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Chasing Shadows: ’Peculiarly liable for infection’

Staff Writer
The Apalach Times
The Apalach Times

Editor’s Note: During a raging yellow fever epidemic, Franklin County commissioners took steps at their Sept, 5, 1905 meeting to “unanimously endorse and ordered spread on the minutes of this meeting.” the following resolution, provided to the Times by local historian Mark Curenton.

Whereas, yellow fever has broken out in the City of Pensacola, Fla., and is prevalent in many towns and cities in the states of Mississippi and Louisiana, and

Whereas, there is one case in Atlanta, Ga. and suspicious cases are rumored to be in existence in other towns, and

Whereas, Franklin County is peculiarly situated by reason of its geographical position. The said County being easily accessible by water transportation down the Apalachicola river and by small oyster boats from the various Gulf ports now so infested, and

Whereas, there is at present no precaution taken to inspect the passengers coming in on the river and sound steamers to ascertain if they are or are not from infected cities and towns, there being no regular inspector stationed here so as to inspect passengers and require of them health certificates as to their whereabouts for the last ten days prior thereto, it being very easy for passengers from any infected city to board said river steamers at points below Chattahoochee River Landing, and it being very easy for people to come into the County on small boats from the infected Gulf Ports, as there is no guard at any of the passes leading into the Bay and no regular guard even at the mouth of the Apalachicola River to protect the City of Apalachicola and the County at large night and day, and

Whereas, the Greek and Italian population of the many infected cities and towns seem to be those who most suffer from and who spread said disease and are most hard to control whenever and wherever the said disease breaks out, and

Whereas many Greek and Italian and other oystermen and fishermen come to this county from the various Gulf ports to fish and oyster in the Fall of the year and the season for their coming is now at hand and as they come in small boats and either in the night or day time and there is now no precaution taken to prevent their coming in the County especially at night, and

Whereas, this state of facts makes this County peculiarly liable to infection by reason of the fact that these people can so easily enter the County by the various water routes and therefore endanger not only our citizens, but the citizens of the entire state.

Therefore, Be it resolved by the Board of County Commissioners for Franklin County, that Hon. Jos. G. Porter, State Health officer be requested and he is hereby petitioned to place at the expense of the County and towns therein as they may agree among themselves, guards, with authority to require satisfactory health certificates from all persons entering said County, and to refuse admission to all without such certificates, said guards to be stationed as follows.

One at some point on the Apalachicola River near the first landing in this County, one at East Pass, one at West Pass, one at Indian Pass, one on the G. F. & A. Ry. at some station within the County and one on the St. Joseph road at or near where it enters the County.

Be it further resolved that J. H. Hoffman and J. R. Lovett be and they are hereby appointed a committee to confer with the authorities of the City of Apalachicola and town of Carrabelle with reference to standing mutually the expenses incurred by the carrying into effect of this resolution.

A month later, on Oct. 3, 1905, Commissioners Hoffman & Lovett made their report relative to Quarantine matters and on motion it was unanimously resolved that said committee be and the same are hereby instructed to continue their duties in said matter.

The following were the expenses: City of Apalachicola 1/2 Quarantine Expense Spr $244.10 and Carrabelle $75.36

On Nov. 7, payments were authorized to J. R. Lovett Sly &c. Co. Comms. & Svrs Quarantine $13.20; J. H. Hoffman $10.00; and City of Apalachicola 1/2 Ex Quarantine Oct. $118.25, and Town of Carrabelle 1/2 Ex Quarantine Oct. $33.88