Elizabeth Sandwith Drinker (1735-1807) was een Amerikaanse huisvrouw. Ze hield een groot deel van haar leven een dagboek bij. Hieronder de dagboeknotities die te maken hebben met de gele koorts-epidemie van 1798.
Aug. 7. Joe Thomas and the Yellow fever are the subjects of conver-
sation at present—both pernicious. [...]
Aug. 8. Becky Wharton Allen is dead and buried — ye latter immediately follows the former. A man came here, this evening, for an
order to bury Eli Shoemaker, who is ill in Cable-lane; not yet dead,
tho' his coffin is made. He has the Yellow fever, with black vomiting. He caught it at Vine street wharf from the corpse of a man who
died on board a vessel there, passing by him. [...]
Aug. 13. Robert Proud, who was here this morning, and several
others, are of the opinion, that the people crowding out of the City, as
they are doing at present, is unnecessary—that ye present appearance of the fever does not call for it. My husband and son of ye same opinion.
May it be so! Isaac Lloyd dead.
Aug. 19. First day. Clear. Wind southerly. [...] Thomas Fisher, son of Miers Fisher, was this morning buried. He died of ye Yellow fever — about
twenty two years old; and a son of Abigail Hamilton, Frank H., not quite of age, fell a victim to it.[...]
Aug. 22. Clear and warm—wind variable. [...] A letter from Dr Cooper at ye Hospital to Timothy Paxon, informing
of ye death of our poor little Oliver Wadsworth, who died, as the Dr
says, of an inveterate Yellow fever. He assures us, he had all possible
attention and care taken of him. He likewise says, that from all observations that can be made — it is thought this disorder is not contagious;
no one person takes it from another, but that it is in the air, and spreads
very fast. How that is, we must leave.[...]
Aug. 28. I read in the paper of yesterday that one hundred and
eleven cases were reported in 48 hours.
Richd Allen, a black man of consequence, advertises, that he wishes
those of the citizens who have left Dogs and Cats shut up in their houses to starve, would employ some friend to let them out, as they disturb the
neighbors, by their bowlings &c.[...]
Sept. 8. The accounts of this day are, between 50 and 60 deaths, 107
new cases. W. D. not as well as when at North bank; chilly and un-
well. Ho is like the rest of us, out of his element; my husband excepted,
who is always at home, and never at home.
Sept. 16. First day. A comparative table of deaths in Cobbett's
paper of the 14th inst. "From the 8th Augt to 31" in '93, there were
264 deaths—from the same to the same in '98, 621. From the 1" to the
14th Septr in '93, there were 375 deaths—from the same to the same in
'98—858 deaths." In October '93 were the most deaths of any other
time. Our city is at present so deserted that I think it can hardly be
possible for so many to be taken, but of this I only conjecture.
Sept. 21. H. D. returned with the newspapers. The Yellow fever
is in our Jail—one person died of it, another was sent to the Hospital.
Some of the worst of the prisoners made an attempt to get out—took
some advantage, but were stopped. Robert Wharton, Mayor, shot one
of them, and wounded him mortally; another was killed on the spot,
and a third badly wounded. They did not succeed in their attempt.[...]
Sept. 22. Fifty nine deaths, 126 new cases of the prevailing fever reported by 18 physicians. Deaths at New-York on third day last 42—36
of them, of ye Yellow fever. What a world of trouble is this! May
we be fitted for a better when it shall please the Lord to call us hence.[...]
Sept. 24. [...] From sixth day noon to seventh day noon, 10 died. The disorder is
said to be worse than ever. Some of the physicians say it is the Plague.
Suckey Lockyer, the shopkeeper died at Germantown, Molly Cr'esson's
George is dead—50 in a day at New-York, and very bad at Wilmington,
where 10 die in a day.
Sept. 27. [...] The accounts of deaths have been between 60 and 70. We have not
heard for two days past, but the last accounts were very bad from New-
Sept. 29. Clear, and as cold as the last of November. W. D. went
in the Chaise, Jacob with him, to Hugh Morton's for ye newspapers.
Ye account is from sixth day to 7th day at noon, 106 deaths—worse
and worse! 40 odd in New-York, and 18 in two days at Wilmington.
Tauro barks more than common, perhaps he is cold.
Oct. 2. [...] From seventh day to second day, 150 deaths in our city. In New
York in 24 hours, 58 of the fever, ending last fourth day. Our old
neighlwr Wm Moulder is gone, by the prevailing disease.
Oct. 16. [...] Yesterday's papers inform 62 deaths in 48 hours, and 48 new cases.[...]
November 1. Tho" Cope called. Pie has been to the city — says that
Dr Rush and other Physicians say it is quite safe for citizens to return
home. He, T. C, intends going tomorrow.
Nov. 5. About 10 o'clock, we left Sally and her children. We came
to the Buck between one and two; dined with a large company there.
Left them before three, and arrived at home between four and five. We
are once more favored to be at home altogether, in usual health.