An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793

Finalist, National Book Awards 2003 for Young People's Literature

An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, by Jim Murphy book cover
ISBN 9780395776087
Clarion Books / Houghton Mifflin Company
Jim Murphy author photo
Jim Murphy

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Jim Murphy is the author of more than 25 books for young people, including Inside the Alamo, The Great Fire, and A Young Patriot: The American Revolution as Experienced by One Boy. More about this author >

Award Years

Award Status

Award Categories

The death of a young French sailor on August 3, 1793 marked the beginning of a crippling epidemic that took hold of Philadelphia, then the nation’s capital, and threatened the stability of a fledgling country, leaving between 4,000 and 5,000 dead. Using medical and non-medical accounts to recreate the fear that took hold of the city, the author spotlights those who were forced to flee, President Washington among them, and the heroic residents who stayed to help combat the spread of the disease. An American Plague brings together science, history, politics, and public health to tell the story of a nation in crisis.

X