Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever in Philadelphia

map of yellow fever cases in Philadelphia

Map produced by Billy G. Smith and Paul Sivitz Montana State University.

Billy G. Smith and Paul Sivitz, Montana State University.


Yellow Fever broke out in epidemic proportion in 1793, 1797, 1798, and 1799. The most severe, and one of the most deadly in American history, occurred in 1793, when an estimated 5,000 inhabitants died. This map records the intensity of the fever, with darker colored lines marking the streets with highest mortality. Yellow fever was most deadly near the northern wharves, where poorer people lived, and where Hell Town was located. It also took a heavy toll along Dock Creek. Both areas furnished breeding places for the Aedes aegypti, the type of mosquitoes that transmit the disease. Wealthier people fled the city while the less affluent stayed behind. As a result, the affliction was class specific, killing the middle and lower classes more often than the elite.

3 Comments Comments

  1. Three interesting facts about the map are the fact that it is color coded to what parts where effected the most. Second was how the map shows there where more deaths by the river. Third was the color coded death scale at the bottom.

    The northern wharves was the most effected.

    I am sure that I took a lot of time to get things back to normal I think a possible effect the Yellow Fever had was the loss of many resources.

    I want to learn more about who died,where all the rich people fled too and how it all started.

    Mia Rinkes Posted September 14, 2020 at 9:01 am
  2. Here are three interesting facts about the map there are the words by the delaware river. Second the upper class didn’t die as easily than the lower class. Third of all the disease was the most deadly at the time and killed multiple people.

    The northern wharves.

    They may have had to stay inside so it didn’t spread.

    I want to learn how many people survived and how they survived and how it started.

    Cameron Leach Posted September 15, 2020 at 1:15 pm
  3. There are three interesting facts about the words by the delaware river. Second the upper class didn’t get than the lower class. Third the the disease was very deadly at the time and multiple people were killed.

    The northern wharves

    They had to stay inside at all times so they wouldn’t get it

    I want to learned when it ended and the results of it.

    Daniel Pittman Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:19 pm

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