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Philadelphia 1793: Yellow Fever, Race, Medicine and Politics

Author: Mona Kolsky


 Shawmont School

Year: 2009

Seminar: American Political Culture

Grade Level: 5-8

Keywords: History, Medicine, Philadelphia, race, yellow fever

School Subject(s): American History, History

This curriculum unit will examine Philadelphia in the year of 1793. Philadelphia was the capital of the United States, the center of politics of the day.  Immigrants were pouring into the city of  “brotherly love.”  George and Martha were living in Robert Morris’ mansion, a short distance from the more crowded, filthy streets of the bustling port city.  The French Revolution and its politics were felt in the city with its large French population.  The esteemed Dr. Benjamin Rush was teaching his students at the University of Pennsylvania and discussing public education with Noah Webster.  Then there was the deadly illness that spread through the city like wild fire.  The year of 1793 and its yellow fever epidemic would forever change Philadelphia.


Download Unit: 09.02.09.pdf

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