Tuesday, November 9, 2021

The History Behind the Story Heroes and Martyrs of the Yellow Fever Epidemic by Kimberly Grist

 The new raven-haired cook’s beauty has caused quite a stir in town, especially between the handsome teacher and the woodcutter raising his niece. Bets are on. 

Two men in competition to capture the heart of a cautious cook. 
Is this a recipe for disaster or true love? 

I am a notoriously slow writer, and perhaps it is because I become entirely caught up in the characters in my books. Nevertheless, I'm excited to announce the completion of my second contribution to the Old Timey-Holiday Kitchen Collection. 

While each story is a stand-alone, the heroines Alice and Selah's friendship is bound by tragedy and is intended to show how beauty can come from ashes. I hope it will leave you with a smile. The character for Alice's mother was inspired by the restaurant owner, Kate Bionda, the first Memphis resident to die of yellow fever in 1878. Apple Pandowdy By Alice

My idea for Selah's family was inspired by Dr. William Armstrong who made housecalls during the 1873 and 1878 pandemics.  Shoo-Fly Pie by Selah  

The History Behind the Story
Heroes and Martyrs of the Yellow Fever Epidemic

In July of 1878, Yellow Fever was brought north from New Orleans to Memphis, by steamers, after a man who escaped a quarantined steamboat visited a restaurant on the shore of the Mississippi. After caring for her daughter and a friend, restaurant owner, Kate Bionda became the first Memphis resident to die of yellow fever. On August 13th, she left behind three children, Willie, Joseph, and Josephine. Afterward, the infection spread rapidly.  Her story inspired me to give thought to what would have happened to orphaned children at this time.

Approximately twenty-five thousand people evacuated. Quarantine facilities were set up and passenger ships were blocked from the harbor. Schools were converted to hospitals and refugee camps were set up. Of the nineteen thousand people who remained in Memphis, seventeen thousand contracted the fever. Food became scarce and people from other parts of the country began sending provisions 

Dr. William Armstrong made house calls around the clock during the 1873 epidemic and again in1878 before contracting the virus and dying. During the outbreaks, there were thousands of fatalities in the city, and twenty-five hundred of the Memphis victims including doctors, ministers, nuns, and prostitutes who died tending the sick. are buried in public lots.


Annie Cook, a Memphis Madam stayed in the city, turning her brothel into a hospital and caring for the sick. After succumbing to the disease she was later nicknamed, "Mary Magdalene of Memphis. "  The four mass burial areas are referred to as "No Man's Land."


Orphans Evacuated 


Father Joseph Kelly of St. Peter's Parish was another selfless caregiver and worked among the victims of the epidemics of 1873 and 1873 evacuating orphans. The combination of these stories of tragedies combined with the selfless acts of the caretakers was the inspiration for a fictitious orphanage, the Counting Stars Children's Home. located in a rural setting outside of Memphis.  

Best Friends Bound by Tragedy

Selah Anderson and Alice Connelly were orphaned as a result of the Yellow Fever Epidemic in 1878 and raised in an orphanage outside of Memphis. As adults, the prospects for employment for young women are bleak, and between the yellow fever epidemic and gold fever, young men are scarce, even in surrounding counties. With no other options available, they agree to participate in a new matrimonial venture begun by the matron of the orphanage and local pastors. 

Restaurant owner Kate Bionda, the first Memphis resident to die of yellow fever in 1878, was my inspiration for Alice's mother in Apple Pandowdy By Alice

Dr. William Armstrong and other physicians who made house calls during the 1873 and 1878 pandemics inspired Selah's family in Shoo-Fly Pie by Selah 

About Kimberly Grist:

Kim has enjoyed writing since she was a young girl. However, she began writing her first novel in 2017, "
Despite my best efforts, sometimes life just stinks. Bad things happen. I need and want an outlet, an opportunity to relax and escape to a place where obstacles are met and overcome." 
Fans of historical romance set in the late 19th -century will enjoy stories combining, History, Humor, and Romance, emphasizing Faith, Friends, and Good, Clean Fun. 

Connect with Kimberly:

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kimberly-grist
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/FaithFunandFriends/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GristKimberly
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-Grist/e/B07H2NTJ71

No comments:

Post a Comment