Virus in the U.S. Capital, 1793: The Politics of Philadelphia's Great Yellow Fever Epidemic with Joella Clamen - Context Travel

Virus in the U.S. Capital, 1793: The Politics of Philadelphia's Great Yellow Fever Epidemic with Joella Clamen


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Philadelphia's Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 shocked the capital of a young democracy. Explore the convergence of politics and science as we delve into the swirling debates as an epidemic tears through the U.S. Capital during the presidency of George Washington.

Our conversation will raise questions that can seem just as current as they are historical: How can politics impact scientific debates? What is the proper role of quarantine? Can the government effectively assist economic victims of a health catastrophe? How can race relations impact a shared experience?

Learn about the reactions of famous leaders like Washington and Hamilton, as well the doctors and ordinary citizens who took center stage in a chaotic situation. Discover the courage of unknown heroes and heroines who braved infection tohelp their fellow citizens, and evaluate how government under strain rose (or failed to rise) to the occasion to lead its people through a dark time. When it comes to the politics of disease, how much has really changed?

Led by an expert on the history of early Philadelphia, Joella Clamen, this interactive seminar will explore the relationship between science and politics during a time of crisis. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of a fascinating time in the history of a great city and perhaps some food for thought for today.

Joella Clamen lives in Cherry Hill, NJ. She has a B.A. in Philosophy and the History of Math and Science from St. John's College, MD, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Joella has experience as a docent at multiple historic sites in Philadelphia, including the Physick and Powel Houses in Society Hill and at Christ Church. Most recently, she worked as an educator in Philadelphia's Museum of the American Revolution.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.