that place, which was then under the superintendence of Woodbridge
Odlin, and which has ever been one of the most celebrated
institutions in New England for the thoroughness of its instruction,
and the character of its pupils. His professional studies
were pursued under the direction of his father, and the celebrated
Dr. Kettredge, of Andover, Mass., a physician and surgeon
that time of extensive practice and distinguished reputation.
He began his professional career at Hallowell, in 1791, and
here pursued it, "in season and out of season,"
with an uncompromising diligence and success for more than
half a century.
In 1793 he went to Boston to place himself in the hands
of Dr. Aspinwall, to be inoculated for the smallpox, in a
hospital which had just been established in Brookline. Finding
it closed on his arrival, he proceeded to Dunbarton for the
same object. Disappointed here, also, and zealous and determined
in the object he had in view, he repaired to his uncle's Ware,
where he and another young physician, and several of the family,
submitted to smallpox inoculation, and remained in close confinement
about a month ; passing an ordeal which at that time was regarded
as among the severest and most perilous to which youth or
manhood could be subjected. To show how little apprehension
was entertained, however, by the subject of this memoir, he
used to relate that he his companion passed the whole of their
confinement very cheerfully, and entertained themselves agreeably
with music, &c., most of the time--he playing the flute
with considerable taste and execution, and his medical companion
After his recovery from smallpox, Dr. Page retained to Hallowell
to resume his practice, and with the intention of opening
a smallpox hospital upon a little island in what is now called
Alliston's lake, in Winthrop, a few miles west of the Kennebec.
While matters were in progress, however, for this enterprise,
he was furnished with some vaccine matter by his most intimate
and attached friend, Benjamin Vaughan, Esq., who had just
received it directly from the hands of Dr. Jenner, of London.
He immediately made use of it, and was the first American
physician, be it known, who applied the vaccine virus to the
arm of the human subject in this country. Great was his
disappointment, however, upon finding the matter dry and inert,
more especially as a portion the same parcel which had been
sent to Boston proved operative, and gave to a distinguished
medical philosopher of the times the enviable reputation which
he himself would otherwise have obtained. A few days subsequently
he received another parcel from this estimable friend Dr.
Jackson, of Boston, and availing himself also of fresh matter
from the arm of a lady who had been vaccinated there, and
who is since allied by marriage to his family, he renewed
his efforts with success, and was the means of thus early
distributing this great blessing of mankind through the whole
circle of his practice. The success of the vaccine superseded
the necessity of a smallpox hospital, and although considerable
expense was incurred in the enterprise, it was abandoned almost
as soon as conceived.
In 1796 he married Abigail Butler, of Newburyport, a lady
of great personal beauty, and who to many polite accomplishments,