Investigating the historical fiction novel Fever by L.H. Anderson

Investigating the historical fiction novel, Fever, by L. H.
Anderson through the use of primary and secondary source
By Kim Ball
5th grade teacher Brookview
July 2008
Investigating the historical fiction
novel Fever by L.H. Anderson
through the use of primary and
secondary source documents
3.B.2a Generate and organize ideas using a variety of
planning strategies (e.g., mapping, outlining, drafting).
5.C.2a Create a variety of print and nonprint documents to
communicate acquired information for specific audiences and
5.A.2b Organize and integrate information from a variety of
sources (e.g., books, interviews, library reference materials,
web- sites, CD/ROMs
5.A.2a Formulate questions and construct a basic research
2.A.2c Identify definitive features of literary forms (e.g.,
realistic fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, narrative, nonfiction,
biography, plays, electronic literary forms).
1.C.2a Use information to form and refine questions and
1.B.2c Continuously check and clarify for understanding (e.g.,
in addition to previous skills, clarify terminology, seek
additional information).
1.B.2a Establish purposes for reading; survey materials; ask
questions; make predictions; connect, clarify and extend
ideas.2.B.2c Relate literary works and their characters,
settings and plots to current and historical events, people and
5.B.2a Determine the accuracy, currency and reliability of
materials from various sources
Social Studies
17.C.2a Describe how natural events in the physical
environment affect human activities.
16.A.2c Ask questions and seek answers by collecting and
analyzing data from historic documents, images and other
literary and non-literary sources.
16.A.3a Describe how historians use models for organizing
historical interpretation (e.g., biographies, political events,
issues and conflicts).
16.A.3b Make inferences about historical events and eras
using historical maps and other historical sources.
16.A.2a Read historical stories and determine events which
influenced their writing.
18.B.2b Describe the ways in which institutions meet the
needs of society.
Task Outline
• Task One: Read Fever by L.H. Anderson
• Task Two: Use a mini DBQ to investigate
the historical aspects related to the fever
epidemic of 1793
• Task Three: Analyze the poem Pestilence
Task 1
• The first task is to read the novel. This
can be accomplished through a whole
group shared reading or literature circles.
• If using the shared reading method have the students
complete an active comprehension guide at the end of
each reading.
• Literature circles can be completed in any manner that
the class is familiar with.
Assessment of Task 1
• Comprehension logs are to evaluated by the teacher at a
predetermined intervals (weekly, end of the book, etc).
• Scale
4- Excellent work- log is complete – there is data for each reading.
Entries are organized and thoughtful. Questions show an
understanding of the text and a evidence of higher level thinking.
3- High quality- log is complete. Entries are organized and thoughtful.
Questions show an understanding of the text, but may be basic
2- Average – log is mostly complete. May lack organization . Entries
consist of basic story retell.
1- Low quality- missing many entries. No organization. Demonstrates little
0- nothing submitted
Written During the Prevalence of a Yellow Fever
Hot, dry winds forever blowing,Dead men to the
grave-yards going: Constant hearses,
Funeral verses;Oh! what plagues--there is
no knowing!
Priests retreating from their pulpits!-Some in hot, and some in cold fits
In bad temper,
Off they scamper,
Leaving us--unhappy culprits!
Doctors raving and disputing, death's pale army still
recruiting-What a pother
One with t'other!
Some a-writing, some a-shooting.
Nature's poisons here collected,
Water, earth, and air infected-O, what a pity,
Such a City,
Was in such a place erected!
---Philip Freneau
Philadelphia, 1793
Primary source documents to
be used in Mini DBQ
Question: Why did so many
people die during Philadelphia’s
1793 fever epidemic?
A view of Archer Street where ships containing coffee arrived. Rush traced the source of
the epidemic to the rotting coffee on the wharf
Discussion of Document A
• As a class discuss the following question?
1. Does the document contain primary source material?
2. Describe what you see in the picture?
3. Does the picture or the text better help you to understand the essential
4. What bucket would you place this document in?
Document B with discussion
There was something however, in
the state of the atmosphere in the
city, or in the constitution of the
inhabitants, peculiarly favorable to
the operation of the contagion. .
. --Dr. William Currie
Extravagance, in various shapes,
was gradually eradicating the plain
and wholesome habits of the city.
And though it were presumption to
scan the decrees of heaven, yet
few I believe, will pretend to decry,
that something was wanting to
humble the pride of a city, which
was running on in full career, to
the goal of prodigality and
dissipation. (11-12) - Matthew
Carey 1793
As a class, discuss the following
1. Do these documents contain
primary source materials?
2. What would be some examples
of “wholesome habits”.
3. Currie and Carey both felt that
lack of morals and poor behavior
were a cause of the fever. Can
poor behavior create sickness?
4. Which bucket would you put
this document in?
Document C
Dr. Jean Deveze was a Santo
Domingan refugee who had arrived in
the wharf at the same time the fever
was starting.
He was a French trained doctor.
