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The Fever

Originally Published July 10-23, 2005
Presented with permission from the The Virginian-Pilot.

      One hundred fifty years ago, the people of Norfolk
and Portsmouth were stalked by a silent killer

At first, they fell one or two at a time ...
then 10 a day … finally 80 or 90 a day.

Many residents fled, but those who stayed
behind witnessed an otherworldly event:

people battling something that they could not
see, suffering from an illness that had no cure.

At the height of the devastation,
only one thing mattered:

Who would live and who would die?

Learn more about the deadly pestilence that wiped out
a third of the population of Norfolk and Portsmouth during the fall of 1855.
Click on the links below.


THE STORY in 14 chapters

Chapter 1: A Killer Sails into Port

Chapter 2: Quarantine

Chapter 3: Exodus

Chapter 4: Desperation

Chapter 5: Accusations

Chapter 6: Devastation

Chapter 7: Orphaned
  Chapter 8: Silence

Chapter 9: Hopelessness

Chapter 10: Stricken

Chapter 11: Anguish

Chapter 12: Heartbreak

Chapter 13: Numb

Chapter 14: Epilogue


Download and print: The full series in PDF

By LON WAGNER, The Virginian-Pilot
© July 10, 2005

City of Portsmouth, Virginia · All Rights Reserved · Portsmouth City Hall · 801 Crawford Street · Portsmouth, VA 23704 · 757-393-8000