The Catholic Witness During Memphis Yellow Fever Epidemics of the 1870s: A Description and Vindication




Sins, Elisabeth

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In the 1870s, several yellow fever epidemics struck Memphis causing a calamity that shook the entire United States. The yellow fever epidemics in Memphis were some of the deadliest and most terrifying events of American urban history, killing more people than the Chicago Fire, San Francisco earthquake, and the Johnstown flood combined. A disaster for both the city and the region with implications for medical history, social history, and economic history, the yellow fever epidemics are of interest from a variety of historical perspectives and serve as a locus of research for a variety of disciplines. This project will examine historical narratives that describe the ways in which Catholic religious groups in Memphis responded to this crisis, and it will seek to discern how the underreported Catholic narrative of epidemics contributes something distinctive to Memphis history.



Humanities, History