Yellow fever epidemic of 1793
Joanne Freeman talks with Richard Newman about Philadelphia’s African American communities response to the yellow fever epidemic of 1793.
December 13, 2019, BackStory
In 1793, Philadelphia was struck by a debilitating yellow fever epidemic. With the leadership of Bishop Richard Allen, the African-American community decided to help with the relief effort and give aid to infected folks throughout the city. But in the wake of the epidemic, white residents falsely accused African-American helpers of theft and exploitation.
Joanne talks with scholar Rich Newman about the generosity of Bishop Richard Allen and his fight to disseminate the true story about the African-American aid.
Bishop Richard Allen’s account, A NARRATIVE of the proceedings of the Coloured People during the awful calamity in Philadelphia, in the year 1793; and a refutation of some censures thrown upon them in some publications, is available on the Documenting the American South website.