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Otsego Herald

March 28, 2013

Trust Nobody!

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, March 27, 1813

Compiled, with comments



Died in this village on Thursday last, Mrs. SUSAN GRAVES, consort of Mr. RECOMPENCE GRAVES, aged 49 years.

COMMENT: Susan (Little) Graves (1759-1813) died of the prevalent epidemic disease of “spotted fever” (meningococcal meningitis). She was the wife of Recompence Graves (1756-1821), who came to Cooperstown from New Hampshire and was a brass founder and gunsmith, and a veteran of the Revolutionary Battle of Bennington. They were married in 1782 and had a total of about 10 children.


Trust Nobody!

NOTICE. All persons are hereby forbid trusting any of my family, without a written order from me. WILLIAM TYLER. Pittsfield, March 25, 1813.

COMMENT: I haven’t been able to identify him. Did his wife run away and take the children?


Epidemic Cure??

JUST RECEIVED and for sale at the Bookstore of H. & E. Phinney Jun.

AN ESSAY on the Bilious Epidemic Fever, Prevailing in the State of New-York; By CHRISTOPHER C. YATES.

COMMENT: Dr. Christopher C. Yates (1779-1848), from a prominent Albany family, was a medical doctor who became Albany city physician in 1820. He married Ann Muller in 1802, and after her death married, in 1838, the widowed Emma Hart Willard (1787-1870), founder in 1821 of the famous Emma Willard School in Troy. Dr. Yates gave up his medical practice and the couple moved to Boston, but after nine months she walked out on him. He eventually died in Nova Scotia.

Dr. Yates’ book on the epidemic of “spotted fever” (meningococcal meningitis) went through a number of editions, and relied for a guaranteed cure on the heavy use of purgatives and emetics. Much of its second edition was devoted to denouncing letters from other doctors who doubted his cure, and a Dr. Low, also in 1813, published a long pamphlet seeking to expose Yates as a charlatan.

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Otsego Herald
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