To The Contributors Of The Fund For The
During The Prevalence Of The Yellow Fever
In That Town In 1855;
The Exhibit Of The Treasurer Of The
Receipts And Disbursements Of The Fund,
And Statements Of Other Members Of The Association;
Together With A Sketch Of The Fever, Etc., Etc.

Richmond: H. K. Ellyson's Steam Power Presses
147 Main Street

Transcribed by Donna Bluemink


[131] The proceedings of the Trustees of Hampton, in reference to the same matter, which we annex, show how willing they were to confine the unfortunate citizens of the afflicted cities to their pestilent homes:

At a meeting of the Trustees of the town of Hampton, held at the Courthouse this 9th day of August, 1855, on motion of John L. Peck, the mouth of Hampton Creek was established as a quarantine ground for the town of Hampton.

The Trustees ordered that all vessels from Norfolk or Portsmouth, within the last five days, be ordered to perform quarantine until the first day of September next. The regulation extends to all persons, goods, and effects, arriving in such vessels.

On motion of C. L. Collier, it was resolved, That the foregoing ordinances be in full force immediately—except so far as they may prevent the landing of citizens of Elizabeth City county, both temporary and permanent, as may wish to land within the present twenty-four hours, ending to-night at 12 o'clock.

At Elizabeth City, N. C, admittance was refused to a stage load of passengers, because they came from the infected districts; and even Weldon! had her quarantine and fines, and stripes were ordained as penalties for its infringement.

While on this branch of our subject we cannot forbear some animadversion on the course pursued by the military authorities at Old Point Comfort. However inhumane and revolting it may appear, it is nevertheless true, that citizens of Norfolk and Portsmouth, fleeing from the pestilence, in search of a place of safe refuge at Old Point, were met on the wharf by armed sentinels, and, at the point of the bayonet, precluded, from effecting a landing. And yet, with all these precautions against the introduction of the fever, induced as they were by ignorance and unmanly fear, the disease, as if to prove as well their insufficiency as their inhumanity, invaded the fort, and carried off at least one victim.

Early in August, Richmond and Petersburg thought it necessary to protect themselves against the importation of [132] the fever; but, in a very short time, a more healthy and enlightened sentiment prevailed, and the antiquated and unscientific policy which they had so hastily and inconsiderately adopted, was done away with.

It is impossible to estimate the amount of mortality which would have occurred had this excluding system been generally enacted and enforced. A more humane and intelligent action was had in other places. A number of counties and cities of Virginia, and other States, spread wide their portals, and gave to the wanderers a cordial welcome. The considerate kindness and hospitality manifested by the inhabitants of Matthews, Northampton, and Accomac counties, and by the cities of Lynchburg, Baltimore, Philadelphia, &c., will always be held in grateful remembrance. Their example will, we trust, have its influence, should a similar state of things again present. The total immunity from the disease which these communities enjoyed, notwithstanding the presence of the very large number of refugees who found an asylum in their midst, fully justifies the advocacy of the doctrine of non-importation, which has been attempted to be inculcated in these pages.

Four weeks elapsed after the appearance of the fever in Gosport, before there was a single case which had its origin in Portsmouth; and when it did show itself there, it was not, as might have been expected, in that part of the town nearest to Gosport, but in a situation distant three or four squares from Gosport bridge—thus furnishing another evidence of the domestic origin of the epidemic. The first cases, like those in Gosport, were of a very malignant type; and of the six which earliest appeared, five speedily came to a fatal termination. The square bounded by the market, and King, High, and Middle streets, was sooner infected than any other part of Portsmouth, and to such an extent that not a single family residing on it escaped the ravages of the disease. On the 4th of August there had already been [133] fifteen cases on this square, and before the close of the fever, eighteen persons residing on it fell victims to its fury.

From this point the infection radiated, and many days had not elapsed before it was diffused throughout every quarter of the town. There had been forty-three deaths in all, on the 3d of August, and twenty others died in the three following days. The average mortality at this time was six or eight daily, and, of new cases, fifteen or twenty. Nearly all the stores had already been closed, and the business at every hotel in the place suspended. Over four hundred of the employees of the Navy Yard had taken their discharges. The telegraph office was shut up, and the James river steamers no longer coming to Norfolk or Portsmouth, persons wishing to take passage in them were forced to go on board in Hampton Roads.

All earthly means proved inefficient in arresting the strides of the pestilence, and from heaven alone was relief to be expected; and, looking to that source, the Mayor, on the 6th of August, issued the annexed proclamation: and in accordance with the recommendations therein contained, the 8th of that month was observed in a most solemn manner as a day of fasting and humiliation, with earnest prayer to a merciful God for his interposition in our behalf:

Whereas it has pleased the Great Being who reigns over all, to visit our community with disease and death, it becomes us, as a people acknowledging the supreme authority of God, to humble ourselves before him and unite in supplicating his mercy and forbearance, and in beseeching him to stay the pestilence now in our midst; I would, therefore, recommend that the churches and congregations in town, and citizens generally, observe Wednesday, August the 8th, as a day of fasting and humiliation, for the confession of our sins, and earnest prayer to the Almighty that his scourge may be removed from among us.
D. D. FISKE, Mayor of Portsmouth.

The physicians responding to all calls for their services, were constantly employed in their attendance on the sick. The duties incident to the practice of their profession were so [134] arduous that little time was afforded them for either mental or physical repose. Very soon the fatiguing labors which they were compelled to perform, and the exposure in the line of their duty, in the most infected localities, to which they were hourly subjected, began to tell, and made sad inroads in their ranks. Dr. Spratley was the first to succumb. He was attacked with the prevailing fever on the 4th of August, Dr. Parker on the 6th, Dr. Schoolfield on the 8th, Dr. Nicholson about the 10th, Dr. Cocke about the 15th, Dr. Lovett on the 19th, Dr. Maupin on the 20th, Dr. Trugien on the 24th, and Dr. Hatton early in September. Drs. Parker, Nicholson, Lovett, and Trugien, were laid low in death within five days from the time they were respectively taken sick. There were ten regular physicians in Portsmouth when the yellow fever appeared, nine of these had the disease, and four of that number died. Besides these there were two homœpathic physicians, Drs. V. B. and L. A. Bilisoly, who practiced during the greater part of the time during which the fever prevailed. The former escaped without contracting the disorder; the latter, though not so fortunate as his brother, weathered the storm.

The want of medical aid with so large and increasing a number of sick, began to be severely felt towards the middle of August. There were only six or eight practitioners to attend on three or four hundred fever patients, and they were liable to take the disease at any moment, as the greater number of them did before the close of the month. To give a better idea of the deplorable condition of things at this time than we can possibly do, we publish below two letters written by the late Dr. Trugien to the editor of the Petersburg Express, which, in a most eloquent and touching manner, make known the wants of the people and solicit for them professional assistance:

Dear Sir: The condition of things in our town at the present is most serious and alarming. Deaths are occurring all around us, new cases are multiplying hourly, and our means of treating them are hourly diminishing. [135] This you will the more readily understand, when I tell you that I am doing the duties of two physicians, (Drs. Schoolfield and Maupin,) besides my own, which are sufficiently numerous and onerous to occupy me unceasingly; and God only knows how long I shall be able to do what I am now doing. I shall continue at the laboring oar until I fall.

Can you not make this known through the press, and call on some of your faculty to come to our assistance? Drs. Hatton and Hodges are the only physicians now up besides myself, and at the present writing the latter gentleman is absent in attendance upon his family, who are in the country. Ours is a devoted and self-sacrificing profession, and I call upon them in the name of humanity to come to our help. Who of the able and noble faculty of Petersburg will venture?
J. W. H. T.
Editor of the Petersburg Express.

To this second letter from Dr. Trugien a melancholy interest attaches, from the fact of its being (probably) the last which he ever wrote. The moral courage and the pious resignation which breathes through every line, are sufficient to command for the memory of its philanthropic author the very highest respect and admiration:

Portsmouth, August 24, 1855.
Dear Express: It is now nine o'clock, P. M., and I have just got back to my office, after being incessantly engaged since 5 o'clock this morning. I have seen and prescribed for over one hundred patients to-day, and every moment new calls are made upon me, and the most urgent entreaties used to induce me to see a father, mother, brother, or other friend. But I can go no further. I am completely exhausted, and must have a little rest to enable me to resume the duties of the morrow, if perchance I am myself spared in health.

I am no alarmist, and have no disposition to exaggerate, and certainly no wish to harrow the feelings of any one by the recital of scenes of distress; but it would sicken any one to know what is now transpiring in our town. Whole families are down, without the ability in many cases to procure a drop of water to cool their fevered lips. Alas! alas! for poor Portsmouth. O! God, how long!

I wrote you yesterday a note designed for publication, beseeching medical aid. I know it must require an amount of courage possessed by few, to venture thus seemingly into the jaws of death to rescue others. But is there no devoted man—no gallant soul—-who will say, I will go. Two or three [136] physicians, I see, have volunteered for Norfolk, where the medical corps is larger than in this place. Shall poor stricken Portsmouth be left to her fate? Forbid it heaven—forbid it humanity! 'Tis a Macedonian cry— " Come over and help us!" J W. H. T.

At the same time the following letter from the President of the Common Council of Portsmouth, addressed to the Mayor of Baltimore, was by him submitted to the Board of Health of that city:

Portsmouth, (Va.,) August 20.
To his Honor the Mayor of Baltimore:
Dear Sir: Several of our physicians are sick, and the others nearly broken down. Can we get medical aid from your city for the relief of the sick? Write me on receipt of this. If any of your surgeons will come, they will not only be hospitably received, but will be amply remunerated. I do not wish, and shall not conceal the fact from our citizens abroad, that the fever is raging to an alarming extent.

With sentiments of the highest respect, I have the honor to be, yours truly,
President Common Council.

In response to these urgent appeals—these "Macedonian cries"—many proffers of assistance were made; and on the 23d of the same month several volunteers, on this forlorn hope, presented themselves. In another place, a full list of these gentlemen, whose humane and self-sacrificing conduct so well merits the admiration and gratitude of mankind, will be found.

With accelerated pace the pestilence pursued its march of death. It spared neither age, sex, nor condition. Heretofore very few negroes had been attacked, but this exemption was not of long continuance, for after the 10th of August they, as well as the whites, were stricken down daily. With them the fever prevailed in its most benignant form, and very rarely proved fatal in those of pure African descent. The mulattos and others of mixed blood did not fare so well, and yet the mortality among the whole colored population did not amount to eight per cent.

[137] The number of deaths occurring during the latter days of August averaged from ten to fifteen, and still the disease had not reached its culminating point. Not until some week or two later, in the early part of September, was the utmost fury of the pestilence exhibited. At that time, fully one half of the inhabitants had either passed through the fever or were prostrated by it. Sickness dwelt in every house, and there were scarcely enough well persons left to perform the necessary offices about the bed-sides of the sick. The hum of industry was stilled, all business except such as was incident to the presence of the fever was at an end, and a deep gloom shrouded the whole community. The friend whose pleasant converse enlivened the social circle to-day, was on the morrow in the cold ground, sleeping the sleep which knows no waking. The solemn and all-engrossing topic, on which dwelt the public mind, was death ! death ! ! death ! ! !

"Nothing but lamentable sounds are heard,
Nor aught is seen but ghastly views of death.
Infectious horror runs from face to face,
And pale despair—'tis all the business there
To tend the sick and in your turn to die.
In heaps they lie—and the same bed or floor
The sickening, dying, dead, and rottening hold."

The 2d day of September will long be memorable for the very great mortality which then occurred. On that holy Sabbath thirty-two persons—one in a hundred of the population— ceased to live. The mortality for the week commencing on that day attained the fearful number of at least one hundred and fifty, equal to five per cent, of the human beings in the town at that time.

Those localities farthest removed from the point where the fever originated now began to suffer from its invasion. It prevailed to an alarming extent in the extreme western section of the town, and with results as fatal as in those situations where it had previously run its course. On the 4th of [138] September the infection had extended itself to a cluster of residences lying north of Swimming Point creek, on the banks of the river, beyond the corporation limits. This was looked upon as a safe place of retreat, and many, thinking to get without the range of its influence, had there taken up their abode. A space of a mile or more intervened between this retreat and Gosport; and yet only sixty days were requisite for the epidemic to traverse that distance, and those who had confidently hoped for immunity in that sequestered spot were again compelled to flee before the advancing strides of the pestilence.

It is a curious fact, that the infection traveled with much greater rapidity in a westerly direction than in a northerly, although the wind was blowing from the south almost constantly, and rarely, if ever, from the east. This circumstance is interesting, when viewed with reference to the endemic origin of the disease.

The number of deaths had now become so great, that it was with much difficulty that the most common offices of sepulture could be performed. The work of burying the dead had all to be done under the superintendence of a single undertaker—Mr. H. Stoakes—who alone remained in town to carry on his business. It was impossible for him to supply the demands which were made for coffins, and application was made to Commodore McKeever, the commanding officer at the Gosport Navy Yard, for his assistance in the emergency. That brave and gallant officer, who had so nobly stood at his post and exerted himself to the full extent of his authority in behalf of the distressed citizens of Portsmouth, readily responded to the call. Immediately all the available force under his control were put to work to meet the deficiency, and day by day wagons piled high with the rude tenements of the dead, might be seen passing through the streets.

Apparently very little feeling, and less ceremony, was ex- [139] hibited in the burial of the dead. There seemed to he an over-anxiety to get rid of the hapless victims as speedily as possible. When all hope of recovery was gone, and death was inevitable, its approach was looked for with manifest impatience. Even before the poor sufferer had breathed his last, his coffin was engaged, and other arrangements made for his speedy interment, and ere his limbs had assumed the rigidity of death, and within an hour or two after his dissolution, his body, without shroud or winding sheet, was placed in a common stained coffin, deposited in the hearse, under the sole charge of the negro driver, and hurried off to the cemetery, accompanied, save in a very few instances, by neither friend nor relative to see the last sad rites performed, ere he was shut out from their sight forever. Nor were there any religious services had over his grave—un-honored, unsung, and we might almost say unwept, he was left to "sleep his last sleep" in the bosom of his mother earth.

"When o'er the friendless bier no rites were read —
No dirge slow chaunted and no pall outspread;
While death and night piled up the naked throng,
And silence drove the ebon car along."

