Did the popular social belief in Trinity and its numerology play a special role in the upcoming social events in the Hudson valley during the first years of the 19th century, in particular the city of Poughkeepsie ? 

The answer to this question is ‘yes.’ 

The proof that people lived by such a belief, one which today we might interpret as being simply a practice of superstition, is very much the truth for the time in the newly established United States.  It was not necessary for everyone in social settings to believe in the role of trinitarianism, but it was important for the religious leaders of the time to be able to convince the general public that such claims could be possible.   It was a combination of cultural, professional, and political arguments about the credibility of trinity symbolism that enabled this social change to happen.  More importantly, this little tidbit of Hudson Valley history presents with a unique reason for why Poughkeepsie became and remained a booming town for generations to come throughout the nineteenth century.  During this time, citizens had their doubts about medicine and the physicians who practiced it.  By the end of the 18th century and during the first few years of the 19th century, this lack of trust in physicians was brought about and rejuvenated time and time again by the recurring yellow fever epidemics and their religious interpretations.  These  interpretations had a significant influence on Hudson Valley history as well, and is the chief reason Poughkeepsie became the place to settle during your escape from the “plague years” in local urban history.   Due to these recuring epidemics, and their trinity signs, Poughkeepsie became a bustling town and ultimately grew up to become the small city that remained active and bustling well into by the twentieth century, all of this due to numerous social events, beginning with the triennial fever.

The Yellow or Triennial Fever

There is no direct evidence that the people of Poughkeepsie referred to the Yellow Fever epidemic as the triennial fever epidemic.  Yet, according to a medical journal published in which a retrospection was provided about past epidemics, with reference to yet another such epidemic striking the French American Louisiana communities, the more religiously devoted followers of this epidemic and its history were unknown to refer to it as the triennial fever, meaning this event was not unusual to recur in three year intervals. 

Since the notion that an epidemic may be a sign of God’s intervention, as indicated by its adherence to trine symbolism and three-year cycles, the essential  philosophy underlying the New Orleans notion of three-year fever was easily applicable to the Hudson Valley epidemics as well.  It is also likely that the three year periodicity of a recurring even like yellow fever could even be likened to other cyclical patterns already known to exist for febrile diseases.  It was not unusual for physicians throughout the colonial years to differentiate fever conditions from each other due to the cyclicity of their fever states.  There were intermittent fever types in which the febrile cycle came and went, without necessarily any sort of cyclicity.  There were also one-day and two-day recurring febrile cycles.  It was this cyclicity of the fever pattern that enabled physicians to properly differentiate treatable fevers that reacted to the cinchona (quinine) medicine versus those that didn’t.  It was this cyclicity that ultimately  led physicians to learn to differentiate cyclic or recurring malaria events from non-cyclic or non-recurring non-malaria events. 

Due to the philosophy already present about malaria effects and treatment, similar philosophies were bound to emerge from yet another epidemic fever problem like yellow fever.  Since both malaria and yellow fever had the same origin (unknowing to the physicians of the time of course), the behaviors and related environmental features related to malaria were also most likely to have similar assocaitions that could be drawn between the two maladies in terms of local shipping history, the nature of products and people on board these ships, the accompanying local climate preceding local epidemic events, along with the typical topography, local sanitation practices, and human population behaviors that typically were included in such epidemiologic discussions.

The interpretation of yellow fever activity as a triennial fever event would not be found in the medical literature, except per se in passing as a criticism on how people often judge their epidemics.  A social event as important as a yellow fever epidemic with high fatality rates might even cause enough discussion amongst people to have associations drawn every now and then between recurring disease histories and “God’s Plan.”  Like in Philadelphia, the discussions about the 1793 and 1797 epidemics did bring about religious claims and controversies on behalf of local pastors.  As far east as Rhode Island, pastors were making reference to the epidemics as a Divine consequence of the changes religion was undergoing in the local communities.   Philadelphia had already been making such claims, which by 1800 had taken place for at least 6 years.  New York, perfectly situated between the two communities already convinced that some sort of Divine Intervention was taking place, at a level much like that of the Plague, would no doubt have its worshippers and church-followers who also preached this philosophy about the yellow fever.  The bulk of the signs for this faith in trinity appear as side-paths taken by those who did believe in this possibility.  As stated before, all that is needed for social disruption to take place due to such rapid changes in thinking are the promoters of this thinking–the pastors–and their few faithful followers, common enough in the communities to make theur onlookers and possible hecklers question the relevance of arguing such a claim, based on what was happening once the fever hit.

