Edward Holyoke responds to St. George Tucker's queries, circulated by Jeremy Belknap, about slavery and abolition in Massachusetts. He expresses his desire to end slavery, but also his conviction that such an act would be almost impossible. Holyoke (1728-1829) was one of the foremost New England physicians, who began his practice in Salem in 1749. He took charge of the Salem smallpox hospital in 1777, and was a promoter of inoculation and vaccination. He was one of the founders of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the American Association of Arts and Sciences, and the Essex Historical Society.