PROLOGUE Richmond, Virginia January 1787 Some sort of pneumonia was sure to be the culprit at this point in the winter, Doctor James McClurg mused, as he bundled up warmly for the short walk that lay ahead of him. It had not been long since he had moved his medical practice to Richmond, but he was already one of the most sought after doctors in the bustling capital of the Commonwealth. The messenger boy had arrived before the sun, so he decided against waking his wife to tell her he was going out to tend to a patient. Closing the door as quietly as possible he was met by a blast of freezing air. Yesterday’s rain was sure to have turned to ice in many spots, so he stepped carefully in the early morning semi dark.
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