Medical Philosophy and Trinity

At times, the general public believed strongly that it was God or the Creator who was responsible for the yellow fever epidemics taking place at the time.  This belief, in combination with some of the philosophy already popular in regular and “irregular” medical practices for the time, only added to some already disconcerting feelings people had as a whole about medicine.  The genral public, was to some extent, already disatisfied with how medicine was being learned.  Add to this their claim that science itself, including the science underlying the practice of medicine, was in direct contest with many religious claims.  Some communities contested the notion that physicians had to learn medicine by using cadavers, others felt that by providing certain forms of healing, one was by-passing the wishes of the ‘Highest Power.’    Add to this the simple fact that in most cases,  medical care simply did not work when trying to treat an severaly ill individual or prevent a severe epidemic from continuing.  ‘Physicians had no power like the Almighty’  some might say.  So why even go to them for treatment?

This was a reality to many onlookers of the sick and dying, and merely hearsay and speculation to others not yet made victims of this plague.  Nevertheless, social beliefs and concerns about medicine made medicine a failure in many people’s minds often during early 19th century epidemic history.  Due to such failures, regular medicine became a profession in need of complete changes, and some newly discovered “gifted doctors” of local history came to the service of these most needy families.  These physicians did not practice “regular medicine.”

Meanwhile, throughout these social, political and economic arguments and ramblings about medicine in general, people were still trying to decide what to do about the obvious increase in epidemics striking the area.  Entire communities had to decide whether or not to adhere to the belief s and practices of their medical doctors about this disease, abiding by public health recommendations along the way, or decide to go by instinct, offer praise to God, and flee those places where God was finally acting out His vengeance in a form reminscent of the Bible.   

In the end, Webster teaches us that people and society as a whole often behave in large numbers whenever and where ever the plague and its predecessors hit.  Such was the case for Philadelphia, from which thousands to tens of thousands fled the city. Most if not all people in the end took the sides of their religious leaders and left the cities.  Between 1793 and 1800, this philosophy developed into a strong belief system, to the point that by the end of the 18th century, the concerns of people in Philadelphia during its 1793 epidemic finally hit home for residents in New York City.  This concern was to such an extent that they did like the Philadelphians  in 1793 and fled the city once yellow fever had arrived.  The majority of these urbanites fled for the hinterlands, with the goal of positioning themselves far from the center of this epidemic outbreak but in the center of a bustling township where they could once again re-establish the family businesses.  Whether these urbanites fled simply due to their religious convictions about this plague, or because they felt the heavily populated city had become too popular to immigrants making their war to the New World from other areas infected by yellow fever, many of those seeking salvation in the Hudson Valley wound up in Poughkeepsie, New York. 

The reasons Poughkeepsie was chosen as the place to settle are just as amazing as one of the main reasons many of these families left their homes and businesses in the first place.   According to their faith in Trinity, Poughkeepsie was the chosen place to go.   The name alone told them this.  For the most devoted followers of this belief, the numerology of the town name consisted of 3 syllables and 12 letters, with nine different letters forming the town name.  Similar hints about the trinity were not the case for nearby towns, such as the Fishkill Landing (now Beacon) or the various hamlets adjacent to and just to the west of Wappingers Falls along the river.  This little detail about the town’s name by itself wasn’t enough to convince everyone to move to Poughkeepsie, but it was the beginning of arguments made about where to consider settling.  The trine argument many in fact be just short lived, and instead was used to lead prospective movers into the arguments about the various remaining topographic and climatic reasons one should settle this region following the return of yellow fever.  

According to the medical geologists and topographers of the time, even though the townships and hamlets near the Fishkill Landing and Wappingers were popular places to settle throughout the prior generations,  they were not as healthy as the raised lands located around Poughkeepsie.  Several larger towns located south of Fishkill such as Cold Spring had similar geographic problems to contend with.  Both Fishkill and Cold Spring had their local high terrain settings, neither of which had ample roadways laid out for one to travel, explore and finally settle.  For most people removing from the city, another heavily populated setting had to be laid, with enough people to satisfy their needs as merchants, artists, musicians, foreign language teachers, glaziers, international newspaper distributors, tobacconists, woodcarvers, furniture merchants, etc. etc.. 

