It was a momentous decision, and important to remember that it was a decision that stemmed not from Washington’s own deeply held convictions but one that came about from listening, learning, and changing his mind. Shouldn’t we hope for the same from all our leaders?
With a smallpox epidemic raging during the Revolutionary War, Gen. George Washington was forced to order the mandatory inoculation of the Continental Army. Washington, however, did not have to convince fearful colonists to protect themselves against smallpox—they were the ones demanding it. This lecture will explain the threat that smallpox posed to the American army and explain how General Washington changed his mind about inoculating the troops–a momentous action that helped win the Revolutionary War.