St. Marys Oak Grove Cemetery:  Yellow Fever Victims

 

My Sister, My Friend

Louisa Emila Proctor, died of yellow fever shortly after nursing her fiancé, John Coglan, until his death from yellow fever.  Her brother buried them under these affectionate terms.

 

 

About Yellow Fever

"Yellow fever is an acute mosquito (Aedes aegypti)-transmitted viral infection which is endemic (prevalent in or peculiar to a particular locality, region, or people) and occasionally epidemic (widely prevalent) in many countries of Africa and South America.  The spectrum of clinical yellow fever varies from an undifferentiated febrile (fever) illness to death.  Patients with classic yellow fever have fever, vomiting, epigastric (the upper middle region of the abdomen) pain, prostration (total exhaustion or weakness; collapse), dehydration, scleral icterus (yellow, or jaundiced eyes), gastrointestinal bleeding leading to "black vomitus," and abnormal kidney function.  From 20% to 50% of patients with classic symptoms die, with deepening scleral icterus, hemorrhages (profuse bleeding), shock, encephalopathy (disorder of the brain, brain damage, dementia, strokes, etc), and renal (kidney) failure."

"Yellow fever is caused by an arbovirus  (Flaviviridae), a small RNA virus that is transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes  (Aedes aegypti, Aedes africanus, and Haemagogus).  Areas of high incidence are Central America, the northern half of South America, and Central Africa."

Yellow fever is preventable now, but was not in the 1800s.  While it can not be cured, supportive treatment can be offered (fluids, blood transfusions, etc.).  Southeast Georgia was hit with yellow fever as late as the 1890s.

"The historic zone of yellow fever transmission in tropical Africa lies between 15° North and 10° South.  Yellow fever epidemics have been documented in Africa since 1778, causing hundreds of thousands of cases and tens of thousands of deaths."

"Aedes aegypti deposit their eggs in any container which can hold water, in or around houses.  These containers include large uncovered jars for drinking water, and refuse such as bottles and food tins.  When a female Aedes aegypti feeds on blood infected with the yellow fever virus, her salivary glands and her ovaries become infected, and she passes this infection into her eggs through her ovaries (transovarial transmission).  The infected eggs develop into infected adults, and the adult females are able to transmit yellow fever virus to humans as soon as they begin feeding on humans. "

"Although a great deal is known about the conditions required for the occurrence of yellow fever epidemics, it is not possible to predict exactly when or where an epidemic will occur.  Environmental factors, factors related to the mosquito vector, and factors related to the host are all important."

All of the following Yellow Fever Victims are buried in St. Marys Oak Grove Cemetery except for Payton Skipworth, who is buried on Cumberland Island and Richard William Hamilton who is buried at Floyd Cemetery.  Certainly, this is only a partial list of 45 people.  There were hundreds more but I do not have their names.  Many are in unmarked graves and/or in pauper's graves.  If you have any additions to this list, please e-mail me and I will add them.

BATCHOLER James KEAN Samuel MEERS Sarah SKIPWORTH Peyton
BURNETT James KELP ??? MEERS Stephen STACEY George
CHEVALIER Julian KING Catherine MORRIS John SUARIS Antonine
COGLAN John KING Sarah Meers PATTERSON John TURNER Daniel
GAPS John KING Thomas PROCTOR Louisa Emila VALENTINE Miranda M. Cooper
GARZET John LATHROP Asa PUPPO Mrs. WATERMAN Flavius
HACKETT Patrick LATHROP Asa (Mrs.) ROSS Mrs. WILLIAMSON George
HAMILTON Richard William LINDSAY James M. ROSS Ruben WRIGHT James M.
HAY John LONG Neil SEAGROVE James Jr. WRIGHT Thomas
HITCHCOCK L. MARK James SHEILDS Lewis YOUNG Charles
HOLLOWAY Thomas McFARLANE Robert SIPIO ??? YOUNG Mary Frances (Patterson)
HOLSENDORF Helen M.      

 

 

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