81 pages 2 hours read

Jim Murphy

An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793

Nonfiction | Book | Middle Grade | Published in 2014

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Reading Questions & Paired Texts

Reading Check and Short Answer questions on key points are designed for guided reading assignments, in-class review, formative assessment, quizzes, and more.

Chapters 1-3

Reading Check

1. Who was Robert Morris?

2. Why was Philadelphia a significant city in 1793?

3. What did many people of the time believe brought “unhealthy air and sickness” when it occurred in “abundance”?

4. Why is a diagnosis of yellow fever particularly serious?

5. What was the immediate consequence of the fear of the illness in Philadelphia?

Short Answer

Answer each question in at least 1 complete sentence. Incorporate details from the text to support your response.

1. Describe the setting in Chapter 1. How does Murphy paint a picture of the location for his narrative?

2. How did the French help the American colonists? What was the impact of their aid on the future of the US?

3. Describe the change in Philadelphia between August 3 and August 16, 1793. What was the pattern of this illness? What was the common denominator of these mysterious deaths?

4. Compare and contrast the opinions of Drs. Foulke, Hodge, and Rush concerning the increase of illness in the Philadelphia area. What did Dr. Rush believe was the appropriate course of action?

5. For what two reasons did some people stay in the confines of the city at the end of August 1793?