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. 12. A mulatto man, a drinking fellow, who has a room next
door, was this morning in the act of vomiting and very hard straining
—not altogether like a drunken man emptying his stomach—but more
like a very sick bilious straining. I was alarmed, and sent word down
stairs as I was dressing, that it would be right to enquire into the matter.
Sister sent for Lee, who is the master of the house, where five or six
families reside. He says he knows not what ails the mulatto; he is
gone out at present, and he wishes to get rid of him, and will do so if it
is in his power. They are ordinary, noisy people. I hope it is no yellow
fever, but other sickness.
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. 14. The Post-Office is removed—the Library shut up. Many
of our neighbors are removed; things look sad, yet I do not hear of
many dead or taken ill. H. D., as usual, writing in ye Office. He is
one of the greatest slaves in Philadelphia.
Aug. 15. Dr Redman called before dinner. He thinks that the disorder is progressing, and will progress. 'Tis according to the nature of
things at this season of the year. He talks of going with his wife and
daughter into the country.
OurblackSarah told me this morning, that she heard a man straining hard to vomit in the mulatto's chamber next door; that she had
smelt sugar burning several times yesterday and today—that a poor sick
man boarded there. Upon inquiring of Ben Airs who lives in ye
house, we understood it was a man who had a very hard cough, but is
no other way disordered. What ye burnt sugar meant, we know not, as
they are not very nice or cleanly.
Aug. 17. Since dinner we have heard that Nancy's boy, Oliver Wadsworth is taken with a chill. I sent for ye children to come here, and
desired they would immediately send for the Doctor to know what he
thought ailed him. Nancy came in; Dr Parke has been to visit Oliver
—says he has every symptom of the Yellow fever, but that it is not infectious for a day or two. He advised him being taken to the Hospital,
tho' he said he had ye disorder, he hoped lightly. He is to be taken
this afternoon. I hinted to Nancy that it would be trying to Oliver's
friends in Connecticut to see his name in the papers. She tells me that
Dr Parke says, he will be received by the name of James Harrisburgh.
Poor little fellow—my heart aches for him.
I have engaged Ben Oliver to take me tomorrow to Germantown.