Please visit our new exhibition Malignant Fever: Benjamin Rush and the 1793 Yellow Fever Epidemic in Philadelphia, curated by Mandy Cooper, PhD candidate in Duke University’s History Department. The exhibition will be on display in the Mary Duke Biddle Room through March 11, 2016.
This exhibit highlights the effects of epidemic diseases on society by examining one of the most famous outbreaks in U.S. history – the 1793 yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia. Drawing chiefly on letters written by Dr. Benjamin Rush, an eighteenth-century physician and U.S. Founding Father, to his wife Julia Stockton Rush, the exhibit examines the timeline of the outbreak, early responses, stages and symptoms, and the “cure” for yellow fever that Rush developed. Finally, the exhibit looks at the anatomy of an epidemic, focusing on the social and psychological effects exemplified by Rush’s emotion-filled letters, as well as stories that emphasize the fear, panic, and mental anguish that accompany epidemic disease outbreaks even today.
Coinciding with this exhibition is a new digital collection of the Benjamin and Julia Stockton Rush papers held by the History of Medicine Collections in the Rubenstein Library. We encourage you to visit the exhibition and check out the new digital collection as well.
A gallery talk led by Mandy Cooper will be held on Friday, February 26, at 2 pm in the Mary Duke Biddle Room. All are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.
Post contributed by Rachel Ingold, Curator of the History of Medicine Collections