YELLOW FEVER IN HOLLY SPRINGS
In 1878 yellow fever was thought to be caused by bad air in hot and
humid lowland areas. It would be another three years before a Cuban physician,
C. J. Finlay, suggested that mosquitoes carried the disease, and another twenty-two
years before Walter Reed proved him correct. Most residents of Holly Springs
were so sure of the safety provided by the area’s high altitude that the town
refused to turn away refugees from infected areas. It was an act of kindness
for which they were to pay very dearly. The newspaper articles reproduced below
appeared on interior pages of the paper and reflect the generally high spirits
and confidence of the citizenry before the awful truth hit home. No mention
of the epidemic appeared on the front page.
This courthouse served as a hospital during the epidemic
--------------------- THE REPORTER ----------------------
Thursday, August 22, 1878
Mr. Hines, of New Orleans, who was put off at Cincinnati with yellow fever several weeks ago, and who was treated by his New Orleans physician, by telegraph, has recovered and gone on his way East rejoicing.
Louisville, Kentucky, and Holly Springs, and Iuka, Mississippi have refused to quarantine persons coming from fever infected places. In the former city, the Great House and other hotels have reduced rates to a nominal figure in favor of refugees. The usual cool nights of August have not come to us yet. This summer has been one of unprecedented heat, which renders the season specially favorable to the spread of yellow fever, in infected regions.HE WOULD DO WHAT HE SAYS. We have been permitted to make the following extract from a private letter addressed to one of our citizens. It is from one of the beat "drummers" on the road whom "the boys" delight to call "Uncle Jack." He is a noble man and is not afraid to do his duty toward his unfortunate fellow mortals:
FRIEND CRUMP: I was much pleased with the invitation of your townsmen inviting citizens of Grenada and other places to come and take shelter in your healthy city. It is so unlike the selfishness displayed by most places, that I continually pray that your place may not be visited by the yellow fever scourge. But, if God so wills it, and if yourself, John Calhoon, General Williamson, and several others that I could name, should need my services as nurse, send me word, and I will come, for nursing yellow fever is the only thing I am fit for. Yours truly, JOHN ABBOTT. New Orleans, La., Aug. 15, '78.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE REPORTER: Owing to yellow fever the examination of candidates for the West Point cadetship in this Congressional District is postponed till the first Tuesday in October. VAN H. MANNING, M.C.
Don't be alarmed. If you take yellow fever it can only kill you. Measles might have done the same thing. Cease prancing around under the alarm flag.
Ball….(name illegible), Tennessee, has not quarantined. It is refreshing to see some of the towns retain their reason.
Ripley has quarantined. Where are her healthy pine hills?
Business is dull. The panic has knocked all business plans "skyhigh." If the leaders of the panic would resume their normal state we should be very much obliged to them.
The quarantines of this day and time are the grandest humbug we have noticed.
Cincinnati quarantined and so did Waterford, Abbeville and other cities about
. Holly Springs has never been so clean and healthy. The Board of Health have earned the good will of our people by their excellent sanitary measures.
Holly Springs is 720 feet above sea level, Grenada is 250 feet. Holly Springs has no sewer to open, nor malarial river to flow by her as has her unfortunate sister city, Grenada.
The highest medical authorities say yellow fever cannot originate or spread at any altitude over 500 feet above sea level. The alarmists should study this paragraph carefully.
The fever in Memphis is dreadful. We deeply sympathize with the stricken city in its terrible affliction.
LATEST FROM GRENADA. (Over 20 people were listed by name as having died in the last four days.)
RELIEF FOR THE SUFFERERS. In reply to a letter asking upon what terms a committee with provisions for the Grenada sufferers would be transported from this point and return,
Superintendent Colquhoun telegraphed the following reply: WATER VALLEY, Aug. 17, 1878. To the Relief Committee: Will pass any of your committee to Grenada to arrange for relief of yellow fever sufferers free, and take the freight free. R. N. COLQUHOUN, Supt.
GRENADA, MISS., Aug. 17, '78. TO THE EDITOR OF THE REPORTER: In the name of the stricken people of Grenada, I return thanks to yourself and the noble citizens of Holly Springs for your sympathy and generous offer. Money and provisions are needed and will be thankfully received.
Our town is being depopulated by the scourge, over 150 cases now under treatment; between 50 and 60 deaths up to date; 17 within last twenty-four hours.
The old, the middle aged and the young succumb. Pray that God in His mercy may stay this terrible plague.
Very truly yours, E. W. HUGHES, M.D.
[Church and Epidemic] [Epilogue] [Holly Springs Tourism]
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