With varying intensity the epidemic continued its course, being very much affected by the state of the weather. Any sudden change to damp cool weather, accompanied by an easterly wind, very much aggravated it, particularly if succeeded by a hot sun. The heaviest mortality was usually preceded two or three days by cool easterly or north-easterly storms. Such was the state of the weather on the 15th and 16th of September, and on the 17th and 18th its effects were manifested in the large number of deaths which occurred on those days. On the 19th indications of an equinoctial storm were present. The day opened cool and cloudy, with a bleak north-easterly wind, accompanied by a drizzly rain. The air was peculiarly raw and disagreeable, and fires were [140] essential to comfort. The results of this unpropitious season developed themselves as early as the 21st, on which day the deaths numbered twenty-two. A gratifying decrease in the epidemic was observed after this date, there being only eight deaths on the 22d, nine on the 23d, five on the 24th, and three on the 25th. This seemed to betoken the dawn of a brighter day, and it was confidently hoped that the pall of darkness, which a long night of suffering, disease and death had spread over the town, would be speedily removed. The day-star of hope arose to gladden the vision with its bright indications of returning light, and health, and life. The atmosphere became cold and dry, and under its genial influence the number of new cases were sensibly lessened. Many of those who had been sick for some time, died on the 26th, running the mortality up to twelve; but this did not change the opinion which all entertained, that the improvement in the public health was permanent and decided. The disease had nearly entirely disappeared from the densely populated districts, having burnt itself out, and now it was only to be met with in suburban localities, and there principally among negroes and young children.

On the 2d day of October there was a cold rain, and it cleared up with a strong breeze from the north-west, affording very cheering indications of the speedy extinction of the epidemic, whose ravages had produced such an unparalleled amount of suffering and death. Only two fatal cases were recorded on that day, and it afforded us the highest degree of pleasure to have it in our power to announce the gratifying fact, that there had not been a single death from any cause within the limits of Portsmouth during the twenty four hours immediately succeeding. The number varied for several days, ranging from two to eight, and many of the old cases terminated unfavorably. Previous to the 8th there had been some signs of frost, but on that day they were unmistakable, and in some exposed situations ice formed. From this time to the 26th, the weather, though occasional- [141] ly warm and sultry, was cool and pleasant, and on the night preceding this latter date, a very white frost covered the ground, and in many of the streets ice was seen a quarter of an inch thick. A sight of land to a disabled and tempest-tossed mariner, was never hailed with expressions of more pure delight. The streets were now fast filling up, and every countenance was wreathed with smiles. Those who had left the town at the outset began to return; the stores were opened; the people from the country around were to be seen in larger numbers at the market, and daily additions were made to the muster-roll at the Navy Yard—four hundred and seventy-three men having answered at roll-call on the 12th.

There was some sickness, principally of an intermittent form, among the returned refugees. These cases, though lingering in some instances, were not generally severe. But to this there were some exceptions. As late as the 4th of November two very estimable young gentlemen, who had been absent so long as they supposed prudence demanded, were attacked by yellow fever. They lived in a very high and pleasant part of Newtown, in a large and airy house, and slept in the third story. One of them had returned a week before the freeze of the 25th, and the other the day after it. The day before they were taken sick was cool, and the wind was from the north-east, accompanied by a drizzly rain, to which both of them had been exposed during the day and the early part of the evening. After retiring to bed, to all appearance perfectly well, the fever seized them at about the same hour, and in both instances proved fatal; one of them dying in the morning and the other in the evening of the 10th. These were the last yellow fever cases in Portsmouth. The disease had existed there as an epidemic for nearly four months, during which time, from the list of dead published with this, which has been prepared with much care and labor, it will be seen that nearly one thousand human beings perished by it.

[142] It is a liberal estimate to place the population of the town during the fever at four thousand, of which probably a little more than one half were whites. In round numbers, nine hundred of these died, and one hundred of the negroes—the rate of deaths being in the former class nearly fifty per cent., and in the latter less than five, of the total number remaining in the town. In investigating this subject, we have taken some pains, and from all the observations and researches which we have been enabled to make, we have come to the conclusion, that 42 per cent, of the whites who took the fever died, while only 5 per cent, died among the blacks, and even this last number would be too large, if persons of mixed blood were excluded from the calculation.


The same series of phenomena were not uniformly exhibited in every case of yellow fever; these varied very much in different individuals, but in all certain characteristic features of the disease were present. We shall endeavor to describe it as it appeared most commonly, and then allude to the other forms in which it was met with. Usually, for two or three days, an attack was preceded by feelings of languor and weariness, loss of appetite and chilly sensations. Very soon the fever came on, and the skin was hot and dry, and the face flushed. The eyes were red and suffused, and intolerant of the light, resembling those of an individual under the influence of ardent spirits. The pulse was more frequent, but oftener characterized by irregularity, and not uniformly augmented in volume or in force. Sometimes it was remarkably slow, beating less than sixty. The patient complained much of pain in the head and back, and aching in the joints and extremities. The whole surface of the body was sore, and there was no position in which he could lie with ease, hence his restlessness and jactitation were very great. The thirst was so urgent that the desire for cold drinks could not be satisfied. The appearance of the tongue was peculiar, being large, flabby and milky, with a heavy coating of white fur, and often on its edges exhibited the indentations of the teeth. From its size and color it so much resembled an oyster as to cause the term "oyster-tongue" to be applied to it. The taste was peculiar and insufferably disgusting, and the breath offensive. But the organ in which the greatest suffering was experienced was the stomach. From the beginning the irritability in this viscus was intense, and the patient almost con- [144] stantly complained of nausea and a sense of weight and oppression about the prcecordia. We do not know how better to describe this feeling of distress, than by repeating the language of a poor Irish woman, who declared that she was "smothering about her stomach." A persistent disposition to vomit manifested itself, and the intolerance of the stomach was so great that the very mildest fluids could not be retained. These repeated efforts to discharge the contents of the stomach were productive of no relief. The contents of this organ were first thrown up, and these were soon followed by the ejection, at first, of a yellowish, and then a darkish green bile, very copiously. The bowels were confined and the alvine evacuations deficient in the biliary secretion.

After an interval, varying from twenty-four to seventy-two hours, there was a subsidence of the fever, and the skin became moist, cool and pleasant, and the thirst was less urgent. The pulse was not so frequent and was more regular in its beats, and all the symptoms were considerably ameliorated. There was no recurrence of the paroxysm, as is usual in remittent fevers. If the disease was about to eventuate favorably, the gastric difficulty was removed; the vomiting ceased, the oppression about the prœcordia disappeared, and a general feeling of ease and comfort was experienced.

But, if, on the other hand, the disorder promised a fatal result, the system was left in an extreme state of prostration, consequent upon the injury sustained by the vital organs at the onset of the shock. The patient was listless and apathetic, often overcome by stupor, and not unfrequently delirious. The distress of stomach had not at all been abated—the retching and vomiting were aggravated, and the matter ejected gradually assumed a darker hue and a flocculent appearance. In many instances the pain in the stomach was very acute and rendered intolerable by the violent efforts which were constantly made to evacuate that or- [145] gan. In some cases as early as the second and third, but not usually before the fourth and fifth day, the matter vomited was very similar to thick muddy coffee, and in others it was thick and black as tar, while in other cases again pure blood was puked up in large quantities. The discharges from the bowels partook of the same character. Pressure firmly exerted over the region of the stomach would in very many instances bring on a spell of vomiting. Towards the termination of the case hiccough came on, and formed one of the most distressing and ominous symptoms.

Very frequently the brain sustained the onus of the attack, and where there was in the stage of excitement delirium present, coma and convulsions were to be expected after that stage had been passed. Here, there was not so much disposition to vomit, and often the coffee grounds matter was not seen at all. In one patient, who had been comatose from the inception of the fever, this dark fluid oozed from the mouth and anus a short time previous to his dissolution, as we had an opportunity of witnessing, although he had not, prior to that time, ejected it from his stomach.

The occurrence of hæmorrhage, which was very common, furnished grounds for the formation of a prognosis, very unfavorable to recovery. These exudations of blood took place from all the mucous membranes, and in some rare cases, the scrotum also was the seat of a bloody discharge. Very few were so fortunate as to get well, in whose persons these sanguinous flows occurred. Bleeding from the gums and nose were more often met with than from any other part. We saw one unfortunate young gentleman in the wards of the Naval Hospital, on the fifth day of his illness, who seemed to be losing blood from his whole mucous system. The blood was running from his nose and gums—and if he coughed he spit blood; if he took a little ice water it brought on vomiting, and he threw up black vomit and blood mixed together, and if he went to the close stool he passed blood from the bowels in large quantities , and yet [146] he was sitting up in his bed perfectly rational, with a pleasant temperature of surface, no pain, and a pulse beating at ninety.

So insidiously did it invade some individuals, that they could scarcely be persuaded that they were sick, much less that they had the fever. After a paroxysm of no great severity, lasting only a few hours, and accompanied by no very great feeling of distress, the fever left them, without a sensation of pain, or uneasiness, remaining in any part of the body. If interrogated as to their condition, they replied that "they were very well," or "felt first-rate." Such was the case in the person of R. N., a stout, robust man, who came under our charge. He made great complaint because he was kept in bed, and pertinaciously insisted upon having permission to get up and go to his work. He slept sweetly. His intellect was clear, skin pleasant and moist, tongue only a little furred, and his stomach free from nausea and distress of any kind—and yet he died on the fourth day after he was taken, from suppression of the urinary secretion. The suspension of the function of the kidneys, preceding a fatal termination of the fever, was a very ordinary incident; and we do not know of a single case that recovered after the secretion of urine had ceased entirely. This symptom, always the harbinger of death, came on in the most insidious manner, affording no premonitions of its approach.

It frequently happened that the initiatory phenomena were wanting. Such was the manner in which we were taken. We retired at 11 o'clock at night, after having been actively engaged all day, and up to that hour, without having experienced a sensation of languor or debility. On the contrary, there seemed to be an exhilaration of spirits. Within an hour from that time, we were aroused from a sound sleep by intense pain in the head and back, but more particularly in the back. Every joint ached, and a feeling of tired soreness pervaded the whole body. The skin was preternaturally hot and dry, but the thirst was not very [147] great. There was extreme restlessness and jactitation, and there was no position in which we could lie that afforded the least ease. All the next day these symptoms continued in an aggravated form. The pulse was very quick, and somewhat augmented in strength; and before night the thirst had become very troublesome. The strength was reduced to an astonishing degree, considering how short a time the fever had existed, and sleep was not to be had. For three days this state of things continued, when a profuse perspiration coming on, the fever was broken. The condition of languor and apathy which succeeded, is beyond description. The prostration, mentally and physically, was so overwhelming, that it required the greatest exertion even to talk. The severest suffering in the stage of excitement was caused by the pain in the back, and the aching, tired sensations in the lower extremities; and from observations which our own experience induced us to make during the after progress of the epidemic, it appeared that those who suffered most in the manner just detailed, more frequently escaped the dangerous cerebral and gastric symptoms, and consequently had a far better chance of recovery. The pains in the back and limbs seemed to act as diverticula, and thus afforded protection to the more important organs.

Black vomit was very generally present in those cases which terminated fatally; and instances of recovery after its occurrence were very rare; so much so, indeed, that after it once made its appearance, all hope was abandoned. It is true that some survived, after having had it, but the number of such was so limited that they only formed exceptions to the rule. We cannot now recall, from the cases which came under our observation, or that of others, the names of half a dozen patients who did well after ejecting the coffee grounds matter from the stomach. Death usually succeeded it in twenty-four or thirty-six hours; yet in one case which we saw, the man had thrown up black vomit in Gosport, at his home, was from there carried to the pest-house, and thence [148] to the Naval Hospital, where he died on the second day after his admission, and the fifth after having had this characteristic discharge.

The color of the skin, from which the disease derives its name, was not usually met with in the early stages of the fever, but more generally just preceding and succeeding dissolution. At first it was dingy yellow, and gradually became brighter until after death, when the skin assumed a deep lemon tinge. The eyes were jaundiced, and the secretions from the kidneys and salivary glands partook of the same color, as did also the cutaneous exhalations, which frequently imparted to the linen a yellowish-hue.

It is difficult to realize the nervous and muscular prostration incident upon an attack of yellow fever. A strong man, by a few days illness, is brought to a state of debility not at all in proportion to the duration or severity of the symptoms under which he has labored. He could not possibly be made to estimate how really weak he was, until, in attempting to get out of bed, he discovered his utter inability to rise. These premature efforts at muscular exertion often resulted in great injury to convalescents, and in some headstrong individuals, who could not be controlled, produced fatal results.

Miscarriages were produced in several females who had reached the advanced periods of pregnancy, by an attack of the fever. Two such cases came under our notice, and both of them did well. Another lady, in the same delicate situation, passed through the disorder safely, without an accident. These were the only cases of the kind which we saw, and from observations made during the treatment of them, we came to the conclusion that the probability of a favorable issue in persons affected with yellow fever, was not at all diminished thereby.

When the fever had subsided, and the hope of recovery had been excited by the disappearance of many of the unpleasant symptoms, it happened in several instances, that [149] an abscess developed itself in the parotid gland, which increasing in size enormously, proceeded on slowly to suppuration. In one lady, in whose case this abscess appeared, death ensued, with all the symptoms complete of cerebral congestion, brought on, very probably, by the pressure which the abscess exerted on the blood vessels of the neck. A like result was produced in the same manner, in another lady, who, after having had black vomit, had so far convalesced as to be enabled to walk about her room. Where the pressure was not productive of fatal consequences, the abscess went on to enlarge until the whole side of the face and neck were implicated by it. Relief was obtained only by evacuating the matter contained therein by the free use of the lancet.

The formation of abscesses in various parts of the body, gave much annoyance to convalescents from yellow fever. These furunculi exhibited themselves in the person of the writer before he was able to leave his bed. A number of them filled with a thin matter of a dirty white color, showed themselves on the face, and in other situations, and from that time to this present writing, a period of more than six months, he has not been clear of them for a single day.

Where the fever had been of a low type from the beginning, the subsequent convalescence was slow, and this remark is particularly applicable to such cases as recovered after the appearance of black vomit. The severe shock which the stomach had sustained, had so disordered its functions, that the most unirritating articles of nutriment could not be tolerated for some length of time, without great inconvenience; hence flatulent pains, and acid eructations were very common, But where the stomach had not been so much affected, and the chief seats of the pain had been in the back and extremities, and where a phlogistic condition of the circulation had characterized the attack, the recovery was rapid, and in a very few days the appetite returned, the function of digestion was resumed, and the [150] strength regained. Many seemed to enjoy much better health after getting up from an attack of the fever, than they had previously.

