An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 Setting & Symbolism

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Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was the nation's capital when a devastating yellow fever epidemic hit the city in 1793. It is estimated that some 6,000 men, women and children perished from the rapidly spreading plague.

The Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers

Philadelphia was located on the the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, which were receding from the oppressive heat of the summer of 1793. The river exposed rotting plant life and dead animals that drew thousands of mosquitoes.

Mount Vernon

When it became obvious that Philadelphia was facing an epidemic of epic proportions, President George Washington and other national leaders were advised to leave the city to preserve the leadership of the nation. George and Martha Washington moved temporarily to Mount Vernon to wait out the devastating disease.

The West Indies

Many Philadelphians felt that a rancid cargo of coffee dumped on the wharf was responsible for the illness that became an epidemic in...

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This section contains 486 words
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Buy the An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 Study Guide
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