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coincident with that which occurred in the 60th Regiment on the south side of the island, immediately on its arrival from the Mediterranean. In the fatal cases at Maroon Town, black vomit was either ejected during life, or found in the stomach after death.
In February, 1842, a case resembling yellow fever showed itself at Newcastle, and terminated fatally on the fourth day. I have not found it expressly stated that the man had not been away from Newcastle, but from the context this seems implied. Staff-Surgeon Hawkey and StaffAssistant-Surgeon Jameson were sent to examine the case, and their opinion, as given in the General Quarterly Report to March 31st, was, "that the real origin of this instance of fever was very doubtful indeed; that the symptoms during life were most equivocal; but that the appearances of the characteristic black fluid in the stomach after death clearly betrayed the morbid agency of febrific miasm."
In October, 1848, a period when yellow fever had been prevailing extensively in the West Indies, a malignant fever broke out in the family of the schoolmaster-serjeant of the 97th Regiment, at Newcastle. The family consisted of himself, his wife, and three children, and a woman who attended them: all these, except the serjeant, were attacked with fever; he had dysentery; and the wife and children died.
The disease was confined to this family, and was attributed chiefly to the emanations from a cesspool to windward of, and within thirty yards of the hut in which they lived. None of these had been away from Newcastle for a considerable period previously. Deputy Inspector-General Dr. Watson, in his official report to the officer commanding, states that the disease was "a fever of a peculiarly low and pestilent nature;" but Staff-Surgeon Dr. McIlree, who was then surgeon of the 97th, and had the cases under his immediate observation, has favoured me with a statement from his notes made at the time, from which it appears several of these were characterized by rapid course, yellow skin, and black vomit; in other words, were decided yellow fever. The hut in which these cases occurred was situated close to the bend of the road immediately in front of the lowest barrack, at a point 3520 feet above the sea.
In July, 1850, cases of severe fever began to appear at Maroon Town, and Dr. Maclean, Deputy Inspector-General, in his annual report for that period, states that the fatal cases were characterized by yellow skin, and the formation of black vomit in the stomach.
I have thought it advisable to adduce these facts with reference to the more elevated military posts in Jamaica, previous to entering on the special consideration of the occurrences at Newcastle in the end of 1856. They show that though the high land stations may, in ordinary years, present a degree of health little inferior to that observed in Europe, yet when an epidemic constitution prevails, they are by no means exempt from its influence, and may even, as in the case of Newcastle on the late occasion, suffer severely, though it is probable to a far less extent than the low land stations under similar circumstances.
The military station of Newcastle is situated near the western extremity of the Blue Mountain range, on its southern aspect, and about nine English miles N. E. by N. from the sea-beach at Kingston. Owing to the difficulties of the ground the distance by the road is about fifteen miles. The highest point in the neighbourhood of Newcastle is St. Catherine Peak, which attains an elevation of 5000 feet above the sea, from this the ground proceeds southerly 1600 yards to another peak less elevated, forming the eastern boundary of the space enclosing the station. From the flank of the latter peak a sharp ridge is thrown off to the S. W., though at a greatly reduced elevation, which forms the southern boundary of the valley on that side of Newcastle. The ground slopes away from the peak to the southward, throwing off abrupt ridges intersected by deep hollows, and forms the eastern boundary of the Hope Valley, which drains the whole, and through which the road to Newcastle passes.
From St. Catherine Peak the ridge of the Blue Mountains passes in a westerly direction, and at the distance of 2270 yards there is a small pointed peak, from the southern base of which a sharp ridge runs off about S.S.E., rapidly declining in elevation until it nearly meets the spur crossing from the peak to the southward of St. Catherine's, thus forming the western boundary of the space surrounding Newcastle. The cantonment itself is on a spur given off from the connecting ridge about midway between St. Catherine Peak and that to the westward. This spur has a southerly direction, and falls rapidly as it leaves the parent ridge, maintaining, however, an elevation much the same as that of the western bounding height, at a corresponding distance from its northern commencement.
The cantonment occupies a space of nearly 800 yards in length; and the difference of level between the highest and lowest building is 505 feet. The mess-room is 4050 feet above the sea. The top of the ridge is so contracted in many places that there is room for single houses only, while its sides descend at an angle which is seldom less than forty degrees, and in some places fifty degrees, below the horizon. At other places it spreads out considerably, giving room for more extensive buildings; but the slopes terminating in the water-courses are everywhere abrupt, and the latter deeply excavated. On the western side of the cantonment there is but one large valley, which is pretty well cleared; to the eastward the valley, as it ascends from the lower part, branches out into a number of smaller ones, separated by sharp ridges, and these generally contain much bush. From the nature of the ground the fall is everywhere so great that water finds a ready outlet, and there is nothing of the nature of marsh to be seen; while, from the frequent rain and the supply from the springs, the main water-courses have always a stream in them.
