Richard Veit: Fever! The History and Archaeology of the Philadelphia Lazaretto, a Precursor to Ellis Island

Barbara Ross's picture
April 23, 2018
New Jersey, United States
Subject Fields: 
Archaeology, Architecture and Architectural History, Historic Preservation, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Public Health


The Delaware River Greenway Partnership (DRGP) will present an illustrated lecture, “Fever!  The History and Archaeology of the Philadelphia Lazaretto, a Precursor to Ellis Island,” by Dr. Richard Veit, on Monday, April 23, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at the Phillip L. Pittore Justice Center, 25 North Union Street, Lambertville, NJ.  Open to the public free of charge.

The Philadelphia Lazaretto, located on the Delaware River in the community of Essington in Tinicum Township, Pennsylvania, is the oldest surviving lazaretto or quarantine station in North America.  A precursor to Ellis Island, it welcomed new immigrants to Philadelphia for over a century.  It also is a physical reminder of the horrific impact that yellow fever, an acute viral disease had on society in early America. Construction of the Lazaretto was prompted by the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, which killed 5,000 of Philadelphia's inhabitants; nearly ten percent of the city's population.  This presentation examines the history of the Lazaretto and Monmouth University’s archaeological investigations at the site.  The building is a powerful reminder of how human relationships with other living things, in this case, mosquitoes and the viruses they carry, have shaped and continue to shape society.

Richard Veit is Professor of Anthropology and chair of the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University.


Contact Info: 

Barbara Ross, DRGP Trustee: 609 924-2683

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