Much difference of opinion prevailed in regard to the proper method to be pursued in the treatment of the fever. While some preferred to watch the case and leave it almost entirely to nature to effect a cure, pursuing what was denominated the expectant plan—others endeavored to attain the same end by resorting to a very active course of medication. The severe mortality attendant upon the epidemic, plainly showed that neither system was very successful. The expectant plan was generally followed by the visiting physicians from the South, where the disease is better understood. At the onset, the patient was immediately put to bed and covered comfortably with blankets. The feet were immersed in hot mustard water, or a half-bath of the same directed; after being taken from which he was wiped dry and again covered with blankets. The intention being to promote perspiration, warm drinks were ordered, but the quantity to be taken restricted, for fear of oppressing the stomach and producing vomiting. The next indication was to open the bowels, which was effected by a full dose of castor oil, followed by emenata of warm soap suds, to which castor oil and spirits of turpentine were frequently added. To obviate nausea, and relieve gastric distress, mustard was freely used about the epigastrum, and ice given, with directions to swallow it before it was fully melted. Perfect rest in the recumbent position was enjoined, and for no purpose whatever was he permitted to leave his bed, or even to rise. If he complained of pain, or fullness in the head, applications of cold were directed to the part, and the mustard to the lower extremities. The chamber was made dark, and conversation and company strictly prohibited. Aside from the warm drinks after hot bath, and the ice to relieve the nausea, no other injesta were permitted. After persevering in this course for two or three days, the fever usually sub- [151] sided, and left the patient in a very prostrated condition.

So far as position, rest, quietude and the bathing were concerned, there was no difference between the two plans of treating the fever. The sentiment favoring their utility prevailed universally among the members of the profession, and they were resorted to in every instance. With those who preferred a more active treatment, the free use of calomel and sulphate of quinine was principally relied upon. In no similar epidemic was there ever before so much of the latter medicine used. The usual course was to order at the first visit, without regard to the state of the pulse or the height of the fever, a scruple of each to be taken, and in four hours a full dose of castor oil, to be followed, as before, by enemata, if necessary, to ensure its operation. The mustard baths came next, and to protect the stomach, in anticipation of the troublesome symptoms to which it was liable, free vesication was resorted to. After the bowels had been freely purged, if the fever still remained, then once in four hours calomel and quinine were given in doses of five grains each. If, from irritability of stomach, this medicine could not be retained, an injection of a drachm of the quinine and a gill of starch was administered, and repeated, at certain intervals, until the peculiar action of that remedy was manifested by the ringing and noises in the ears. A perseverance in the use of these means very early produced copious perspiration, and put a stop to the progress of the fever. The same state of prostration, before mentioned, also succeeded this mode of treatment. This was indicated by the general languor and apathy which pervaded the system, as well as by the weakness, irregularity and frequency of the pulse. The anti-phlogistic regimen had been urged as far as prudence would allow, and now an entirely different policy became absolutely necessary; and here was the nice point in the treatment. To know when to cease depleting, and to begin the use of nourishment and stimulants, requir- [152] ed the exercise of a judgment only to be acquired by long experience and close observation. In making this change of remedies, a serious obstacle interposed; the condition of the stomach was such as to forbid any thing being introduced into it. The nausea, sense of sinking and internal heat so commonly present, too well indicated the state of that organ. Vomiting might come on at any moment, and when it once began, the great difficulty of arresting it was well known to every practitioner. The most pressing indication was to support the system, and the stomach refused its assistance; under these circumstances, other means of introducing nourishment had to be brought into requisition. Beef tea and chicken broth, as rich as they could be made, in quantities of four and six ounces, were, by means of a syringe, thrown up into the rectum, at intervals of four hours, or more; and even milk, with brandy, was administered in the same way, in extreme cases. We have reason to know, that these articles, thus employed, were, in many cases, productive of the very best results. If the stomach was in a condition to receive them, chicken soup, beef tea, wine, milk toddy, porter and brown stout were given at short intervals.

The gastric symptoms were the most formidable which presented themselves to the notice of the physician, and the most difficult to relieve. From the very beginning of the attack the stomach showed signs of its being seriously implicated, and often within twenty-four hours after the rise of the fever, the irritability was so great that nothing could be retained by it, and black vomit very soon made its appearance. These indications were always ominous, and for their relief a great variety of remedies was suggested. The muriated tincture of iron, first recommended by the late Dr. Wildman, of Savannah, and so highly spoken of by him, was tried in many cases, in doses of from ten drops to a drachm, without the least beneficial effect, so far as we could ascertain. Bi-carbonate of soda and acetate of mor-[153] phine, in minute doses, frequently repeated, the remedy suggested by the New Orleans physicians, was equally ineffectual; and the same may be said of nitrate of silver, sugar of lead, and opium, rhatany and other articles of the same class. Turpentine, in its pure state, and in emulsion, was more frequently prescribed than any other medicine; but if it was at all efficacious in arresting the black vomit, we have yet to learn it. In the earlier stages, for the purpose of removing the nausea, and calming the sick stomach, we preferred the effervescing draught, with morphine, and the limited use of ice. If these failed to afford relief, a mixture of creosote, Hoffman's anodyne, and compound spirits of lavender, was, in a number of instances, made use of by our direction, with results more gratifying than were attained by any other means. In two cases, where the vomiting had been persistent for several hours, a single dose succeeded in arresting it; and in one of these, where it returned, after a considerable interval, it was again used, with the same results. We found it much easier to prevent vomiting than to relieve it after it had made its appearance. As soon as any disagreeable sensations were felt in the stomach, we resorted to vesication over the epigastrium, and directed constant irritation of the surface to be kept up by the free application of sinapism. But our main reliance was upon keeping that organ in a perfect state of rest, by absolutely forbidding the use of all articles, solid or fluid, except where the internal heat was very great, and the desire for cold drinks urgent, and even here nothing but ice, in very small quantities, at long intervals, was allowed. For the purpose of alleviating thirst, the patient was directed, as often as he chose, to wash out the mouth with water icy cold. By this course of proceeding, we have reason to believe that much benefit was obtained.

Hæmorrhages from the gums and nose, in many instances, were very serious complications, and were suppressed with difficulty. In addition to the usual plan pursued in their [154] treatment, under other circumstances, various local applications were employed, such as the muriated tincture of iron, saturated solution of alum, nitrate of silver, acetate of lead, and other stimulating and astringent articles. More benefit was probably derived from the two first named, than from any others. In one case, at the Naval Hospital, where the flow of blood was so copious as to threaten a speedy fatal termination, the discharge was arrested, and the life of the patient saved by injecting the nostrils with the muriated tincture, in full strength. Various were the remedies prescribed, with a view of exciting the functions of the kidneys, in those cases where suppression of urine was present; but they all proved alike inoperative. The warm bath—cupping in the lumbar region—fomentations—the terebinthinate preparations—sweet spirits of nitre —and the whole list of saline diuretics were fully tried, without any beneficial effects. With scarcely an exception, in every case where the urinary secretion had been completely suspended, the patient died.

The symptoms indicative of cerebral congestion were combated in the usual manner, by blood-letting, general and local, counter irritation, and the application of cold to the head.

When in the convalescent stage, the parotid gland took on inflammation, efforts were at once made to prevent the formation of matter—leeches wore applied, and they were followed by blisters. Sometimes the solution or tincture of iodine was used, as a local application. These means failing to resolve the abscess, warm cataplasms were resorted to, with the view of bringing it to a head as speedily as possible; when it was freely lanced, and the contents evacuated. While the process of suppuration was going on, it was necessary to sustain the strength by the liberal allowance of nourishment and cordials. Blood-letting, except to meet some pressing indication in particular subjects, was very rarely employed. The disease, from the beginning, present-[155] ed many of the features which characterize typhoid forms of fever. During the prevalence of the epidemic we did not resort to it a single time, and only one case came under our notice, where it might have been employed with benefit, and we afterwards regretted that we had not tried it. The whole profession were unanimous in the opinion that this remedy could not be otherwise than injurious in a fever of so low a type.

The urgent demand for attendance on the sick, precluded any opportunity of making investigation into the condition of the organs after death; consequently, we can give no information calculated to throw light on the pathology of the fever.

In a word, the most important points in the treatment were—1. To keep the patient in a state of mental and bodily repose—2. To gently evacuate the bowels by the very mildest cathartic medicine—3. To induce free perspiration— 4. To protect the stomach and relieve the gastric irritability; 5. After the subsidence of the fever, to sustain and build up the system—and 6. During convalescence, to see that the patient did not leave his bed too soon, or commit any indiscretion, either by using improper articles of diet, or prematurely going out. It was very difficult to keep the patient in bed, and also to restrain him in the quantity of his drinks. Many deaths were caused by obstinacy and heedlessness in regard to these two important points. Debilitated as the system was, the mere effort to rise in bed was productive of the greatest degree of prostration; and in the irritable and intolerant state of the stomach, the least irregularity in the quantum of fluids taken, very generally produced vomiting, which it was impossible to relieve by any resources of the healing art.


Portsmouth never before having been visited to any extent by the yellow fever epidemic, was entirely unprepared to take care of, and properly attend to, the large number of her citizens who were daily attacked by the disorder. There was no establishment for the reception of indigent sick, and it was very early seen that unless some arrangement could be made, whereby they could receive proper nursing and medical attendance, the suffering among them would, indeed, be heart-rending. The United States Naval Hospital, a most spacious and well ordered building, lying about a mile from the corporation line, could alone meet the contingency, and it was at once determined to make an effort to procure the use of it. Accordingly, on the 28th of July, a committee of the Common Council, composed of Col. W. Watts, Dr. G. W. Peete, and Mr. C. W. Murdaugh, proceeded to Washington for that purpose, and on their arrival in that city, immediately waited on the Secretary of the Navy and laid the matter before him. They were very kindly received by that officer, and by the President, and the Head of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, who expressed the most anxious desire to do all that was in their power to alleviate the sufferings of the people of Portsmouth. As belonging peculiarly to his department, the subject was referred to Dr. Whelan, the Chief of the Bureau, for examination and report; who, at a very short notice, prepared a most able and feeling paper, alike creditable to his intelligence and philanthropy, recommending that the request of the committee should be acceded to, not only on the ground of the great interests which the government had at stake in Gosport and vicinity, but also, as responding to the higher and more noble [157] plea of humanity itself. In accordance with his advice, instructions were at once forwarded to Commodore McKeever, the officer commanding the Gosport Navy Yard, to admit into the Hospital all persons presenting a permit signed by the chairman of the sanitary committee.

The object of their mission being attained, the committee returned on the 31st July, and reported to a special meeting of the Common Council the result of their application. According to the terms of the arrangement entered into by the committee with the Secretary of the Navy, the town was to reimburse all expenditures rendered necessary for the care and support of the sick citizens who might be sent to the Hospital; and also to make good all damage done to the furniture, bedding, &c. by reason of its use by them; and the Commodore was further instructed to require, as a preliminary to the occupation of the Hospital, a guarantee from the corporation to this effect. Accordingly a resolution was adopted, pledging the faith of the town to the terms agreed on by the committee, and a copy of the resolution, authenticated by the signatures of the President and Clerk of the Board, with the corporate seal annexed, was delivered to Commodore McKeever on the same day, and on the next day, August 1st, that noble institution was thrown open for the reception of the citizens of Portsmouth, sick with yellow fever.

In location and construction, there can be no finer establishment. It is situated immediately on the river, about one mile from Portsmouth by land, and about half of that distance from Norfolk by water, and affords a beautiful prospect of the harbor, and of all vessels coming into port, which must pass directly in front of it. The house is very spacious, and four stories in height, with piazzas running the length of the wings on either side. Great care has been taken in providing means for ample ventilation, and a bountiful supply of pure water. In view of the fact that this building was located beyond the range of the infection, the privilege thus accorded was of most inestimable value.

[158] Very fortunate was it for the sick who sought an asylum there, that the medical corps attached to the Hospital was composed of men of such intelligence and humanity as the officers constituting that body. At this period Dr. Lewis W. Minor was the surgeon, and Drs. Thomas B. Steele and James F. Harrison, his assistants. At a later period Drs. Randolph Harrison, John C. Coleman and F. A. Walke were also on duty as assistant surgeons. It would be supererogatory for us to speak of the high reputation of these gentlemen; their manly bearing, humane dispositions, fine attainments, practical skill and enlarged experience, are too well known to require any commendation at our hands. The public have already had abundant testimony of the unremitting devotion, and fraternal sympathy, which characterized their attendance on the unfortunate sufferers placed under their charge. The obligations of the community, for their zealous and disinterested labors, is fully acknowledged, but can never be cancelled. In token of the high appreciation in which they are held by the people of Portsmouth, the Common Council, at their meeting in February, directed gold medals with suitable devices and inscriptions to be presented to the surgeon and each of his assistants, and appropriated, at a subsequent meeting, fifteen hundred dollars for that purpose.

The labors of love and mercy, so unostentatiously performed by the Sinters (Bruno, Isabella and Urbana,) of Charity in the wards under the immediate charge of Dr. Steele, set apart for the accommodation of the women and children, were worthy of all praise. At an emergency, when the greatest difficulty was experienced in procuring necessary attendants to wait upon the sick, they promptly came forward and volunteered their services in any capacity in which they could be useful. Like ministering angels they moved about the ward, among the couches of the fevered inmates, with noiseless tread, performing all the duties of a nurse, with a spirit of inimitable delicacy and gentleness, without [159] expectation or desire of earthly recompense. May they reap an abundant reward, whence alone they aspired to receive it. The annexed table will show the number of admissions, discharges and deaths at the Hospital from 25th July to 10th October, including naval as well as civil patients.

  Admitted Discharged Died Hopeless
on admission
White men
White women
White boys
White girls
Black men
Black women
Black boys
Black girls
Total deaths

Seventy-three of the cases which terminated fatally were in a hopeless condition on their admission.

The earliest patients admitted came from the Marine Barracks, within the walls of the Navy Yard. The corps of marines, having their quarters in this building. Buffered very severely, nearly one half of them falling victims to the epidemic. The fearful malignancy of the fever among these men was probably owing to the nature of the soil in the vicinity of their quarters, it being mostly new made, and recently covered with mud excavated from the bed of the river; to the exposure at night to which they were subjected by keeping guard in various parts of the yard, particularly at the main gate opening in Gosport, and to the free use of spirituous liquors, to which most of them were addicted.

The first case which originated at the Hospital developed itself towards the end of August, not in the Hospital building, and among those who had been for four weeks in attendance on the sick, but at some distance, in the dwelling of the surgeon, and in the persons of his children and servants, [160] who had not at any time visited the wards where the fever patients were confined, and who had only removed to their present home at the first of the month from Fredericksburg. One of these children, an interesting boy about ten years old, died on the 2d of September.