The soil in the neighbourhood seems to be clay, mixed with vegetable matter on the surface; though where excavated the clay is found
Some years ago it was proposed to make a carriage-road from the low lands to this station; when the levels were taken, the elevation of the plateau on which the mess-room stands was found to be 4050 feet above the sea. This information was derived from the plans in the Engineer's Office, in Jamaica.
stiff and unmixed, and is of a red colour. This clay overlies a bed of marl of a yellowish-grey colour, and that again seems to be bedded in sandstone of a purplish-blue colour, and of remarkable firmness and cohesion; large boulders of this nature are found all over the flanks of the hills, where the action of the rain has washed away the soil and left them exposed. The stratum of clay attains considerable thickness in many places, and in several has been eaten into deep gullies from the action of the surface-drainage, or extensive slips have taken place.
It has been necessary to cut the ground at Newcastle into terraces, to obtain level space sufficient for building. The face of the scarp in these cases (usually composed of a red clay, sometimes embracing a portion of the marl also,) is occasionally left uncovered. Sometimes it is partially covered in, and in others wholly, by a stone retaining wall. The scarp varies from a few feet to twelve or fourteen in height, and there is a passage between the back of the corresponding house and its base, varying from three or four to ten or twelve feet, in different cases.
The houses for the men are of one floor, raised from the ground about two feet on a stone wall, with four ventilating spaces in front and back, and one at the ends, each seventeen inches long and seven inches and a half deep, fitted with open iron gratings, through which there was generally a sufficient draught. The huts are of wood, lined substantially, and closely floored, and open to the ridge inside the roof. They have a door covered with a porch; glass sash windows; and an arrangement in the roof for ventilation, which, if properly attended to, and care taken to admit air below, would always secure a sufficiency of fresh air for the inmates.
The rooms lettered A and B are fifty-three feet long, twenty-six feet broad, ten feet six inches from the floor to the tie beam, and ten feet six inches from that to the ridge; and the roof is hipped at each end. At six feet from the front there was a partition forming a sort of verandah, but with louvre boarding at the upper part, communicating with the rest of the room. There were jalousies in front of these buildings in place of glazed windows, though elsewhere the sash windows were inserted. Allowing for the shape of the roof, the cubic space in these rooms is 16,447 feet in the greater part, and 4074 feet in the verandah.
The other rooms, lettered C to N, are fifty-four feet long, twentyfour feet wide, ten feet to the tie beam, and ten feet from that to the ridge. The roofs are also hipped. Allowing for this arrangement, the cubic space in these rooms is 18,480 feet.
The hospital is a stone building, surrounded by a jalousied verandah, ten feet wide at the front and sides, and seven feet and a half at the back. The main building is divided into three wards, numbered from 1 to 3, from west to east; each is thirty-one feet long, twenty feet wide, fifteen feet four inches to the tie beam, and eight feet nine inches from that to the ridge. The partition walls are of stone, and reach to the tie beam. The space above is open from end to end of the
building, and there is no ceiling to the wards. Each ward has a door, and two sash windows, both in the front and back walls; and over each, a louvre-boarded opening the width of the door or window, and a foot high. The cubic space in each of these wards is 9507 to the tie beam, or 12,219 feet, including that up to the ridge. There is a similar arrangement in the roof of the hospital for ventilation to that already mentioned in connexion with the barracks.
The officers' quarters are of one floor, which is raised from the ground, on walls or pillars, about twenty inches or more, according to the nature of the surface. They are sufficiently commodious, and fitted with glass sash windows everywhere. There are several other buildings about the cantonment for staff-serjeants, and workshops, which are of a similar character. These were for some time occupied by married people during the progress of the sickness. There are also in several places huts of wattle and daub, which were occupied by married people, which have earth floors merely, and are of course not raised from the ground.
The privies and kitchens are generally on the western slope of the hill; the former are all constructed with cesspools, which are not trapped, and at the commencement of the disease they were very offensive. During its progress charcoal was used pretty freely, and their condition was much improved.
The barrack cells are in a substantial stone building (see plan), about 400 feet to the eastward of the hospital, and 140 feet below it, on the edge of a ravine. They are in two rows, of four each, placed back to back. There is a passage of five feet wide in front of each row, with jalousied windows, and the cells open directly from them. The cells are ten feet long, eight feet wide, and ten feet three inches to the eaves, giving a cubic content of 820 feet. Each has a small opening at the side of the door, near the floor, and a barred opening over the door of the same width, and about three feet high. In the cells to the eastward there is an opening in the roof for ventilation; in those to the westward there is a similar opening, but instead of leading directly from the cell, it opens into the upper part of the passage already mentioned, and of course does not insure the same thorough ventilation as the other. There was no privy attached to the cells, and the prisoners in obeying the calls of nature had to go to a spot in the bottom of the ravine, where a temporary place was erected. The surface drainage passing through this spot carried off the soil completely.
The guard-room was a small wooden building raised from the ground on pillars. It was originally situated over the centre of the space now occupied by the front wall of the church, but was removed from this to the front of A room, about the end of September or first week in October. The trench for the foundation of the church was commenced on the north side on October 8th, and the ground opened all round by the 16th. The ground was not fairly filled in again before the end of October. The soil (not clay) removed from the trench was employed to raise the surface in front of the new guard