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Cholera, Christ, and Jackson: The Epidemic of 1832 and the Origins of Christian Politics in Antebellum America

Cholera, Christ, and Jackson: The Epidemic of 1832 and the Origins of Christian Politics in... Cholera, Christ, and Jackson The Epidemic of 1832 and the Origins of Christian Politics in Antebellum America ADAM JORTNER For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. Passover traditional No one knew where it came from. ``Epidemiological thought in the United States had been conditioned by experience with yellow fever, and the black vomit seemed obviously non-contagious. As was the case with yellow fever, so it was with cholera: there could never be found any pattern within the cases that would support a contagionist argument.'' It struck down its victims in the street, and they would be dead by nightfall. Symptoms were multiform and terrifying: muscular cramps, spasmodic vomiting, fever, a constant stream of rice-water diarrhea. It was known, alternately, as Asiatic cholera, pestilential cholera, spasmodic cholera, and the blue pest. In 1832, in the days before germ theory, it was an affliction without cause or logic. The only comfort, perhaps, was that ``It is the intemperate and vicious, especially the vicious poor, who have http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Cholera, Christ, and Jackson: The Epidemic of 1832 and the Origins of Christian Politics in Antebellum America

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 27 (2) – May 10, 2007

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1553-0620
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Abstract

Cholera, Christ, and Jackson The Epidemic of 1832 and the Origins of Christian Politics in Antebellum America ADAM JORTNER For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. Passover traditional No one knew where it came from. ``Epidemiological thought in the United States had been conditioned by experience with yellow fever, and the black vomit seemed obviously non-contagious. As was the case with yellow fever, so it was with cholera: there could never be found any pattern within the cases that would support a contagionist argument.'' It struck down its victims in the street, and they would be dead by nightfall. Symptoms were multiform and terrifying: muscular cramps, spasmodic vomiting, fever, a constant stream of rice-water diarrhea. It was known, alternately, as Asiatic cholera, pestilential cholera, spasmodic cholera, and the blue pest. In 1832, in the days before germ theory, it was an affliction without cause or logic. The only comfort, perhaps, was that ``It is the intemperate and vicious, especially the vicious poor, who have

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: May 10, 2007

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