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Sale 38 Lot 509

YELLOW FEVER EPIDEMIC OF 1799 PETER BAYNTONPennsylvania State Treasurer, 1797-1801. Fine content A.L.S. 3pp. legal folio with integral address leaf, Lancaster, June 5, 1799 to Comptroller John Donaldson. Having just left Philadelphia in the wake of the oncoming yellow fever epidemic of 1799, Baynton writes, in part: "...After a very agreeable Ride of two Days through a most delightful Country, Colonel Johnston's & My Family arrived here on Friday Evening...Yesterday Evening I received a Letter from Mr. Wells the Cashier of the Bank of North America requesting Information respecting the Steps which the Directors ought to take for the payment of Monies loaded for the Support of the Poor during the Yellow Fever...as the Treasury is so very low it will be impossible to pay them the Monies received from the Auctioneers for the last Quarter before the 1st of July Next...General Harmar...begs that I will remit to him the Amount of his Salary by the earliest safe Conveyance...you will greatly favor me by delivering to the Brigade Inspectors of the City and County of Philadelphia, which Each of them may require for the use of the Staff and Several Regiments in their Districk [sic] and taking Receipts for the Same, which you can forward to me...". We are unsure of what happened to Mr. Donaldson in the end. According to Dr. Benjamin Rush's notes, the first cases of yellow fever appeared in the first week of June. Recalling the carnage of the 1793 and 1798 epidemics, the state government lost no time in evacuating the city. In the end the epidemic of that year was fortunately mild and had waned by the end of August. Small loss from seal tear and other minor marginal chips, usual folds with light toning, else very good condition.
Estimate $ 150-200

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