Cassie Soeffing Cassie Soeffing

Mosquito Time Travel: A Malignant Tale-The 1793 Yellow Fever Epidemic

Posted on July 23, 2021 - 8:58 AM CDT

8/12/2021 (Thu) - 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM CDT

Tags: General Public | Webinar | Citizen Science | Earth Science | SciAct Community

Event information

Imagine Philadelphia in 1793. The growing city had a population of 50,000 of which around 2,000 were black Philadelphians, 310 of whom were enslaved. The city was the center of government, trade, science, and medicine. The country was still trying to find its footing; the U.S. Constitution was signed only six years prior in 1787. Then, tragedy strikes as yellow fever breaks out in 1793, killing 5,000 people, 10% of Philadelphia’s population.


Join a "Malignant Tale” to learn the details of how Caspar Wistar Haines and his family experienced the city-wide epidemic. Through their letters, discover the role of the Free African Society in taking care of Philadelphians during this time of need and the sacrifices they made. Participants will make connections between this epidemic and today via these personal stories, the roles of essential workers, and the history of science and medicine.