Tag archives for Philadelphia
When you stay home sick, you think you are in the worst situation possible. But after you read this book, you will be thankful it is just a cold! This story is all about the slow process of the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia and how our entire country was affected. It was 1793, and Philadelphia was the largest city in America at that time. it was also the seat of our nation’s government. The political leaders were so spooked by the fever that they fled the town, leaving their positions unoccupied. Even our president, George Washington, left Philadelphia. At that time, Congress was housed in Philadelphia and because of the epidemic, they could not meet. This incident led to the creation of the rule that the president can convene Congress outside of the capital if the situation threatens the country’s well-being. It was amazing at how this fever made the whole country come to a standstill.
The argument between well-known doctors on treatment and causes were almost as persistent as the illness itself. The cause of the illness wasn’t found until later studies, but at the time many people thought it was because of the filth around the city of Philadelphia. There were no sewers or running water, but instead there were open ditches and wells. As the city was struck by the epidemic, they decided to do a city-wide cleanup so the disease would not continue to spread. Many of our modern city regulations on public health were a result of the changes made in Philadelphia due to yellow fever.
I recommend this book for kids in middle school who are interested in non-fiction or are looking for something new to try. I enjoyed this book because we hear about many illnesses that existed in other countries like the infamous black plague, but we normally don’t study the epidemics of our own country.
BOOK NAME: Fever 1793
AUTHOR: Laurie Halse Anderson
An epidemic in the United States, yellow fever, is brought to life in the book Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Matilda is a young girl growing up in 1793 in the town of Philadelphia with her mother and grandfather. In the coffeehouse that her family runs, all the talk is that Yellow Fever is spreading in the city and taking lots of lives. Soon, her mother is infected with fever and there is no good cure. Yellow fever is contagious; hence Grandfather and Matilda flee from the town. However, Matilda contracts the disease and is cured by knowledgeable French doctors. The two of them head home and are shocked to find the city of Philadelphia deserted. Facing such hard times, Matilda wonders when the epidemic will end and life will be normal.
Fever 1793 is a very intriguing historical fiction book. It brings out a tragic time in America’s history through an interesting story. The story weaves in facts about the Yellow Fever like symptoms such as yellow skin and black vomit and treatments for the disease such as bleeding and the drinking of mercury. It is inspiring how a care-free girl like Matilda learns to help others and take on responsibilities in difficult times. At the end of some chapters, there was a lot of suspense, which made the book really fun to read.