Yellow Fever and Race in Philadelphia, 1793

Title

Yellow Fever and Race in Philadelphia, 1793

Description

In 1793, Philadelphia experienced a massive outbreak of yellow fever. At the time, there was no vaccine for the disease and no one knew how it was spread. People who were financially able to do so fled city, but those who stayed died at an alarming rate. At the time, it was incorrectly believed that African Americans were immune to the disease. With this in mind, Mayor Matthew Clarkson reached out to leaders of African American community, who readily helped in various ways. They cared for the sick and disposed of the dead in order to slow the spread of the disease.

Publisher and economist Matthew Carey, a prominent figure in Philadelphia, criticized African Americans and their efforts to help the city during this crisis, even publishing tracts in which African Americans were protrayed as having taken financial advantage of the sick and dying during the epidemic. Abasalom Jones and Richard Allen, prominent members of Philadelphia’s African American community, took issue with Carey’s criticisms. A Narrative of the proceedings of the Black People, during the late and awful calamity in Philadelphia, in the year 1793: and a refutation of some censures, thrown upon them in some late publications is their response to Carey.

Creator

A[bsalom] J[ones] and R[ichard] A[llen]

Source

A Narrative of the proceedings of the Black People, during the late and awful calamity in Philadelphia, in the year 1793: and a refutation of some censures, thrown upon them in some late publications (Philadelphia, 1794)

Date

1794

Contributor

Gregory Kelly

Format

Pamphlet

Type

Text

Coverage

1700-1799

Files

Narrative of the proceedings of the Black People.jpg

Citation

A[bsalom] J[ones] and R[ichard] A[llen], “Yellow Fever and Race in Philadelphia, 1793,” Disaster History Archive, accessed October 23, 2021, http://disasterhistoryarchive.cynthiakierner.org/items/show/16.

Output Formats

Geolocation