Adams Papers
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John Briesler Sr. to Abigail Adams, 17 August 1797

John Briesler Sr. to Abigail Adams

Philadelphia August 17th 1797

Madam

I this Day Received your kind Letter and we are all Happy to hear of your Safe arivall at Quincy1 we are all in the Dumps the yellow fever has again found its way in to this City and threatens Great mortality the hoal City is in Confusion and mooving out of town it first Broke out in Spruce and Pen Street and thair Seems to be Confined at Present But how fare it will go God only knows if it Should Continue to spread2 Advicce from you madam and the President would give us Great Relief we are all well Except The Two Children which I hope will Soon be Better we have had hear the greatest Rains that Ever was known our Cellar was filed Over Shoes but we have taken it allmost all out with Pails and Tubs I hope to hear again from you by the first Opportunity

we all Remain with Love and Respect your / most humble Servants—

John Briesler

RC (MHi:Adams-Hull Collection); addressed: “Mrs. / A. Adams— / Quincy”; endorsed: “Brisler August / 17th / 1797.”

1Not found.

2The Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic lasted from late July to late October. Many residents fled upon learning of the reappearance of the disease, and on 13 Oct. health inspectors cautioned residents that it was not “advisable to return at so early a period” even though the yellow fever appeared to be subsiding. They also suggested that citizens should particularly avoid “entering Southwark, and the lower parts of the city.” The fact that so many Philadelphians left the city during the summer helped account for the lower mortality rates: approximately 1,000 residents died during the outbreak compared to the 5,000 deaths recorded in 1793 (vol. 9:447; Richard Folwell, Short History of the Yellow Fever, that Broke Out in the City of Philadelphia, in July, 1797, Phila., 1797, p. 3, 22, 64, Evans, description begins Charles Evans and others, American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America [1639–1800], Chicago and Worcester, Mass., 1903–1959; 14 vols. description ends No. 32138).

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