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Sequoyah Research Center


On the River

“Cholera showed up at the mouth of the White River in late October, 1832. Our victim was a passenger who had come up from New Orleans on the Volant.”

Source: Arkansas Advocate, November 7, 1832.

“Seemingly on the pinnacle of success, disaster struck the steamboat line (Montgomery, Miller, & Company) in June 1833. Cholera was raging along the Mississippi River Ports when Captain Miller and the Reindeer left the plague-ridden city of New Orleans, bound for the mouth of the White River. Several passengers boarded the boat at Vicksburg, Mississippi, one of whom spread the disease to the other passengers and crew. When the Reindeer docked at Montgomery’s Point, Captain Miller took sick suddenly. After an illness of only four or five hours he succumbed, and the boat left for Little Rock with Captain Cochran in command.

When the vessel reached the capitol city (Little Rock) on June 23, 1833, she was in a distressed condition, having lost six of her passengers and crew from the ravages of cholera. Another of the passengers was at the point of death, and almost everyone on board was “more or less affected by the disease.” Passenger Matthew Coffee was lost on June 18, and steward A. Nedad, fireman James Rea, passenger John Allen, pilot George Norris, and chief engineer L.H. Edson died on June 19. Nevertheless, the Reindeer was thoroughly scrubbed, another pilot and engineer hired, and the boat left for Fort Gibson. Passengers who remained at Little Rock told when the Reindeer left New Orleans, cholera was raging with between 150 and 200 persons dying daily and business was at a standstill. The disease was rampant all along the Mississippi, with the woodyards becoming burial grounds. No casualties were reported on the Volant, but Captain Turner replaced Charles Kelly as master, so he may have become ill.”

Source: Huddleston, Duane, “The Volant and Reindeer Early Arkansas Steamboats,” Pulaski County Historical Review, 24 (Little Rock: June, 1976) p21-33.

Cherokee Removal

Robert M. Greathouse: SW 1/4 NE 1/4 Section 36, T6N R15W at Mouth of Cadron on the Conway-Faulker County line.

Cholera prevailing among the Cherokees camped at Mouth of Cadron. Up to Tuesday night, 30 or 40 had died. Cherokees went up about three weeks ago aboard the Thomas Yeatman, but low water would not allow them to go farther than Cadron, about 33 miles above Little Rock. Dr. Roberts of Conway County, one of the attending physicians died Tuesday evening. Dr. Fulton, of Little Rock, was lying at the point of death on Wednesday.

Source: Arkansas Advocate, April 25, 1834.

National Predicament


Cholera in New York - The following is a brief abstract of the progress of this scourge of the human race in the City of New York, as detailed in the reports of the Board of Health for the 24 hours preceding 12 o’clock (M.) of the days on which the reports were made viz:

July, 7                                  12 deaths
July, 8        42 new cases     21 do.
July, 9        105 do.               28 do.
July, 10     120 do.                44 do.
July, 11     129 do.                50 do.
July, 12     119 do.                51 do.

The New York papers state, that the disease is no longer confined to the poorer class of citizens.

Albany - The Board of Health of this City reports as follows:

July, 9        18 new cases                         5 deaths
July, 10      21 do.                 8 do.

One of the Boston Papers contains an account of 3 cases of Cholera in that City, on the 10th July, but it is believed to be incorrect.

A respectable physician in Philadelphia reported a case of Asiatic Cholera in Filbert Street, but it turned out, on dissection, to be equivocal. the health of Philadelphia was still considered good.

The Board of Health of Philadelphia makes the following report on 12th July, at noon:

“No case of Malignant Cholera has been reported to the B. of Health for he last 24 hours.”

Source: Arkansas Gazette, Wednesday, August 8, 1832.

“The Cholera - Reports, we are informed, are quite current through the Territory, that the Cholera prevails to an alarming extent in this town. So far from such reports being true, it gives us pleasure to state, that the health of our town has never been better than it is at the present time. We have not had a single case of Cholera among our citizens, nor do we expect to have.”

Source: Arkansas Advocate, December 5, 1832.

“The Cholera - A letter to the Editor, from a friend in Pope county, dated Morison’s bluff, 1st Dec. says - “We have had a case of Cholera in this neighborhood, which has caused much alarm. The patient, (a lady,) had just returned from a visit to her parents in Washington county; and is said to have contracted the disease, while there from the Illinois and Missouri rangers. The rangers quartered themselves on the citizens, and accounts say, that sixty or seventy of them have died. - Dr. W. attended the lady in question, and states, unequivocally, that it is the malignant Cholera. She recovered. Whether this disease will spread, is, as yet, entirely problematical. I have heard of no new cases.”

Source: Arkansas Advocate, December 5, 1832.

Updated 1.25.2010