Plagues by state, city, date

This list of epidemics and plagues may help people confirm how ancestors died. And it can add to the history of a person's family, to know what happened in a certain state while a family was living there.

68 articles

CA, San Francisco, 1/1/1900, Plague
1890s The third plague pandemic began in China in the 1850s and spread slowly until it reached the seaports in the 1880s, then spread more rapidly around the world, striking particularly hard in India, Egypt and north Africa, and South America. The continental U.S. was largely spared, but Hawaii suffered a severe outbreak in 1899, and San Francisco was affected in 1900-1904, and again in 1907-1909. The second outbreak there was exacerbated by unsanitary conditions following the earthquake of 1906. Sporadic outbreaks continued worldwide for years, and officially this pandemic was not considered over until 1959.

CA, San Francisco, 4/18/1906, Earthquake
San Francisco earthquake. Best guess is 1000+ killed.

CT, , 1/1/1747, Measles
Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania & South Carolina: Measles

DE, Dover, 1/1/1793, Unknown
Delaware (Dover): "extremely fatal" bilious disorder

ENG, London, 1/1/1563, Bubonic plague in London
1560s Bubonic plague struck London again in 1563, and was probably its worst outbreak ever, killing an estimated quarter to a third of the population. Subsequent outbreaks occurred in 1578, 1593, 1603, 1625, 1636, and 1665, each time killing thousands. In terms of proportion of the total population destroyed, the 1563 and 1665 epidemics were the worst.
http://www.botany.duke.edu/microbe/chrono.htm

EUR, Europe, 1/1/1340, Black plague
1340-1360 Black plague in Europe kills 1/3 of population.

GA, Savannah, 1/1/1826, Dengue fever
1826-28 Dengue fever spread from Savannah, Georgia, to other cities along the southeastern coast, and through the Caribbean.

HI, Hawaii, 1/1/1853, Smallpox
Smallpox was introduced to Hawaii by a ship arriving from San Francisco. At least 2500 people died, possibly as many as 5,000.

IL, Coles Co., 1/1/1851, Cholera

LA, New Orleans, 1/1/1847, Yellow fever

LA, New Orleans, 1/1/1852, Yellow fever
Nationwide: Yellow Fever (New Orleans: 8,000 die in summer)

LA, New Orleans, 1/1/1878, Yellow Fever (last great epidemic of disease)

MA, Boston, 1/1/1666, Small pox in Boston
A smallpox outbreak struck Boston, but was relatively mild, and only about 40 people died.

MA, Boston, 1/1/1677, Smallpox in Boston
1677-78 Another smallpox epidemic in Boston was much worse than the 1666 epidemic, and killed several of the town leaders.

MA, Boston, 1/1/1702, Smallpox
Smallpox hit Boston again. This time about 300 died, but a simultaneous outbreak of scarlet fever makes it hard to assess who died from what.

MA, Boston, 1/1/1713, Measles

http://members.aol.com/AdamCo9991/epidemics.html

MA, Boston, 1/1/1721, Small pox
Smallpox struck Boston again, with about 6000 people affected in a total population of 11,000, of whom 844 died. This epidemic prompted the first use of inoculation against smallpox in the New World.

MA, Boston, 1/1/1729, Measles

MA, Boston, 1/1/1739, Measles

MA, Boston, 1/1/1763, Smallpox
1763-64 Smallpox hit Boston once again, with about 170 deaths. This epidemic was less serious than previous ones, probably because of inoculation.

MO, Missouri, 1/1/1837, Smallpox
Smallpox started with a Sioux tribe in Missouri in June 1837, then spread to Blackfoot and other tribes in Montana and Saskatchewan. The last previous outbreak among the Blackfoot had been in 1781, so by 1837 most of the population was susceptible.

MO, Missouri, 1/1/1851, Cholera

NE, , 1/1/1802, Smallpox
Smallpox killed about two thirds of the Omaha Indians in what is now northeast Nebraska.

NY, New York, 1/1/1668, Yellow fever
Probably the earliest recorded epidemic of yellow fever non-tropical America, striking New York in late summer and early fall of 1668, and described as an "autumnal bilious fever in infectious form". The contemporary descriptions leave some possibility open that it could have been some other disease, but yellow fever seems the most likely.

