Richard's Reviews > An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793

An American Plague by Jim  Murphy
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's review
May 29, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: medical-anomalies, history
Read from May 21 to 29, 2010

A detailed account of the outbreak of Yellow Fever, which was diagnosed by Dr. Benjamin Rush(signer of the Declaration of Independence) and disputed by almost the entire medical community of Philadelphia. This particular episode lasted from August 3, 1793 thru to January 8, 1794. The peak occurring in late October of 1793. At the time nobody knew that the problem was a female mosquito so the ignorant blamed immigrants from Santo Domingo. Sixty years later the same problem occurred in New York City and the immigrant of the day was the Irish.

An excellent book, well written and researched with a bibliography, so that you could do your own research.

This is not a bedtime story but a factual history that maybe a harbinger of times to come with West Nile, EEE, Dengue or worse.

Learn what to do and what not to do. Some of the extra-ordinary people that dealt with this nightmare was the first organization of Black People for Black People called "Free African Society", run from a local church. This group of people were so intangible that the white community began offering large amounts of money ($10. when the yearly income was $200.)for these helpful souls to come and nurse them . . . For this, the Free African Society was blamed for charging when in fact they were offering their services freely and accepting anything in return.

All of this transpiring while Philadelphia was the capital of the United States of America.

A good book worth the read.

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