VACCINATION AMONGST EMIGRANTS.
Not a few opponents of Vaccination after undergoing prosecution for their medical heresy, have been driven like the Covenanters, Quakers, and Nonconformists of old, as fugitives to seek an asylum in the Colonies, or in the United States, hoping there to find that freedom from
persecution which was denied them at home. In many instances, it has been only an escape from Scylla to Charybdis, as the following regulations will shew. Mr. KENNAWAY, the Secretary to the Agent-General for New Zealand, writes, February 27th, 1883 :
"Unless the intending emigrants receiving free or assisted passages have been vaccinated to the satisfaction of the inspecting medical man, it is necessary for them to be revaccinated before embarking."
Mr. DEERING, Secretary to the Government Emigration Department, for Australia, says, 22nd February, 1883:
"I am directed to inform you that, so far as our emigrants are concerned, Vaccination is compulsory. I cannot enter into any controversy as to the utility or inutility of the practice."
The Agents for the Union Line to the Cape do not enforce Vaccination, but strongly recommend it. Messrs. RENNIE, SON, & Co., 6, East India Avenue, E.C., state that:--
"Owing to small-pox having been so prevalent at the Cape Colony lately, we think it a necessity for intending emigrants to that part to be vaccinated."
The following experience is from a correspondent of the Anti-Compulsory Vaccination Reporter for December, 1882, shewing how these ordinances work:--
"A WARNING TO INTENDING EMIGRANTS.
"To the Editor of the Reporter. (A.-C. V.)
"MADAM,Just a line or two to all my anti-vaccination friends through the Reporter.
Time will not permit me to answer letters to each of them. We are just about to set
sail, and I desire to thank all those who have assisted me, and also those who have kindly
sent me presents and photographs. I cannot but advise anti-vaccinators not to emigrate with
Government help, but rather to pay their own passages; and go out free men and women. It
is a terribly difficult task to escape Vaccination, Scores have had to submit to the vile
rite. Farewell to you all.
"From yours ever truly,"GEORGE KIDSON."
"The Duchess of Argyle,
"Plymouth Harbour, November 15th, 1882."
The infant child of Mr. H. L. WATTS, was vaccinated when starting for New Zealand, on the "Hurunu." The narrator thinks it singular that out of five children vaccinated at the same time, three died, two on the voyage, and one after landing, but whether from Vaccination, it is not clear. That Vaccination has a depressing effect on the constitution, and that it predisposes to other diseases, cannot be denied by those who have looked into the subject. It is not, however, under the aegis of Monarchical or Colonial institutions that Vaccination is enforced with the greatest rigour, but under the Republican Government of the. United States of America, a country where the largest individual liberty is promised to all who there ,seek an asylum from intolerance at home. The Secretary of the Monarch Line, in reply to an inquiry, writes: "The laws of the United States require all third-class passengers entering that country to be re-vaccinated, provided it has not been previously done." We shall see presently what latitude is allowed, and what is the actual practice. Messrs. GUYON and Co.s agent writes: "Passengers arriving in New York are required by the Emigration Commissioners to have been vaccinated, or to have received certificates from the surgeon, of their being protected, by previous, Vaccination, and, failing these, the passengers may be detained at New York until vaccinated." This, it appears, is in accordance with a law passed by the United States Congress in 1882. Mr. THOMAS SCANLIN, of the National Steamship Company, says :" It is most desirable that all steerage passengers should be vaccinated before leaving home." The following is a copy of the printed instructions for the guidance of intending emigrants:--
"IMPORTANT NOTICE.Passengers about to embark for America will please note that, by being vaccinated, or by obtaining a certificate of Vaccination from a proper medical authority, previous to their departure, much trouble and serious detention may be avoided on their arrival."
As the vaccine service is paid for per capita, it is not surprising thatthough it is well known the emigrants all come from countries where Vaccination is systematically and relentlessly enforceda large number should be found needing a repetition of the operation. The National Board of Health reports, that of 15,999 steerage steamer passengers, medically inspected in 1882, 4,378 were found imperfectly protected, and were duly vaccinated. The following narrative from the Massachusetts Eclectic Medical Journal for November, 1882, shews how the Jennerian rite is performed :
"Dr. MERKEL sends us the following concerning what he saw of the working of Compulsory Vaccination among emigrants. It would appear from it that there are perils other than those of the sea which menace the emigrant. Dr. MERKEL writes :
"I left Bremen on the "Neckar," of the North German Lloyd line, in the midst of a severe rain-storm, which was accompanied by a strong wind. Besides 110 cabin passengers, the "Neckar" carried between 700 and 800 in the steerage. The United States law provides that every emigrant, without regard to age or physical condition, shall be vaccinated within 24 hours after leaving the foreign port. Many of those on board were exceedingly ill, and to any one who has ever suffered the pangs of sea-sickness, it will be apparent that that was not a favorable nor a proper time for Vaccination. But it must be done, for the law is clear and peremptory; there is no evading it, for on arrival at New York, all those who cannot shew a certificate from the ships surgeon are consigned to Blackwells Island.