NY, New York, 1/1/1702, Yellow fever
Yellow fever struck New York, killing more than 500 people over a three-month period, which was probably about 10% of the population at the time.

NY, New York, 1/1/1743, Yellow fever
1743-1745 Yellow fever struck New York again. A correlation with the dockyard areas was noticed, but mosquitoes were still not recognized as the vector.

NY, New York, 1/1/1788, Measles

NY, New York, 1/1/1789, Influenza (flu)
A widespread epidemic of influenza hit New England, New York and Nova Scotia in fall 1789. Most deaths appear to have been from secondary pneumonia.

NY, New York, 1/1/1803, Yellow fever

NY, New York, 1/1/1834, Cholera

NY, New York, 1/1/1849, Cholera

NY, New York, 1/1/1863, Cholera
1863-66 The fourth cholera pandemic of the 19th century began in India in 1863, spread first to the middle east, and then into the Mediterranean. It arrived in New York on a ship coming from France in October 1865, and spread rapidly. Public health reform kept the death toll lower than in previous epidemics, but there were tens of thousands of deaths nonetheless. Another wave swept through the south and midwest in 1873, hitting particularly hard in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys.

NY, New York, 1/1/1868, Smallpox
1868-75 Smallpox outbreaks hit New York, Philadelphia and other cities, and it was discovered that many children had not been vaccinated. The New York City Board of Health recommended that all residents be vaccinated in 1870, but there was widespread public resistance, since the vaccine itself was not without risk, and people perceived the campaign as creating a panic situation and allowing doctors to profit from it.

NY, New York, 1/1/1901, Smallpox
1901-03 Smallpox had its last major outbreak in the urban northeast U.S., beginning in New York and spreading through other major cities.

NY, New York, 1/1/1907, Polio
1907-1916 Polio turned into a major problem in the U.S., with about a thousand cases in New York in 1907, and another outbreak in 1911. The disease was recognized as contagious, but there was no understanding yet of exactly how it was spread. The first widespread outbreak, seriously affecting 26 states, occurred in 1916. About 7,000 deaths were recorded.

OH, Columbus, 1/1/1833, Cholera

PA, Harrisburg, 1/1/1793, Unexplained deaths from disease

http://members.aol.com/AdamCo9991/epidemics.html

PA, mult., 1/1/1860, Smallpox

PA, Philadelphia, 1/1/1788, Measles

PA, Philadelphia, 1/1/1793, Yellow fever
One of the worst.
http://members.aol.com/AdamCo9991/epidemics.html

PA, Philadelphia, 1/1/1794, Yellow fever

PA, Philadelphia, 1/1/1796, Yellow fever
1796-1797.

PA, Philadelphia, 1/1/1837, Typhus

PA, Plymouth, 1/1/1885, Typhoid

PA, Schuylkyl, 1/1/1820, Fever
starts on Schuylkill River, PA & spreads

SC, , 1/1/1738, Smallpox

SC, Charleston, 1/1/1699, Yellow fever
Charleston SC had an epidemic, the first there to be positively identified as yellow fever; probably about 160-190 died.

SC, Charleston, 1/1/1706, Yellow fever
Charleston SC was struck with yellow fever again. About 5% of the population died.
http://www.botany.duke.edu/microbe/chrono.htm

SC, Charleston, 1/1/1728, Yellow fever
Charleston SC was hit by yellow fever twice in a four year period. The cause (mosquitoes) was not understood, and treatment wasn't very effective.

SC, Charleston, 1/1/1850, Dengue fever
1850-51 An extensive epidemic of dengue fever began in Charleston SC, then spread to Savannah, Augusta, New Orleans, Mobile, Galveston, and other southern coastal cities.

SWE, Sweden, 1/1/1887, Polio
Paralytic polio was first described in an epidemic in Sweden.

US, Great plains, 1/1/1851, Cholera

US, many, 1/1/1732, Influenza worldwide

US, many, 1/1/1772, Measles

US, many, 1/1/1832, Cholera
1826-37 The second cholera pandemic of the 19th century, and the most devastating one, began in Bengal and spread through India in 1826. It reached Afghanistan in 1827, and spread further into central Asia and the middle east. By late 1830 it had reached Moscow, and from there spread westward into Europe in 1831. It reached England on a ship from Hamburg in October 1831 and spread throughout the British Isles. It reached New York in 1832, and spread from there throughout most of the U.S.