About this time several other cases appeared in the Hospital building. A young lady in the family of Dr. James F. Harrison, and several of the marines, died during September. All three of the Sisters of Charity had the disease, and Sister Bruno narrowly escaped with her life. Not one of the surgeons, apothecaries or nurses, who were in attendance on the sick from the beginning to the close, were attacked by the fever. All the persons who took the fever at the Hospital, with the exception of the marines, were new comers. Miss Blackburn was from Richmond, Master Minor from Fredericksburg, and the three Sisters from St. Mary's, at Emmettsburg, Maryland.

The disease had so declined that on the 1st of October the last citizen patient had left the Hospital, and no others were sent there after that date.

The following physicians were treated at the Hospital during the prevalence of the fever: Drs. Schoolfield, Cocke, Maupin, Trugien, (died,) J. Clarkson Smith of Columbia, Pa., (died,) Thomas P. Howle of Richmond, Va., (died,) Marshall of Baltimore, (died,) John D. Bryant, Azpell and Hamill of Philadelphia, Ralph L. Briggs, Wayne Co. Pa., Stewart Kennedy, Chambersburg, Pa., Hungerford of Baltimore, Crow of Richmond, Thompson of Botetourt, and I. L. Hatton.

The high estimation which was placed on the services of the surgeon and his assistants by the people of Portsmouth, was fully concurred in by the Naval authorities, as the annexed correspondence will show.

Navy Department, Oct. 15, 1855.
Sir: Now that the terrible pestilence with which the cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk have been visited has greatly subsided, and is I trust wholly subdued, it is due to you and those associated professionally with you, not only to impart the praise which the Commandant of the Norfolk Naval Station deems to be due to you and them, but to express the appreciation in which the Department holds the self-sacrificing and unflinching spirit, in acts of humanity, which have been devoted to the suffering sick by the Medical Officers of the Navy attached to the Naval Hospital near Norfolk.

The Commandant of the Station has very properly remarked that "it is proper to bestow a tribute of praise upon the Medical Officers of that institution. They have performed their duties assiduously and faithfully during those laborious and trying times," in which sentiments the Department fully concurs.

The unremitting attention and the untiring zeal and devotion which have marked the course of yourself and assistants are worthy of all praise, and receive the gratitude and admiration of all.

The Department tenders to you and to them its thanks for the magnanimous efforts bestowed upon the afflicted.

Be pleased to make known to your assistants how highly their good conduct during the ravages of the destroyer is appreciated. I am, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
J. C. DOBBIN. Surgeon Lewis W. Minor,
U. S. Naval Hospital, near Norfolk, Va,

U. S. Naval Hospital,
Portsmouth, Va., Oct. 20, 1855.
Sir: I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 15th instant, expressive of your appreciation of the services rendered by my professional associates and myself "to the suffering sick," during the prevalence of the pestilence which has recently so afflicted the people of our vicinity.

I am fully sensible of and highly appreciate the honor done us, by the very flattering notice taken by the Department of the manner in which our duty has been performed by my professional associates in this Hospital and myself. The praise also bestowed by the Commander of this Station is highly gratifying.

It is impossible, sir, to express fully the high estimation in which I hold the conduct of the gentlemen who have served with me here during the con- [162] tinuance (as an epidemic) of the really fearful disease which has so depopulated this region.

So admirable has been the conduct of each that I can distinguish none individually. Suffice it, then, to say, that, in my opinion, Drs. T. B. Steele, James P. Harrison, Randolph Harrison, John C. Coleman and Francis H. Walke are entitled to any and every commendation the Department may think proper to bestow upon officers who, in the fullest sense of the expression, have done their duty.

In accordance with your request to that effect, I shall have great pleasure in making known to my official associates how highly the Department appreciates their good conduct during the ravages of the destroyer. I am, very respectfully, sir,
Your obedient servant,
LEWIS W. MINOR, Surgeon.
H on. J. C. Dobbin,
Sec'ry U. S. Navy.


Portsmouth has to mourn the loss of many of her most useful citizens, who, from a sense of duty, remained during the raging of the pestilence, to assist in relieving her sick and suffering population, and who were, in the execution of that benevolent purpose, attacked by the fever, and laid low in death. Their disinterested labors in behalf of the afflicted and bereaved, rendered at a time of such peculiar trial and danger, are worthy of universal admiration; and in this connection, it is proper to commemorate the self-sacrificing services performed by them. The task is a melancholy one, recalling, as it does, the images of so many dear and attached friends, whose sad and untimely fate we have not yet ceased to deplore. Prominent among the names of these departed philanthropists, stands recorded that of the Rev. James Chisholm, late Rector of St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church, who, on Saturday, September 15th, at 10 o'clock, P. M., quietly fell asleep in death, at the United States Naval Hospital.

This devoted minister of Christ was a native of Salem, in the State of Massachusetts, and a graduate in the collegiate department of Harvard University, and of the Theological School under the patronage of the Episcopal Church of Virginia, near Alexandria. For fifteen years he had been in the exercise of his sacred vocation, in various parts of the southern country, and during the four last years of his life, in charge of the church of which he was the efficient and beloved pastor at the time of his death.

When the fever broke out last summer, it found him at his post, and notwithstanding nearly every member of his congregation had left the town, he remained and performed his [164] duties, as a faithful minister, up to the time of his illness. For some time his church was the only one open, and so long as he continued able, he failed on no single Sabbath to occupy the holy desk. There, in his tabernacle, to whose welfare he gave his whole exertions, with "two or three gathered together," he improved the solemn circumstances by which he was surrounded, and poured out his soul in earnest and faithful prayer to God, for assistance and for mercy!

A most interesting letter, written by him on the 3d of September, only a few days before his death, is so much like the man, that we shall give some extracts from it. It portrays, in a style of great simplicity, his views of the duty incumbent upon him.

"It probably occurs to you, that in the present appalling condition of our plague-smitten community, but one alternative presents itself to the consideration of every one. Shall I regard personal safety alone, and flee with all speed from this atmosphere of poison and death, or shall I look the question of my relations to society, to humanity and to God, full in the face, and decide accordingly? The question of duty as a minister of Christ, has determined me to stand firm at the post, to which I believe all along that the providence of God called me. Up to this moment, for the period of seven weeks that the desolating scourge has been doing its remorseless work amongst us, I have been perfectly well; not an uneasy or uncomfortable feeling—and never in my life have I had a finer appetite. For five weeks of this time I have been a daily, and sometimes nightly attendant, as occasion might call me, at the sick and dying beds of the sufferers and victims by this malignant fever. My present condition surprises myself—and I trust that I more than ever realize that the 'Eternal God is my refuge, and underneath are the Everlasting Arms.' I am in his hands, to do with me what seemeth Him good."

Acting in accordance with this pious resolution, he remained, as a faithful shepherd, to look after the spiritual welfare of the flock committed to his keeping; and not only of his flock, but of all who desired his religious ministrations. He ceased not in the performance of his holy mission neither by day nor by night; but was constantly found at the [165] bedside of the sick and the dying, pouring into the wounded spirit the "wine and oil of consolation," and by his pious conversation and prayers of faith, cheering the hopes of the anxious and desponding, and soothing his passage to the tomb.

For so frail and weak a man, his labors were beyond his strength. In the same letter, he says:

"The wards of the United States Hospital temporarily granted for the use of our Portsmouth people, are crowded to the number of 150 or 200 with yellow fever patients, and I pay these wards a daily visit, endeavoring to administer, as far as desired or needed, the blessed resources of our holy religion. It is some comfort, amid these dreary walks of duty, to reflect, that I have aided some poor creatures to seek and find that peace which the world can neither give nor take away.

" I also visit wherever, in town, I am called for. "

For support and help he looked only to one quarter. His reliance was on the mercy of God, as is beautifully exhibited by his letter, from which we have before given extracts—

"I have only one suggestion to make, (not that a finger be lifted, or the strings of one purse in New England be relaxed a little in the way of proffering aid, but) that in every city and town there, they wake up, and try to respond to the dictates of humanity and Christian sympathy, by introducing the calamity of these, their sister cities, into their desks and pulpits; that they cry mightily to God for us; that they satisfy themselves, if need require, as to the facts of the unparalleled miseries of our communities; that they appoint seasons of special humiliation and prayer for the commending of our case to a merciful God.

"Can you not, as a suggestion coming from me, stir up the Christian congregations of Salem to their duty to themselves, their country, and their God, in this respect!"

At the time when Mr. Chisholm was thus spending his energies in the exercise of the holy functions pertaining to his calling, his younger won, a beautiful boy, about three years old, was lying dangerously ill, at a distance of only a single day's journey. He was urged to go to him, and [166] day by day did letters reach him, begging him to come to his dying child. The little boy, they said, was constantly calling for his father, and asking "why dont pa come to me?" To a fond Christian father, the dilemma was most painful—duty to God, and to his dying fellow man on one hand, and the yearnings of a father's love for his motherless boy on the other! He could not respond to both; and though it might lacerate his heart, he determined to stifle the longings of parental affection, and labor on in the vineyard of death, where duty called him. The child did not live long enough to become fatherless!

We do not feel competent to delineate the character of such a man; it is so well done by another, in the annexed extract, that we cannot do better than adopt it, and express our hearty concurrence in every sentiment contained therein. It is the tribute of the Rev. J. C. McCabe, of Hampton, and was published in the Richmond Dispatch:—

"Who that knew the Rev. James Chisholm by sight would have dreamed that that frail body of his held such a lofty spirit! Weak and delicate, with a degree of modesty that almost amounted to bashfulness, as shrinking and retiring as a young girl, thousands would have passed him in the crowd, unconscious that they were in the presence of a ripe scholar and an able divine. His look a personification of meekness, and to the superficial thinker he would seem to have been one of those who would quietly have retreated to his solitude, far away from the noise and bustle of an excited community. But the disease came—Chisholm's flock nearly all left; and he, too, was preparing to spend a portion of his summer in the mountains; but stern duty said "Stop." And then it was that this pale, delicate, frail, retiring man came forth to the struggle; and the great and noble soul, which was, after all, the statue of the man, rose in its God-given strength, and he was here at the bedside of suffering, and there by the fresh made grave—here pointing the sinner to the cross of Christ, and there carrying food and drink to the suffering—now in the pulpit, seizing upon the circumstances of the visitation to warn men to prepare for death, and then in the hospital, whispering peace to the penitent and departing soul. Death came to him, and he met him as one who

— "Sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approached the grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."

[167] Dr. Richard H. Parker was the first physician who fell a victim to the fever. Advanced in life, and of feeble health, his system could not long withstand the fatigues incident to the arduous labors through which he had to pass, in his attendance on the sick. Very early in the progress of the epidemic he was attacked by it, and died on the 10th of August. Dr. Parker was from North Carolina, originally, and had resided in Portsmouth but a few years, in which time he had established himself in a good practice, and attached to himself a large circle of friends. In disposition he was kind and affectionate, and as a physician, attentive and devoted to the duties of his profession. For many years he was in communion with the Methodist Church, and so continued up to the period of his death.

Dr. Parker left behind him a large and interesting family, to mourn the loss of their sole protector and support.

The death of Dr. John W. H. Trugien, on the morning of the 29th of August, at the United States Naval Hospital, after an illness of five days, produced an intense sensation throughout the community, and excited in every heart the liveliest sympathy for his family, thus sadly bereaved, by the loss of so kind a husband and father. In the morning of life, buoyant with bright hopes of future usefulness and honor, he fell, a martyr to his noble efforts and sacrifices for the relief of his afflicted fellow townsmen. An intimacy, cemented by long years of close association, entitles us to speak confidently of his character.

Dr. Trugien was born in Portsmouth, on the seventh day of February, 1827, and was the only surviving son of Edward and Ann Trugien. His deportment from his childhood was so exemplary, as to justify his friends in predicting for him a career alike useful to society and honorable to himself. Modest and retiring in his bearing, he seldom mingled in the rude sports in which the younger generation so much delight; but preferred, rather, to spend his time in the cultivation of his mind, by reading and close study. [168] The medical profession, presenting, as it did so fine a field for the exercise of the more noble sentiments and impulses of his nature, possessed for him peculiar attractions, and he often expressed a strong desire to embrace it. His parents, though moving in an humble sphere, with limited means, determined to gratify his cherished wish. In order to effect this, they availed themselves of the best schools within reach, where, by close application and hard study, his acquirements were such, before the close of his eighteenth year, that he was enabled to enter upon the prosecution of his favorite design. His moral and blameless course of life, and his attention to his scholastic duties, won for him the friendship and respect of his teachers. The pecuniary situation of his father being such as to preclude him from a collegiate education, he at once placed him as a student in the office of Dr. J. N. Schoolfield, with whom he remained for four years, diligently and systematically devoting his whole energies to the acquisition of medical knowledge. Having a mind of an analytical cast, he did nothing superficially, but thoroughly investigated and mastered every subject to which his attention was directed. In 1847 and 1848 he attended a course of lectures in the University of Maryland, and another course in the University of Pennsylvania during the succeeding winter, at which latter institution he graduated in 1849.

On obtaining his diploma, Dr. Trugien settled in his native town, and became a candidate for practice, and so continued until the time of his death. With his talents and character there was no doubt as to his success; and in a very few years he had fully established himself, and secured a very large share of the practice of the community. As a physician, no one had a better reputation, nor enjoyed in a more eminent degree the confidence of the public. He was attentive in his duties to his patients, and exhausted the resources of the healing art in his efforts to relieve them; and they, in turn, were devoted to him. At the breaking [169] out of the fever a large number of the first cases came under his charge, particularly of those among the destitute denizens of Irish Row. He was prompt and assiduous in his attendance upon them, and frequently, when there was no one to take care of them, or procure medicines or nourishment for them, he remained until he could send his servant and carriage for that purpose. His labors were of the most arduous description, and rendered doubly so before the epidemic had reached its climax, by the illness of several of his brother practitioners. Frail and delicate as was his frame, he himself expressed astonishment at his powers of endurance. The rising sun found him on his daily rounds, and he had not finished the labors of the day until long after the approach of night. For six long weeks he was enabled to pursue this course of life, exposed constantly in those parts of the town most infected by the fever, free from its attack. But he was not destined to enjoy this exemption longer. On the 23d of August, he visited and prescribed for over one hundred sick people! and then remained all night with a young friend ill with the fever, and did not quit her until her spirit had plumed its flight to a brighter world. He complained, on reaching home, of great fatigue, attributing it to the exhausting labors of the preceding day. He was immediately conveyed to the hospital, which he reached in a cheerful state of mind, and put to bed. For two or three days he seemed to be doing well, and no unpleasant symptoms appeared until the night of the 26th, when he was seized with violent congestion of the brain, accompanied by convulsions, and only prevented from dying by the most prompt and decided means. In a short time consciousness returned, and at intervals his mind was lucid. He clearly apprehended his precarious situation, and made some suggestions in regard to its cause and treatment, and expressed the belief that his case would terminate in death. In this most trying hour his calmness and composure were remarkable. For the sake of his little children he [170] said he desired to live, but not having procrastinated his preparation for another world, he expressed his firm reliance upon the merits of his Redeemer, and his complete submission to the will of God!

