Yellow Jack

Yellow Jack


  • Yellow Jack

Published Date

  • published 1941


[page 3]
when it was carried in ships from Havana to New York, where it spread
along the waterfront and resulted in many fatalities. Vessels in the West
Indian trade brought the disease to Boston in 1691, and to Philadelphia
and Charleston, South Carolina, in 1693. (5)

The first recorded appearance of the fever in Florida occurred at
Pensacola in 1764. There is no record of cases or deaths, but in the
following year 125 persons lost their lives when the ailment again became
prevalent there. Mild outbreaks were experienced in 1810 and 1811, and
in 1828 an infection, brought from Havana, caused evacuation of
Pensacola by United States troops. Sporadic occurrences of the disease
between 1824 and 1853 were traced directly to ships arriving from
Mexico, the West Indies, and New Orleans. In 1853 the steamer Vixen
reached the Pensacola Navy Yard from the West Indies with several
cases of yellow fever among its officers and crew. The sufferers were
taken to the Naval hospital, the ship was docked, and men were sent
aboard her to oil the machinery and clean the bilges. In a few days
nearly all these works had contracted the disease, which spread through
the town between July and October, causing a mortality of 260 out of a
total population of 1,200. In another outbreak, in 1863, more than 200
persons lost their lives, but a quarantine protected troops at Fort
Barrancas. Navy gunboats brought back the scourge in 1867, when 227
deaths occurred. Successive epidemics at Pensacola in 1873, 1874, 1882,
and 1905, resulted in the illness of 3,725 persons and the deaths of 729.