A History of Yellow Fever in Louisiana, 1796-1905
by Jo Ann Carrigan
“Saffron Scourge is the definitive account of yellow fever in Louisiana . .
. it is unlikely that this work, grounded as it is in a thorough reading of
primary manuscripts and medical sources, will be superseded in its careful
telling of this powerful story."
- Journal of Southern History
“Saffron Scourge is a significant contribution to both the history of the
South and the History of Medicine.”
- Louisiana History
“Jo Ann Carrigan’s history of yellow fever in Louisiana from 1796 through
1905 is a strong example . . . for those working in public health,
epidemiology, or medical ethics, [that] an informed acquaintance with the
historical record can be both revealing and consoling.”
- The New England Journal of Medicine
This ground breaking study is the first to comprehensively examine the
history of yellow fever in Louisiana. As the state’s largest city and
principal port, New Orleans was frequently the center of yellow fever
outbreaks. Brought in repeatedly via shipping from Latin American endemic
centers, the disease spread from the city throughout the region, carried by
infected persons or mosquitoes, along the expanding lines of trade and
travel—river, coastal, and later rail. In its numerous attacks spread over
more than a century of southern history, the saffron scourge destroyed
thousands of lives, cost millions of dollars, and affected almost every
facet of community life.
Carrigan discusses every major epidemic from 1796 through 1905, with
attention to the historical peculiarities of major visitations as well as
similarities observed in all yellow fever epidemics. Saffron Scourge then
shifts to topical discussions of medical theories and controversies,
changing patterns of therapy, the social, political, and economic
consequences of yellow fever, and the means by which medical science finally
conquered the disease.
This updated edition of Saffron Scourge contains a new introductory chapter
that samples and discusses the relevant works on yellow fever that have
appeared in the twenty years since the book’s original publication.
Softcover, 542 pp., ©2016