An American Plague

ebook The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793

By Jim Murphy

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National Book Award Finalist: An account of the disease that ravaged eighteenth-century Philadelphia, written and illustrated for young readers.

1793, Philadelphia: The nation's capital and the largest city in North America is devastated by an apparently incurable disease, cause unknown...

This dramatic narrative describes the illness known as yellow fever and the toll it took on the city's residents, relating the epidemic to the social and political events of the day and eighteenth-century medical beliefs and practices. Drawing on first-hand accounts, Jim Murphy spotlights the heroic role of Philadelphia's free blacks in combating the disease, and the Constitutional crisis President Washington faced when he was forced to leave the city—and all his papers—to escape the deadly contagion. The search for the fever's causes and cure provides a suspenseful counterpoint to this riveting true story of a city under siege.

Winner of multiple awards, this thoroughly researched book offers a look at the conditions of cities at the time of our nation's birth, and draws timely parallels to modern-day epidemics.

"A lavishly illustrated book, containing maps, newspaper columns and period illustrations...unflinchingly presents the horrors of the event as well as its heroes."—The New York Times

"Pair this work with Laurie Halse Anderson's wonderful novel Fever 1793 and you'll have students hooked on history."—School Library Journal

"History, science, politics, and public health come together in this dramatic account of the disastrous yellow fever epidemic that hit the nation's capital more than 200 years ago."—Booklist

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An American Plague