America's First Plague: The Deadly 1793 Epidemic that Crippled a Young Nation

America's First Plague: The Deadly 1793 Epidemic that Crippled a Young Nation

by Robert P. Watson
America's First Plague: The Deadly 1793 Epidemic that Crippled a Young Nation

America's First Plague: The Deadly 1793 Epidemic that Crippled a Young Nation

by Robert P. Watson

Hardcover

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Overview

As disease spread, the national government was slow to react. Soon, citizens donned protective masks and the authorities ordered quarantines. The streets emptied. Doubters questioned the science and disobeyed. The year: 1793. The place: young America from Baltimore to Boston but especially in Philadelphia, the nation’s largest city and seat of the federal government. For 3 long months yellow fever, carried by mosquitoes let loose from a ship from Africa, ravaged the eastern seaboard The federal government abandoned the city and scattered, leaving a dangerous leadership gap. By the end of the pandemic, ten percent of Philadelphians had died.

America's First Plague offers the definitive telling of this long-forgotten crisis, capturing the wave of fear that swept across the fledgling republic, and the numerous unintended but far-reaching consequences it would have on the development of the United States and the Atlantic slave trade. It is an intriguing tale of fear and human nature, a tragic lesson of how prejudice toward blacks was so easily stoked, an examination of the primitive state of medicine and vulnerability to disease in the eighteenth century, and a story of the struggle to govern in the face of crisis. With eerie similarities to the Covid pandemic, historian Robert P. Watson tells the story of a young nation teetering on the brink of chaos.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538164884
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 06/01/2023
Pages: 318
Sales rank: 395,379
Product dimensions: 6.45(w) x 9.05(h) x 0.93(d)

About the Author

Robert P. Watson is the author of many books on American politics and history including, most recently, Escape! The Story of the Confederacy's Infamous Libby Prison and the Civil War's Largest Jail Break (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021),George Washington’s Final Battle: The Epic Struggle to Build a Capital City and Nation (Georgetown University Press, 2021), The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: An Untold Story of the American Revolution (Da Capo Press, 2017, and The Nazi Titanic: The Incredible Untold Story of a Doomed Ship in World War II (Da Capo Press, 2016), which is currently being made into a motion picture. He resides in Boca Raton, Florida.

Table of Contents

Images

Preface

Poem “Pestilence”

Prologue: Ship of Death

Part I. America’s First Crisis

1. Plague!

2. Revolution

3. Yellow Jack

4. Philadelphia

5. The First to Die

Part II. The Capital Under Seige

6. “Hell Town”

7. Fear and Panic

8. Philadelphia Responds

9. Bush Hill

10. The Physicians War

Part III. Turning Point

11. Unlikely Heroes

12. A Nation without a Government

13. Ghost Town

14. The Fall Frost

15. Of Pestilence and Politics

Epilogue: 100 Days of Terror

Appendix A. Timeline of Events

Appendix B. Map of Philadelphia

Abbreviations

Notes

Bibliography

About the Author

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