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Archive for December, 2020

– about past United States epidemics are in the Archives and Special Collections in the Health Sciences Rare Books Collection:

Carey, Mathew. A Short Account of the Malignant Fever, Lately Prevalent in Philadelphia: With a Statement of the Proceedings That Took Place on the Subject in Different Parts of the United States. 3d Ed., Improved. ed. Philadelphia: Printed by the Author, 1793. Call number WC 530 C275 1793.

Philadelphia’s yellow fever epidemic of 1793 claimed the lives of nearly 4000 people. Carrey’s book and other related histories revel a little-known episode in Black history. Due to a mistaken belief that African-Americans could not get yellow fever, many Blacks volunteered or were volunteered to care for the sick and dying. They served in all capacities, including as nurses, cart drivers, and grave diggers. At the time, Philadelphia was the temporary capital of the United States and one of the largest U.S. cities.

Other books in the Health Sciences Rare Books Collection are:

United States. Public Health Service. Preliminary Report on the Yellow-fever Epidemic of 1882, in the State of Texas. Washington, D.C., 1882. WCK U58p 1882

Fenner, Erasmus Darwin. History of the Epidemic Yellow Fever, at New Orleans, La., in 1853. New York: Hall, Clayton, 1854. WCK F336h 1854

Miner, Thomas, and William Tully. Essays on Fevers, and Other Medical Subjects. Middletown, Conn.: E. & H. Clark, 1823. WC M664e 1823

Herman P. Chilson, Hot Off the Press books, youth books, DVDs, videos, government documents, and oral history collections in the Archives and Special Collections and in the I.D. Weeks Library also have items on pandemics and epidemics.

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