Across the river from Fishkill, the town of Newburgh was in some ways like Poughkeepsie, but for the most part was more farming related at this time and still quite close to the swamps and “vly lands” (exceptionally large swamps) that defined the Fishkill-Wappingers section of the Hudson River shoreline and inland.  Located just across the river from Fishkill Landing, its elevated fields setting and rapidly rising streets in the village should have enabled this town, important to local history just a few decades later, a primary place to settle.  Still, Newburgh, like its counterparts across the river, lacked the features Poughkeepsie had to offer its future residents.  Poughkeepsie also had one political feature in its favor, the Livingstons, an important family in State and National Government , and descendents of one of the signers of the Constitution, had relatives residing in an just north of the Poughkeepsie area.  Therefore, with its raised lands and placement west of the river, Poughkeepsie became the chosen place to settle. 

Poughkeepsie Medical Topography

Poughkeepsie was a town that had a unique set of physiographic features that made it immune of yellow fever outbreaks.  The center of the town rapidly ascended uphill, away from the river’s edge.  Well to the south of this city center, about 12 miles, was a ridge of mountains located just south of the Fishkill Landing which served as a barrier to any ill-fated miasma or contagion trying to make its way northward from the infected cities.  This ridge was the perfect means to protect lands upstream and northward from any contaminated winds originating from the ocean and its bays about New York City.   The Poughkeepsie terrain also demonstrated a significant amount of evidence suggesting it produced  a very clean, cool, crisp water.  This water made its way into the Hudson River by way of numerous small creeks or rivulets formed uphill from the river edge.  In an early description of this future city setting, historian Helen Wilkinson Reynolds noted the plentiful supply of these rivulets, just south of the main creek which formed a wet meadowlands from which this town got its name (the original name “Apokeepsinck” is a Native American reference to its cattail rich creekside). 

Still others who viewed Poughkeepsie as a healthy town, claimed it was blessed by the right winds.  Not infected by the “contagion” from south, these winds made their way into Poughkeepsie either from the West, in which case they drew their air from such healthy mountain settings as the Shawangunks and the Catskills, or from the north to northeast,  in which case the cooler air of Canada and the New England settings prevailed.  The claims about the healthiness of these winds were clearly stated and directly supported by Webster’s teachings about the Hudson Valley as the place to settle and avoid the Plague and its related contagious diseases.

By 1800, a number of residents of the town of Poughkeepsie were advertising their properties for their trickling rivulets or brooks.  These cold fresh water outlets provided the opportunity for an individual to refresh himself or herself with a crisp, clean bath.   Several residents in the Pine Road area had these rivulets and offereed them up for use by the needy.  In one case, a family with such a free flowing coldwater creek even set up a small tub in the back in which one could bathe.  

One reason for the popularity of these coldwater springs would not become farily popular for another several decades.  The use of bathing to affect a cure was an ancient practice in medicine, in particular using cold water.  This method of healing was very much popularized by the eastern European region where it was most heavily promoted by Bohemian and Moravian culture, the latter of which was a traditional culture for this particular part of the County of Dutchess during its earliest settlement years.  Around 17oo, this method of treatment was popularized by Sigmund Hahn (1664-1742), followed by his son Johann Sigmund Hahn (1696-1773).  But it wasn’t until 1818 that Vincent Priessnitz (1799-1852), demonstrating his strong commitment to Hahn’s teachings of water therapy, introduced this method of treatment to other European and American cultures.   

Priessnitz’s history is reminiscent of the injuries and near-tragedies faced by many travellers from displaced communities.  Born in Grafenberg, Silesia (today the Czech Republic), Preissnitz watched a neighbor treat his injured farm animals with cold water sprays, convincing him of the value of this use of water to cure disease when, as a boy, he used the same methof to treat his father’s “hide-bound, feverish cow” with cold water.  Another legend or folktale about the origination of this use of cold mountain water states that Preissnitz witnessed an injured stag use this method to affect a cure by immersing its leg in cold water. 

Priessnitz’s teachings on water cure had their antecedents in United States history.  In Dr. John W. Francis’s  Old New York; or, Reminiscences of the Past Sixty Years.  Being an enlarged and revised edition of the Anniversary Discourse delivered before The New York Historical Society, November 17, 1857  (reminiscences published 1865), Francis makes mention of  “Old McGrath, a violent Scotchman,” who Francis claims introduced water cure to the New York City area in 1743.  This early introduction failed to develop a sizeable following however, but is important to note because it significantly pre-dates America’s re-discovery of Water Cure around 1837-1842 and the subsequent developmment of hydropathy.