Because of his training and immigrant
status he was ignored by
Philadelphia’s best physicians
Served as the physician at Bush Hill
The following statements are taken
from his memoirs which were written in
French and translated in to English.
Source Deveze (1), An inquiry into and observations upon
the causes and effects of the epidemic disease which raged in
Philadelphia, 1793.
A few days after my arrival at
Philadelphia, the seventh of August, 1793,
it was reported many persons had lost
their lives in consequence of a sore
The rapid progress of the disease gave
reason to suppose, it had some contagious
property annexed to it; the death of many
persons in the same quarter, and nearly at
the same time, so far gave sanction to
this opinion, that it was proved to a
certainty to be very dangerous to
approach those who were attacked with
I proposed bleeding -prescribed lemonade
-patient should make use of the bath- a
second bleeding,- continue the gargle and
lemonade, to take creamed of barley or
rice, a light mucilaginious diet, such as
sago, tapioca, and the like.
Document C discussion
As a class discuss the following
questions as the relate to Document C
Does this document contain primary source materials? Explain
What are some of the things that Dr. Dezene does to treat his patients?
How are thes treatments the same as other doctors? How are they different?
Why do you think Dr. Dezenes treatment is different than the other doctors?
What bucket(or buckets) would you put these statements in?
Document D
• The bleeding of patients
was often used as
treatment. Dr. Rush was
known to use repeated
and heavy bleeding as a
primary treatment. The
purpose was to remove
the bad toxins from the ill.
Unfortunately this often
caused harm by bleeding
the person to death.
Document D Discussion
• As a class discuss the following questions
1. Does this document contain primary source materials?
2. How does Dr. Rush use bleeding?
3. Do other doctors use bleeding?
4. What bucket would you place this document in?
Document E
"Behind these wharfs, and parallel to the
river, runs Water-Street. This is the first
street which you usually enter after
landing, and it does not serve to give a
stranger a very favourable opinion either
of the neatness or commodiousness of
the public ways of Philadelphia. It is no
more than thirty feet wide, and
immediately behind the houses, which
stand on the side farthest from the water,
a high bank, supposed to be the old bank
of the river, rises, which renders the air
very confined. Added to this, such
stenches at times prevail in it, owing in
part to the quantity of filth and dirt that is
suffered to remain on the pavement, and
in part to what is deposited in waste
houses, of which there are several in the
street, that it is really dreadful to pass
through it.... " Isaac Weld, Travels Through
the States of North America...During the
Years 1795, 1796 and 1797, pp.3-4.
Discussion of Document E
• With the class discuss the following
1. Does the document contain primary source materials? Explain
2. There are many new vocabulary words in this document. Write them down and as
a class go over the meanings.
3. How do you think it would feel to be living here?
4. What bucket would you put this document in?
Document F
with questions
• Dr. Rush insisted that the
sources of disease stemmed
from water problems. In an
1805 essay he writes:
• The want of sufficient force in
the water which falls into theo
common sewers. . .renders
each of their apertures a
source of sickly exhalations. .
.(Wood, 227)
• In Many parts of the vicinity of
the city are to be seen pools of
stagnating water, from which
there are exhaled large
quantities of unhealthy
vapours, during the summer
and autumnal months. (227)
With the class discuss the
following questions
1. Does this document contain
primary source materials?
2. Into what bucket would you
place this document?
Related Images
Benjamin Rush
Philadelphia Docks
Bush Hill
Deshler Morris house
Benjamin Rush
• Dr. Benjamin Rush
• Benjamin Rush was an
American physician and
signer of the Declaration
of Independence. He
made notable
contributions to
psychiatry, was a founder
of the first American
antislavery society, and
helped in the founding of
Dickinson College.
Philadelphia docks
Source: Eyewitness to
Bush Hill
Courtesy: The Free Library of Philadelphia
Bush Hill, a suburban estate built by Andrew Hamilton, an attorney credited with the design of
Independence Hall, and later occupied by Vice President and Mrs. John Adams, was converted to
a hospital for yellow fever victims. Stephen Girard, who became a famed financier, organized
medical care and helped tend patients.
Six years earlier, during the first major epidemic, Andrew Hamilton's rural mansion at Bush Hill
was converted to a hospital where victims could be housed as well as isolated from the rest of the
population. Its location now would be below Fairmount Ave between 17th and 17th Sts.
Deshler-Morris House
Nearby, the Deshler-Morris House,, was the British headquarters
during the battle. Ironically, it would later in 1793-94 become the Germantown White
House, when Washington lived here as president. It is the oldest presidential
residence in the United States and is now maintained as a museum with period
furniture by the National Park Service. Washington came here in the summer of 1793
to escape a Yellow Fever epidemic that killed 10 percent of Philadelphia's population.
Cabinet meetings with Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were held in the
Richard Allen
• Former slave who became a
methodist minister and
supported himself as a
• Founder of the Free African
• Organized black citizens
(including himself) to serve as
nurses during the epidemic.
Image Source: