Papers of the War Department: 1784-1800
Yellow Fever


Editor’s note: This is an ongoing project requiring the transcription of nearly 300 documents, totaling about 1000 pages. Anywhere from 3 to 10 documents are managed per day, on a fairly irregular schedule. This page is continuously updated as a part of this process. Expected completion time is about 6 months, due to additional war documents to be reviewed based on the initial findings.

In 1790, most of the fevers that struck this country were very much different from those of today. There were a few yet to be identified epidemic diseases making their way into this country, but for the most part the fever epidemics were related to what we today refer to as influenza and pneumonia, and numerous other conditions that are currently immunized against such as small pox, measles, scarlet fever, typhus, typhoid, roseola, mumps. Both today and in the past, fevers also related to other health issues like such as wounds with serious infections or infections related to pleurisy, tuberculosis, and many other serious systemic conditions.

Yellow fever became recognized as its own entity as early as 1741 when it was described in an essay on diseases of Bermuda. Then it was a major endemic problem which attacked mostly those who were already residing in this region. The early writings also do not say much about whether or not it favored the negroes by now considered native to the region versus those who recently migrated to or were travelling through the region. Almost immediately it was realized that yellow fever was a disease common to much of the West Indies, not just the island of Bermuda. For the next 40 or 50 years, it was related to diseases in general, assigned a name and status, and considered to have a behavior likened to any disease of a bilious nature, which in turn meant that its cause and onset were related mostly to the liver and gall bladder, and the relationship and behavior of the body with regard to its bile, its bile-related diseases such as dysentery and severe diarrhea, and any other conditions that hinted of biliary involvement by causing jaundice or a yellowing of the eyes.

Yellow fever was however very different from the traditional bilious diseases so defined by writers like Thomas Sydenham, Freidrich Hoffman and Richard Mead during the late 17th century and 18th centuries. These differences would become more obvious as time passed and this epidemic struck more of the immigrants making their way into the West Indies. By the 1770s, attention paid to this unique and very local form of bilious fever reached its first peak in popularity, allowing its differences from traditional bilious fevers in Europe to be better understood. The fact that this particular form of yellow fever was unique to the West Indies tropical setting helped to distinguish it further from the work published about British born bilious fever event. Some of the earliest European writers to distinguish West Indian yellow fever from European Bilious Fever were published by the early 1790s.

Yellow fever probably came to this country on several occasions during this period in its history. Some evidence uncovered elsewhere for the Rhode Island area for example involved the discussion of this fever as it came to Martha’s Vineyard and the nearby Nantucket Island during the 1760s. A much later review of this epidemic and its United States history even led several late epidemiological historians to produce their own chronologies of the fever epidemics that struck the United States, with numerous examples of pre-1793 yellow fever introduction suggested by these writers.

The War Papers detail that part of the history of this epidemic that took place between 1790 and 1795/7. This is when physicians were beginning to clearly distinguish the yellow fever born in the West Indies from the other fevers that resembled it which were of completely different causes and origins. These first years enabled physicians to defined diseases that were endemic to a region, in accordance with Hoffman’s writings on such, versus epidemic in nature, and not natural to a given region due to its climate, meteorological, topographic and year round environmental history.

The yellow fever was the first disease to be effectively mapped in relation to latitudinal features, latitude-linked climate patterns, large scale topographic features linked mostly to ocean-related landforms and masses, and the various transportation behaviors and technology for the time. Most of these maps were formed mentally more than put down on any paper, including any published or unpublished military maps, according to the writings in these letters. One of the first large scale disease maps produced depicting yellow fever was the 1843 map by German medical climatologist and topographer Berghaus. On this map we see yellow fever depicted as its own entity residing along the Atlantic Shoreline for the most part. It is also important to note that this map, even though published much later than the dates of the War Documents, does not make any mention of the inland travel of this epidemic into the central portions of shoreline states or the completely inland regions of Ohio, along the Ohio River, as mentioned by the military documents. This suggests that the common belief or myth for the time was that yellow fever was a geographically defined endemic and epidemic disease pattern that followed the beliefs for the time, remaining broadly distributed and endemic to the warmer parts of the globe, and most shorebound and epidemic in nature in the colder latitude regions, a relationship with a logic to it that made sense to most of those read in the medical literature.

Due to this geographic understanding of yellow fever, its recognition elsewhere in the country was considerably stalled in the medical literature. The first signs of this prejudice towards diagnosing other kinds of fever in this country are seen for similar if not identical epidemic events taking place well into the Interior parts of the country. The very first yellow fever epidemics that came to this country unrecognized and therefore diagnosed as other febrile forms were the epidemics that struck the Genesee River and attached lakes in middle to western NewYork, and the “Lake Fever” described for the Seneca Lake settlements in and around Watkins at its south end, close to Pennsylvania. These two well defined fever problems for the region were mostly discussed as such between the years 1795 and 1805 (they are reviewed elsewhere in extensive detail).

It was the achievements of the young military men during this decade that enabled some new perceptions of yellow fever to be born as well as some old and traditional beliefs to remain popular. Since the first evidence that existed for yellow fever focused on tropical p[laces, climates, locally changing seasonal climates, local topography, and the transportation of people and goods and supplies, the initial theory the military had for the diffusion of this disease, as noted in these letters, was its migration to new areas by means not necessarily involving infected people. The military believed this disease was transported overseas by ships, and from these ports overland and deep into the interior by carriages and other methods of transportation bearing infected goods or wares. This was the only way they could describe the very local routes this epidemic seemed to take, routes not depicted on most global maps of yellow fever regions.

As attempts were made to settle lands west of Appalachia, it was the documentation of these military events that introduced the evidence needed to rule out old beliefs about this epidemic pattern, thereby opening up the possibility for a new reason. Its true cause, the mosquito, was never discovered. But the close observations on the suspected causes related to contaminated clothing and blankets born by transported carriages, a theory which started around 1790-1792, was effectively ruled out by 1794 to 1796.

The War Documents collection are some of the earliest observations of this fever and how it behaved. They were written with the details needed to better understand the public reaction to any suspected cause for these epidemics. These letters were produced during a period when yellow fever was considered to be a contagious disease like measles or mumps, and therefore one that could be spread from person to person and infected objects to people. Throughout the 1793 letters we find sections related to the primary suspected cause for this disease–cloth materials contaminated by the disease during its spread in Philadelphia.

In some of these letters, we find evidence suggesting that military leaders were able to rule out clothing as a source, due to the timing of the deliveries of these supplies in respect to the dates of disease onset. Just a few years later, these and related observations gave rise to the development of the quarantine policies used to prevent ships with sick passengers on board from spreading the disease to mainland.

This is the first time most of these letters have been reviewed and posted for analysis. They are from the valuable collection of war documents and correspondence produced during the first years of United States history. An important secondary piece of history underlying these letters on yellow fever was the attempt to settle Pennsylvania out near Pittsburg. The government provided its ongoing military presence in this part of the wilderness due to recurring Native American clashes with settlers.

This yellow fever would have been an additional problem the Natives would have faced, following the history of measles and small pox they already had to contend with. Their reaction to this introduction of yet another epidemic disease pattern into this country is also a topic yet to be completely reviewed by researchers of American medical history. During these same years, missionary revivals became a common practice amongst Native American missions, and the main transportation routes that brought yellow fever inland would have also been used by these revival groups. The various branches of the Delaware River along with the Schuykill and Susquehanna Rivers in particular were most important to this part of American history.


Philadelphia 20 May 1792

May dear friend

I received your letter from New York dated the 13 th instant. I should instantly have replied thereto but the cursed fever attacked me on Monday last again, and I have scarcly been able to hold up my head until yesterday. But by virtue of 2 drams [see discussion] desert table spoonfull of bark taken within thelast four days I hope I have conquered the devil for this time.

I now arrange late in New York. This day [fortnight?] aas nearly thereto a [probable?] when I flatter myself every thing [with?] he arranged [logan?] satisfaction ___

I have advanced Hy[undeciperable] upwards of 1100 Dollars on madame [DeLavals? undeciperable] account since you left this
[undeciperable] advancement.

Walter advanced 1000 dollars[,] he [undeciperable][undeciperable] Valor my wife and [undeciperable]inform me for the [undeciperable]___ This is the addition in the 1000 you advanced [undeciperable] thinks of Ms Bolton ___ She therefore will be pretty strong [undeciperable] prefer___

Yesterday General Putnam “gave” the 1200 one thousand two hundred the Dollars on your account where [which?] is subject to you[r] draft __ I enclose you the bundle of patents he gave me sealed__

You may rely my [undeciperable=upon the facts that] that I share excerts my utmost [undeciperable] only [undeciperable] your being inquired/insured/injured?, but great [undeciperable] you__

I have heard of your famly of New York on Monday with [undeciperable=ague?] [undecipherable]. My hopes place you at Rewfiat=Newport? [undeciperable].

on hafday/Tuesday or Wednesday, and [undeciperable] on Heer friday or Saturday __ [undeciperable] send [undeciperable]th he sa a uit all your cargo [undeciperable] a infinitely previous/precious in/or good condition_

Yours rspectionately=affectionately


The patient/patent hus/has heen
[undeciperable=here?] [undeciperable=he had?] you
night la hae leech__

[Editor’s Note: much of this letter ie either spotty or splotchy and many of the words are either misspelled or combine more than one word. Several of the sentences don’t make sense. My guess is that he was still feverish while writing it. <;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;– Good observation! (Altonenb)]


Philadelphia 24 Aug 1793

No. 134


The purpose of this Letter is to inform you that the whole of the Clothing for the 3rd Sub Legion is on the road–and a part also of the 4– the remainder will probable be allunder way by Tuesday next– a wasting and destructive feaver rages in this City & particulary in my neighbourhood– be-fore this reaches you I shall probably have one or more to mourn in my family who fell victims to it–I shall send the particular General invoices for the 3rd Sub Legion (if God permit) by the next post–I am now unwell–

Sincerely yours

Samuel Hodgdon
[Editor’s note: Hodgdon underscored his name with a five connected loops.]

Major Craig–


War Department
No. 124 Aug. 30th. 1793


I have received your letter of the
23 d instant.

It is with regret that I inform you that an infectious
fever rages in this town in a considerable degree, and that it
took its rise not far from the Ordnance store in Water Street,
in which store the clothing for the troops were deposited and
packed up for transportation.

As it is possible that the clothing which was packed up
and sent from the Ordnance after the 6th instant
may be infected with contagious matter of the said disorder,
it will be proper that the packages containing the [illegible]
Clothing should be stored for the present in some retired
store. I have written to some eminent Physicians to
request they would devise some expedient to dispossess
the clothing of the said contagious matter in case any
should be therein.

It is hoped that the idea of the clothing
having received any infection may be unfounded, but
it is prudent to take all possible precautions.

It may be proper not to mention this circum-
stance, or to raise any alarm about it either in the
minds of the inhabitants of troops.

I am Sir
with great esteem
your humble serv[ill.]


Pittsburgh, 30th August 1793 —


I have Received your letter of the 21st Instant
together with New[s?] Papers for the Quarter Master General

Four of the Tumbrells are come to hand
two of them that were delivered by William Quigley, in particular are damaged
as will appear by the Receipt I have given him — Since his Departure
I have discovered that in addition to the Castouch Boxes, Shoes, are put into
the Tumbrells, at your Stores he bought up a Quantity of Salt, which added
to the Other Weight has injured the Carriages Considerably —
I have had Geers made for the [ ] Tum-
bells, as soon as the last two Arrives, I shall Send them forward
I am sincerely [ ] for the [ ] of your family, and shall hope for
its terminating in the Reestablishment of you and their Healths —

I am for
with great Esteem
you Obedt
Humble Servt
Isaac Craig


War department

Yo 122 August 31, 1793


The following is the opinion of the Physicians upon the possibility of the infection being contained in the clothing

“We are of Opinion that it will be proper to unpack them, expose them to the air and to smoak them for the space of twenty four hours”p

You will have it affectually executed with the least delay each case or package by itself and then carefully repacked.

Upon communicating with the Physicians they are of opinion from the circumstances that this precaution may be necessary although it is not very probable that any infectious matter is contained in the clothing.

I am


Your humble Servant


Major Issac Craig

[Editors Note: The “infection” that Henry Knox discusses in this letter is the Yellow Fever epidemic, which hit Philadelphia in the summer of 1793. While generally a tropical disease, there was a revolution in the Caribean, which sent fleets of refugees to the port city of Philadelphia. Thousands of people were displaced in the city of Philadelphia at this time. With them, they brought culture, family, and mosquitos. These mosquitos carried the disease ‘yellow fever’.

Yellow fever derrives its name from the color that ones skin and eyes turn if the disease progresses to the point of shutting down the liver (jaundice). While not always terminal, it was the cause of thousands of deaths in Philadelphia in the 1793 outbreak.]


Philadelphia 31st Augt 1793

Sir — No 123

I received your Note of yesterday —
With respect to the Clothing forwarded I will state
a few facts and then give you my opinion respecting
the probability of its having received any infection. —
Nearly the whole of Clothing was in the Store
before any signs of the malady that has proved
so fatal to the neighborhood appeared — The
room in which it was deposited is a large airy
one, three stories high, and unconnected with
any other. No person affected has touched
any part of it. The moment my men com-
plained I sent them off, and when I felt
the symptoms of the disease I retired myself.

This much for facts — In a matter of so
much importance I have consulted professional
men — Doctor Hodge gives me leave to mention
his name — he joins with me in the opinion that
not the smallest danger of infection from the
clothing needs to be apprehended —- But, Sir, for
prudence sake alone I would recommend
that the last load that went on which was
by McKebben on the 26th instant and is
numbered agreeably to an invoice inclosed
this morning by post to Major Craig, be opened
and aired before it is sent to the destination —
The clothing is for the 4th Sub-Legion.

Sincerely & affectionately


/ signed / Samuel Hodgdon

General Knox

(Copy for Major Craig)


Philadelphia 31st Augt 1793

Dear Sir —

The Disorder that has proved
fatal to a great number of our in-
habitants still rages in my family
and neighborhood. I myself am so
infected by it as to make it pain-
full to address you — yet some circum-
stances make it necessary — Enclosed
you have an Invoice of the last load
of cloathing forwarded and under an
explanation that his comrade would
follow the next day and overtake
him at his own house he went on
without his necessary documents — but
alas all were next day unable to
attend to any business and the store
has been shut ever since. I think
the man’s name was [M. Kebl???] [but]
be it alas it may the invoice of his
his load will enable you to give him
proper receipts — the same caus[e]
has prevented my sending a [ genrl? ]
Return of the Cloathing for the [3] last
[ ], if God permit, it, and the
other for the 4th which is nearly all
on the road shall go by next Post

The foles you request shall be
sent — At present my Wife lies
dangerously ill — a Miss Phillips in
my house more so — and my son
very week — James my Clerk is dea[d]
as is poor Indowick — M[ ] is
very ill — adieu — I [qu]it the pain/pen
[ se— ] — Sincerely Yours
Samuel Hodgdon

Our friend Sam [Guam]
is among the dead —

I am not able to copy the letter
I have no one to do [5-8 words cut off]


War Department
September 3d 1793


You are upon receipt of this letter
per express instantly to send off an express boat well
armed to General Wayne with the dispatches
enclosed. All the clothing already arrived together
with every particle of Stores and Pittsburg destined
for the army are now to be forwarded under Lieut-
enant Colonel Clarke, whom I have directed to descend
with the troops mentioned in my former orders, and
also the detachment under Lieutenant Read, As no
treaty has been held and the war must progress
all stores descending the Ohio ,must be sent under

As the Commissioners have written to General
Wayne via Pittsburg, and desired you to forward
the letters to him by the most certain and speedy
way let me know the days of which you received
and forwarded said letters.

You are to understand explicitly that all the
clothing received at Pittsburg which shall be
suspected to be infected, is to be instantly smoaked,
and descend with this convoy. It is not likely
that any is tainted except the woollen. The army
will want all their shoes. The express who takes
this has engaged to deliver it in five days.

I am Sir,
you humble servt


Major Isaac Craig

P. S. The enclosed letters for Lieutenant
Colonel Clarke and Captain Haskell contain orders for
their descending the Ohio. If Colonel Clarke
should be present give to him the letter for Captain
Haskell, otherwise forward it by the express boat.


War Department
No. 126 September 6, 1793


Your letter of the 30th Ultimo has
been received —

I am really apprehensive that
you have committed a great mistake in forwarding
an important packet by a loaded boat — you say
that you have sent forward the packet by express —
to be put on board a boat that you have sent off, yes=
terday for Fort Washington. On board of this boat
you sent four Waggons and their apparatus and
one hundred pack saddles —

All express boats should be light and
well armed.

Push off instantly every thing
for Head Quarters. excepting one light armed
boat to carry an Officer who has some important,
dispatches which will set off to morrow

All the packages of Clothing
which you shall smoke agreeably to former
directions you will mark with some mark
and inform the Quarter Master General

I know not where Lt. Colonel Clarke is,

I am
Your humble servant
Secy of War


[Illegible header, address, date, etc. Identified in Collection as September 6, 1793 letter.]


I have just received your letter of the 2[0th Ultimate
with the Enclosures — the Infectious Disease so destructive in the
City is truly Alarming. I shall attend to your instructions fortunately
Respecting the Repacking and Airing of the Cloathing I shall hold up
an Idea of Ascertaining the Contents of the Packages thereby.

On the 5th Instant a Sylvester Ash,
Assistant Interpretor Arrived Express from the Commissioners with a letter
to me enclosing two letters, Viz No. 1 and 2 for General Wayne with direc-
tions to Send one forward Immediately by Express and the other
in a few days after, I sent off No. 1 the same day, and No. 2 is since gone
forward — Since receiving the above the Commissioners have sent
for Genl Wayne, two other Letters, No. 3 and 4 inclosed in one to me, said to
be of the same Import, which I am directed to forward separately
in the same Manner as the former.

The Commissioners inform [me] that they are
Returning home, the Indians have refused to make peace. You [ ]
doubt have particular Information from the Commissioner [before?] [ ]
Reaches you. I am unloading the Boats with the [ ]
that have come to hand since Capt. [P ] [Report] [ ]
[ ] of Cloathing for the [ ] Sub Legion [ ]
the other two from [ rest of line illegible]
left here to Escort the Stores says it is incompatible with his instructions
to detach any part of his command as an Escort for the Boats I am
now sending forward, as he is to Escort the last of the Stores, I am therefore
Under a Necessity of having and additional Number of Boatmen, which will
greatly increase the Charges on Transportation.

I shall enclose Invoices of the Cargo by Cole
Sergeant, who is now here on his way to the Eastward. —

I am Sir,
Your Most Obedt
Humbl Servt
Isaac Craig —

Major General Henry Knox
Secretary of War


Philadelphia September [7] 1793

Sir — 43

I have received your letter
of the 30th ultimo —
I shall make a pro-
per use of the information you give
me respecting the Timbrels (sp?), I am
glad you have completed them with
geers (?) — enclosed you have the [full/four]
Invoices for the Clothing forwarded for
the 3rd and 4th Sub Legions — a Campaign
I supposed to be innevitable, and I
hope that the supplies for the Army here
generally gone forward from your Post
— the Clothing is not due to the Men
until Oct. by that time it will be all
with them – – – if you recollect any other
Article beside the [files] essential for the
Army notify me and it shall be [ ]

The mortal sickness rages so
many have fallen victims to it
Yesterday Docter Hutchinson added [6]
more to the numbers slain by it — he
died about 12 O’Clock — I have lost
two of my family — [Mr.] Jones – One
of my Clerks — and Old Ludowick — My
Wife is yet ill — You do not acknow
ledge the receipt of the China and
Sugar — both must have reached you
— as soon as I am able to get
abroad I will procure and forward
the Wine —- Forward my respects
to Mrs. Craig and all the Family —

With sentiments of esteem
I am
your most Obedt Servant
Samuel Hodgdon

Major Isaac Craig


Pittsburgh 13th September 1793

Your letter to the 35t[h] Ultimo and 9th Instant
are both Received, but I have so engaged, that I have not had one
Moment to Acknowledge Them, I am Extremely Sorry for the Affective
State of your Family. I hope however your disease has abated, and that
Mr Hodgdon and you are out of danger. I have enclosed you a
Copy of your former Letter. I shall attend to your directions particu-
larly, but this Repacking and Smoaking is a dreadful piece of
Business, from what has been Opened, I Conceive it altogether
unneccessary. —

Neither the China nor the Sugar are yet Come to hand
I am told that [ ] the Waggoner, by whom you sent the China
left his load at Harrisburg, and returned to Philadelphia
and [Pimbrells] no. [1] and [ ] [ ] not yet come to hand
a part of the [ ] Sub Legion Cloathing is still on the way. Some of these
Waggoners ought to be punished, for Example to others ——

I am Sir
your most Obedt
Samuel Hodgdon Esqr Humble Servt

Philadelphia Isaac Craig


War Department
September 14th 1793

Sir No. 145 [light and faded]

I received your’s of the 7th — I am glad
you sent off the Commissioners letters instantly to
to General Wayne. I hope Lieutenant Colonel Clark with
all the troops I ordered him to take, have descended
the Ohio. Let me know the state of the waters — If
Lieutenant Read has not gone off, give him the
enclosed. He must wait no longer than the arrival
of Harleman with the money.

A detachment will march from this city the
16th, and some other recruits from Maryland and
Virginia, the whole may amount to one hundred
and twenty. Boats must be provided for them,
and the remainder of the Clothing, all of which
not sent off by Lieutenant Read, must remain for
this detachment. Remember to smoke all the
clothing — agreeably to former orders.

I am


Your Obedt Servant,


Major Isaac Craig


[added identifier notes:] J. Williams XXXIV – 97 3752

Dear General Mount Pleasant
Sept. 18. 1793

I arrived yesterday, and was but one day [&] [had/back]
in coming from York Town . ——— When I left
that place a report prevailed which you ought to
know. —- A person from Carlisle report said
that on the arrival of a waggon load of Cloathing
a Bale was opened to get out some for the
Recruits, when the waggoner & an assistant took
the Malignant Fever & died, on which the
People determined to burn the Cloathing. —-

I can say no more as to the authenticity of
this report than that it was believed at
York. —– On my way I found that by repeated
information that the[se] waggoners had died
between Philadelphia & the Susquehanna. Two
of these [blotted out word] it was supposed
were army waggoners with cloathing —
I met a part of Troops marching toward
Lancaster, these will no doubt protect what
waggons may be within their reach, and
take all the reasonable means of satisfying the
people as to the prevention of further com-
munication of the disorders; So far as those
in advance are exposed, [scribble] no remedy can
arrive in time for the evil. —

the Situation of the Stores, and as that is supposed
to be the Focus of the malady, the apprehension
is more general — I hope your next
official Accounts will prove that these Reports
are rather the suggest of timid minds,
than the results of melancholy Facts. —

I have just returned from your deserted
Mansion & saw your Babe in fine health,
you may depend on Mr. W. 7 my attention as
\scrupulously as if it were our own child, & am
the smallest reason to doubt as to its safety I
will take the nurse and infant under my own
Roofs. Then is no danger of these be no communi-
cation with the Town, and I have given pointed
directions on that care to your servants. The
malady I hear abates, & indeed the approaching
cool season must check it. —-

Remember me respectfully to your good Lady
and believe me most Sincerely & Affectionately,

Your Friend & [ ]
J. Williams

[Benjamin Lincoln to Timothy Pickering]

Sptr 18th 1793

After bBeing detained on our passage,
from Albany from the want of water, head winds, &c.
we did not arrive here until yesterday about noon — The melan-
cholary and alarming accounts of the sickness in Phila.
delphia joined to the information that the public
officers have left the City & their offices shut up
have led me to [form a resolution] of remaining here
and starting from my amount of monies received &
the expenditures of [pork farms?] as I have paid out and to leave the
ballance of cash in the branch Bank of the United States in this
City. This [ ] necessarily [consume] some little ; [ ]
which will probably give me an opportunity of
hearing from you and knowing your opinion
whether the public interests make our meeting a measure [?????able]
or not — if [ ??????able] I wish you would come
as far this way as possible as [thereby] we shall sooner
meet than if I [squiggle] have [ ] far towards Philadel-
-phia and because the people here are so allarmed
[scribble] from the contagious & Malignant disorder which is
said to rage therein that it will be difficult for me
to return for [fresh] has been the alarm for the[se] last
[scribble] twenty four hours that no person from the vicinity
of Philadelphia has been admitted into this City.

As you know my strong desire
to return as soon as possible I need not urge
a speedy answer I wish those in gun would say
when you shall commune your account — let
let the time of your [appoint] at the time it was announ-
ced to you or the time when you commence
the business of your commission

Pittsburgh, 20th September 1793


Your Letter of the 9th Instant by Jacob Heselman
I Received in the Evening of the 18th, and of the 14th Instant by Post is this
Moment Received.

Previous to Hosselamns Arrival, I had a light Boat prepared for
Ensign Wallington with a small party to [Protect] him as I presumed
the Money, may, go in safe in this manner, and at least ten , or perhaps
fifteen days sooner than to wait for [f/poll] blacks who intend to set off on the
[23d], Two Boats are now loaded with all the Cloathing and Stores
that have come to hand, since the 12th, Except a few Packages of
4th Sub Legion Cloathing, that are yet to be Opened.

I am Convinced the Cloathing has not been
in the least Infected, or neither of the two Men nor myself who have
been constantly Employed in handling, and using the Cloathing
haven’t felt been the least Effected by it —

I have Enclosed an Invoice of Cloathing
sent in charge of Ensign Beady on the 12th Instant, an Invoice
of Stores going in Charge of Lieut. Reed shall be sent by Next
Post —

I am Sir,
You Most Obedt
Humbl Servt

Isaac Craig


Philadelphia 21 September 1793


I am favored with your
Letter of the 13th instant — My self and
Family — Blessed be God are nearly recovered
from the Malignant disorder that has made
such havock in our own City, the scene has
surpass’d everything that I have before
seen — the dying, groans has filled our []
all night, and the dead has reached on
our Eyes with the returning day — whole
families have been swept away — we
have great cause for thankfulness — With
respecting to smoaking and repacking
the Clothing, I believe nothing more is as
intended by the Secretary of War than as
attention in that way to the two Cart-
Loads that were packed — indeed I gave
him at his request my opinion in was-
ting on the subject, that even that
[ ] of [ ] Loads was unnecessary
for reasons at large offered in my side
— it was morally and almost physically
impossible for infection to have reached
any of the Clothing — indeed a large part
of the Clothing was on the road before
there was any infection in the City —
however, it were necessary it would have
been better to have taken the precaution[s]
when the Clothing has reached its desti-
nation I never conceived it necessary
any where — I am very sorry to find your
own articles have not reached you — and
that any part of the Stores appear to have
been unnecessarily detained on the road
I wish you to make particular inquiry
into the reason of such detention, and
if they are not Satisfactory to you — Note
it in the Back of the receipt when
you give them, and I will then take
proper Measure with the Delinquients
The President of the United States is gone
to Mount Vernon — the Secretary of the
Treasury to New York — the Secretary of
Foreign Affairs to Virginia, and the Secretary
of War to Boston — the last has left my
hands full of business — no Franks are
left, all Letters now Pay Postage — you
charge what you pay — No papers are
printed consequently you have no News [for]
the Printers, with more than half the
Inhabitants of the City are gone into the
Country all business is at a stand

Thank you the copy of my form[?]
letter and must request the same favor
for this — I have no one to assist me
Knox is better and removed into the
country — adieu — I am as ever

Sincerely yours

Samuel Hodgdon

[Elkhang], Sept 26, 1793


I have at Last got forward
all the Shoyt & Shells to Christiana
Bridge, that was at Elk Susquehanah
& Turner Creek, the aco[s?] I shall
forward you as Soon as I Can get
them made out agreeable to your
Letter to Coll Yeates (a Copy of which
I have) please advise me whether
the money can be had as [ ]
informd, the most of the Publick
offices, are Shut on acc. of the fever
that prevails in your Coty.

I am Sir,

Your old[ ] Hble Servt,


[stamped at center bottom:]

State Dep’t.
Nov. 24. 1894.
R.P.O. 401840.



John Williams

Dear General Mount Pleasant Octbr 5. 1793

(I have written to you twice and write again)
without knowing where you are
I have just come from your house & have
the satisfaction of assuring you that all is well
there. — — Your people appear to me very
prudent, & by keeping a lock on the Gate they
prevent any one from coming unawares, I
think you may be perfectly wary as to danger.
the malady is a contagious one, not communi-
cable ~ at a distance. We think ourselves safe &
you may depend that nothing on our part shall
be wanting to supply you & Mr. Knox’s absence .
to your Babe & its attendants. ~

The unfortunate City is still in sad
distress. I have no hopes of its being better till
we have either a storm or a frost. Medical aid
appears to me effectual only in cases where the
disease is not confirmed, and where the
natural powers of the body are able to support it.

I put your Ladys name on this that she ,
may have accounts of her babes in case you
should not be where she is [scribble] ~ ~

Mrs Williams joins in last Respects to her

I am my dear Friend

affectionately yours



XXXIV — 118
Falls of Schuylkill 13 Oct 1793

Col. Sargent
from Genl Knox

I received my clear Sargent your
favor of the 28th of the last month. In all human probabil-
ity Congress will meet in Philadelphia. The disorder
is gone, and unless it should return again, which it is
considered it cannot do but unless the aid of hot
weather, confidence will be soon restored as to
the health of the City.

It is of importance that
this sore calamity should be healed immediately
or all the American commerce will be injured
in foreign countries. Nothing will contribute
more to the restoration of confidence than that
Congress should tranquilly perform it[s] opera[-]
tions there.

I enclose you a letter from Fort —
Washington. The Army marched from the Ohio
in the 7th of Oct, with about 3000 volunteers,
and an expectation of more. They are too late
but I suppose they will not go far, that will
depend upon circumstances.

Yours affectionately,


Col [ ]


War Department
Accountants Office

== Sir == October 15th 1793

Your letters of the 1st 4″. 5″. &
of August last with their several inclosures have been
duely received. ———- The amounts of Coll. Hamtramck
I do not see that I can act upon, they contain advances
to officers, some of whom have settled their amounts, or are not in
service or both &c such sums as you have stopped will of course
on the entry of your amounts be passed to his credit & as you
no doubt have a copy of those advances it would be will for you
to Assist the Colonel in making further stoppages or in procuring
from the Officers such evidence of the application of the monies as
will substantiate a chance for the same against the United
States. I observe the sum of 100 Doll.s lost in the action of the
4th Nov: 9 I certified to be recc’d from Genl. St. Claire is in these
amounts opposed to the amount recc’d from Mr. Hodgdon.

In Capt. Pastures accounts no evidence appears of the inlistment
of the men for whom he has charge a premium & Bounty & premium[s]
It is generally to be observed that no charge can arise against
the United States for recruiting unless evidence is produced of
the men being duely inlisted & muster’d as required by the Act
of Congress. & as this matter that must necessarily take place, I do not
see why it should be expected to be dispensed with unless in
care there is proof of an unavoidable loss of papers —

I am not yet informed of the arrival
of Coll. Sargent with your account & vouchers — Your
advance to Col. Sargent for his pay. Subsl & Forage of 620 Dols.

[see note in Discussion]


[illegible text, line 1 of header]
Philadelphia 25 October 1793

Dear Sir,

By Mistake at the War Office
your Letter of the 11th Instant did not reach
me until the 22 consequently two late to
reply by the last Post — immediately on
the receipt of it I made application to the
Comtroller of the Treasury for Money in
amount for your use, and with a [ ]
very pleasing the results enables me to
enclose you five thousand dollars, —- this
sum will I expect enable you to go on
without drawing on me as you proposed — yet
should any previous drafts appear they
should be duly honored — I am sorry to find
that Martin & Carson had not delivered
whole of the Stores which they undertook to
transport, they will suffer for the Neglect,
yet no suffering I can enflict will be
equal to the injury received — while writing
your Letter of the 10th instant announcing the
arrival of Carsons load is put into my
the excuse for its detention is a reasonable
the excuse for its
one if true — this shall be inquired into –
– Only Case No. 54 in charge of Martin [from]
now to remain behind —- The last para-
-graph of your letter is substantially
answered by the enclosure — I again re[st-]
-ate that the drafts if presented shall be
honored — I am happy to find the China
has arrived with so little damage, and is
pleasing — Am seriously expecting amounts
from the Army — a Report from New Bruns-
-wick was inserted in last Evenings [Rept]
that an Army is again defeated — I like not
the report, tho’ I am sure there is
no rational foundation for it — I hope
better things — the disease is abating — the
President is expected in Town next week
Mr Hamilton is already arrived, and the
Secretary of War will be here in a few days

I am
Your Most Obedient Servant,

Samuel Hodgdon

[Majo]r Craig

Secretary of War
Nov. 9, 1793
Concerning Western Claims

Relating to Draft on the
War Department for[scribble] 10,000 in
favour of Commissioners for
[Fr ] In that [a/city]
[ ] of Washington

Genl Washington has taken
up a temporary [residence]
in Germantown – [outside]
Philada is of free from the
prevailing epidemics

Germantown near Philadelphia
November 9th. 1793


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt
of your Excellencys letter of the 30th Ultimo advising me of having
drawn upon me a Bill for ten thousand dollars in favour of
the Commissioner of the Federal Buildings in the city of
Washington, on account of monies advanced to the United
States by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

As the Accountant of the War Department has not
yet joined the Department, owing to the malady in Philadelphia,
I am uninformed on what account these advances have been
made. I hope however he will be at this place early in the —
next week when the desired information may be obtained.
In the meantime I am led to conjecture that the advances
alluded to may have been on account of the Companies,
which Virginia may have ordered for the protection of
the frontiers during the present Years. If this should be
the case, and the Bill shall have been drawn upon an unliqui[-]
dated account. I am apprehensive that it immediate acceptance
will be attended with insuperable difficulties at the Treasury.

I shall write to your Excellency as soon as farther
information shall be had upon the subject.

