The Following Article was published in the Portsmouth Herald on January 24, 1903
“NEWMARKET HEARD FROM Secretary of Health Explains Smallpox Situation in That Town”
The item in a recent issue of the Herald expressing the suspicion that persons with the smallpox were coming, down to this city freely from Newmarket has called forth the following denial and explanatory communication from Dr. Morse, secretary of the Newmarket board of health, which the Herald is glad to print:
Office of the Board of Health, Newmarket, N. H., Jan. 23, 1903
Editor Herald, Portsmouth, N. H.:
My attention has just been called to an article -which appeared in your paper of last evening’s edition, and it is so unjust and misleading, that in justice to the town of Newmarket and its health officials, I am compelled to write you the facts and I must respectfully ask that you publish this communication, in the columns of your esteemed paper.
We have at this time eleven cases of smallpox and varioloid in town. All of these cases are under the care of Dr. S. H. Greene, a man who has had smallpox, and who has been practicing medicine for nearly forty years. The -board of health, has full confidence in his ability and judgment, and all are working for the same one end.
All the cases are quarantined, excepting the family of Mr. Nathaniel Edgerly, who lives on the North side and whose son, Charles, was the first case, in a large double house located at No. 9 Elm street, which is guarded by a police officer day and night.
Every suspected case is duly watched, and when the case will warrant it is removed to the hospital. The house from which the patient is taken is quarantined for fifteen days. The name of every employee of the Newmarket Manufacturing company who is absent from work is sent to the office of the company and the case is investigated at once, so as to let no one escape.
We have in town forty or more Greeks who reside in one of the company’s houses all by themselves. Nearly all of them have been success fully vaccinated, and within a very few days every one of them has been examined carefully. It might be possible for one of them to have been taken sick, and been sent out of town by his friends, but nothing of this kind has ever come to the knowledge of the board, or attending physician.
Your city physician, Dr. Hannaford, and Mr. Prime, one of the members of your board of health, were in town yesterday, and we explained to them the situation as it was. The Greek case which came to your city some few days since, we know nothing of. The Frenchman, named Levi Billideaux, was a woodcutter and boarded with a Mrs. Doucet, who resides at No. 9 Main street. He left town three weeks ago yesterday on the 5:59 a.m. train for Exeter. We never saw him, he never had a doctor, and we did not know that such a man lived in town.
Now, Mr. Editor, if you or any member of your city government, or any prominent citizen of your city doubts the truth of the statements that I have made, we would ask for a few investigations. We know that the more that is said in the press about such cases the more it injures the town and the business interests, and I am loth to believe that you would lend the columns of your paper to injure the town of Newmarket or the people in it. Hoping this explanation will be satisfactory to the good people of Portsmouth,
I am Yours very truly, CHARLES A. MORSE,Secretary Board of Health,Newmarket, N. H.”