East view of Philadelphia State House 1790
Looking at Philadelphia from the Jersey shoreline of the Delaware
Description: Philadelphia was the United States capital from 1790 to 1800.
President Washington stayed in the Robert Morris house on High Street, a threestory mansion used as a living space, reception area, and an office.
In 1793 a Yellow Fever plague struck Philadelphia. Ten percent of Philadelphia's
population died. Five thousand five hundred people out of Philadelphia's 55 thousand
residents perished because nobody knew that Yellow Fever was spread by
mosquitoes. In 1853 a Yellow Fever plague hit New Orleans. Twenty thousand died. In
1878 another epidemic, claiming another 20 thousand. During the American Civil War
over 10 thousand Union soldiers died from malaria. Malaria was the leading cause of
death of the workers who built the Panama Canal, with over a thousand construction
workers contracting the disease during the "ditch digging" in the Isthmus of Panama.
When DDT began to be mass produced in 1946, 2.7 million per year were dying just
from malaria alone
This building, still standing today just near the airport, was used as a
hospital for the Yellow Fever victims of 1793. There were no effective
cures, and so hundreds of people died. This photograph was taken in
Philadelphia was mostly swampland in the 18th and 19th centuries—the
perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
“Yellow Jack Coming for a Visit”
--Cartoon that appeared in an early
--This cartoon personifies Yellow
The Black Death was a
plague that swept through
the Middle Ages destroying
over half of Europe.
The Yellow Fever
epidemics were often
compared with the “Black