George Washington Papers

Enclosure: Matthew Clarkson to Timothy Pickering, 23 October 1793


Matthew Clarkson to Timothy Pickering

Philada Oct. 23—1793


I think it may be concluded that the state of the mortal sickness is become more favorable, this appears from the decrease of funerals in the City generally, and at the Hospital at Bush-Hill It is not possible to ascertain, with any degree of precission the degree in which it has abated.

The general appearance is pleasing, the Physicians have fewer applications from new patients, the proportion of those who recover is abundantly greater than at the commencement of the disease. The general Countenance of these Citizens who remain, has changed, there is an obvious difference in their looks, a cheerfulness hath taken place of a general gloom which not long since overspread every face; several Shops & stores which were shut up, are again opened.

I have herewith sent you a New York paper in which I find a pretty accur[at]e Account of the funerals from the first of August to the 11th October, this is the best which can at present be obtained.1 since that time the funerals amount to about[ ]to the present day. I am very respectfully Sir—Your most obt servt

Matth. Clarkson

Particulars since the 11⟨th Oct⟩ober

Christ Church 19 } 43  
St Peters 17  
St Pauls 7  
Germ. Lutheran 110 } 158  
Calv: 48  
Friends     56  
Romans     34  
Methodists     18  
Potters field     313  
      642 to 19th October2

You will observe that returns from some of the Congegrations are not included in the above—for which may be added to that period—say 58—which will make the whole from the 11th to 19 inclusive 700.

Note the Potter’s Field return is up to the 22d and inclusive.


1The “List of Burials in the several Grave Yards in the City and Liberties of Philadelphia, from August 1, to October 11, 1793, inclusive,” printed in the New-York Daily Gazette, 19 Oct., showed 2,737 burials.

2The numbers actually add to 622. A more comprehensive list of burials from 1 Aug. to 9 Nov., published in the Federal Gazette and Philadelphia Daily Advertiser, 18 Nov., records 4,031 burials—3,328 from these cemeteries, and the rest from locations not reported here, most notably the Presbyterian cemeteries.

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