ARIZARD-L ArchivesArchiver > ARIZARD > 2007-09 > 1190569280
Subject: Re: [ARIZARD] Epidemics
Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2007 13:41:20 EDT
LITTLE ROCK - Today, October 28, 1878, the yellow fever quarantine that has
held the city in its grip for months was lifted.
The quarantine was declared by the Little Rock Board of Health three months
ago because of reports of cases of yellow fever at Memphis. Travel to and
from the city by rail and water was prohibited. In addition, all freight,
express packages, and mail from infected districts were prevented from entering the
Health certificates were required of travelers to verify that they had not
gone through an infected area. A voluntary health patrol was established to
patrol the city boundaries.
One unfortunate group of over more than 100 travelers on the Memphis and
Little Rock Railroad was stopped at the Galloway station just east of Little
Rock. Other trains would not stop for the passengers to reboard for fear that
they carried the disease. These travelers were without food and supplies for a
week when the Galloway citizens refused to assist them because of their fear
of the disease. After about a week, the Little Rock Board of Health provided
supplies for them.
Besides the quarantine station at Galloway, quarantines were established at
Jacksonville and Mabelvale on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern
Even smaller towns along the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad set up
quarantines. Forrest City was one of the towns hit by the epidemic. In a recent
interview, Dr. J.B. Cummings reported that his first case was seen on October 2,
a Mrs. Keithley who died on October 8. In the Keithley family alone there
were nine cases and five deaths from yellow fever.
On October 17, a quarantine of the town was declared. On October 20, 35
picket men were posted on duty around the town to prevent entrance to or
departure from the town. The quarantine was in force until late October when cooler
weather arrived and the quarantine was lifted.
When asked how the fever was introduced to the city, Dr. Cummings said that
he had not been able to determine an answer. It is thought by some that the
infection was introduced in goods bought in from Memphis after the 1878
epidemic there. Others believe that people traveling from Memphis came into town
and spread the disease.
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