Tag: disease

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France and Spain Invade England—Almost

On February 6, 1778, France signed two treaties with the United States, one of Amity and Commerce, the other, a defensive Alliance.[1] In them, France recognized the absolute sovereignty and independence of the United States. On March 10, the Foreign Minister of France, the comte de Vergennes, sent a dispatch that included a copy of the […]

by Bob Ruppert
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Smoking the Smallpox Sufferers

At about midnight on September 29, 1792, Ashley Bowen and his young assistant, Tucker Huy, heard a carriage clatter up the Boston Road and arrive at the Marblehead gate. Upon learning the “coach-full of men” had come from Boston, Bowen brooked no complaints when he approached the carriage and informed the passengers, “You must be […]

by Katie Turner Getty
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1776—The Horror Show

The British Army held New York City from 1776 to November 25, 1783. In prisoner exchanges, royal forces in New York periodically released prisoners of war who were “sickly and emaciated.” Sometimes the prisoners numbered a few dozen, sometimes a few hundred. In 1776, however, British military commander Lt. Gen. Sir William Howe released more […]

by Brian Patrick O'Malley
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Death Had Almost Lost Its Sting: Disease on the Prison Ship Jersey

“There, rebels, there is a cage for you.”[1] Forced to row under guard of British marines, a boatload of captured American sailors approached the forbidding black hulk of the old British warship, HMS Jersey. Nicknamed “The Hell Afloat,”[2] the Jersey and other decommissioned British warships were moored in Wallabout Bay, just off Brooklyn, New York, where […]

by Katie Turner Getty