"During the three days following our departure from Bremen, Vaccination was the order of the day in the steerage. I was enticed thither by curiosity, and what I saw there was suggestive, to say the least, to me, and may be of interest to you. The surgeon sat on a box in the store room, lancet in hand, and around him were huddled as many as could be crowded into the confined space, old and young, children screaming, women crying; each with an arm bare and a woe-begone face, and all lamenting the day they turned their steps toward "the land of the free." The lymph used was of unknown origin, kept in capillary glass tubes, from whence it was blown into a cup into which the lancet was dipped. No pretence of cleaning the lancet was made; it drew blood in very many instances, and it was used upon as many as 276 during the first day. I inquired of the surgeon if he had no fear of inoculating disease, or whether he examined as to health or disease before vaccinating. He replied that he could not stop for that; besides, no choice in the matter was left him. The law demanded the Vaccination of each and every one, and he must comply with it or be subjected to a fine. I thought it a pitiful sight, and am persuaded that could the gentlemen, through whose instrumentality the law was enacted, see what I saw of the manner in which it was carried into effect, they would be as zealous in seeking its repeal. As conducted, the law is an outrage, and no one can estimate the number of healthy, innocent children, as well as adults, who are inoculated with syphilis or other foul disease, on every ship bringing steerage passengers to our shores.
Dr. JOHN H. RAUCH, Supervising Inspector to the United States National Board of Health, Washington, D.C., in his report of the emigrant vaccine service, says:
"A former surgeon of an immigrant steamer informs me that it is the usual custom of steamship surgeons to get a large supply of vaccine virus at one time, and use it until it is gone, however long." This will serve to account for the serious and fatal cases of septic poisoning following Vaccination, so common in the United States, according to the information communicated by correspondents, and also for the various efforts now being made in several States to get the Vaccination Laws abolished. The New York Times for June 19th, 1880, records a touching story, sworn to by a German emigrant, named ALBERT SCHMAECKEL. He arrived, with his wife AMELIA, in New York by the steamship "Lessing." The child not being well, both the mother and child were sent to the Hospital on Wards Island. While there, the mother and child were vaccinated, according to the regulations for immigrants; erysipelas followed Vaccination, and terminated fatally to both the sufferers; and when the husband and father called to see his wife and child he found both dead.
The following graphic narrative is from the pen of a highly intelligent resident of Nottingham, who after being subjected to judicial penalties in England for refusing to vaccinate his child, emigrated to the United States last April :
NEW YORK, May 7th, 1883.
"DEAR SIR,I found the Vaccination tyranny much more than sentiment on board the Adriatic. Aboard-ship, as everywhere, it has attained terrible proportions, which makes it probable that, in the near future, it will become The Great Terror that shall cause that as many as will not worship the image of the beast shall be killed, and that no man may buy or sell save he that has the mark of the beast.
"The first intimation I had that Vaccination was a requisite for free travel in America was an Important Notice on the stairway to the effect that passengers not provided with certificates of Vaccination were liable to be detained in quarantine on arrival, and that the ships medical officer was prepared to give certificates to those unprovided on showing marks of successful Vaccination.
"In a few days, I heard of this ships medical officer magnifying his office down among the women and children. I conversed with one young woman who had submitted to the great ordinance, and, after characterising the whole business as the most idiotic folly of the times, I begged of her to suck the poison out of her arm. But many hours had elapsed, and the endeavour failed. Day by day she had to carry her burden of pain until she landed. Whether she is now rejoicing in enhanced health as a consequence of the small-pox proofing process, or whether she is suffering from the weary illness that is often its accident I have no means of knowing.
"The bulk of the passengers were Irish, German, and Welsh ; there were very few English. I held many small indignation meetings, and did all in my power to enlighten them as to the filth, fraud, and folly of Vaccination. I trust I did a little good, and sowed a little seed that may some day and somewhere produce fruit.
"I was anxious to know to what extent the immigration Vaccination law was enforced
at New York, and had a chat on the subject with the chief steward. His information was
terrifying. Said he, When we get to New York the doctor comes aboard, with
half-a-dozen policemen, and you have to be vaccinated. But, said I,
suppose you refuse to be vaccinated, what then? Then theyll sling
you into the tender, and clap you in jail till you submit. But I wont be
vaccinated. Ill stay out of New York for ever first. He replied, No use;
youd have to be. Five of our crew, once, refused to be done; but they just put
em into quarantine and kept em there until they came to. They might as well
have been done first as last; they only delayed the vessel.
"I tell you, I felt bad after this recital, and came to the conclusion that America was closed against the unvaccinated anti-vaccinator, and that he was fast falling into the condition of the American negro-slave who was hunted down everywhere by everybody.
"One morning it was rumoured that the doctor was coming to examine the passengers, and I went with two friends to the surgery to state our objections. I told him that we had been vaccinated, if that fact would let us pass without further trouble, we could satisfy him; but if not, vaccinated we would never be. Like most doctors, he was without capacity to understand our conscientious objections, and the degradation involved in submission to the rite. He curtly told us the law was not his; it was the United States law. He should come forward at two oclock, and if we shewed him that we had been vaccinated, he would give us a certificate, and, if not, he would vaccinate us if we chose; if not, we must take the risk of passing the doctor at the port. It mattered nothing to him.
