Yellow Fever, Health Commissioner's Report, 1879-1880
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Yellow Fever, Health Commissioner's Report, 1879-1880

The Health Commissioner of St. Louis City issued his annual report for the fiscal year, 1879–1880. Included in this report were names of citizens who died from yellow fever.

“During the past year three deaths occurred from yellow fever, the victims being fugitives from Memphis, Tennessee. Quarantine, but only in a limited way, and in no way to be compared with the stringency exercised and demanded in 1878, was established, being a welcome refuge to the unfortunate sick that came up from the South on boats. The sanitary condition of Quarantine Hospital has been wonderfully improved by you; new, spacious, well lighted and ventilated, and, above all, properly drained wards have taken the place of the old, dilapidated and disagreeable structures, that were fraught with infection stored up in the late unprecedented visitation of yellow fever, and during all the years that these unsightly buildings harbored the chronic sick of this city. Fire was regarded as the only means to effect eradication of the baneful influences exercised by these old wards, and was promptly applied. The improved general health the year around of the employees of the grounds evidences the wisdom of this step.”

The three deaths were Julius Seales, W. A. J. Slaughter, and Samuel Grimes. The original annual report is available at Missouri Historical Society Library.

With the suggestion of Dennis Northcott, Audrey Flavin transcribed and contributed this information for publication in the 1999 St. Louis Genealogical Society Quarterly, volume 32, number 4, pages 145–148.

Deaths Resulting from Yellow Fever

Showing records 1 to 4 of 4.

Name Date Content
Grimes, Samuel 13 Nov 1879 On November 13, Samuel Grimes, colored, married, forty-four years of age, died at No. 1124 N. Tenth Street. He was a roustabout and had contracted the disease on board an infected boat.
Seales, Julius 29 Jul 1879 On July 29, Julius Seales, colored, married, thirty-five years of age, a native of Mississippi, died at No. 712 Wash Street, after a brief illness. He was reported at the office of the Board of Health and his case, which was diagnosed to be yellow fever several hours before death, was made indubitably clear by a post-mortem. He was a steamboatman and had arrived on a steamer that was held at Quarantine. He not being at all sick at the time was allowed to come to the city; after several days he was seized and prostrated in the manner stated.
Slaughter, W. A. J. 25 Oct 1879 On October 25, W. A. J. Slaughter, white, married, twenty-four years of age, died at the City Hospital whither he was brought from Barnum's hotel. He was a Memphis merchant, who had passed the summer in our city: after the abatement of the plague. He returned to Memphis about the beginning of October, successfully, but for him fatally, running the quarantine blockade. He was soon taken ill, again passed the quarantine restrictions while sick, and arrived here, where after some days sojourn in the hotel, he died at the hospital.

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