US, many, 1/1/1861, Multiple diseases
1861-65 The U.S. Civil War brought epidemics of dysentery, typhoid fever, hepatitis, malaria, smallpox, measles, and venereal diseases. More than three times as many soldiers died of infectious disease than died of battle wounds.

US, many, 1/1/1865, Mult. Diseases
Philadelphia, New York, Boston, New Orleans, Baltimore, Memphis, & Washington D.C.: a series of recurring epidemics of Smallpox, Cholera, Typhus, Typhoid, Scarlet Fever & Yellow Fever

US, many, 1/1/1889, Influenza
1889-90 A worldwide epidemic of influenza, the most devastating to that time, began in central Asia in the summer of 1889, spread north into Russia, east to China and west to Europe. By December it had struck the major U.S. cities, and continued to spread through North America the following year. Parts of Africa and the middle east were infected early in 1890; and India, southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand were reached between February and May. Completing the circle, eastern China had the last major outbreak of this pandemic, in September and October of 1890.

US, many, 1/1/1918, Spanish influenza
1918-1920 Massive Spanish influenza outbreak in Spain and US.
1917-1919 The most lethal influenza pandemic ever killed half a million people worldwide. Its spread was facilitated by troop movements in the closing months of World War I. Mortality rates were unusually high for flu, especially among young, otherwise healthy adults. Deaths occurred both from the flu itself and from secondary pneumonia.

US, many, 1/1/31, Polio
Another outbreak of polio swept the U.S. during the summer of 1931, killing more than 4,000 people, about 12 percent of the reported cases.

US, multiple, 1/1/1878, Yellow fever
1878-79 Yellow fever again swept through New Orleans, Memphis, and the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys.

US, New England, 1/1/1735, Diphtheria and scarlet fever
1735-40 Epidemics of diphtheria and scarlet fever spread through various parts of New England. Both diseases were referred to as "throat distemper" and weren't distinguished. Hundreds of people died, most of them children. (Scarlet fever is strep throat with a rash.)

US, New England, 1/1/1792, Yellow fever
1792-99 Yellow fever ravaged cities all along the east coast, including Charleston, Philadelphia, New Haven, New York, and Baltimore. The outbreak in Philadelphia in the summer of 1793 was the most severe, and most memorable. The disease was probably introduced from ships carrying French refugees who were fleeing turmoil in Santo Domingo, and then spread by mosquitoes that bred in stagnant water that in years with more rain had been waterways and canals. Ten percent of the population in that city died, about 5,000 people altogether. The new city of Washington DC was under construction at the time, and Philadelphia was the interim capital. Most of the government officials fled the city, including George Washington and the members of his cabinet. Various treatments were tried, none of them very effective, and controversy raged over the best way to prevent and treat the disease. Cold weather finally brought an end to the outbreak, in late October.

US, New England, 1/1/1893, Polio
1893-94 The first large recorded outbreak of polio in the U.S. began in Boston, and spread into New England, particularly Vermont. Of 132 cases documented in Vermont, there were 18 deaths and 30 victims left with permanent paralysis.

US, Pacific NW, 1/1/1829, Malaria kills indians
1829-33 In the Pacific northwest, malaria killed an estimated 150,000 native Americans. Other diseases may have contributed to the death toll, but contemporary writing describes symptoms that closely correspond to those of malaria. The disease was probably introduced in February 1829 by a ship reaching Oregon after coming from Chile, carrying infected mosquitoes in water tanks onboard ship. The Columbia River was flooded at the time, creating stagnant water in which the mosquitoes could breed.

US, south, 1/1/1841, Yellow Fever (especially severe in South)

VA, , 1/1/1793, Influenza
Virginia: Influenza (kills 500 people in 5 counties in 4 weeks)

VT, , 1/1/1793, Influenza and "putrid fever"

A good source for plague links was: http://www.CyndisList.com/medical.htm 1