For a day or two he seemed to rally, and his numerous friends were not without hope of his ultimate recovery. In this they were doomed to disappointment. On Tuesday night, August 28th, the cerebral congestion returned, and before midnight his intellect became clouded, and he sank into a deep stupor, from which he was never aroused. It was a pitiable sight to see one so young and gifted, passing away from earth, and friends, and home for ever. Slowly ebbed the sands of life, and at 6 o'clock, of the morning of the 29th, his noble heart ceased to beat.

"The spoiler set
The seal of silence. But there beamed a smile,
So fixed, so holy, from that noble brow,
Death gazed, and loft it there. He dared not steal
The signet ring of heaven."

In all the relations of life Dr. Trugien maintained a most exalted position. He was emphatically a man of principle, inflexibly just in all his transactions. For decision of character and firmness of purpose, he was proverbial. He never resolved without consideration; but when once he had made up his mind as to what was rigid, he never for a moment turned aside to pursue that which was expedient.

Even in his earliest years his morality was most refined; and on the 4th of October, 1845, he made a public profession of religion, and united himself to the Presbyterian Church, of which he was made an Elder March 12th, 1852. In all the benevolent operations connected with his church, he took great interest; and particularly in the Sabbath School, often acting as a teacher, when his professional labors would permit.

The faith which he professed is beautifully illustrated by the annexed extract from a letter written by him two weeks before his death:—

[171] "It is painful to walk our streets. I never felt such a sense of loneliness and melancholy as I did this evening, when I returned from the labors and toils of the day to my own afflicted home. In one of our streets, by no means unfrequented ordinarily, I met not a human being nor living creature, of any kind, and no sound was audible, but the harsh note of the cricket. Oh, how I felt the force of the Psalmist's words, as I thought of God's terrible judgments, "Be still and know that I am God." Truly he has sorely afflicted and tried us, but it was all deserved; and it is a consolation to the true believer, that the same hand can bind up the wounds Himself has made. Oh! Lord, turn away thy wrath from us, and cause thine anger to cease to burn against us."

Dr. Trugien was married December 28, 1852, and left a widow, and two interesting children, who can never appreciate their bereavement. Not so with his wife; for she too well knew how fond and indulgent he was, and how devotedly he was attached to his home and to them.

His remains, accompanied by the members of his family, a number of the citizens and physicians, were committed to the earth on the afternoon of the 29th. The services were most solemn and impressive. The corpse, enclosed in a neat mahogany coffin, was brought from the Hospital, and deposited on the ground, under the shade of the overhanging trees, in the still silence of a summer's day, unbroken, save by the soughing of the wind through the melancholy pines. Here, his pastor, the Rev. Mr. Handy, performed the burial services in a most feeling and appropriate manner, and all eyes were bedewed with tears.

"Self-sacrificing, upright, pure,
Of feeble hope the guide,
With judgment clear, and soul subdued,
And worth without its pride,
The widow, in her lowly cell,
Must long thy loss deplore;
The orphans wait thy step in vain,
Thou comest to them no more.
The path of duty and of zeal,
Who now, like thee, shalt tread?
And deeply for ourselves we mourn
That thou art of the dead. "

[172] At the time of his death, which occurred on the 24th of August, Dr. Martin P. Lovett had been a citizen of Portsmouth but a very few months, having removed from Currituck county, North Carolina, to enable him to educate his children. At the beginning of the fever, having been so short a time in the town, he had no professional business to detain him, but his esprit de corps would not permit him to leave, in the face of an approaching enemy, whose assaults he might possibly be called on to combat. Having sent his family beyond the reach of the infection, he determined to make himself useful, should occasion offer. His services were often demanded, and freely accorded to all who desired them. These labors of humanity were not of long duration. He was attacked by the fever, and died, after a brief, but painful illness, which he bore with much calmness and composure.

Captain George Chambers, though a native of one of the Northern States, had been a citizen of Portsmouth for many years, and to a very large extent enjoyed the respect and confidence of the community. By prudence and attention to business, he had accumulated a competency, and had no inducement to remain in town after the appearance of the fever, other than a desire to be useful. As a member of the Common Council, he was placed on the Sanitary Committee, in which position he rendered very important services, superintending the transportation of the sick to the Hospital, and in other ways exerting himself for the relief of the sufferers. While thus actively employed, disease overtook him, and after a few days severe illness, he breathed his last on the 21st day of August. Captain Chambers was always looked upon as one of the most reliable men in the town. In all enterprises designed to advance the interests of the place, he took a prominent part, and readily responded to every call made upon him. As the head of the fire department, which situation he held for many years, and the duties of which he performed with promptness and ability, his services were in- [173] valuable. He had been repeatedly elected a member of the Town Council, and was for a long time superintendent of the Norfolk county ferries, under the appointment of the court, which last position he voluntarily retired from about a year before his death. In the order of Odd Fellows he was esteemed by his brethren as one of their most honored members, and his counsels were ever treated with marked consideration. As commissioner of public schools, and a director in the Savings Bank, for a long series of years, he maintained the respect and secured the confidence of the whole community.

Captain Chambers was a widower, having lost his wife from an attack of the same disease of which he died, 1852, and left two children, one of whom, Mr. George W. Chambers, only survived him a very few days, he also falling a victim to the yellow fever.

Among the earliest and most untiring laborers in behalf of the sick and the suffering, was the Rev. Francis Devlin, a priest of the Roman Catholic Church, in charge of St. Paul's congregation. He was a native of Langford, Ireland, and had been a resident of the United States since 1838. He was ordained as a priest at the College of St. Vincent, near Richmond, and had been in the assiduous discharge of the sacred functions of his office in Portsmouth about seven years. The annexed notice from the Portsmouth Transcript of the 10th of October, announces his death, and gives expression to the kind regard in which he was held by his fellow citizens.

Death of the Rev. Francis Devlin.—The last of the ministers of the Most High, who have been actively engaged in the discharge of the duties of their holy vocation, is no more. The Rev. Francis Devlin, a holy priest of the Church of Rome, who had the pastoral care of St. Paul's church, in this place, expired yesterday. He had partially recovered from an attack of the fever some weeks ago, but suffered a relapse, from which he never entirely recovered.

We saw him out and spoke to him on Friday afternoon, and though he [174] looked very much reduced, we had cherished the fond hope that he would be spared. From the commencement of the sad times from which we are emerging, up to the period of his attack, he had been actively and faithfully engaged in ministering to the sick and dying, since which time he has been mostly confined to his bed. He was an exemplary, mild, humble and godly man, and has no doubt gone to reap the reward of his firm adherence to duty under the most appalling circumstances. His course formed an example worthy of all imitation, and it affords us sincere gratification, as it enables us to exercise a sweet privilege, thus to do homage to a character which we have always esteemed. Such, we estimate, was the compeer of Chisholm and Eskridge.

Dr. William Collins died from an attack of the fever on the 8th of September, leaving a most interesting family to mourn his death.

Dr. Collins was born in Portsmouth, and always made his residence there, except when in the employment of the government, in the honorable position of Auditor in the Treasury Department at Washington. Having received a preparatory education at the Columbian College, D. C., he entered upon the study of medicine, in which science he graduated in the University of Pennsylvania, and then settled in his native town for the purpose of practicing his profession, where he met with flattering success, having in a very short time built up a lucrative business, and attached to himself hosts of friends. Shortly after this, and at a very early age, he was elected as one of the delegates from Norfolk county in the Virginia Legislature, in which capacity he rendered very important services, and secured for himself a warm place in the attachments of his constituents. For many years he was a justice of the peace, performing the functions pertaining to that office with dignity and ability. Under the administration of President Tyler, he was appointed First Auditor in the Treasury Department, which position he occupied until by a change of administration his removal was effected. While in office at Washington, he was not unmindful of the interests of his native town, and on every occasion his efforts were exerted to promote her [175] welfare. Being brought by his official relations in contact with many of the capitalists of the country, he set himself to work to enlist their co-operation in the work of resuscitating the fortunes of the railroad connecting the waters of the Roanoke with Elizabeth river, which had at that time been suspended and abandoned. Placing a very high estimate on the importance of this connexion for the development of the resources of South-eastern Virginia, and the adjacent country in North Carolina, and for the building up of Portsmouth, for which he entertained a strong filial affection, he spared no labor in carrying out the design which he had formed of procuring its re-establishment. By persevering efforts he succeeded eventually in enlisting in the enterprise men of means, who appreciating the great value of the improvement, formed themselves into a company under the name of the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad Company, and under a charter procured for the purpose, rebuilt the road and put it into successful operation. It was a proud day for him when the great object for which he had so long toiled had been attained; and it was fit that the Presidency of the road should have been bestowed upon him, as it was. This position he held to the day of his death, performing all the duties incident to it, to the satisfaction of the stockholders and directors.

It was in this capacity that his services to the community during the prevalence of the epidemic, were of such incalculable advantage. When all other modes of egress were cut off, the cars on the road under his charge continued to run, affording not only a means of escape for the people fleeing from the Destroyer, but a mode of conveyance by which ample supplies of personal assistance, medicine, fuel, clothing and provision were introduced into the town, free of all charges whatever. In the performance of these beneficent labors, and other duties of a benevolent character, he continued to exert himself until he was stricken down by the fever. His illness was short and painful, and surround- [176] ed by his family and friends, he breathed his last, in the fifty-second year of his age.

The annexed obituary notice of the Rev. Vernon Eskridge, was prepared by order of the Virginia Annual Conference of the Methodist Church, and published in their Minutes. So far as it refers to the Christian character and self-sacrificing labors of our departed fellow citizen and friend, we can bear testimony to its fidelity. In all the range of our acquaintance we knew no better man, nor one more eminently fitted for the duties of his sacred office. He was consistent in his religious life, earnest in the performance of his ministerial exercises, free from bigotry and self-esteem, kind and affable in his deportment, unselfish in his disposition, and amiable in all the relations of life. Where he was best known he was most loved. The manner in which he acquitted himself of his obligations to the community, both as a man and as a minister of Christ, in a season of peril and suffering, hitherto unexampled, had endeared him to every heart; and his death, which occurred on the 10th of September, was universally lamented. The day preceding, his son Richard, a most exemplary and promising young man, about seventeen years of age, also died at the Naval Hospital.

Vernon Eskridge was born in the year of our Lord 1801, on the 26th day of October, in the county of Westmoreland, Virginia. By the religious instruction of his pious parents, he was early and deeply impressed with the necessity of seeking an experimental acquaintance with the Saviour of sinners. At a camp meeting, held in Lancaster county, Virginia, he embraced religion on the 26th of July, 1820, when he was about eighteen years of age. In 1822 he was appointed class-leader; in 1823 received license to exhort; and in May, 1827, at a Quarterly Conference, held for the Hanover circuit, at Slash Church, in Hanover county, was licensed to preach. He traveled the remaining part of this year under Lewis Skidmore, P. E., and with Wm. H. Starr, on the Amherst circuit. In 1828, at a session of the Virginia Conference, held at Raleigh, North Carolina, he offered himself as a probationer, and was received and appointed as the Junior preacher, under Christopher Thomas, to the Williamsburg circuit. In 1830, at a session of the Virginia Conference, held in Richmond, Virginia, he was received into full connection, and ordained Deacon, and appointed to the Elizabeth City station, in [177] North Carolina. After traveling several years longer, in consequence of a chronic affection which disabled him for the regular itinerant work, he was superannuated for some years and lived in Portsmouth. For a few years past, he served as Chaplain on board of the United States frigate Cumberland, in the Mediterranean, and preached the gospel with success to the sailors. The most, if not the whole, of this time, he spent far from his family and his native land. Returning from a long absence, to his family, last summer, he had but a short time to enjoy the pleasures of home, when the desolating pestilence broke out in the city of Portsmouth. Undismayed by the awful ravages of the yellow fever, and the panic which scattered the population of the city abroad, he nobly stood at the post of duty, and was at the call of all who needed his ministerial services. With patient and energetic Christian heroism, he braved the danger which thickened around him, till all of him that was perishable was blasted by the breath of the pestilence, and his spirit became a citizen of heaven. While yet life was dissolving in death, mysterious and incredible as it may seem in the light of our imperfect knowledge, he recognized and hailed, by name, his mother, who had been long in the spirit land, and his son, whom, until that moment, he knew not as dead. Thus, falling in the battle's strife, and parting with loved ones in the flesh, and greeting loved ones disembodied, he was conducted to the presence of Christ, where there is "fullness of joy," and at whose "right hand there are pleasures forever more."

"in his duty prompt at every call,
He watch'd, and wept, he prayed, and felt for all."

Robert T. Scott, a member of the Common Council, was one of the most active and efficient laborers in the cause of humanity during the fearful times of which we have been writing. He was a native citizen of the town, of long standing, and had, by his upright course of life and kindness of heart, acquired the confidence and esteem of a large circle of friends. Although not an educated man, he possessed a mind remarkable for its vigor, and could, when opportunities offered, use his pen with much force. Anxious to alleviate the miseries inflicted upon his fellow townsmen by the raging of the epidemic, he resolved to maintain his ground and battle with it. The post of duty assigned him was the superintendence of the provision store, opened for the purpose of dispensing food and nourishment to the needy and hungry; in which responsible position he remained, to the satisfac- [178] tion of all until the time arrived for him to lie down and die. His attack was sudden, and the crisis came on in a very few days. He died in the first week of September, leaving a large family to mourn over the melancholy fate which overtook him in the midst of his career of usefulness. After the death of Mr. Scott, the store was placed in charge of Mr. Darien P. Daughtrey, a most worthy and amiable man, who was desirous of exerting himself for the public good. He had scarcely began his labor of love, when he too was called to his final resting place. He died on the 16th day of September, leaving eight helpless and destitute children, who had but a few days before been called upon to lament the loss, of their mother.

We have still to record the death of another of the resident physicians of Portsmouth, Dr. L. P. Nicholson, an amiable and kind hearted gentleman, who had lived in the town only a few years, and whose practice was very limited. He was far advanced in life when he removed from Southampton county, Virginia, where he had been very highly esteemed. Of a retiring disposition, his circle of acquaintances was small, and he was but little known in his new home. As far as opportunities offered, and health permitted, he exerted himself to ameliorate the distresses of his afflicted fellow townsmen. While thus charitably employed, he too was struck down by the pestilence, and soon numbered with the dead. He left a wife and several children to lament his death, one of whom, an interesting son, Emmett, died in a few days afterwards at the Orphan Asylum in Richmond.