The President of the United States has taken up
his temporary residence at this place, until the disorder in
the City shall have entirely ceased, at present it is rapidly
declining. In the meantime the public business will be
transacted here – —

I have the honor to be
with great respect
Your Excellencys
obedient Servant
Secy of War



Vloirs No. 74 79 Fair Hill November 2d 1793
I am sorry to inform you in answer to your letter of yesserday, that Mr Hamilton was taken with a fever on Tuesday and has not been in a situation to leave his bedpiece. There is however no complete intermission of the fever – and I can add with pleasure that the disease bean no affinity [Editors Note: Large, dark ink stain, spanning this line and the one below it] prevailing one.
Mr. Hamilton’s Physician (Doctor Sellville from Trenton) is [undecipherable] of opinion that it would be highly importantextreamly dangerous for Mr Hamilton to venture out _ He can therefor not have the pleasure of [undecipherable] waiting on the President today.
I have the honor to be with great respect
Your mo ob Sevt
General Knox J M

[Editors Note: Words in the left hand margin. Seeming to be from another dcoument, which the writer didn’t realize had overlapped and was now writing on this letter. The first word seems to be a half of a word and is otherwise [undecipherable]. Otherwise the next two words are: ‘is’ ‘the’]


on a part of the grain & Hay purchasd by him

We are anxiously waiting to hear of the Operation of the Army, not having had any Account be depended on since the 1st of September – Mrs O’Hara is very well this morning . she says you owe her a number of letters & I begin to apprehend that: I have some reason to make a similar charge against you –

Shirley Neville represents ‘our County [undecipherable=in?] Assembly. & there is no doubt of Governor Mifflins reelection

I am Sir

your most Ob Servant

‘$. Isaac Craig

Phil.a 14thnovember 1793

James O’Hara Esq;


Your favor of the 27th September came to hand yesterday The letter I alluded to in memo of the 10th August on examination I find I should have said Lexington instead of Washington lest the mistake is of no consequence, so that the idea conveyed [undecipherable=in it?] relative to the manner of supplying Major Craig with money was understood & executed. The specifick [sum] appropriated for the department was [ok] I could expect to obtain from the Treasury, until other estimates had been presented and
accepted there, under this idea application was made, & the money obtain’d, tis impossible for any bad consequence to arise on so regular a proceeding since the expenditure of the appropriation Those succeeded in obtaining money on Craig’s own estimates and requisitions I have already had some conversation on the requisition which the next paragraph of your letter informs me you have made to the Secretary of War [for] money to support your Departmt til the 1st January next. – The sum of 57,140 Dollars is [Ipresume] in addition to the bill’s previously [drawn] & unconnected with any expenditures that may be made of Pittsburgh, and so have [Irepresented] it. The Secretary of the Treasury admits of no monies being drawn for you use but [undecipherable] you [undecipherable], in this way Craig has been & will [Itrust] be fully supplied – Some of the Drafts [mention’d] in your letter had been previously to the receipt of it present, and paid, the others will meet due honor, in [undecipherable] it will be best to draw in 10 to 15 days Sight to give time to negotiate with the Treasury, as hitherto application has been made as the bills have appear’d – a method dictated by the Secretary of the Treasury, and perhaps the same made may be still impos’d A bill of 1600 Dollars dated at Hobson’s Choice 23rd September in favor of James G Heron has this day been presented & paid – I have had no advice of this draft – The 10,000 dollars you request shall be forwarded as soon as obtain’d & an application for them shall be made immediately – I am very happy to find you have been so fortunate on the River, the valuable Cargo you mention as still expected I hope will arrive
safe The attention paid to packing the Cavalry Clothing as well as their forwarded for the other Corps, was such as gave reason to expect that all would go safe to hand the [opinion] of the Inspectors that they were damag’d between Philadelphia & Pittsburgh ,, will have as much weight as it ought to have when all circumstances are known suffice to say however that I have receipts to show that they arriv’d safe at Pittsburgh, and in consequence of them, the waggoners have all been paid for the transportation. Before your letter, report said that the expedition was at an end for this Season owing to the failure of the aid expected from Kentucky am glad to know the report was untrue & I hope the Slaughter of November 1791 will be retaliated in November 1793, The methods the General has taken to insure a [prompt] assistance from Kentucky are such as must [insure] his object Strange that with such promising appearances an individual should hang back,-a [single] [excertion] now may give them peace and Security forever. I am pain’d & shall be anxious to hear the event of the Sickness that had began among the troops, I hope their movement will in this particular have the most Salutary effect – every moment from this in which I write will anticipate the Success of the Campaign, Oh’ that the Sovereign disposer of all events may by immediate success in the Field, or negotiation in the Cabinet came the Savages to be at peace with us then in truth shall we sell every one under his [Vine], & have none to make him afraid :

To present the trouble of detailing to you the use [undecipherable] & end of the Fever that has prov’d so mortal
this City. I enclose Carry’s account just publish’d – which in general is accurate, I shall write you again by next post.

I am Sir

your most Obt Serv!

Su Saml Hodgdon


[Joseph Howell to Caleb Swan, Nov. 16, 1793]

I have only time to acknowledge
the rect of you several letters with you warrts &
M Britts Accounts all which I have not at this
moment time to examine by the next mail —

Shall write more fully. The officers have [but sure]
gotten into operations in Philada & the late Contagion
is entirely eradicated.

I am,


Philadephia 22 Nov 1793

Dear Sir>;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;>;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

This Jin is simplly to cover two Letters, which I wish you to cause to be deliverd>;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;>;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; having No letter from you by Post I conculde all was well. Our fever is at an end for the present, and business again rars his head__ preperations are making for the accomodation of Congress__and also for the [undecipherable] of the State__ we think neither runs any risque so compleatly is the disease subdued>;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;>;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; On Monday an Officer going forward with the Pay of the Army__ a Jum in the Notes for the Army goes with him, of wherein I shall write you particularly _ aliev_

Sincerely yours

[undecipherable] Craig Samuel [undecipherable]


Pittsburg 29th Novmr 1793 ——


Your favour of the 15th & 22d instant have
been received together with the Enclosures, but ever so much [Hurryin]
last Post data had not much time to acknowledge it —

Mr Carrey’s Pamphlet gives [ ] Satisfactory [ ],
of Your deplorable situation during the continuance of the late
Malignant Fever. Your standing your Ground during the[n] which
of that dreadfull scene is A proof of great firmness of Mine —

I am of Your Opinion that it will be difficultt
to make the Waggons Accountable for damages the Cloathin[g]
has sustained, & especially as the packags were not Opened at this
Port. which should have been done, had there been the least ap-
-pearances of injurey to either the Cases or their Contents preve-
-ous to giving the Waggoner Receipts for their Loading —

No accounts have yet arrived from theArmy that
can be dissended on —

Major Cap. will deliver Jacob [Hosselman] [Nov./Mon]
Saddle & Briddle —

The fils & Stationary You mentioned ar not
Yet come to hand. They are much wanterd —

Your Obedient Humble Servt

Isaac Craig

Saml Hodgdon Esqr

[Stamped in botton center, centered text for:]

State Dep’t.
Nov. 24. 1894.
R.P.O. 401810.

