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native of hot climates, cannot probably prevail to any alarming extent here in any season, except the mean heat of the thermometer at that hour, during the summer, and especially during the two whole months of June and July shall be as high as seventynine degrees if cooler, it will not spread, although some passengers and their clothing and bedding may arrive here, bringing the disease or the infection with them; but in hotter seasons it has prevailed and probably will again prevail more or less, and very much in proportion to the heat of the season.
This is not an inquiry prompted by idle curiosity, but an attempt to establish a knowledge very important in its consequences, not only to all our citizens concerned in naval or mercatile business, but to the whole population of this city and liberties: because, if well founded, as I believe it to be, it will serve as a rule to point out to every citizen when there is, or is not danger to be apprehended; when it may be necessary, or not, to provide retreats in the country. If well understood and established to be a truth founded in experience, it may also tend to disembarrass the trade of this port, in some years, from detentions and quarantines, when they are useless.
By the following account of the mean heat at 3 P. M. of each month in the last twenty-five summers, it will appear evidently that the Yellow Fever has never within that period prevailed here at all, or so as to occasion alarm, when the mean heat at that hour of all June and July had been lower than 79° only a very little in 1802; and that in every summer when it has been above 79° it has prevailed more or less, and the mortality has been regulated very much by the heat being higher or lower. In 1793 and 1798, which were the hottest summers in all the twenty-five years, it prevailed most, and was attended by the most extreme mortality. In 1797, 1799, 1803 and 1805, when lower degrees of heat prevailed, the mortality was less. In all the other years (except a small mortality in 1802) when the mean heat of those two months was below 79o at the hour mentioned, we have had no alarm of the Yellow Fever.
I consider the two months of June and July as governing the summer season, insomuch that by the first day of August in any year, we may be pretty certain, whether we shall be afflicted with Yellow Fever that year, or not, so that if we find the mean heat of the thermometer at 3 P. M. placed properly in the shade in a free current of air, at least 20 or 30 feet from any sunshine, and not exposed to the reflected heat of any building, to be below 79• we may rest easy, and conclude that we are not likely to be visited with that scourge during the summer or autumn then passing over our heads.
In 1793 the mean heat of June and July at 3 P. M. was 82 degrees-in 17.98 it was 80 degrees 6, both of which indicated the calamity that followed; but August 1798 was so extremely hot, that it heightened the mortality, and made it nearly equal to what it was in 1793, when the two first summer months were hotter, but August not so hot as in 1798. The wetness or dryness of the summer may also have an effect, not yet well ascertained: it being remarkable that in 1805, when the mean heat of all June and July was 79 degrees and August 81 degrees 7, the two months of July and August were so very dry, that perhaps not so much as one quarter of an inch in depth, of rain fell till within three or four days of the end of the latter month, when it rained moderately; this rain appeared sufficient, coming after the preceding heat, to give activity to the dormant infection of the Yellow Fever, which immediately afterwards broke out, more especially in southwark, where it was very mortal in all September. The use of the Schuylkill water which is said to be much purer than the old pump water, inay have had a very beneficial effect by way of prevention, within the last ten or twelve years; so may the regulations and care of the different boards of health, which to a certain degree should never be intermitted: still I am ot opinion that the heat, not of a few days or weeks, but the mean heat of the summer season is the grand governing cause, under Providence, that excites or depresses this alarming and dreadful scourge when it appears in our city.
Here follows the state of the thermometer in each month, of those twenty-five summers as above referred to.
NOTE--The Yellow Fever years are
marked with an asterisk.
Great mortality of yellow fever in Phi*179379 7/84 382 182 7182 23
lad. 4000 died in Aug. Sep. and Oct. 1794 75 680 4 78 81 7179 2 1 No alarm of yellow fever here. 1795 75 182 2178 680 379 2 Ditto-fever in N. York and Norfolk.. 1796 76 581 579 80 379 4 No alarm here. *1797 79 281 6179 180 7 Yellow fever here---1250 died in3 mos. *1798 77 79 586 5181 8 Great yel. fev. here, 3500 died in 3 mo. *179977 184 180 5/82 81 Yellow fever here, 1000 died in 3 mos. 180075 178 76 5178 177 No alarm here-fever in Baltimore. 1801 76 80 78 77 77 71 No alarm here.
Yellow fever spread a little-perhaps *180275 778 76 378 77 2
200 adults died of it. *1803176 9/81 879 3179 479 3 1 Yellow fever here-slightly. 180471 78 174 575 74 7 No alarm here.