In response to the Macedonian cry which went out from the plague stricken town, a large number of well educated and intelligent physicians, actuated by motives most creditable to themselves and honorable to human nature, promptly came to the assistance of the sick. It should redound to the lasting honor of the medical profession, that so many of its members volunteered their services in an enterprise of so [179] much difficulty and danger, without expectation of receiving pecuniary compensation. By their noble efforts many valuable lives were saved, and much suffering relieved.

In their encounters with the pestilence, they dared not hope to escape unscathed. They knew how doubly great was the risk they ran, coming into an atmosphere poisoned with infection, from one perfectly free from impurity; and few, very few of them escaped an attack of the fever, and the ratio of mortality among them was very large. With a single exception, every volunteer physician who came from a more northern latitude than Portsmouth, took the fever, and eight of them died—to wit:

Dr. Thomas Parke Howle, of Richmond.
Dr. Leon Gelbardt, of Richmond
Dr. Chs. Waters, of Baltimore.
Dr. Marshall, of Baltimore
Dr. J. Clarkson Smith, of Columbia, Pa.
Dr. Cortlen Cole, of Philadelphia.
Dr. J. L. Berry, of Memphis, Tenn.
And Dr. Edwin Hunter, of Brooklyn, N. Y.

It is a source of much regret that we have not the data to enable us to give some extended notice of these philanthropists, who so nobly responded to the "Macedonian cry." We can only record their names, and bear testimony to the invaluable services performed by them; to the fortitude and perseverance evinced in the prosecution of their arduous labors; to the kindness and attention exhibited in their ministrations at the sick bed, and to the fearless and unshrinking courage manifested by them during a period of such awful solemnity and peril. Their humanity is fully appreciated by the community, and as a feeble expression of the gratitude which dwells in every heart, the authorities of the town have determined to erect a monument in honor of their memory.

[180] "Where manly hearts were falling, where
The throngful street grew foul with death,
O! high-souled martyrs! ye were there,
Inhaling from the loathsome air
Poison with every breath;
Yet shrinking not from offices of dread
From the wrung dying, and the unconscious dead."

The apothecaries and nurses, who so courageously came to our assistance, are also entitled to our warmest commendations. Moved by the most noble sentiments which can animate the human breast, they devoted themselves to the care of the sick and the dying. The duties which they assumed were humble, but not on that account light or unimportant. Theirs it was to keep lonely vigils beside the sick couch—to calm the anxious mind—to elevate the hopes of the desponding—to cool the fevered brow—and often, too often, to speak words of consolation to the departing spirit, and smooth his pathway to the tomb! Day and night, without intermission, they were constantly employed in the performance of these charitable offices, contributing largely to the comfort of the sick, and aiding materially in their restoration to health. From the list which we annex below, it will be seen that many of them were prostrated by the pestilence, and fell victims to its relentless fury. Among strangers, far from home, and kindred, and friends, they died; but not unwept. Beneath the cold earth their ashes repose, remote from the scenes of their childhood and their riper years, but not unhonored. Sculptured marble will tell to after ages the tale of their charity and their humanity !

Singleton Mercer, of Philadelphia.
D. R. Craven, of Philadelphia.
Ed. R. Barrett, of Philadelphia.
E. Perry Miller, of Philadelphia.
James Hennesy, of Philadelphia.
Fredk. Mosefeldt, of Philadelphia.
Wm. M. Butler, of Baltimore.
[181] Miss Lucia Johnson, of Philadelphia.
Mrs. Olive Whittier, of Philadelphia.
Wm Graham, of Philadelphia.

It would be very gratifying, if space allowed, to say something of the numerous useful and worthy citizens, who were lost to their families and the community during the existence of the late calamitous visitation. They fell so thick and so fast, that, to do so, would extend this sketch far beyond the limits proposed. Yet, we cannot entirely refrain from referring to them.

We should like to speak of that estimable and unobtrusive man, Lewis W. Boutwell, one of the Elders of the Presbyterian Church, and of his lovely daughter Emma, who were not "separated in death"—of that pious and godly man, John D. Cooper, whose exertions in the cause of the suffering never faltered—of the sterling integrity of Charles Myers, one of the oldest natives of Portsmouth—of the humble piety illustrated in the life of Nathaniel Manning—of the simplicity of character and earnest faith of Samuel Brewer—of the urbane and generous Selden W. P. Allen—of the brilliant and gifted Simon Ghio—of the upright and kind-hearted John C. Woodley—of the moral worth of Patrick Williams—and of John B. Davis, George C. Godwin, Thomas Green, Charles Cassell, James E. Wilson, William Jones, Wilson W. Williams, John W. Collins, Richard Williams, Robert A. Graves, George Marshall, and a host of other excellent and useful citizens, cut off by the pestilence; but we must forbear. Long will the memory of their many virtues be held sacred; and years must elapse before the void created in the bosom of society by their death, can be filled.


The tale of the pestilence has been recited, and now very little remains to be said. Those who witnessed its progress, marked at every step by circumstances calculated to appall the stoutest heart, and safely passed through it, have much to be thankful for. Its effects upon the business of the town were, for the season of its prevalence, disastrous in the extreme, paralyzing industry in every branch; and, in a pecuniary point of view, entailing a loss upon the community of not less than half a million of dollars. When we take into consideration the loss incurred by the death of slaves—the complete suspension of mercantile pursuits for near three months—the derangements of trade—the stoppage of transportation, both of freight and passengers, upon the rail road—and the total abandonment of mechanical and laboring operations of every kind, public and private, for the same length of time, this estimate will be found not at all extravagant. But of that more deplorable loss, consequent upon the death of so many valuable citizens of the town—fathers and husbands, wives and mothers, brothers and sisters—it is not within the scope of the human mind to measure its extent!

Appalled by the magnitude of the calamity which had befallen them, many feared, and some even predicted that the town would never recover from the shock, and regain her former prosperous condition; but these desponding anticipations and croaking forebodings have already been proved fallacious. Since the re-establishment of the public health, a new spirit has been diffused among the people, a vigorous impetus has been given to business, and real estate has commanded as large prices as at any former period.

[183] But, still there are some who are enquiring, with much anxiety, if the fever will not return with the coming summer. We think that there are no just grounds for uneasiness on this score. The combination of elements which gave origin to the epidemic, are of too rare occurrence to be looked for again for many years to come, in the same locality, if at all. Near a third of a century had elapsed since the yellow fever prevailed, to any considerable extent, in this vicinity, before it again made its appearance. The history of the disease teaches us that it originates in temperate latitudes, from causes which are met with only at long intervals, and that in tropical climates alone, where vegetable matter is in abundance, and where the heat of the summer is uniformly great, are its visits to be expected with any frequency or regularity. There was no recurrence of the disease at Savannah in the year succeeding the very severe epidemic which so recently devastated that city, notwithstanding its geographical position was such as afforded more probable grounds to expect its return, than are furnished by that of the cities of Virginia. In the West Indies, at New Orleans, and in localities lying under the tropics, it prevails to a greater or less extent every year; while in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Norfolk, and more northern situations, and even in Wilmington and Charleston, years intervene between the periods of its eruption.

The sad experience of the past year has inculcated many valuable lessons, from which it would be the part of wisdom to draw instruction. Admitting, as we are willing to do, that the causes which gave origin to the late epidemic, are not positively defined, and, even admitting, as is generally believed by all classes, that it was imported into Portsmouth, in the steamer Ben Franklin, that should not, for a moment, cause the authorities to hesitate in the institution of the most prompt and vigorous system of hygenic measures; and they would but do their duty in the premises, by determining on a decided line of conduct. They should at once begin the [184] work of purification, and not defer operations until the advent of warm weather. In our opinion, a proper system of drainage, and the filling up of low, marshy places, are the main objects demanding attention. The coves and the heads of creeks should be dug out, in order to facilitate the free egress and ingress of the water at all times. The docks and ends of the wharves should be excavated to a depth sufficient to insure that their beds should never be exposed to the action of the sun, at the lowest tides. Wet places, especially if in new-made ground, formed by mud taken from the bottom of the river, should be filled up; and great care should be taken to get rid of all accumulations of vegetable matter, such as weeds, chips, rotten wood, &c., either by burning, or by covering them to a depth of one or two feet with earth. Damp and wet cellars, where the water stands for any length of time, should be filled up. There are other nuisances, obvious to the most superficial observer, whose removal should be insisted upon.

For the purpose of effecting these important objects, it is necessary that a board of health should be instituted, to whom all such matters should be entrusted, and under whose directions all reforms looking to the sanitary condition of the town should be executed. We do not assert that when all these things have been accomplished, that there can be no return of the yellow fever; but we firmly believe that every thing that human agency can do to prevent it, will have been effected. To pursue a contrary course, because of the belief that the disease was imported, and neglect on that account to take any precautions against its re-appearance, would be the height of folly and madness.

List of Deaths.
[Not strictly in alphabetical order.]

Page 185 Page 188 Page 191
Page 186 Page 189 Page 192
Page 187 Page 190 Page 193

Burials by the Relief Association
[Not strictly in alphabetical order.]

Page 194 Page 196 Page 198
Page 195 Page 197 Page 199

List of Orphans, Made so by the Fever.
[Not strictly in alphabetical order.]

Page 200 Page 202 Page 204
Page 201 Page 203 Page 205

[206] List of Volunteer Physicians to Portsmouth.

Dr. Hunter, of New York, Died.
Dr. Rizer, of Philadelphia, Recovered.
Dr. Cole, of Philadelphia, Died.
Dr. Briggs, of Philadelphia, Recovered.
Dr. Mierson, of Philadelphia, Recovered.
Dr. Kennedy, of Philadelphia, Recovered.
Dr. Bryant, of Philadelphia, Recovered.
Dr. Azpell, of Philadelphia, Recovered.
Dr. Molle, of Philadelphia, Recovered.
Dr. Randall, of Philadelphia, Escaped.
Dr. Hammill, of Philadelphia, Recovered.
Dr. McClosky, of Philadelphia, Escaped.
Dr. Walter, of Baltimore, Died.
Dr. Webster, of Baltimore, Recovered.
Dr. Marshall, of Baltimore, Died.
Dr. Hungerford, of Baltimore, Recovered.
Dr. Thomas, of Cincinnati, Recovered.
Dr. Berry, of Tennessee, Died.
Dr. Flournoy, of Arkansas, Recovered.
Dr. Baker, of Key West, Escaped.
Dr. Rich, of Charleston, S. C., Escaped.
Dr. Covert, of Charleston, S. C., Escaped.
Dr. Howle, of Richmond, Va., Died.
Dr. McDowell, of Richmond, Va, Escaped.
Dr. Crowe, of Richmond, Va, Died.
Dr. Gelbardt, of Richmond, Va, Died.
Dr. Thompson, of Virginia, Recovered.

Total, 27

[207] Volunteer Nurses and Druggists.

From Philadelphia:
Thomas D. Beard.
R. W. Graham, died.
Henry Spriggman, died.
James A. Boon.
Mrs. Caroline C. Barnett.
Singleton Mercer, died.
Mrs. Margaret Kinnin.
John Flood.
Edwin R. Barrett, medical student.
Frederick Mushfeldt, cupper and
E. Perry Miller, druggist, died.
Charles D. Shrieve, died.
Theodore C. Stryker.
John Wills.
Mrs. Olive Whittier, died.
Miss Leonora Patterson.
Capt. James Johnson.
James Hennesey.
William Husen, died.
S. E. Townsend.
Jas. E. Gordon, druggist.
Alexander Ytasse.
William Parker.
Miss Lucy Johnson, died.
There were nurses from other points, whose names are not remembered.


The following embraces a portion of the voluminous correspondence received by members of the association during the prevalence of the fever. It was originally designed not to publish any of it, owing to the large number of letters received, which, it was thought, would enlarge too much the size of our report. But, upon reflection, it was decided it would be more agreeable to the public and our numerous friends abroad to publish at least a portion. The copies of replies of members of the association were not preserved. There was not time to copy the originals when written. Most or many of them, however, have been published in the localities where they were directed.

The following letter was received by Col. Watts, president of the Common Council, from W. B. Whitehead, Esq., of Suffolk, then in Staunton.

Staunton, August 1st, 1855.
Col. Winchester Watts, Portsmouth.
Dear Sir,—Learning, as I passed through Portsmouth, that the number of cases of fever on Friday, the 27th ult., had increased, and pecuniary aid was being solicited, I send you above my draft on New York for one hundred dollars for the use of the needy, distressed and afflicted of your town, Gosport and Newtown. You can add it to any other fund raised for the same object, or you can dispose of it as you think best for the objects named.
Very respectfully, yours.

Parsonage, Martin's Brandon Parish,
Augt. 1, 1855.
Rev. and Dear Brethren,—Enclosed please find a ten dollar bill. It is sent by a communicant of this parish, Dr. Jno. S. Eppes, as a token of his [210] sympathy for your afflicted town, with the request that you will apply it in such manner as will tend to the relief of the distressed. Your friend and brother in Christ.

Suffolk, 8th August, 1855.
Col. W. Watts.
Dear Sir,—A day or two since I sent $20 to my friend Rev. Geo. M. Bain, to be applied towards the necessities of the sick and distressed of your town; and now I send you $50, the result of a collection taken up among a few of our citizens by me, which please apply to the wants of the sick and afflicted as your discretion may dictate.

I regret I have not a much larger amount to send, as I doubt not you have much distress with you, occasioned by the calamity which has befallen your town, and which has driven so many of your citizens from home, and spread dismay among the people of the surrounding counties. . . . Y'rs truly,

Hicksford, Va., Augt. 10, 1855.
Gentlemen,—My sympathies are excited towards the citizens of Portsmouth in their present affliction.

Allow me, through you, to contribute the enclosed sum ($50) for the relief of the suffering and the destitute; and if it shall have the effect of wiping one tear from the cheek of weeping widowhood, or helpless orphanage, I shall feel abundantly compensated.

May the God of mercy stay the hand of the destroying angel, is the earnest prayer of
Your obedient serv't,
Dr. Peete, and Mr. Fiske.

Richmond, 10th Augt. 1855.
Hon. Mayor of Portsmouth, Va.
Sir,—I herein enclose you check for $100, to be appropriated under your direction, towards alleviating the distresses of the poor during the prevalence of the yellow fever in your afflicted city. You will please dispose [211] of this amount in such manner as may seem to you best calculated to attain that object.
Very respect'ly, yr. ob't serv't,
JAMES D. DENEGRE, Of New Orleans.

