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“K” is for Kilpatrick, James (ca. 1696-1770). Physician, medical writer, poet.

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“K” is for Killpatrick (sometimes spelled Kilpatrick), James (ca. 1696-1770). Physician, medical writer, poet. A native of Ireland, Kilpatrick immigrated to South Carolina around 1717. He practiced medicine and established a pharmacy. During the smallpox epidemic of 1738, he became one of the foremost champions of the controversial new practice of inoculation. He defended the practice in a series of articles in the South Carolina Gazette an a pamphlet: An Essay on Inoculation Occasioned by the Smallpox Being Brought into South Carolina in the Year 1738. He left Charleston for London where he established a successful medical practice. His Essay on Inoculation and a later publication Analysis of Inoculation brought him widespread recognition. James Kilpatrick achieved financial success as an inoculator of British aristocrats, the French royal family, and some wealthy Carolinians.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.