"About two oclock there was a great commotion forard. Such a stripping of clothes, rolling up of sleeves, and searching for marks. Some were craning their necks over their shoulders in a half-hopeless search after obliterated or invisible scars; some calling in the help of a neighbour to make them out; and some raising an excited discussion as to whether an indentation was a vaccination mark, or forgotten boil, and going into an ecstasy of satisfaction when they had settled it was exactly what was wanted.
Others, in despair of vaccination marks, recollected that they had had small-pox, and set up a search for pox-marks. Some, after a protracted quest for marks, vaccine or variolous, put on their coats sadly, with the air of criminals about to be hanged. It was a sight to make men blush with shame for the devilish superstition that has taken possession of the Christian civilization of the nineteenth century.
"By-and-by came the doctor in his gold-laced cap, with his bottle of lymph, pure from the sores of children or heifers buttock, and commenced operations. First a rope was stretched from a post, and held by two stewards in a horse-shoe form, and into this enclosure passed, one by one, the victims of an insane medical legislation, and bared their arms to the Medical Ignoramus, who stood on the other side. If he there saw the orthodox scars, he forthwith bestowed a ticket like this:--
WHITE STAR LINE
Which further had this exhortation on the back:--
Keep this card to avoid detention at quarantine, and on railroad in the United States.
"If a poor wretch could not show vaccine or pock marks, he got no ticket, and was
asked whether he would be vaccinated, or risk being stopped at landing. All preferred the
first alternative as the lesser evil. The doctor, dipping his lancet in the bottle of
mystery, wiped it on a spot on the arm, and cut and cross-cut the skin, and then, after
rapidly stretching and closing the incisions with his thumbs, gave the wretch his ticket
and passed him on. Such was the ordinance of Vaccinationa sight not to be forgotten.
A crowd of hundreds passing forward to prostrate their conscience or manhood, or lack of
them, at the shrine of the most outrageous humbug of these latter days! A mixed crowd of
big and little, fat and lean, dirty and clean, reputable and disreputable, sober and
drunken, healthy and diseased, all ground down to the dead level of VACCINATED. There was
nothing in common among them save their degradation, and, as I thought, the most degraded
of the lot was the Vaccinator. How a man with any sense of decency and the congruity of
things could, for mere pay, consent to the folly that the individuals of such a
heterogenous crowd were all alike liable to small-pox, and were all alike saved by
his performance, passes my understanding. It is hard to believe in a mans sincerity
in view of such absurdity; and yet he may be sincere. When a lie is taught, and still more
when a lie is practised, it confounds the intellect, and is ultimately taken for the truth
"I am fain to believe that not much harm was done to those vaccinated. After the operation, there was a mighty scuttling off into secret corners, with sucking and spitting. Happily I had a store of borax, and dispensed it liberally with energetic advice. Anyhow, I heard little of the Vaccination taking. Perhaps the matter was not good, but it mattered not.
"Yours truly, "F. SCRIMSHAW."
"To Mr. WILLIAM TEBB."
At the International Anti-Vaccination Congress held at Berne, Switzerland, at the end of September, 1883, a deputation from the Congress, consisting of Dr. H. OIDTMANN, Professor ADOLF VOGT, DR. HUBERT BOENS, Colonel EARLE, and Mr. W. TEBB, waited upon the American Minister, Mr. CRAMER, to call his attention to the cruelty, injury, and injustice caused by the Vaccination of emigrants landing in the various ports of the United States. Amongst the numerous serious and fatal cases cited, was one sent to this Congress by Dr. T. DWIGHT STOW, a Member of the Massachusetts Legislature. EDWARD JONES, of Brierly Hill, Staffordshire, England, now residing on Fall River, Massachusetts, was vaccinated, June 13th, 1883, on the steamship "Missouri," by Surgeon ARTHUR GREENE. The operation was followed by a terrible erysipelatous inflammation and swelling of the arm, neck, and hand, pains in the muscles and bones, vomiting, and diarrhoea. At the point of insertion a large ulcer formed, and eczematous and pustular eruptions appeared on the body. He has been incapacitated for work for three months, and having a family of three persons, has suffered great hardship in consequence, for which no compensation is possible. Three of his compagnons de voyage were afflicted in the like manner by the same operation. A photograph which accompanied Dr. STOWs medical report, representing the sufferer when desquamation had already begun, was shewn. Mr. CRAMER thanked the delegates for supplying him with the important facts and statements. He thought the Vaccination Law complained of was a State Law, passed by the New York Legislature. He requested that a Memorial, in writing, might be drawn up and sent to him, signed by the President of the Congress, setting forth the painful particulars to which he had just listened, which he promised to bring before his Government.
Vaccination of immigrants into California has for some time been energetically practised on the Chinese, who are first made safe on entering the vessel, and afterwards on leaving it; their competition in the labour market being feared. A writer in a leading Continental Review has lately observed that it is dislike of the immigration of artizans and labourers from Europe, and dread of their competition at reduced wages, that has suggested to the acute trades-unionists of the United States this method of rendering emigration to America unpalatable to foreign workmen and their families.