Washington, August 11, 1855.
C. A. Grice, Portsmouth, Va.
Dear Sir,—I send herein a check of Chubb Brothers on John D. Gordon, Norfolk, for $25, which please dispose of for the benefit of any poor sufferers by the prevailing epidemic, either in your place or Gosport. Should it not be convenient to you to bestow this, will you please hand it to the mayor, or some other person, who may be able to do good with it.

It is from the children of Commodore Warrington and myself. Hoping the epidemic will soon abate, and your place be restored to its usual healthfulness,
I remain, Your ob't serv't,

Tredegar Foundry and Engine Works,
Richmond, Va., August 11, 1855.
To the Mayor of Portsmouth, Va.,
Dear Sir
,—In common with all of my fellow-citizens I have observed with sincere distress the ravages of the fever in your beautiful town, and beg you to accept the enclosed remittance as a small contribution towards the relief of the needy sick.
With kind regard, I am, dear sir, your fellow-citizen
Joseph R. Anderson

Magnolia Springs, August 11, 1855.
Col. W. Watts.
Dr. Sir,—On yesterday I purchased in Suffolk ten bushels of meal, which is for the sufferers of Portsmouth, which you will receive by this evening's train.
J. A. Jenkins.

Magnolia, Va. Aug. 11th, 1855.
Col. W. Watts.
On yesterday I forwarded ten bushels of meal for the sufferers of Portsmouth; and I also sent by Mr. John Emmerson a few days since $20, which you have, no doubt, received, to be applied to the same purpose. Respectfully, yours,
J. A. Jenkins.

[212] Petersburg, August 14th, 1855.
To the Mayor, or President of the Council, or Trustees of the town of Portsmouth, Va.
Dear Sir:—A meeting was held in the Court House of this city yesterday, at which resolutions were passed expressive of the deepest sympathy for the suffering condition of our fellow citizens in Portsmouth, Norfolk, &c, and committees were appointed to raise money to be paid into my hands and transmitted to your town, in order to assist those inhabitants who, from the effects of the epidemic, are now in a necessitous condition. Being uncertain whether the Bank of Virginia in Portsmouth is yet open, I now send a check on the Farmers Bank, in Norfolk, made payable to your order, for two thousand dollars, which, it is the desire of the contributors, may be distributed by your constituted authorities, so as to alleviate the suffering in your town, including Gosport. Praying that God, in his infinite mercy, will speedily remove the pestilence from our sister communities, and very soon restore both to health and prosperity, I remain,
Very respectfully, your ob't serv't,
P. S.—Over $500 of the amount sent was raised on Sunday, at the Washington St. Methodist Episcopal Church—An additional sum will be forwarded when paid in by the solicitors. D. P.

Jarratt's Hotel, August 14th, 1855.
Dear Watts.—I reached this place on my return from New York yesterday, and in the existing state of the fever in Portsmouth, I feel it due to my children that I should not unnecessarily return to the town. I have heard and read of the ravages of the fever and the comparative desertion of Portsmouth, with sadness and sorrow, and did I feel at liberty to follow the promptings of my heart, I would come down and render what aid I might in relieving the afflicted and distressed. I learned to-day that wood was selling for $6 a cord, and fearing that some of our people may not be able to buy it at that price, and remembering that I have some 30 and 40 cords on the line of the rail road, at my farm, I scribble you this note to ask that you will have it brought down by the cars to town and distributed among those what are unable to buy, and need it.

With an ardent hope that both our stricken communities may soon be freed from the pestilence now in their midst, and that you and my other friends, who yet remain there, may be spared for brighter and happier days, I am, as always,
Your friend,
W. Watts, Esq.

[213] Suffolk, 11th Aug. 1855.
Col. Watts.
Dear Sir:—By this morning's train you will receive some 8 or 10 bushels meal, from Mr. Elisha Everett, near this place. He requests me to say to you to distribute the same, as may be best for your suffering people. The bags return by cars to his address.
Very respectfully,

Suffolk, Va., Aug. 14th, 1855.
Winchester Watts, Esq., Portsmouth, Fa.
I have sent down a few bushels of meal this evening, and shall send down fifty bushels Thursday morning. In addition, I have now about fifty dollars subscribed and collected, to contribute. Please write me what disposition I shall make of it, as I will either buy provisions or send the money. It has been suggested by Stanwood and others, that it would be better to invest it in meal, as it was a very scarce and high article in your market. Respectfully.

P. S.—I send down a few bags, six bushels. Let me know if it was received. Return the bags for farther use.

Dear Sir,—You are all down on us, but our only object is to prevent the disease getting here. Our people deeply sympathize with you, and will contribute, (and are now doing so,) to assist your distressed and unfortunate people. All we can do to assist, be assured we shall do—no matter whether you think hard of us or not.
Truly yours,

P. S.—Fifty bushels additional will be sent down by a gentleman of our town on Saturday. J. E. J.

Baltimore, Aug. 15th, 1855 To the Mayor of Portsmouth.
Sir,—I send you by to-day's steamer ten barrels of soda biscuit, which you will please distribute among the poor and destitute in your city.

It is with feelings of extreme sorrow I noticed the accounts given by the newspapers, of the alarming extent of suffering caused by the yellow fever. Hoping that this small donation may have some tendency to alleviate the distress under which you are suffering, and praying God, in his mercy, soon to remove it from your city,
I remain, yours most respectfully,
No. 128 Pratt street.

[214] Washington, D. C, Aug. 16th, 1855.
To the Mayor of Portsmouth.
Dear Sir,—I enclose to your order a draft on the Exchange Bank of Virginia, at Norfolk, for $100. This sum has been contributed by the employees on the Capitol extension and grounds, for the relief of the suffering poor of Norfolk and Portsmouth. Under the impression that the suffering was greater in Portsmouth and Gosport than in Norfolk, the whole is sent to you.

With the earnest prayer that Almighty God will remove the pestilence from your midst,
I remain yours, &c.

Washington, D. C, Aug. 16th, 1855.
Col. W. Watts.
Dear Sir,—I regret to learn that the sickness which has for some time past been raging in your city, has produced a vast amount of suffering and want among those who are unable to flee from the pestilence. I deeply sympathize with them in their hour of trial and peril, and desire to contribute my mite towards their relief. I herewith enclose $50, with the request that it may be so appropriated.
Yours, very truly.

Jones' White Sulphur Springs,
Warren Co., N. C., Aug. 16th, 1855.
Col. W. Watts.
Dear Sir,—It affords me much pleasure to be the medium of communicating to you the proceedings of a meeting held to-day, at this place, for the relief of our suffering fellow citizens of Portsmouth, Gosport and Norfolk. The proportion of the funds intended for Portsmouth and Gosport, $300, will be placed in the hands of N. M. Martin, Brother & Co., Petersburg, subject to your order. With sentiments of personal regard and sincere sympathy for your suffering people,
I am your friend,&c.

Jones' White Sulphur Springs.
Warren Co., N. C, Aug. 16th, 1855.
At a meeting held at Jones' Springs, by the visitors, for the purpose of taking into consideration the affliction that is now visiting the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth—on motion of Hon. Thomas Ruffin, the Hon. S. P. Hill was called to the Chair, and John A. Benberry appointed Secretary. The meeting was opened with prayer by the Rev. J. H. Wingfield.

[215] Dr. R. C. Pritchard addressed the meeting in an impressive and eloquent manner, setting forth the wants and afflictions of Portsmouth and Norfolk, by reason of being scourged by the yellow fever, and the duty of those present to aid them in this their hour of need, and relieve the poor and afflicted, as far as possible, from their sufferings.

On motion of John S . Dancy, of Edgecomb, a committee of three on the part of the ladies, and three on the part of the gentlemen, were appointed to receive subscriptions from those present, who report that the sum of $__ has been received. On motion of Mr. Dancy, the Rev. J. H. Wingfield was appointed to receive the money and transmit it to Norfolk, Portsmouth and Gosport, to the Mayors, to be used for the relief of the needy, afflicted and sick.

On motion of Hon. Thos. Ruffin, Resolved, that the proceedings of this meeting be transmitted to the Norfolk and Portsmouth papers, with the request to publish them.

The meeting then adjourned.
S. P. HILL, Chairman.
John A. Benberry, Sec'y.

New York, Aug. 16th, 1855.
D. D. Fiske, Esq., Portsmouth.
Dear Sir,—We have the pleasure of informing you that measures have been adopted in our city to raise a fund, by subscription, for the relief of the sufferers by yellow fever, in Norfolk, Portsmouth and Gosport.

As we are natives, respectively, of Norfolk and Portsmouth, we need not assure you of our deep interest and sympathy with you in your distress—but our object at present is to enquire to whom the amount raised for account of Portsmouth and Gosport shall be remitted.

If no association exists, whose province it is to receive and apply such money, we would respectfully recommend such an organization as early as practicable, and we await your reply in regard to same. Very respectfully, your ob't serv'ts,
83 Pearl st.

Smithfield, Isle of Wright County, Va., Aug. 15th, 1855.
D. D. Fiske, Esq.
Dear Sir,—A gentleman by the name of Stokes, of Nansemond county, offers to the citizens of Norfolk and Portsmouth the use of his plantation, on Nansemond river. He says that he has one house on it, which is at their service, and that as many as can do so, can come up and build small cabins, or erect tents, on any part of his field. He has timber which they can use, free of charge; and that any person, or persons, who possess a good moral [216] character, are invited to come and remain until the fever subsides. He manifests a great deal of sympathy for the citizens of Norfolk and Portsmouth, and has requested me to make the above statement to the proper authorities.
I am, with high respect, your sincere friend,

New York, Aug. 17th, 1855.
Winchester Watts, Esq., Portsmouth.
Dear Sir,—We addressed a few lines yesterday to three of your fellow-towns-men—Messrs. Fiske, Chambers and Bilisoly—in regard to a collection being taken up by our citizens for the relief of the poor sufferers in Norfolk and Portsmouth. Deeming it expedient to accelerate the remittance, and not having time to receive a reply from either of those gentlemen, the amount of twenty-five hundred dollars was this day remitted by Mr. Jas. T. Soutter, President of Bank Republic, to Mr. R. H. Chamberlaine, cashier Farmers' Bank of Norfolk—one-half of same being designed for benefit of Portsmouth and Gosport. Our object in writing to you is to request you to see that the money gets into the right hands, in case the gentlemen named above may be out of the way.
Very respectfully, your ob't serv'ts,

D. D. Fiske, Esq.,
President of Howard Association, Portsmouth, Va.

Philadelphia, August 17th, 1855.
Dear Sir,—Be pleased to find enclosed draft for four hundred dollars, which please dispense under your association to the poor of your town and Gosport.

The committee of fifty appointed yesterday at the public meeting will organize at 12 o'clock to-day, and to-morrow I trust to be able to remit you a further sum. The present sum is an imperfect collection of a few hours this morning.
Yours truly,
Chairman of Com. of Relief for Norfolk and Portsmouth sufferers.

Lynchburg, August 17th, 1855.
To the Mayor of the City of Portsmouth, Va.
Dear Sir,—The Mayor of this city being absent, I take pleasure in enclosing you a check for five hundred dollars, which amount is given by the citizens of Lynchburg to aid in relieving those suffering in the city of Portsmouth from yellow fever. I write this at the request of the committee who [217] have received the contributions of our citizens, and will only call your attention to the preamble and resolutions passed at a meeting of the citizens on the evening of the 15th inst., as a full expression of the feelings and sympathies of the people of Lynchburg.
Very respectfully, your most obed't serv't,
JNO. M. OTEY, President of City Council.

Suffolk, Va., 17th August, 1855.
Capt. Samuel Watts :
My Dear Sir,—Enclosed you will find $5, which please be kind enough to appropriate for the benefit of some poor sufferer in your afflicted town. I earnestly wish I were able to send ten times the amount,—but I am not; so accept this as my small offering in your behalf. Very truly yours.

Weldon Mills, Weldon, N. C, Aug. 18th, 1855.
Dear Sir,—I shall send to Mr. Peterson, agent S. and R. R. R. Co., on Monday, ten bushels meal, to be sent to you for the benefit of the suffering poor of your town. Please appropriate it.

I also offer you the use of my mill to grind, free of toll, any wheat or corn that you may send for the same purpose, and promise to give all such preference over any grinding that may be in my mill, either of my own or of other persons; and I have not the slightest doubt my neighbor and friend, Col. N. M. Long, (who owns a corn mill for bolting meal) will gladly do the same. I know him so well that I am sure I win vouch for him. You need not, therefore, fear overstocking us.
Very respectfully,
Col. W. Watts, Portsmouth.

Richmond, Aug. 18, 1855.
Dear Sir,—The enclosed ten dollars you will accept as a contribution for the aid of the sick of your city, from Mr. Thomas McGehee, of Person Co., N. C. Very respectfully,
Col. Winchester Watts, President Council, Portsmouth.

Philadelphia, August 18, 1855.
D. D. Fiske, Esq.,
Pres't Howard Association of Portsmouth and Gosport.
Dear Sir
,—Enclosed please find draft for four hundred dollars, second re- [218] mittance to you on the part of this community for the relief of the suffering poor of your city, to be dispensed under the superintendence of your association. In haste, yours truly,
THOMAS WEBSTER, Jr., Chairman of Committee.
JOHN TRUCKS, Treasurer of Fund.

Suffolk, Va., Augt. 18, 1855.
Col. W. Watts.
Dear Sir,—I have sent you to-day ten bushels of meal, to be disposed of among those who are in needy circumstances in your town. Yr. friend.

Richmond, Augt. 18, '55.
Col. Winchester Watts.
Dr. Sir.—Enclosed you have a check for five hundred dollars and sixty cents, being the amount contributed by a few of the citizens for the relief of the sick at Portsmouth and Gosport.

I regret the sum is not larger.

I am afraid your people have hard thoughts of us for our quarantine law. Nine persons in ten here are opposed to it; and I have no doubt the law will be repealed next week.

Please acknowledge the receipt of the check. Yours truly,

Suffolk, Va., Aug. 18th, 1855.
Dear Col. Watts.
Sir,— I have sent 8 bags of meal down this evening, containing 1-1/2 bush. in each bag, making in all 12 bushels. I wish you to send one bag to my house, and the remaining 7 bags to be disposed of among those who are in needy circumstances in our town. By attending to the above you will greatly oblige your friend,

Weldon, Augt. 18th, 1855.
W. Watts. Esq., Pres't Common Council.
Sir,—1 am requested to enclose you sixty dollars, to be applied to the relief of the poor and suffering of your place.

