Editor’s Note: perhaps a student of medicine might tell us what was happening in the late New England summer of 1771. We’re thinking the water is getting a bum rap.
Re-printed from the New Hampshire Gazette August 16, 1771
Boston, August 8, 1771: The extreme heat has continued longer this season than has ever been…
Tuesday one Alexander MacDonald, a labourer, having drank too freely of cold water, died instantly.
One or two other persons the same day narrowly escaped death, by drinking freely of water.
One Michale Hogen, who kept a peddler’s shop at the south end, died the same day, occasioned not by drinking cold water, but by the heat.
Mr. Gray, a journeyman baker, suddenly [died], after drinking too freely of cold water,
A transient woman in Cambridge, died with the heat.
Portsmouth, August 16, 1771: Many people in the country have died in the course of the last three weeks, some with over heating themselves the very hot days, others with drinking too much rum at the same time, and a few it is said by drinking too much cold water.