Student Research Projects

The Norfolk and Portsmouth Yellow Fever of 1855: A Context for Discussion of Relations Between the North and South

Student Jennifer Brown
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department History


This paper explores the Norfolk Yellow Fever of 1855 and the resulting charitable contributions from Northern cities as a context that prompted the discussion of relations between the North and the South. While the majority of charitable organization reports, sermons, and monographs written about the Fever did express appreciation for Northern charity, political statements about the state of the Union varied because of differences in location, audience, and primary document type. Charitable organization reports did not contain explicit political statements, sermons contained positions which varied by location (more support for the Union was expressed in sermons given in Northern states), and monographs contained positions which varied according to audience.