Son of Timothy & Hannah Waterhouse. His mother, Hannah was a cousin of Dr. John Fothergill, prominent physician in London.
Began study of Medicine at the age of 16 with of Dr. John Halliburton. When he was 21 he sailed to London and began his study under relative, Dr. John Fothergill. He studied at Edinburgh and Leyden(Leiden)(South Holland) While in Leiden he lived with future President, John Adams who had been sent there by Congress to seek an alliance. Waterhouse received a medical degree in 1780. He Returned to the States in June, 1782.
In 1783 he became a Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physics on the First Faculty of the Harvard Medical School.
Benjamin Waterhouse married Elizabeth Oliver in 1788. Elizabeth died in 1815, after giving birth to six children, and he remarried in 1819.
1799, a London physician and friend, John Coakley Lettsom, sent Waterhouse information on a vaccine that had been developed in England by physician Edward Jenner for smallpox. July 8, 1800, Waterhouse injected his son, Daniel Oliver, his 2 daughters, Mary & Elizabeth, two of his servants, Samuel Carter & Kesiah Flag with the vaccine.
Benjamin Waterhouse solicited the help of Pesident Thomas Jefferson in the vaccine's distribution. In 1802,the vaccine was given to Native Americans.
1812,Waterhouse was forced out of his position as Professor at Harvard. However, President James Madison made him Medical Superintendent of New England's military bases.
He died at his home in Cambridge on Oct. 2, 1846