[219] Several gentlemen intend contributing meal, believing it will supply more conveniently a needed article of food. Most respectfully,

Philadelphia, August 18, 1855.
D. D. Fiske, Esq.,
Pres. How. Ass. of Portsmouth and Gosport, Va.
Dear Sir
,—I had the pleasure this morning of remitting you $400, and have now to request you will favor me with correct information of the mortality daily in Portsmouth and Gosport, with such suggestions of what our committee might send you in the way of relief as you may think proper to add. Are you in want of food and medicines? It is so stated here; and if so, inasmuch as there is no direct conveyance from hence, will funds in cash enable you to procure them. Do you want doctors and nurses? I have sent three to Norfolk, and the next that offer shall be sent to Portsmouth. Are we right in estimating the ratio of population and suffering as about in equal ratio? and is 60 per cent, to Norfolk and 40 per cent, to Portsmouth near the true ratio? The Committee of Relief is anxious to partition all that they may send between Norfolk, Portsmouth and Gosport in proper shares. Please report. Yours truly,
THOS. WEBSTER, JR., Ch'm of Com.

The Meadows, near Abingdon, Va., August 19th, 1855.
Dear Sir,—I send below a check on the Farmers Bank for$25, as my slight contribution towards alleviating the heavy burden imposed on my fellow-citizens of Portsmouth in their season of dire calamity—and am with sincerest sympathy, Yours respectfully,

Office Howard Association, Norfolk, 19th Aug. 1855.
D. D. Fiske, Esq., Mayor of the Town of Portsmouth.
It is with pleasure I have to communicate that this association has received donations from abroad for your town and Gosport, for the relief of the poor and the sufferers by the yellow fever, viz:
From Philadelphia, - $250
Washington City, - 175
Barnum & Co., Baltimore, - 100
Total $526

[220] Which amount, say five hundred and twenty-five dollars, is subject to your order, by draft at sight, on Wm. B. Ferguson, President Howard Association, Norfolk. We have also a lot of provisions as a donation from Baltimore, one-third of which is for Portsmouth and Gosport, which will be delivered to you at the office of Baltimore Steam Packet Co. Yours very respectfully,
Sec'y Howard Asso.

New York, August 20th, 1855.
D. D. Fiske, Esq., Portsmouth.
Dear Sir
,—We are in receipt of your favor of 18th inst. You will have learned, before receipt of this, that the funds spoken of were remitted direct to Norfolk—to be divided equally between your two towns. Hoping that you may be soon exempt from the pestilence, We remain your obd't serv'ts,

U. S. N. Hospital,
Portsmouth, Va., Aug. 20th, 1855.
Dear Sir,—It very frequently happens that with patients suffering from the epidemic now prevailing, children and other unaffected persons of the families of the sufferers are sent to this hospital. This was necessary when no provision had been made by the municipal authorities for those who, though well, are the natural dependents of persons attacked. Since, however, a commodious place for the reception of those who, being in good health, are not fit subjects for a hospital has been supplied, I deem it proper to ask that you will request the professional gentlemen who practice in your town, to specify in their notes to the committee the individuals of a family who require medical treatment, that only such may be sent here, while the well but necessitous find refuge in the academy. As all convalescent and well persons, (children and infants included,) are sent hence to that place, it would seem much more convenient to send such persons direct from their deserted homes to the asylum provided for them.
I am, my dear sir, very respectfully,
LEWIS W. MINOR, Surgeon.
To the Chairman Sanitary Committee.

Philadelphia, August 20, 1855.
D. D. Fiske, Esq., Pres. How. Ass. Portsmouth, Va.
Dear Sir
,—Enclosed please find Farmers and Mechanics Bank draft on Bank of Virginia for four hundred dollars, being the third remittance of that [221] sum from this community towards the poor of your town, suffering from yellow fever, to be dispensed under the superintendence of your association. Please acknowledge receipt of same. Your favor of 18th inst., acknowledging the first remittance, is at hand this morning. Trusting that you may soon be able to inform me that the dreadful scourge is abating, I am yours truly,
Cha'n Com. Relief.

Office of Committee of Relief,
Philadelphia, Aug. 21, 1855.
D. D. FISKE, Esq., Pres. How. Ass. of Portsmouth, Va.
Dear Sir,—Enclosed please find Farmers and Mechanics Bank draft on Bank of Virginia for one thousand dollars, being the fourth remittance from this community to yours, for the relief of the sufferers by yellow fever; receipt of which please acknowledge. The committee are without correct information of the extent of the disease and consequent distress prevailing in your midst; and as your association or no other public or private body have made any call on Philadelphia, or apprized this community of your suffering, otherwise than through the newspapers, the committee feel somewhat embarrassed as to the extent they should proceed in their collections for relief. We are prepared to do all or any thing you may suggest, and if you would but intimate what amount of funds you desire to have from this city, it shall be sent per return mail. In haste, yours truly,
THOS. WEBSTER, Jr., Chairman.

Fredericksburg, Va., Aug. 21, 1855.
Dear Sir,—In obedience to a resolution of the citizens of this place, adopted on the 17th instant, I send you two drafts on the Farmers Bank of Virginia at Norfolk, amounting to three hundred and forty-three dollars and thirteen cents, being one half of the sum contributed by my fellow citizens for the benefit of the distressed and destitute of the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth. And it is with great pleasure I enclose a copy of another resolution, adopted at the same meeting; which resolution, I embrace this occasion to say, has my cordial approbation. I have the honor to be, your obd't serv't,
D. D. Fiske, Esq., Mayor Portsmouth.

N. B.—Since the above was written, the enclosed five dollar note was handed in for the purpose above mentioned, and I send the same amount to Norfolk J. S. C.

[222] Washington, Aug. 21, 1855.
Sir,—I deeply sympathize with the good people of Portsmouth and Norfolk in the sadly distressing visitation which has made them, truly, places of mourning and death. This sympathy, you may well suppose, has borrowed intensity from my official relations to, and personal acquaintance with, a large number of the employees, mechanics, and working-men attached to the Gosport Navy Yard, whose familiar names I have recently observed in the published list of victims. Please accept the enclosed check for fifty dollars. It is surely a small tribute, but if it serves to "pour oil on the wounds" of but a single exposed sufferer, and shall cause him to be borne "to an inn and taken care of," it will help a little to swell the aggregate of good effected by those who "do likewise." With sentiments of high respect, I am your obd't serv't,
D. D. Fiske, Esq., Mayor Portsmouth, Va.

Portsmouth, August 21st, 1855.
Com. Isaac McKeever,
U. S. Navy Yard, Gosport.
Dear Sir
,—The services of Mr. John A. Foreman, who is employed in the blacksmith's department, is required to aid us in relieving the sick and destitute. He wishes to obtain a leave of absence. I feel confident that you will grant it. Mr. John Jack and Mr. R. T. Scott are also assisting us. Will you grant them leave of absence also? With sentiments of the highest esteem and regard, I am, respectfully, Your obd't serv't,
Pres't Common Council.

Mr. Geo. R. Boush also desires leave of absence under the circumstances. W. W.

In so good a cause, it affords me pleasure to grant the leaves of absence of Messrs. J. A. Foreman, J. Jack, R. T. Scott and G. R. Boush. Yours truly,
I. McKEEVER, Com'dt.
Navy Yard, August 21st, 1855.

Louisa C. H., August 22, 1855.
To the Mayor of Portsmouth, Va.
Dear Sir,—Enclosed please find six dollars, which apply towards the relief of the sick and poor of your town.
I am, &c.

[223] Philadelphia, August 22, 1855.
D. D. Fiske, Esq.,
President Howard Association of Portsmouth, Va.
Dear Sir
,—Enclosed please find E. W. Clark & Co.'s draft on John D. Gordon, Esq., Norfolk, for four hundred dollars, being the fifth remittance from this community to yours, to relieve the distress prevailing in your midst, receipt of which please acknowledge. I have your esteemed favors of 18th and 20th inst., and regret to learn from them and from the papers that the disease is even worse than it has been. I refer you to my letter of yesterday, requesting information. We are organized here, and can help you to any extent you may desire. Only let us know your wants, and they will be relieved as far as funds can be available.

I had the pleasure this morning of writing letters of introduction to you for Dr. Martin Rizer and Mr. R. H. Graham, who have volunteered to go to your town to help you—one as doctor, the other as nurse. Let me know when they arrive. Yours truly,
THOS. WEBSTER, Jr., Chairman.

Norfolk, Va., 22d August, 1855.
Winchester Watts, Esq.,
President of the Common Council, Portsmouth, Va.
Dear Sir
,—Enclosed we hand you our check on the Exchange Bank of Virginia for $200, which we beg the favor of you to receive and distribute as you think best, to the needy and suffering poor of your town and Gosport—$100 to each—as a donation from James C. Johnston, Esquire, of Edenton, N. C., but now at the White Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier county, Va. Be pleased to drop us a line, acknowledging receipt of the check.
Very respectfully, sir, yours,

Weldon, August 22d, 1855.
Col. W. Watts.
Dear Sir,—I notice that in acknowledging receipt of $60, you state it as if coming from me individually. This is not so. I therefore send you, herewith, a list of the contributors. Mr. Simmons has sent his 10 bushels meal. Mr. Long and Mr. Bell will send theirs, I think, to-morrow, as designated at foot of list Mr. Jarratt's will be sent from Garysburg, probably with contributions from that neighborhood. He lives in this place, but his farm is on the other side of the river.

It is proper to say, that among the contributions are Whigs, Democrats and Know-Nothings—Episcopalians, Methodists, Catholics, Baptists, &c.— [224] Americans and foreigners by birth. They give for the suffering poor, whatever their sect or birth-place. In haste, Most respectfully,

Hagerstown, Aug. 22d, 1855.
W. Watts.
Dear Sir,—Seeing your letter to the Mayor of Baltimore, published in the Baltimore Sun of to-day, asking for physicians, I respectfully offer my services to your citizens as a Homeopathic physician, if my services would be of any use. You will very much oblige me by answering this. Yours respectfully,
To Mr. W, Watts, President of Common Council.

Philadelphia, August 22d, 1855.
Wm. B. Ferguson, Esq.,
President Howard Association, Norfolk.
Dear Sir
,—This will be handed to you by Mr. Henry Spriggman, who has volunteered his services as nurse for the sick of your city. Mr. Spriggman has had experience as a general nurse in our State Lunatic Hospital, and feels assured he can render you service. I commend him to you. Yours truly,
THOS. WEBSTER, Jr., Chairman of Committee of Relief.

Mr. John Jack:
Will please dispose of Mr. Henry Spriggman as he may think best. Respectfully,
President Howard Association.
August 23d, 1855.

Franklin, Va., Aug. 22, 1855.
Sir,—The people of this county, (Southampton,) deeply sympathizing with the sufferings of their brethren from the recent calamity which has befallen them, propose to render some assistance. I have been appointed treasurer by the county. I wish to know how you would prefer contributions—in money or in provisions? If in provisions, please write what kind of provisions. I am, respectfully, your friend,
Mayor of Portsmouth, Va.

[225] York, Penn., August 22d, 1855.
W. Watts Esq., President of the Common Council of Norfolk, Va.
Dear Sir,—I read your call for medical aid in the Baltimore Sun of today, and hasten to respond to it. I am a physician of the Botanic School, and am well acquainted with all the systems of medicine, having attended three different Medical Colleges, and graduated in Cincinnati three years ago. I am now under appointment as a physician to a missionary station, in West Africa. But as I do not sail until the middle or latter part of September, I offer my services to your board of health until that time. I deeply sympathize with your distress, and were I pecuniarily able would gratuitously render every service in my power. I refer you to Dr. Thomas Nash, of your city, as to my standing in my profession, and can bring any amount of satisfactory testimony with me.

I will await your reply and hold myself in readiness to come immediately, if this offer meets your approval. Yours with sympathy,

Baltimore, August 22d, 1855.
To the Hon. D. D. Fiske, Mayor of Portsmouth.
Dear Sir,—We received a letter yesterday from the venerable Dr. Hampton, (he will be 81 years of age on the 29th of September next,) in which he says, "I learn that the yellow fever is prevailing in Virginia—I have ever believed that if my (Hampton's) Vegetable Tincture were given on the first symptoms of the disease, a reaction would immediately follow, and prompt relief be given, and I would recommend it in preference to all known discoveries for that wretched disease."

We take the liberty to address this letter to you, (as we have had some slight acquaintance,) and to offer you the Tincture for gratuitous distribution to the poor of your city. If you will accept of it let us know by return of mail, and we will send it forthwith. Yours truly,
N. B.—We feel certain that in all cases of convalescence it would give strength to the patient. M. & M.

Philadelphia, Aug. 22d, 1855.
D. D. Fiske, Esq., President Howard Association of Portsmouth, Va.,
Dear Sir
,—This will be handed to you by Dr. Martin Rizer, of this city, who has volunteered his professional services to your community, under your disposal. Doctor Rizer has shown me credentials of the highest character. He had the fever himself at Vera Cruz about three years since, [226] and is acquainted with its nature and treatment, and will, I trust, be instrumental in relieving your overtasked medical corps, and likewise the distressed patients. Yours truly,
Chairman of Committee of Relief.

U. S. Navy Yard, Charlestown, Mass., Aug. 23d, 1855.
Sir,—In view of the distress and suffering with which our brother mechanics and others employed at your station, are now afflicted, the officers, mechanics and laborers, and all others employed at this yard, held a meeting on Monday last, to take some measures for their relief. The meeting was called to order by Com. Gregory, and duly organized. The objects of the meeting having been feelingly and appropriately stated by the Commandant, it was unanimously voted to appoint a committee of one from each department to raise funds in aid of the sufferers at your station.

The committee collected the sum of twelve hundred and sixty-six dollars and fifty-three cents, a draft for which amount is herewith enclosed, with the request that you will be pleased to place it in the hands of a committee similarly appointed, or in such other manner as you may deem best, to be applied to the object above stated, viz: the relief of the officers and men employed at the Norfolk Navy Yard.

Renewing in behalf of the employees of this yard the expression of their warmest sympathies, and their earnest desire that the ravages of that terrible disease may soon be stayed, and our fellow citizens of Norfolk and vicinity be restored to their wonted, health and prosperity, We are, very respectfully, your ob't serv'ts,
JOSEPH F. BOYD, Chairman.
WM. W. VEILCE, Sec'y.
Commo. Isaac McKeever, Commanding Navy Yard, Norfolk, Va.

Richmond, Va., Aug 23d, 1855.
W. Watts, Esq.
My Dear Friend,—Conferring with your brother to-day, as we do daily, he spoke of your intending to occupy his house with the surgeons that might visit you. Allow me to tender the use of my house, if needed. Please use it as freely as you would your own or brother's.

What intense anxiety we all feel here for you in your labor of love. God preserve and reward you. Truly yours,