Yel.fev. began about the 1st Sept. was *180575 83 179 181 79 73
very fatal in Southwark & little out of it 1806178 178 778 472 176 39 1807 71 677 974 775 274 9 1808175 5178 176 5769 All these twelve years were cooler 180973 775 174 4/76 7175 1
than 79 degrees, on a mean of all 1810174 2175 474 8
June and July, at 3 P. M. and 181174 4 80 177 2175
there was no alarm of yellow fever 181273 8177 475 694
in Philadelphia, in any one of them, 181375 3176 7176 177 376 4
I believe, or none that spread and 1814 70 175 2173 6176 774
continued. 1815174 2/81 8178 177 3177 7 | 1816 72 573 573 76 574 1 | 1817173 2178 175 6177 376 3)
w ng WAJA
The state of the thermometer as above noted, have been taken from 1793 to 1799, from the observations of David Rittenhouse, Esq. deceased, or some of his family, made at his place of residence, corner of Delaware Seventh and Mulberry streets; for the next fifteen years, chiefly by Dr. Samuel Duffield, deceased, in Chesnut near Front street, in a northern exposure, and since by myself in Delaware Eighth street, with an easterly exposure all I believe tolerably correct.-Any man may keep such an account for himself, and a thermometer of the price of five or six VOL. IV.
dollars, will answer the same purpose as a more expensive instrument.
C. E. September 9th, 1817.
CRITICISM.-Travels in Brazil. By Henry Koster. With a Map and
Plan, and eight coloured Engravings. 4to. pp. 500. Price 21. 10s. Longman & Co. 1816. Philadelphia, reprinted by Carey & Son.From the Eclectic Review.
NARRATIVES of travels in distant parts of the world, come, in the present times, with a recommendation derived from the state of things nearer home. A reflecting mind is quite sick at the recent history and actual condition of Europe. From ancient times this portion of the globe has been distinguished from the rest, as the peculiar scene of the unfolding and activity of human reason. For the greater part of two thousand years, the Christian Religion, under one mode and another-but accompanied with the sacred documents adapted to exclude all modes but the true-has been generally accepted and prevalent among its na. tions. During many generations, in the latter part of this long period, there has been a powerful excitement of mental energy in the pursuit of knowledge of all kinds; a various and wonderful fertility of literary productions; and a grand progress in sciences and arts. In several of the nations, and especially in our own, there has been an earnest speculation, accompanied with a mul. tiplicity of experiments, on every thing relating to the social economy, on the principles of morals, politics, and legislation. And what has been the result of all this, at the close of the eighteenth, and the beginning of the nineteenth century? It has been that, for a space of time nearly approaching the average term of human life, the ambitious and malignant passions have raged with an unparalleled intensity, through the civilized and Christian world, and deluged the wide field of Europe with blood. In contempt of all deprecation, remonstrance, prediction and experience of suffering, the fury for destruction has driven on, accompanied with, and stimulated by, all kinds of crimes, irreligion, and delu. sion; and at its suspension at length, by a peace without the spirit or expected benefits of peace, it has left the nations in a state of internal agitation, and poverty, and aggravated depravity, which depravity is punished by a continuance of despotism, the establishments of superstition, and the omens of still more miseries to come. From such a state of things it is some little relief to look away to those remote parts of the world, to which the narratives of travellers enable us to carry our imagination.
Not, indeed, that those distant regions present to view scenes of innocence and felicity, on the great scale: travellers no longer venture to offer pictures of society, in exception to the known moral condition of human nature. But we have the pleasure (for it is itself a pleasure) of going very far off; we are presented with novelties of modification; the evil may in some regions, be in less complicated and systematic forms; it may be less atrd. cious in the sense that it does not prevail in defiance of direct illuminations from heaven, and by perverting to its aid all the resources of knowledge; and, at any rate, the described aspects of physical Nature delight us by images of novelty, and often of beauty and sublimity. It may be, besides, that the state of the people has an augmented and peculiar interest from their being in such a progress, or crisis, or revolution, as to give cause for large and hopeful speculation, and appear like the commencement of an era in the history of the world.
From the revolutions, counter-revolutions, and present humiliated state of Europe, a large share of inquisitive attention is passing to those parts of America, which are the scene of so much that is strange and stupendous in physical Nature, and of so much that is now beginning to be iniportant in the history of mankind. It is a striking and gratifying spectacle, to see a race, or rather a diversity of races, fantastically mingled and confused, rising from an inveterate state of oppression, degradation, and insignificance, into energy, and invincibly working their way to independence, even though it be through a wide tumult of disorders and calamities--the only course ihrough wbich it appears to be the destiny of man, in any part of the world, to attain the ultimate state of freedom and peace. Melancholy as this medium is through which alone we can look forward to the happier condition of those awakening tribes, there is the stimulating prospect of many great events in the passage through it, of an advance. ment and unfolding of mind, of rapid changes, surprising incidents, and signal interpositions of Providence. If it should be asked And wherein will this course of calamities, changes, and wonders, have any such essential difference from the analo. gous trains of events resulting, hitherto, in so little good in our own part of the world, as to authorise any pleasure in the pros. . pect?'—we may at least reply, with no small delight, that there are religious grounds for hoping that the series of errors, crimes, and miseries, will be of much shorter duration in this new region, than it has been in Europe. We firmly inaintain, in spite of the actual state of things, the hope, that the better age, which inspired men have predictively celebrated, is not very far off; and we may well assure ourselves that when it shall arrive to bless one part of the world, the other portions will not be left to work ihrough a long protracted process of failure and misery.
We have adverted to the local character of the scenes where the great train of events in question is commencing. Nature has furnished a theatre in superb correspondence and rivalry with