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An Historical Account of the Plague

Plagues of the 1800s

1804 – There was a plague accompanied with great mortality at Gibraltar.

1805 – The plague made its appearance again in Gibraltar, and also in Spain.

1813 – A fatal plague made its appearance in Malta.

1814 – A plague in Smyrna carried off 35,000 persons.

1816 – A plague similar to that which visited Malta, in 1813, caused great devastation in the Ionian Islands in this year.

1819 – This summer, the yellow fever caused dreadful ravages among the British troops in Jamaica, particularly among regiments recently arrived. The contagion, like that at Malta, was so virulent, that all who attended the sick, with few exceptions, fell victims to their self-devotion. The soldiers who would have mounted a breach ” to the cannon’s mouth,” were appalled by the terrific strides of disease, and in a body refused to wait upon the sick. The officers represented to them the cruelty of abandoning their brother-soldiers in the last extremity of nature. After a short pause, four privates of the grenadiers stepped forward and offered their services for a duty more perilous than the forlorn hope in storming a fortified town. Two of these brave men in a short time fell under the pestilence, and the two others withdrew their assistance. Every heart was dismayed, when Colonel Hill of the 50th Regiment heroically addressed the men: ” Then my men, we must change coats. Since I cannot find a soldier who will risk his own person to save the lives of his brothers in arms, I must take the duty r.pon myself.” In ten days this true hero, this benevolent son of war, added another to the multitude that perished by the yellow fever. He was the oldest officer in the corps, and had served forty-seven years.


This ends the exert from the digitized version of “An historical account of the plague.” To view the full version of the book, or to download it, visit this page at Google Books – An historical account of the plague.

On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone that has helped with the Google Books project. These historical accounts of human history hold a unique reflection into our shared past.


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