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MSU Department of History Spring Lecture Series Continues March 5, 2017

Sandy Linn - Wednesday, March 01, 2017
The Calloway County Public Library is pleased to announce that Murray State University Department of History Professor Dr. Urmi Engineer will present a program entitled Yellow Fever in the Mississippi Valley, 1878-79 on Sunday, March 5, 2:30 pm, in the library meeting room.

In the summer of 1878, a yellow fever epidemic spread from New Orleans through the Mississippi Valley. For the first time, yellow fever appeared in hundreds of plantations, towns, and cities that had not previously confronted the disease. It caused nearly five thousand deaths in New Orleans and a total of roughly twenty thousand in the Mississippi Valley. At the onset of the epidemic, approximately forty thousand residents, comprising nearly twenty percent of the city’s population, fled. Many left the city by rail, causing the epidemic to spread rapidly, as they carried the contagion with them. Yellow fever quickly spread from New Orleans to Memphis, causing widespread panic. Within ten days of the public announcement of the presence of yellow fever in Memphis, 25,000 people, who comprised more than half of the urban population, left the city. Across the United States, more than 150,000 people fled their homes during the epidemic. Southerners fled to small towns that they considered “safe,” like Holly Springs and Dry Grove, Mississippi. Not only did these cities elect not to establish quarantines, but private homes and hospitals welcomed and treated victims of yellow fever. This talk will explore the causes of the epidemic and responses among residents in the affected region.

Dr. Engineer’s presentation is second in the Murray State University Department of History second annual lecture series entitled, Murray State’s Department of History Presents.
The presentation is presented free of charge and open to community members of all ages.
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