The 1793 Terror: The Yellow Fever Epidemic

Health, History
[caption id="attachment_26643" align="alignright" width="480"] Yellow fever virus[/caption]Have you ever heard of Yellow Fever? Different diseases affect human society to differing degrees. In the in the United States, one now seldom-mentioned illness severely threatened the existence of a major city with a populace approaching 50,000 (a sizeable number at the time). The famous Dr. Benjamin Rush called it Bilious Remitting Yellow Fever. Nearly 10% of the city died. In fact, the Federal government itself, including George Washington, had to quickly relocate! Some cities refused to accept refugees. The Time, The Place, The Cause The time was approximately August of 1793, and for a while thereafter. The place was Philadelphia. The vector seems to have been the female Aedes aegypti mosquito. The infection originated possibly from Santo Domingo, as a result of…
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Race, War, Indigo and Coffee in the 19th Century U.S.

History, People
Indigo is a dyestuff originally derived, at least partly, from Indigofera tinctoria, a small shrub in the bean family. The dye is produced from the leaves of the plant by fermentation. The organic compound indican, is converted into indigotin, or indigo by hydrolysis and oxidation. Today, there are synthetic commercial methods for indigo preparation. Post Civil War In 1862, before the end of the Civil War, the U.S. officially recognized the Republic of Liberia in West Africa. Before the war, some "free-born" members of the black race emigrated to Liberia. It was believed that nation might prove a land of opportunity. The country was poor, but there were possibilities. One of those possibilities involved the manufacture of indigo dyestuff. A distant relation of mine, John O'Neale Stockham of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania…
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Wilson H. Fitzgerald – “Rags to Riches” in Camden NJ

Genealogy, History
Probably the name Wilson H. Fitzgerald doesn't ring a bell for you. He was an imposing fellow, but it is the time and events in which he was involved that make him interesting. And everyone appreciates a rags-to-riches story... Wilson H. Fitzgerald... Belonged to the Philadelphia Resolution Hose Company. He built dozens of homes in Camden, New Jersey. Pioneered special business practices in Camden, New Jersey. Once traveled the rails West on one of Raymond's Vacation Excursions. Was guilty of assault and battery against a fellow City Council member.1 Found a large chunk of human flesh on his property 5 miles from an explosion. Found twenty-five or thirty Revolutionary War cannonballs on his property. Helped his son-in-law escape charges for embezzling from the Postal Service. Had a son, John L.,…
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A Senior Riding Amtrak: My Ironic Article

[caption id="attachment_7248" align="alignright" width="480"] Amtrak traveling the countryside.[/caption] A handful of years ago, I wrote about my riding Amtrak from Charlottesville, Virginia to the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, where I met a friend. It was actually a very pleasant experience, though a bit adventuresome for me. I could not anticipate the tragedy that would occur in 2015 in that very city of "brotherly love." I resubmit my original article, below... What would go through your mind if this had happened to you? ---------- Are you a "senior" in your 60s, 70s, 80s or even older? Ever wondered what riding Amtrak is like? Take a virtual ride with me now, from Charlottesville, VA, through Washington, DC, to Philadelphia, PA. A good friend had a happy and important occasion he desired…
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Deciphering a Cryptic 1700s Philadelphia German Tombstone

Decipher a German tombstone? What trick is there to that? I was once deeply involved in genealogy researches. A distant Kite family member had connection to the original 13 settlers of the Philadelphia, PA area. These immigrant families were of German origin. In my pursuits, I had established an email list on a site that went “belly up.” Shortly before that, I had been invited by a Rootsweb representative to transfer my list to their oversight. Interested Researchers As of September 2019, the Original-13 list still exists there. For some, the tombstones of family members of these 13 are of special interest. One tombstone in particular caught their interest. It read very cryptically. Descendants wondered what language was used in the inscription. How did it read? Here is the transcription:…
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