Pox, Pus, and Creeping Miasma: Disease and Death in Colonial New England

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Life was precarious in early New England, and there were many perils, not the least of which was the cyclical appearance of fatal epidemics. Another equal danger to health was the state of medicine and its understanding of what caused – and how to cure – some of the more common and serious of those afflictions. Dennis Picard will share a bit about the symptoms, causes, and treatments endured by those living in Northeast and English colonies.

Dennis D. Picard has been a museum professional in the living history field for forty years. He began his career at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA, where he filled various positions including lead interpreter, researching and designing many public programs which are still offered by that institution today. He also served on the staff of Hancock Shaker Village as a historic trade craftsman and site interpreter, and has held the position of Assistant Director and Director at several sites including Fort Number Four (Charlestown New Hampshire), the Sheffield Historical Society, and Storrowton Village Museum (West Springfield MA). He is also on the Board of Directors of the Pioneer Valley History Network, a member of the editorial board of the “Country School Journal,” and an adjunct professor at Westfield State University.