“Old McGrath, a violent Scotchman, who came ampng us about 1743, and who is immortalized by Smollett, had the honor of introducing the free use of cold bathing and cold lavations in fever.  He doubtless had drawn his notions from Sir John Floyer, but probably had never conceived a single principle enforced by [William] Currie.” 

 The physician William Currie post-dates Old McGrath’s methods of practicing this method of healing.  It wouldn’t be until a few years later that Currie produced significant writings on this topic, enough to influence early American colonial practice of this form of healing.  Interestingly, Francis covers this as part of his eloquy on the earliest New York medical school [King’s College], the staff of which argued bitterly about some of the new practices of medicine by North America physicians, each with an emphasis on replacing blood-letting with these various alternative forms of healing.  (Francis, 1865, p. 65). 

Another important aspect of how this water cure was practice deals with its close resemblance resembles to the Swedish cold, hot and mineral water therapies.  (See Peter Kalm’s writings for brief mention of this in passing, due to its supression by English rule.)


Tradition and Ballstown Spa

The tradition of associating the healthiness of living in the Hudson Valley with Dutchess County area has a formidable history.  Prior to the settlement and development of the town of Poughkeepsie, Albany or Albania and New Amsterdam or New York were the main settlements, with Fishkill Landing forming an important stopping point during one’s travels northward along the river and Kingston serving as an important historical settlement town, very reminiscent of Old World British  towns, and a temporary State Capital location during the Revolutionary War.

As old-timers hearing these claims of the healthiness of living in the Valley would recall, there were earlier claims made touting much the same about Hudson valley history, often using this .same line of reasoning to note the area’s need for settlement and its healthiness to any of its future settlers.    As early as 1679, for example, Jasper Danckaerts and Peter Sluter in his Journal of a Voyage to New York described the most important feature of this part of the valley, its “Highlands”  or Fishkill mountain range placed well to the south of the Fishkill Landing.   As Danckaerts and Sluter made their way past a landform referred to as “Swadel Rack” or Swath Reach, they described a section of the river as “a short strait between high hills, where in sailing through they [captains and sailors] encounter whirlwinds and squalls, and meet sometimes with accidents, which they usually call swadalen (swaths or mowing sweeps)” (p. 331).  They were referring to the Storm King mountain area where large cliff faces approached the river’s edge along both shores, making it difficult to land and nearly impossible to sail through on a windy day.   In the past, this pience of the local topography made it difficult for the British Man-of-War Ships to pass through this region during the Revolutionary War.  In 1800, the Highlands was considered a natural barrier against any miasma trying to maked its way northward along the river from infected towns down below.   These mountains as a most effective barrier against any contagion from the south and did little to influence the healthier winds coming in from the east (Connecticut, Vermont and such) or from the west (the Catskill and Shawangunk mountains).  

Another piece of local history important to the settling of Poughkeepsie was its location in realtion to one other important healthy site–Ballstown Spa and the related Saratoga Springs.  As far back in time as can be documented in American history, the hot mineral springs of this region served a putpose in traditional Native American culture.   They served as a meeting place and provided numerous “sacred sites”  important to local Iroquois and Mohegan culture, and following their first discovery and documentation by early French, Dutch and English settlers, became an important healthy sport for passer-bys to stay and/or settlement should they be taken by “the consumption” (tuberculosis). 

During the early 1700s, much had been said about the springs in this region, but numerous other regions had springs that were included in the discussion of the local communities.  The springs near what would later be known as Ballstown were unique due to their stench and their fairly hot temperatures.  In about 1740, Reverend Eliphalet Ball’s name came to be the first on the list for serving at a church in the Orange-Dutchess County region.  Reverend Ball subsequently refused this commission in exchange for removing to the springs.  This removal may have in fact been simply one of need due to his medical condition or age, or perhaps related to Ball’s desires to serve some sort of missionary position, setting up his place in the wilderness  in order that passer-bys or even the local Indians frequenting the springs could make use of his services.   Whatever the reason, Reverend Ball’s decision to move was not an attempt to bypass his responsibilities to the Church or due to a simple consequence of old age and retirement, for Reverend Ball took this opportunity to erect a homestead in this area, and to develop a place where travellers could stay and recuperate from their trip or their malaise.  This place of hospice and stay he called Sans Souci, a French name which translates  to “without worry” or “carefree”.   Ball’s goal in marketing his retreat was most likely as a place for relaxation where one could take advantage of the hot mineral springs.  

