Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Quote of the Day: More Daniel Walker Howe

Yet another great line from Daniel Walker Howe’s What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation ofAmerica.  

This quote appears in the context of Howe’s discussion of the cholera epidemic that hit major seaport cities in 1832 and Andrew Jackson's refusal to declare a day of prayer in response to it.

When another cholera epidemic occurred in 1848-49 and both houses requested such a day [of prayer], Whig president Zachary Taylor issued the proclamation.  Whatever the effect of the prayers, at least they did no harm to the victims of the disease—more than one can say for the remedies of the physicians: bloodletting and massive doses of poisonous mercury.-- p. 470.