On this day in Alabama history: Birmingham’s first cholera case reported

On this day in Alabama history: Birmingham’s first cholera case reported
Map of the 1873 cholera epidemic. Compiled originally by Mortimer Jordan Jr for inclusion in his 1875 report, published by the United States Government. (Bhamwiki)

June 12, 1873

The first reported case in Birmingham’s deadly cholera outbreak dates to June 12, 1873. The individual believed to be the first carrier of the disease in the city, known only as Mr. Y, had recently moved from Huntsville to Birmingham. He showed symptoms three days after his bed and accessories arrived from Huntsville, which was suffering its own cholera epidemic. Mr. Y died, and days later, two sisters fell ill and died. In all three cases, no one properly disposed of body fluids and the disease spread through the city. Despite the efforts of community-minded residents, including local madame Louise Wooster, a mass exodus of people who feared for their lives shrunk Birmingham’s population by half by the end of the summer.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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