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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 172, October 25-26, 1853

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Identifier: DX04187051

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 172, October 25-26, 1853

Description: Regarding the yellow fever epidemic in and surrounding Yazoo City, Mississippi.


Yazoo, was living at this house, awaiting the disappearance of the plague. There was no post there, postmaster had fled, — to die at Benton. The newspaper had stopped, printers, editor, all dead. More than half the population dead. Yazoo was always a sickly place, he said, it meant that in Indian; and he reckon’d the Yaller Fever would use it up altogether almost. (Every one talked low, and had their stories, so that Death seemed brooding all over you.) They put us to bed in a dismal, log room, Maurice [Keane] & Keene [Richards] sleeping on the a floor bed, I and [Oliver] Kellam in a better; a stranger and child in another. During the night it rained hard, and beat in through a crevice where a log or so was missing, on to the sleepers on the floor. I lay thinking awhile, what if I was nearing the End of my Life? And of Many Things; prayed.

26. Wednesday. Up we were, and off in the morning, and by a short cut skirting fields into the Vicksburg Road, or towards it. A windy day. The very forests had an air of funeral gloom, the long ragged masses, (peculiar to Southern forests,) hanging from their boughs, or swathing them, with cob web like appearance. The moss is grey in color, and grows in great luxuriance, indifferently on all trees, giving them a very singular appearance. All this day we rode briskly, through devious roads; eating nothing. By 4 o’clock it came on to rain, and soon fell in torrents. I had on the indian-rubber coat, and its owner Keene Richards insisted I should retain it. Soon they were wetted through, I also, from my knees downwards. Oh the wet, green, dismal forest, and the driving rain. Two hours thus, then a debate as to whether we can obtain a lodging, sitting wearily and wet in our saddles, and anticipating farther misery. But luckily we can stop. The house belonged to an old French Canadian, who years agone had found his way to this dismal region; and despite sickness had remained here. He’d had the yellow fever, bilious fever, fever and ague, and I know

[note along the side of the page]

Pontotoc = Coffeeville = Carrollton = Black Hawk = Lexington = Benton.

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-10-25

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Yellow fever
Rain and rainfall


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