Saml Hodgdon

Letter from Major
Butler —- [N Haven?]

[ ] & Articles
of War —– Baron
Steubens Instruc
ctions wanted
a few copies

State Dep’t.
Nov. 24, 1894.
R. P.O. 401810.

203 (circled by hand)

Barracks at Carlisle Nov. 26th 1793

I have received your letter of the 22nd Inst.
and we opened it gave me much satisfac
=tion to find that you and your family
had [ ] the malignancy of the [disease?]
that prevailed in your city so long —
and I readily join with you in ackn
=owledging the necessity of [imploreing?]
the Giver of all good to continue
to inestimable a bliging, and I hope
you, myself, (who has so often been [corected]
from the Jaws of Death) with all who has
been so highly favored, will with grateful
hearts, adore, and acknowledge the and
from whence it came ———-
yesterday the Cloathing
Came to hand as mentioned in the
Invoice Dated Philada Novrr. 19th. in good
Barracks at Carlisle Nov. 26th 1793

I have received your letter of the 22nd Inst.
and we opened it gave me much satisfac
=tion to find that you and your family
had [ ] the malignancy of the [disease?]
that prevailed in your city so long —
and I readily join with you in ackn
=owledging the necessity of [imploreing?]
the Giver of all good to continue
to inestimable a bliging, and I hope
you, myself, (who has so often been [corected]
from the Jaws of Death) with all who has
been so highly favored, will with grateful
hearts, adore, and acknowledge the and
from whence it came ———-
yesterday the Cloathing
Came to hand as mentioned in the
Invoice Dated Philada Novrr. 19th. in good


[top left section, edge, stamped:]

State Dep’t. West Point 11th of Decr 1793
Nov. 24. 1894.
R.P.O. 401310.


I have several recruits at this place
without Clothing; I made a return of
the Public Cloathing I had on hand in
august last with a request that some might
be forwarded at that time but the fever soon
coming on I had no answer to my Letter –
and have not thought it worth while to ask –
for Cloathing till a fue weaks agoe I wrought –
to the Secretary of War of the Situation of my
recruites: have had no answer,

I [m ] a return of cloathing
wanted and would be infinitely obliged to you
to hand it in to the war offic for approbation
should it be approvd of, the sooner they are
forwarded the better that I may git them up the North
river befor it Shets up. I would recomend the
dayly Stage – to send them in as the amboy Stages
are apt to leave bases on there way for several
days. Pleas to direct them to the Care of
—- Melancton Smith Esqr. New York —–
I would thank you to informe me whether there
is any body appointed to settel the Cloathing
accts if so I will Come to Pheleedelphia
in the Care of the winter to Settel my own

I am Sir

with much Esteem
Your obedient
& Humble Servt

Bezakeel Howe Capt
Q, U.S.S. Leyn

I Expet to be in Nyork the 15 Instant for a day
or two should be glad to be there when the cloathing arrive

Saml Hodgsden, Esqr.
Commesy M.S. Pheledelpha


War Department July 20th 1796
Nathan Jones



July 22nd


War Office July 20, 1796

Sir —

I do myself the pleasure to inclose you a letter
which Mr. Humphreys has just put into my hand for you.
I will thank you when you write to the Secretary to inform
him of the receipt of any letters that he may have written to
you – – – The letters for Mrs. Fox which you inclose were im-
mediately forwarded to her — the letters she wishes to send you
can be inclosed in our packets —- Pray inquire of Major
Staggs father respecting Mr. Staggs health and the probable
place he is at —

[We?] have reports here of the Yellow fever being at
New York. are there any and what formations for the Report?

Yours &c

Wm Jones

Mr. Josiah [Fox?]

[second copy]

War Office July 20, 1796 —-
No. 2


I do myself the pleasure to inclose you a letter
which Mr. Humphreys has just put into my hands for you. I will
thank you when you write to the Secritary to inform him of the
Receipt of any letters that he may have written to you – – – The letters for
Mrs. Fox which you inclose were immediately forwarded to her —
any letters she wishes to send you can be inclose’d in our packits
Pray inquire of Major. Staggs father respecting Mr. Staggs health
and the probable place he is at — We have reports here of the
Yellow fever being at New York. are there any, and what —–
foundations for the Report —

Yours &c

Nm Jones
Mr. Josiah [Fox?]


22 Augt 1797
To Doctr Rush

War office 22 Augt 1797

Dear Sir

The various and contradictory reports
respecting the degree of danger from the prevailing
fever which those who remain oin town are
exposed to, and the little dependence I have in
any opinion I can form from the facts in cir:
:culation have induced me to take the liberty
to request your advice whether it would not
be proper to remove the war office for to some
distance from the city. I pray you to excuse
this liberty intrusion and to ascribe it to the seriousness
of the occasion and a wish to avoid to the
public unneccessary expence.

I have the honour to be
Dr Sir
your [ svt? ]

War Department
27th Augt 1797

James McHenry
[ ] day
directing the removal of
the office [ ] [every one?] [as]
of the Fever in Philadelphia


23d. August 1799


It is thought proper to remove the
Offices, of the War Department, to the city
of Trenton, on account of the fever pre-
-vailing in Philadelphia. The Quarter-
Master General has had my directions
to provide the neccessary means of trans-

I am Sir
your obedient servant
James McHenry

William Simmons Esqr.
[Acct.] War Department.





Philada” Augt 9 179–

The Honorable,
The Secretary of War,


In consequence of the alarming Reports
of a very malignant contagious Fever (which seems to baffle the whole
of the Physician[s] it evade[s] every medical application) prevailing and
spreading in different parts of this City & —banks.–It take this
early period of informing you Sir, that it still will be necessa-
ry to have such immediate arrangements made as will
effectively secure the public property. and at the same
time enable me to make such deliveries as the nature of the
care may require during the Epidemic in safety to myself [blacks]
& laborers. – To effect this I would suggest that [undecipherable]
Articles [or] will be immediately applied to the Army and [ ]
ing practices such as Clothing, Arms & [ Accoutrements? ]. Camp Equip-
page de. — should be transported to Lamberton, where there is a
store under the occupancy of the United States, which Transpor-
tation will be cheap, as a Shallop may load at one Store,
& unload at the other. neither will it much affect / if any/ the
Transportation by Land, as the Waggons in coming in from the
Country would rather go into a healthy part of that an infected
one. as soon as they know of any business at Trenton or Lamber-
ton they would very readily proceed thither particularly as nothing
would be done in the City: — Transportation by Water
will be suspended if the Epidemic rages:- I hope Sir, that some
thing of this kind will be speedily adopted:. that we may not have arrangements to make when it will be too late: as the circumstances of the disease may render it — In order
to secure the remaining store. I would propose having one
of our faithful men, who have for a number of years-
been employed in the business, to regularly open, air & Fumigate
the General Apartments, together with a Guard of three under
the direction of a faithful non-Commissioned Officer, which
Guard should be Stationary at the main Store. _____

Something of this, Sir, must shortly take place –
as self-preservation seems to be the predominant principle of
the [ ] – ,myself – and in fact of every person employed in this
Department. I consider my self exposed in going to do return-
ing from the store. I have likewise a family which I
must keep as secure as possible from danger of this kind —
I this would be out of my power of my business calls me
into infected [ ] while i[ ng] my duty. —–

Depend on it, Sir. That the alarm, and (from the information which I have been able to organise) the message of it, is greater that in either 1793 or ’97 –

I submit the business, Sir, to your decision
I am Sir,
Your most [ ] [ ]

Mr. Harris

Keeper [ ] & [ ]


Portland. September 8, 1798

Dear Sir,

Anxiety for the welfare of your self and family prompts me to enquire after it. and particularly as I find by the Philada.. [unidentified=Papers][unidentified=num] [unidentified=bers] are falling on your right hand or left by forwarding=the prevailing Epidemics in our devoted City.

