The Lincoln Letter

By: Maeve O'Hara

Yellow Fever Attacks Philadelphia!

In the summer of 1793, a young girl named Matilda, living in the City of Philadelphia, survived a Yellow Fever outbreak that was spread through mosquito bites. Yellow Fever is a terrible disease that killed over 3,000 people in Philadelphia that summer. Mattie's mother ended up infected with Yellow Fever and then sent Mattie and Mattie's Grandfather away to live in the country, where it was safe and far away from the Yellow Fever outbreak. On their journey to the country, Mattie was diagnosed with Yellow Fever by a doctor at a check-point and then sent to live in a safe-house, where she was cared for by doctors and nurses until she was better. Soon after Mattie recovered, her grandfather and she went back to Philadelphia to live in the small apartment above the coffee house they owned and ran before the outbreak. A couple of days after they had returned, Mattie's grandfather unexpectedly died. He was her only family member left and now she was alone. Mattie was scared and sad so, she went to find the only friend she knew, the cook from the coffee house, Eliza. She found Eliza staying with her brother in Philadelphia and they invited Mattie to stay with them. It was there, that Mattie took care of sick and dying children and went along with Eliza to care for families that were suffering from Yellow Fever and brought them bread. Mattie and Eliza found a little girl, Nell, wandering the streets and orphaned when Yellow Fever killed both of her parents. They took Nell in cared for her and raised her. Nell had Yellow Fever and so Eliza and Mattie cared for her like they had done with the other children. Soon Nell was better and the first frost of winter was on it's way. When the frost came Eliza, Nell, and Mattie went outside to take in all of the fresh air. They brought the furniture outside to kill all of the germs and then the outbreak of Yellow Fever was over.

Young Girl Saves Yellow Fever Orphan

Matilda "Mattie" Cook is a fourteen-year-old girl living above her family's coffeehouse in Philadelphia. She was different from other girls and she would do things that no one else would like going fishing or playing in the river. She sometimes even rolled up her sleeves when no one was looking. In the summer of 1793 Mattie Cook visited homes where people were infected with Yellow Fever. She brought them bread and she cared for the sick and dying children when she visited. Maddie cared about other people and she loved almost everyone like family. Maddie saved a young orphan child named Nell. She cared for Nell like she was her own sister. Mattie was a very brave and courageous young girl.
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Epic Book About Philadelphia's Worst Epidemic

Fever 1793 is a great book for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade girls that are looking for a story with tons of detail and an amazing plot. Each chapter gave more detail on the Yellow Fever outbreak in Philadelphia. Personally I would have prefered that the author developed and made the scenes of the book longer. I really enjoyed learning about Matilda's life and how you had to live in the summer of 1793.

Orphans Orphans Everywhere !!!

Dear Editor,

It is my strong belief that orphans should be sent to foster homes so parents can raise them like their own children, and to provide a life that they would have had if yellow fever had not come. The only alternative is that the children would be left with no parents to live in an orphanage with tons of other children and only about five people to look after them, and the child will never get one on one time like we do to create positive memories.


Besty Taylor

Ask Mary...

Dear Mary,

What are we going to do!!! Almost the entire city of Philadelphia is gone. My family is gone. How are other families recovering. Are they okay? I am scared and sad. My grandfather is dead and I miss him. What am I supposed to do?

Sincerely- Lonely Yellow Fever Survivor

Dear Survivor,

I am very sorry that your grandfather is dead and I hope that you find other girls your age that are in the same situation so you can not feel so alone. Now that the first frost is here I expect everyone that fled the city to come back and we can all rebuild our community together. The Yellow Fever families have bumps on the road to recovery and I hope that your family comes back together soon.

Sincerely, Mary

Obituaries Summer 1793

Cook, Captain William Farnsworth

A honorable man that served under the command of George Washington, Captain William Farnsworth Cook fought bravely for the Pennsylvania Fifth Regiment. He is survived by his Granddaughter, Matilda and his parrot King George.

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