Smallpox on decline before vaccination

"What, then, is the value of vaccination? We firmly believe that it has no value at all.   Its supposed value has been deduced from incorrect reasoning on the part of its advocates. Were small-pox as prevalent and as fatal now as in the eighteenth century, it might even be justifiable to have recourse to inoculation—either by variolous or vaccine matter. History, however, has demonstrated that towards the close of the last century, when Jenner introduced his system, small-pox had gradually died out, as we shall presently show. Even in Jenner's day small-pox had lost its virulence."---Dr. Charles T. Pearce, M.D.  [1868 Book: Essay on Vaccination]

[1856] Dr. C.G.G. Nittinger's Evils of Vaccination by Chr. Charles Schieferdecker M.D.  At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the historical small-pox leaves us suddenly. The earth, vaccinated or not vaccinated, did not yet see in these last fifty years a time like the above-mentioned. ...... But, surely, small-pox was gone ! did not exist any more ! long before vaccination was introduced! For, although on the 28th of May, 1799, the first child got vaccinated in Germany, the system was not generally introduced before 1820 ; and long before this year the historical small-pox had disappeared ! Without waiting for medical experiments and government ordinances, the disease changed its terrible character into a better one, and showed itself only sporadically.
    Dr. Elsasser reports, that from 1808 to 1810, only a few cases of small-pox had been observed, and that in the kingdom of Wurtemberg, during those terrible years of war and famine, from 1813 to 1817, only 2385 cases made their appearance, of which not one was malignant..
    Schnurrer says, in 1816: "This year's small-pox is more identical with the regular old disease, than that of the two preceding years; there was the specific smell wanting, and the third stage, where the eruption loses the red circle, and stands like waxdrops on the skin; the contents run out, or were resorbed, and did not form the usual scab."
    The same eminent physician remarks, in his Chronicle of Epidemics, (II. p. 290 :) " The view that the small-pox, without vaccination, would have become by-and-by milder, and finally disappeared, gains strength by the observations made in the years 1816,1817." .
    The central vaccine-physician, Dr. Seeger, of Stuttgart, writes, " that Wurtemberg remained from 1818 to 1824 entirely exempt from small-pox, and that from 1825 to 1830 there were so few cases, and these so light, that it was hardly worth while to speak of it."
    He cites then Vezin, who says, " that the frequent cases of varioles and varioloids are not the consequence of the temporary protection of vaccination, but that smallpox-epidemies appear only in certain longer intervals ; and that in the first thirty years of this century, the small-pox would not have epidemically broken out without vaccination."

Wallace, LL.D. (1889/1898, Alfred R.