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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?
"The Fever," Originally Published July 10-23, 2005. Presented with permission from
By Lon Wagner, The Virginian-Pilot
© July 10, 2005
Learn more about the deadly pestilence that wiped out a third of the population of Norfolk and Portsmouth during the fall of 1855.
The Story in 14 Chapters
Chapter 1: A Killer Sails into Port (PDF)
Chapter 2: Quarantine (PDF)
Chapter 3: Exodus (PDF)
Chapter 4: Desperation (PDF)
Chapter 5: Accusations (PDF)
Chapter 6: Devastation (PDF)
Chapter 7: Orphaned (PDF)
Chapter 8: Silence (PDF)
Chapter 9: Hopelessness (PDF)
Chapter 10: Stricken (PDF)
Chapter 11: Anguish (PDF)
Chapter 12: Heartbreak (PDF)
Chapter 13: Numb (PDF)
Chapter 14: Epilogue (PDF)
Chapter 14: Epilogue Continued (PDF)
Download and print:
The Fever: The full series (PDF)
Reach Lon Wagner at 757-446-2341 or
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Moments In History
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