An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 - Chapter One: No One Noticed Summary & Analysis

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Saturday, August 3, 1793. A heat wave was hitting Philadelphia. The marshes and swamps south of the city were evaporating. The Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers were receding, revealing dead fish and rotting plant life, which were drawing swarms of insects. In the city streets, the many cats that died of heat exposure were drawing flies and mosquitoes. Dead animals were thrown into "sinks" that were dug in place of regular sewers.

Cargo was being loaded onto ships on the Delaware bound for New York and Boston. The sloop Amelia from Santo Domingo had dumped a shipment of spoiled coffee on Ball's Wharf, where it putrefied in the sun and created a stench that emanated throughout the community. Despite the odor, the streets were crowded with shoppers and vendors—glad to be outside in the open air where they...

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This section contains 511 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 Study Guide
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