Table of Contents

Contexts and causes.
"Declare the past".
"Nature is the great experimenter".
"Let not God intervene".
"In politics as well as medicine"; or, The arrogance of the enlightened.
Conclusion : "a new era in the science of medicine"? From 1793 to 1805, yellow fever devastated US port cities in a series of terrifying epidemics. The search for the cause and prevention of the disease involved many prominent American intellectuals, including Noah Webster and Benjamin Rush. This investigation produced one of the most substantial and innovative outpourings of scientific thought in early American history. But it also led to a heated and divisive debate - both political and theological - around the place of science in American society. 'Feverish Bodies, Enlightened Minds' opens an important window onto the conduct of scientific inquiry in the early American republic.