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Life and Times of People in Philadelphia in 1793
Transcript of Life and Times of People in Philadelphia in 1793
Impact of Yellow Fever
By Nitya and Sania
1. "American Elementary Schools in the 1700s. Oracle Education Foundation ThinkQuest." January 21. 2014. <http://library.thinkquest.org/J002606/1700s.html>
2. "Yellow fever breaks out in Philadelphia. 2014. The History Channel website." Jan 21 2014. <http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/yellow-fever-breaks-out-in-Philadelphia.>
3. Gum, Samuel. "Philadelphia Under Siege: The fever of 1793. Summer 2010." The Philadelphia Center. 23, January. 2014. <http://pabook.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/YellowFever.html:>
Life and Times of People in Philadelphia in 1793
4. Baumgarten, Linda. "Looking at Eighteenth Century Clothing." Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 24 January. 2014. <http://www.history.org/history/clothing/intro/clothing.cfm>
In this time period, women usually wore gowns consisting of several layers. People always preferred formal clothing with intricate designs. Women clothing items included petticoats, lace material, shoes, cloaks, shifts, stockings, stays, caps, belts, capes, hoods, mittens, and aprons. Some women even carried around baskets. Girls wore simple gowns with caps adorned with flowers. Rich men from the upper class ordered special suits from London. Men also wore waistcoats, stockings, garters that held up stockings, kerchiefs(a piece of cloth worn around around their neck), hats, and wool coats. Their shoes were made by shoemakers and had no rights or lefts. Heels for men were considered to be fashionable in the time period. Also, men had long hair they usually tied back in a braid since they only washed their hair once in a couple months. Children usually wore wool or linen in blue, grey, red, green, yellow, or brown. Women usually made clothes by themselves, but the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 paved the way for mass manufacturing of clothing. Free blacks wore leather but didn't dress as formally as whites. Usually , their clothes consisted of light gowns for girls. Men slaves wore straw hats, plain cocked hats, heavy trousers, and wool breeches.
Almost 5,000 people died from the yellow fever while others had the disease, but survived. Symptoms included:
-internal bleeding(Patches of purple skin)
-yellow skin and eyes
The yellow fever caused 2,000 people to evacuate for safety including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. However, other cities refused to accept refugees from Philadelphia because they feared they carried the disease. But New York still sent financial aid to the city. When the death toll rose to almost 100 per day, carts were sent around to pick up the dead bodies for burial. Good also came from this epidemic. Meanwhile, more hospitals were organized for people diagnosed with yellow fever, the streets were cleaned every once in a while, houses were kept neater and many people started cleaning themselves more frequently. This virus also helped the African community. First off, they were considered immune to this disease, but after 240 Africans died from yellow fever, they were proved wrong. Also, Africans began to be trusted more because they were the ones who formed most organizations and they helped the sick the most. When the whites noticed how hard the free Africans worked, they were treated more equally than they were before.
In Philadelphia, there weren't many schools, so children were taught at home. Parents taught them using a bible. However, girls were usually taught chores such as cooking, sewing, preserving food, etc. Women did all the household work such as washing/ making clothes, cleaning the house, making food, and teaching their children. Men became apprentices in shopkeeping, crafts, and ran other businesses. Philadelphia had the busiest port which is why many immigrants came there. At the time, their government had a mayor and a council. Also, instead of using garbage cans, they tossed the garbage onto the streets. Another contributing factor to the fever was that they only bathed once a week. Men had the right to vote, however, women didn't. Free African men could vote too. Wealthy women didn't have much work because the were able to afford slaves who did most of the work for them. However, proletarian women did most of the work. The free African society also worked and had many rights, but they were still deemed to be in a lower class of the hierarchy. The lives of slaves consisted of heavy work. Some slaves worked in the household, cooking and cleaning while others did field work.
The summer of 1793 was the hottest summer in years. The rivers were also dried up which led to a glut of mosquitoes. Their breeding ground was low water, and the waterfront in Philadelphia was exactly what they needed. This was what caused the epidemic. There was a large amount of humidity in the air during the summer so the environment was uncomfortable and people were sweaty. As we mentioned earlier, people didn't wash their hands or bathe often. This helped the yellow fever progress since the bad sanitation passed the virus from one sick person to the next. Doctors argued for what treatments to give and what spread the disease. Dr. Rush bled the patients, believing that would take the virus out of their system while Dr. Deveeze recommended plenty of fluids and rest. The sick weren't sure weather to go to Dr. Rush or Deveeze. There weren't any vaccines to prevent the virus. In sum, the year of 1793 was a terrible year for Philadelphia and its residents.
Women slaves wore stockings, silk gowns and much more. Slaves that worked in fields had to wear clothing that was well suited for working out in the sun. For example, they wore hats that protected them from sunburns. Free black men wore the same clothing as white men except theirs was less formal.
1. ”Lady Sewing” 2004-2014. Online Image. ShutterStock. 24 January. 2014
5. "A Day in the Life" Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 28 January. 2014
2. "Mosquito" 2013. Online Image. 28. January. 2014.
~The other images were found from the websites.~