Reverend Ball survived his stay at Sans Souci for just a few years.  Following his death, the hamlet’s name Ballstown remained the name of this location, sometimes referred to with the ‘w’ being omitted or dropped from its spelling (i.e. Ballston).  This mineral spring set the stage for the development of future sanctuaries and places of retreat for generations to come.  The nearby town with much greater fame for its Springs, wouldn’t be established and surpass Ballstown until the Civil War period.  Due to the popularity of San Souci, other areas of the Hudson Valley and parts of New York tried to accomplish much the same.  One of the first towns to jump on this bandwagon and make use of Balls-town’s famous name was Poughkeepsie, in particular a tiny hamlet located on the eastern shore of the Hudson River where the boats from Albany and New York City landed.

New Ballstown Spa 

During the early 18oos, the shoreline adjacent to the Poughkeepsie landing site had its own unique water trickling out of the muddy and rocky cliff face.   Adjacent to this cliff, built almost directly along the edge of the Hudson River, was a large homestead in which rooms were put up for rent for travellers passing through.  The outflow of water at the edge of the hill gave the owner of this hotel an idea on how to market his hotel.  He renamed this small section of Poughkeepsie “New Ballstown.”

New York City was struck hard by Yellow Fever in 1793, 1795, 1798, 1803, and 1805.    Due to the recurrence of this epidemic, Poughkeepsie was about to experience  a growth unlike any other during the decades prior.   The popularization of Balls-Town Springs came about when an article appeared on January 6th, 1808 (p.3, c.5) in the local newspaper Political Barometer stating that a new batch of medical springs were discovered.  This discovery was made on December 30, 1807, at the west end of the town of Poughkeepsie adjacent to the Hudson River.  This medical place instantly came to be referred to as New Ball-Town (sic), an obvious reference to the Ballstown Springs situated much farther to the north.  

The New Ball-town Springs were adjacent to a hotel.  Their discoverer or creator, James Trivett, took on instant fame by advertising his discovery by offering these springs and his local hotel as a place of stay known as the New Ball-town Hotel, to anyone who wished to make this journey.  This Hotel was situated just above Richard’s Landing, a main stopover place for ships travelling by way of the Hudson River.   Trivett claimed his water could be used for treating many different diseases.

Trivett then built a facility there which he kept open all day.  According to his advertisement in the local paper, Political Barometer, “Thousands of Valetudinarians”, willing to pay his fees, were welcome to use this facility (Pol. Bar. Jan. 6, 1808. p.2).  Aside from providing its newcomers with medicinal waters, this place was also considered an excellent place for healings from chronic diseases.   To many this setting seemed to be a healthy environment.  Built on a eminence overlooking the Hudson River, Trivett’s place was considered blessed by the health-giving westerly winds blowing across the Hudson River.   As part of his advertising, Trivett also goes on to describe the various ailments his springs were used to treat, followed by a review of his shower facilities, and his fees for their use “any time of the day.”   The New Ball-town Hotel consisted of twelve rooms, eight fireplaces, and two ovens. 

To some this was very much reminscent of other locations advertised for their clear waters.  At the northern end of Manhattan Island, soon after the War, the Harlem Springs were offered up for similar use for a few schilling in an ad that appeared in the New York Packet newspaper, published by Samuel Loudon around 1787.  Now, twenty years and several yellow fever epidemics later, the Harlem Springs of Manhattan and other springs located close to the city were not as popular as those situated a fair distance from the epidemic-ridden cities.   New Ballstown was the perfect place to make such a retreat take advantage of the urban desire to leave the city whenever yellow fever returned.  This became its main purpose for the next several years.

Of course there were skeptics to Trivett’s claim about New Ballstown,  Most of them were probably already familiar with the traditional Ballstown further north along the Hudson.  Their major claim against Trivett’s claims had to do with the water, which was fresh water and wasa quite cold.   To prevent such criticisms, a  review of the water and topography for New Ballstown Springs was carried out, for which several small rivulets were noted to descend “a quaint little hill” before draining into the Hudson River.  Although they were much unlike the true Ballstown waters near Saratoga, which were heated and quite rich in minerals, they sufficed for they consisted of ordinary, fresh, and somewhat chilly, spring water released in braids, the behavior of which seemed rather unpredictable.  These rivulets were by no means as spectacular as the Ballstown or Saratoga Springs, and did not attract nearly as many valetudinarians as Reverend Ball’s hotel did, but they served many residents and valetudinarians from the local and New York city populations quite well in the upcoming years, regardless of any need for a miracle cure.  

