear of the Lord. Fear comes of ignorance, and predisposes to smallpox. Why should you be afraid of that which purifies the blood? People who live pure lives, and are enlightened as to the nature of smallpox do not fear it.. Formerly the doctor in trying to cure the disease, killed the patient. You need fear neither death nor marking under rational treatment. To prevent marking, temper the light.

Smallpox is generated by impurity. Dr Nicholson denies this; Miss Nightingale proves it. Smallpox dees not increase the mortality. What, smallpox not increase the mortality? No. When smallpox prevails, other diseases are proportionately less fatal. When there is an epidemic of smallpox the total mortality is not increased, but is sometimes lessened. The fact is, smallpox is the doctors’ " bogie," with which they frighten people into vaccination. Smallpox is a constitutional crisis. It is like flushing a sewer or emptying a privy, a hasty process, but necessary for health. Every body is not liable to smallpox. That is another "bogie." Who are the people who have smallpox? Why those who need it.

It is not a thing you can " catch" suddenly without a cause. There must be a diseased condition of the blood where smallpox breaks out; and one of the dangers of vaccination is that it tries to prevent the diseased matter coming out by putting more corruption in. This may divert the disease, but it cannot " prevent" it, according to the original meaning of the word—(that is, to go before, to hinder)— because vaccination does not touch the causes of smallpox. I have heard the pretended scientific explanations of its operation, and they are nonsense, like Professor Huxley’s name for it— a "healing disease. Vaccination neither prevents nor mitigates smallpox. You cannot prevent it except by removing its causes. The surest preventives are temperance, cleanliness, ventilation, fruit and grain for food, and not flesh. Whole tribes of flesh eating Indians have been swept away by smallpox, but the disease is hardly known and is not fatal amongst fruit-eaters who do not vaccinate.

Vaccination is a delusion from beginning to end. Jenner was not the discoverer, nor the first to practice it. Jenner always said that the true source of the matter was the "grease" in the consumptive horse. No wonder that consumption has fearfully increased through vaccination. Jenner also took the putrid origin of the vaccine virus. When they discover it they are inclined to exclaim with William Howitt, "If doctors do vaccinate, or rather equinate or hippocrate, with such beastly stuff they are much greater brutes than those they steal the poison from, and ought to be hanged without judge or jury!

There is no such thing as genuine vaccination now-adays. It is all from arm to arm; it is really inoculation, which is forbidden. The lymph is not got from the cow. Cows do not get cowpox, as in Jenner’s dirty days. There have been a few modern attempts, as in Jenner’s dirty days. There have been a few modern attempts to make cows poxy by inoculating them with smallpox matter, but the doctors were afraid of public opinion, and gave up that atrocious practice. Sir Cordy Burrows told how the doctors tried to corrupt seventeen cows, and only succeeded with three of them. The "pure vaccine lymph", so called, is an agglomeration of the corruption of the whole community, and all manner of diseases, including many of an hereditary character, are propagated by it. Smallpox is not hereditary. When parents have had smallpox their children are less liable to it. Even if this rottenness were remedial it should not be put into the blood. It is dangerous to tamper with the blood. Dr John Hunter says that the introduction of mineral or vegetable poisons into the blood is "hazardous", but animal products, he adds, are "infinitely more pernicious to the blood." Why is it so dangerous to be bitten by a mad dog? Because the poison enters the blood. You may swallow snake poison or dog poison without harm, but the least prick of a mad dog’s tooth or a serpent’s fang is death.

That smallpox is less prevalent now than formerly is owing to sanitary improvements, &c. It is no more attributable to vaccination than to the introduction of railways. Smallpox would probably have disappeared had it not been fostered by vaccinators. Dr John Graham, of London, says: "I remember that a practitioner, no doubt by mistake, conveyed smallpox to some children brought to him for vaccination."

Vaccinators take refuge behind their figures. If they were true they would be no defence; but they are often untrustworthy, and are easily manipulated. The most reliable statistics supply irrefutable proof that the enforcement of vaccination has increased infant mortality in this country to an extent far exceeding the mortality of smallpox. It is said that more unvaccinated than vaccinated persons die of smallpox. Were that true, it would be accounted for by the fact that sickly children are not vaccinated. But it is not true. The reverse is true. The Lancet admits that the majority of the fatal cases happen to vaccinated persons (Feb 4th, 1871). Undoubted proof of this will be found in the writings of Mrs. Hume-Rothery, Dr garth Wilkinson, Dr Collins, Dr Pearce, Dr Sexton, Dr Skelton, Mr G.S. Gibbs, F.S.S., Mr John Pickering, F.S.S., Mr H.D. Dudgeon, &c.
Dr Charles T. Pearce, in his evidence before the Select Committee (1871), printed by order of the House of Commons, said: "Yesterday I called at the Highgate Smallpox Hospital. After the statements which have been made in this room, that the nurses in that hospital are secure against smallpox by re-vaccination, I confess that I was not a little astonished when the door was opened to me by a nurse who was scarified all over with smallpox. At Stockwell Smallpox hospital, a nurse recently engaged, who was selected because she was pitted with the smallpox, was re-vaccinated by Dr McCann, and is now in bed with confluent smallpox. I am surprised at the College of Physicians making an assertion upon such shallow foundation."

I have letters from men of intelligence and position, so warmly worded that I dare not publish them. They contain a terrible indictment against our rulers for supporting a medical tyranny which oppresses the poor and helpless, sets class against class, brings law into contempt, and fosters a spirit of rebellion.

"Mr TH Barker knew a daughter of mine who, when young, was the most lively of my children. She was vaccinated, and never recovered her vivacity; was always ailing, and now, alas! Is dead."—JE. Keates, 7,9, and 11, St Johns Square, Burslem