I see that a number of our Friends and acquaintance have been [undecipherable=consigned?] to the gloomy [mausion-mansions] of the [I am 6_=Lamb? not Lord] since our departenc=departure from the City, and undoubtedly many more [whose by=will shortly] follow them._ May you & your family my dear Friend._ be shielded from the [aready shafts=deadly drafts] of the [undecipherable=subtle] [undecipherable=contagion]. and may we once more meet laden with the experiences of the protecting [undecipherable=care] of divine providence__

I find that the Fever is not confined to Philada alone, but the deadly affects

Link to fullsize image
of it have appeared in almost every town on the Coast Eastward & in [undecipherable] instances in the Coun[undecipherable] [Editors Note: word runds off end of page] Several furious have died here of a Jerusilam Fever, but at present it is tolerably healthy.
Mrs.. Harris giving me affectionately in remembrance to you & your good Lady to Miss Philliser – the young Follhr – & all Friends_
In your communications to the Sacs. of War. I will thank you to present my contracts to him & the gentlement of the Office. be [undecipherable] to remember me to the [undecipherable] & Man in the Store. to / Mr. Banger/ if he is with you/ and your bro-ther. We hear the Fever in Boston is a lot the [undecipherable].
Adieu my dear Friends,_ and believe me yours Sincerely_
Samuel Hodgdon Esqr. J. W. Harris


Newport Augt 10th 1799


On the 4th of June last I received from the
dated May 24th, 1799
Secretary of Treasury, with the copy of an Act in addition
to an Act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen, and
advising me that it was hoped that that an arrangement
could have been formed before that time for the establishment
of a permanent hospitals; that it appeared however this subject
had been placed by [Shellet] of the East session to regulate the
medical establishment under the immediate superintendence
of the Physician General and that the object of his communica-
tion was confined to a provision for the temporary relief and
support of sick and disabled seamen in public and private services. —-
that for the present the monies collected in the state of Rhode
Island would be apended under my direction, and that it was
the object of the Law that the expenditures of the funds
for temporary relief should be at the hospitals or other institutions
now established in the ports of the United States.

On an island about two miles from this town called Coaster’s
Harbour, and separate from Rhode Island by a narrow channel
is an hospital belonging to the town, erected for the reception
of persons afflicted with the small pox or other infectious
distempers. At the time I received the Secretary’s letter several
persons sick with the small pox were in the hospital. Not long after
and before the hospital was cleared the General Green George Washington Captain
Fletcher arrived here from the West Indies with a number of
sick, who were placed in a house procured for them by the
Purveyor I had appointed. The people in the neighborhood were alarmed
with apprehensions of the yellow fever and the alarm spread through
the town like wildfire. The Town Council met, sent for and told me
that they must be removed to a greater distance, or be returned to the
ship. I told them that prior to the arrival of the ship that great pains had
been taken to find a place in the outskirts of the town, but no one
one could be found, that if a more suitable place could be hired, they
should be immediately removed; but it would be death to them to be
sent back to the ship; and that Dr. Lenter had informed me that
this disease was not the yellow fever. — The health officers and the
Purveyor were immediately dispatched to search for a more suitable
place. No one could be procured, and there they continued until all
under the skillful management of that Physician had
recovered excepting two who are now convalescents and one who
died of a consumption. —— On the 27th of the last month the
Genl. Greene Capt. Perry arrived in this harbour. Twenty of her men had
in the [ ] of [ ] or fourteen days
died on board and a number of them were sick and it was said of
the yellow fever. The apprehensions of the town were excited and
to a greater degree if possible than before. Happily the hospital
was free of sickness and all the sick about thirty five in number
were admitted into and placed by the Town Council under the
dir care of Dr. Lenter & the my Purveyor, and a guard appointed to
prevent any communication between Coaster’s harbour & the Town.
Three of them are already recovered and are sent to the Ship.
the major part of them will be returned to here in a few days, and
the remainder of them, probably, by the time the ship is ready to sail.

I have been particular in this narration because I am informed
that a public hospital is about to be erected in this port, that its position
is to be determined by you and Genl. Hamilton, and that
this only is wanting to its erection. The excellency of the harbour
of Newport and the salubrity of our Air will invite many of
our Ships of War to resort to it, more or less of their crews,
according to the places where they have cruised, will be sick,
and without a public hospital their accommodation will be
very uncertain expensive, and desertions will take place.
Four of the Genl. Greene’s men, altho’ sick, and not withstanding
the guard, deserted. —- For those reasons, and for the safety
and the satisfaction of the Town, it is the universal desire that
a public hospital should be built as soon as possible.
I have mentioned Dr. Lenter several times in this
letter. His success hath been so great and his skill is so
that it is conceived the public service will be promoted
by his appointment to the charge of the hospital to be
erected here. I am a stranger to the Physic General.
If I were as well acquainted with him as I have had the
honours of being acquainted with you I should not hesitate
to recommend Dr. Isaac Lenter to him for the appointment.
Permit me, Sir, to request your influence with that
gentleman in his behalf. While I am writing I
recollect Th the good advice of Horace, consider over
and over again the character of the person who you
would recommend, least his faults should cover you
with shame. Dr. Lenter He is the first Physician in this
town and State. He is a member of the London medical
Society and of all or most of the medical Societies in the
United States, and it is not his least praise that
he deserved these honours. — You may rely upon it, Sir,
that no shame shall [ – ac – or ever?] attach to you, if by your influence
he should receive this appointment.

I am with great esteem & respect
Sir, yr [ ] servant

[Left Margin]

Dr. Lenter served as a Junior Surgeon during the revolutionary war, superintending one
of the hospitals in the northern detachment under General Arnold S[-]

War Department
27th Augt 1797

James McHenry
[ ] day
directing the removal of
the office [ ] [every one?] [as]
of the Fever in Philadelphia

23d. August 1799


It is thought proper to remove the
Offices, of the War Department, to the city
of Trenton, on account of the fever pre-
-vailing in Philadelphia. The Quarter-
Master General has had my directions
to provide the neccessary means of trans-

I am Sir
your obedient servant
James McHenry

William Simmons Esqr.
[Acct.] War Department.



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