This spa treated its urban-escapees appropriately, providing them a way to either avoid the yellow fever epidemic or simply relax from an increasingly stressful life.   Unlike Ballstown Springs, Trivett’s New Ballstown Spa was within easy access of Manhattan by way.  It was just a day’s trip by water.  

Culture comes to the City

As people flocked northward from New York City towards the town of Poughkeepsie well north of the Highlands in Dutchess County, the ease of these mass migrations converted Poughkeepsie into  major urban setting almost overnight.  The New York urbanites who settled this area brought with them their own brand of rich culture and intellectual upbringings for the locals now to become a part of.    Such cultural features alone should have turned Poughkeepsie into the booming urban setting it was, but one more line of reasoning played an important role in this urbanization process, a belief that literally and figuratively took hold of the masses.  This popular culture fad converted Poughkeepsie from a simple healthy recovery site for those of valetudinarians and others of poor physique and bad temperament, into a place where even the healthy had to reside  in order to be assured of some sort of “God’s support and assistance”.   Due to its name alone, Poughkeepsie was a trinity town.

Transformed Trinity

The events that took place in the early 1800s related to a focus on the trinity popularized nearly a century before.   The newly established trinity faith of the 19th century and its underlying numerological faith did not convince everybody that this philosophy was true.  Like many popular culture beliefs or fads, this philosophy had to take time to develop and develop a much larger population who believe in these claims about God and the trinity symbolism.  This means that the trinity faith which formed in the Hudson Valley prior to 1800, as it pertained to medicine, had to  become better defined, and then be allowed to ruminate in the minds of its potential followers of the future.  On occasion, these same communities had their “non-conformists”, who did not believe at all in this interpretation of epidemics and disease.  Yet on occasion, their support for this new  philosophy was developed in great numbers each time medicine failed to udnerstand the cause for the epidemics and demonstrated the inability to heal whatever epidemic disease was responsible for this public scrutiny and uncertainty.   

It ends up that yellow fever may have been the first to test the faith in religion versus the public’s faith towards physicians. 

With the development of a new series of epidemics completely different from yellow fever about 1820, asiatic cholera, yet another test of medicine and faith began to develop.  This second time through, the cholera would have a greater impact on medicine and religion than yellow fever.  But due to the advancements made in medicine and society during the cholera epidemic times, the adherence to trinity-based philosophy was not always as serious as it once was.  This does not mean that the trinity faith in association with yellow fever was simply a fad that like others faded away an ultimately returned no more.  Instead, asiatic cholera made those devoted to some of the philosphy of trinity become more reverent one might say. but this time in a different way.  This time the trinity was seen as a symbol of how to perform medicine, not simply as the results of God’s messages to His people.

We see evidence for these links between “trinity faith” , the belief in the power of trines or threesomes, and the relationship of each of this philosophy to health and medicine in the next series of alterantive medical faiths to erupt, in particular the evolution and practice of Thomsonianism.  By the late 1830s, Poughkeepsie became one of the strongest supporters of Thomsonianism in New York.   Over the next fifteen years, this following would increase in size and test and retest the medical training and physician licensing process for the state of New York.  In 1850, one of the principle initiators of Thomsonianism, the son of its founder would confess in New York State court to this devotion thomsonianis had to trinity.

 By producing a belief system that played a formidable role in the local decision making processes, this practice of disease prevention became an effective means to define the next steps one needed to take as part of the disease prevention and healing process, regardless of the malady he/she had to contend with.  Yellow Fever is the sole cause for this devotion to trinity that people had during the 1790s and early 1800s.  So long as Yellow Fever returned during this time, each epidemic reminded the people of the possibility that God and God-alone may be the one to ultimately define our fate.   This association of the Yellow Fever with other Biblical epidemics had a legitimate argument, proving to some that this could in fact be the case.   The ways in which Philadelphia dealt with this epidemic provide us with sufficient detail to demonstrate that Yellow Fever was the first major disease sent to the United States by God, for purposes of correcting whatever social injustices were then taking place.  The same events in medical history would recur due to the development of cholera pandemics from 1820 to the 1870s.  It would take more than just a religious or philosophically-borne trinity faith to resolve these future epidemics.  Such was the ultimate outcome for science, which medicine would not progress enough for at least another fifty years.