[D8805AHA1], Letter from J E Black to Thomas Alva Edison, October 3rd, 1888


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[yellow fever] [from Memphis] "Your letter of 29th Sept. to the Mayor of this city, the Hon. DP Headdress has just been handed me for reply. It is sincerely to be hoped that notwithstanding this uncertainty which surrounds the cause of yellow fever, its spread and the vitality of the materies morbi-that you will be able to accomplish something in the way of destroying the poison. ### The history of the spread of the epidemic of 1828, as given by Mr. Chittenden, is not in accord with the facts as I know them. I will briefly state these facts as I do know them and you can draw your own conclusions. ### The fever in 1828 was brought I cite you to previous epidemics in this city when there were known to be infected points about the city which were carefully avoided, and at which times only limited portions of the city were involved, at one time a portion of the Northern, at another time, the southern part of the city being involved and other portions of the city being free from the disease. The same thing is now noticable at Decatur Ala and at Jackson Miss. What is more important is the fact that this germ or microbe is not immediately infectious when exhaled from the lungs of a fever patient, but required time to to meeting of some change in itself to become poisonous. This I [unclear] and as well is published, but what this change is and what conditions are necessary for this to take place I cannot say. In my opinion this would be the epidemic of 79 was not traceable to a reintroduction of the horses, but was supposed to have remained over through the winter which was a very mild one. ### The subject of yellow fever is a voluminous one, as well as an imporant study. And if I can aid you I will cheerfully do so. I believe I have answered all the points in your letter." Very respectfully, yours J.E. Black









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[D8805AHA1], Letter from J E Black to Thomas Alva Edison, October 3rd, 1888

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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University