Saturday, February 7, 2009

Not Yet Under Orders To Be Poisoned

In his last letter to daughter Beatrice before Christmas 1900, Charles Logie made mention of a major irritation and concern to citizens in American Fork and across Utah in general. 

schoolclassThe government was trying to force students to be vaccinated against diphtheria and smallpox.  Almost all teachers were against it as were many parents.   Few trusted the vaccine to actually prevent the illnesses but rather thought it would induce them.

Charles was decidedly against the vaccinations.  Subsequent letters to Beatrice include his rapier like comments about the law and its implementation. 

He warned Beatrice that she had better follow the directive of her school board or she would probably loose her teaching position in Bingham Canyon, Utah. 

He provided Beatrice with an excuse to not get the shots herself when he mentioned that the teachers in American Fork were not yet under orders by local school administrators to be “poisoned”.

With wry fondness Charles conveyed news of the upcoming Christmas pageant at church where the young ‘Reptiles’ would be wearing their annual Christmas costumes. 


American Fork Dec 18/1900

Dear Beatriceshotneedle

We Recd your letter today are sorrey to hear that you are unwell. Mother thinks possibley you may be troubled with your throat.  Something like weather is sometimes & She advises you not to expose yourself to the cold air more than you can help. 

About that vaccination business - Mother thinks it is the best thing you can do under the circumstances as the School board might throw you out of your situation if you did not comply with their orders. 

The Teachers here hove not had any orders.  The teachers here have not had any orders yet to be poisoned but they are expecting to hear the joyfull news all most any time.

They are verry buisey geting ready for a grand show to be given in the theatre next Saturday.  Some of the Reptiles are to have wings & Silver Stars & the Lord knows what else. 

We are glad to hear that you went to see our Joe & that you had a good time together.

I am not writing for publication this time as we expect you will be home soon so I will come to a Sudden Stop hoping you are all OK by this time.

Your afct Father C. Logie


JoLyn said...

I love your posts about American Fork - it's so neat to get to know what this town was like in its early days! Can you imagine now if the teachers (or the students!) boycotted immunizations?