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The Wilmington mercury. : ([Wilmington, Del.) 1798-1798
Place of publication:
[Wilmington, Del.
Geographic coverage:
  • Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
W.C.] Smyth
Dates of publication:
  • Began in Sept. 1798; ceased in Nov. 1798.
  • English
  • Delaware--Wilmington.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01203983
  • Wilmington (Del.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Sept. 18, 1798.
  • News sheet established for the "yellow fever" epidemic, "printed occasionally and delivered gratis to the patrons of the Delaware gazette."
sn 88053099
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The Wilmington mercury. September 18, 1798 , Image 1


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The Wilmington Mercury

The Wilmington Mercury was established in Wilmington, Delaware, in September 1798. Founded and published by W. C. Smyth, the newspaper was established in response to the yellow fever epidemic sweeping Philadelphia, New York City, and Wilmington. The Wilmington Mercury was printed on a daily basis and was delivered free of charge. Each issue included a call for donations to the Board of Health to assist hospitals in caring for the sick. Items and cash donations could be dropped off at the Health Office located near Wilmington's town hall on Market Street.

Each issue of the Mercury included the names of those who died in the previous 24 hours, in addition to counting the total number of deaths from August 7, 1798, when the disease first arrived in Wilmington. As of November 2, 1798, 229 adults and 23 children had died from the illness. On October 4, the Mercury began publishing the number of yellow fever deaths in both Philadelphia and New York City as well.

In addition, the Mercury published the names of individuals and the items they donated to the Board of Health. Donations were also collected from outside of Delaware, for example, from Kent County, Maryland, and from Birmingham and Concord Townships in Pennsylvania.

The Mercury also offered its readers advice for dealing with the epidemic, such as closing up homes and leaving the city until the epidemic eased, and airing out and whitewashing homes in order to fumigate them.

The Wilmington Mercury ceased publication sometime in November 1798 when the yellow fever epidemic abated as temperatures cooled.

Provided by: University of Delaware Library, Newark, DE