Isaac Norris Year 1699 Letter - Regarding "Sick Ship"

Editor's Note:  This letter was for sale (see text below) on the Internet. 

The words in the description of the document led Don Hayworth to the text, via an Internet search.  The letter is significant in that it was written on the day that the ship "Britannia" docked in Phildelphia.  Ron Haworth, Editor


Editor's note:  We enhansed the section of this letter, dealing the ship.

NORRIS, Isaac. Small archive of autograph letters signed to Jonathan Dickinson, discussing the Yellow Fever epidemic in Philadelphia. Philadelphia: v.d. [but August to September 1699]. Together, 3 letters, lengths vary (each approximately 310 x 190 mm). Most with address panel and docketing on verso. Condition: some browning, occasional small holes at old folds, a few letters somewhat carelessly opened.
the first yellow fever epidemic in philadelphia.
The 1699 Yellow Fever epidemic was the first such outbreak in the city and was particularly horrific. Nearly one third of Philadelphia's population would succumb, a figure significantly higher than the more well-known epidemics of the late 18th century.
These letters comprise:
24 August 1699: “This day arrived the Brittania from Liverpool with Passengers. She brought out above 200, but being 13 weeks at Sea has buried above 50 and many now very sick and weak. Our dear Friend Thomas Musgrave died about a fortnight ago … Some of our Neighbors are Dead as Robert Jones with his wife & Son all in 10 days.” The letter continues with a list of names of the dead, and continues, "we hope (the weather now being pretty cool and pleasant) that It may be means in Gods hands to Stay this distemper and though some have been Visited more than Ordinary Yet in General it is not So Sickly as is Resented abroad."
31 August 1699: A duplicate of the above letter, with the addition of a postscript: “Excuse me … If can Say little of business now. Every thing Looks very dull here, It being so Sickly. Thomas Morris was well and dead in 4 days. Abra[ham] Hardiman died this morning. Hester Hoskins Not like to Live till night…”
11 September 1699: "In my Last I advised Somewhat of its being Sickly here, Which Affliction it has pleased the Almighty and wise God, Still to continue very Sorely upon us, which makes many bow before him, there is not a Day nor a night has passed for Several weeks but we have the account of the Death or Sickness of Some friend or neighbour. It hath been sometimes very Sickly but I never before knew it So mortal as now." The letter continues with a lengthy listing of those that had died.

est. $4000 – $6000   Unsold


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