The following are documents of special interest from the Philip S. Hench Walter Reed Yellow Fever Collection chosen by our project staff. While this sampling cannot begin to cover the broad sweep of history represented in a compilation whose time period spans 1850 to 1966, it is intended to point out the diverse nature of people and ideas represented in this material. We encourage you to explore further the wealth of information and opinions presented in the collection.
This fever chart shows the progression of Jesse Lazear’s yellow fever ending in his death.
Kean describes the contributions and sacrifices that Jesse Lazear has made for science, and asks George Sternberg to make a public statement about Lazear’s death and his courage in life. [Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration]
Hanson writes that the government of Peru would like him to stay on, but he questions whether an American should be in charge as an administrator.
Connor writes about his meeting with archaeologist E.H. Thompson concerning an ancient Mayan storage device. He describes the yellow fever outbreak in Mexico and the difficult working conditions there.
Caldwell reports on the Mexican yellow fever and anti-malarial campaign, describing the cooperative efforts of the Mexicans and the Rockefeller Commission workers.
Carter contends that America was free from malaria prior to its exploration and settlement by Europeans and Africans.
Henry Rose Carter describes his 41 years of active service and his hopes for the future.
Reed writes a paper on physiology for qualification as an Army Surgeon. [Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration]
Reed writes a paper on hygiene for qualification as an Army Surgeon. [Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration]
Reeds writes a paper on surgery for qualification as an Army Surgeon. [Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration]
Reed writes his biography for the Army Examination Board.
Edwin C. Mason rates Reed’s characteristics as very good and excellent. However, under scientific attainments Mason writes, “nothing special.” [Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration]
William Welch gives a recommendation for Jesse W. Lazear. Included is a handwritten note by Truby.
Reed states to L.O. Howard that the mosquito theory for the propagation of yellow fever is now a fact instead of a theory and that finally they will be able to end the “havoc” brought on by mosquitoes. Reed’s postscript gives credit to Kean for taking action against the mosquito. Reed mistakes year — should be 1901, not 1900.
Sternberg orders Reed and James Carroll to Camp Columbia, Cuba for the investigation of infectious diseases, especially yellow fever. This requires the establishment of a Medical Board. [Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration]
Sternberg instructs Reed on the numerous experiments he should conduct in the investigation of infectious diseases. Also included is a handwritten note by Philip Hench and Truby expressing their personal views of Sternberg’s instructions. [Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration]
Kean provides reasons for infection of yellow fever at Columbia Barracks and possible ways to prevent spread of disease. [Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration]
Circular Order # 8 includes Kean’s letter of October 13. Kean states in his communication that the mosquito is responsible for the transmission of malaria and filarial infections, and more than likely yellow fever. He recommends a course of action for all posts in the eradication of mosquitoes. [Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration]
Lazear wants to know the circumstances behind her husband’s death caused by yellow fever. She has a hard time believing that her husband allowed an infected mosquito to bite his hand. She thanks Carroll for sending her the money orders.
Reed announces the first proven case of yellow fever from a mosquito bite.
Reed provides a description of the experiment buildings at Camp Lazear and the method of mosquito inoculation and includes a sketch.
This is the famous New Year’s Eve letter. Reed’s toothache requires cocaine treatment. He comments on La Roche’s Yellow Fever (1853), and his own role in the historic discovery.
Warner writes about the unreported side of the yellow fever epidemic, including her own experiences during an 1878 outbreak in her hometown.
This article, translated into English by Juan Guiteras, addresses the involvement of the American Sanitary Commission in Central and South America, and the political ramifications of its actions.
This is a letter from a junior high school student to Emilie Lawrence Reed about her husband.
This radio script presents a fictionalized version of the yellow fever experiments, and portrays Kissinger and Moran as heroes. The radio program was prepared and produced by Young & Rubicam, Inc. for the program, We The People, for their client the General Foods Corporation.
Kellogg informs Andrus about the series of paintings entitled “Pioneers of American Medicine,” produced by John Wyeth & Brother, Inc. The third painting will be entitled “The Conquest of Yellow Fever.”
Estela Agramonte Rodriguez Leon, daughter of Aristides Agramonte, criticizes the sketches for the Dean Cornwell painting “The Conquest of Yellow Fever” commemorating the yellow fever experiments.
Different versions of commemorative paintings from American and Cuban perspectives are mentioned in this letter.
Hench mentions his desire to heal the wound between Cuba and United States.
This is Hench’s outline for the book he never wrote on Walter Reed and yellow fever.
This resolution by Congress establishes a Walter Reed Commemoration Commission and mentions its importance from a global perspective.
Lawrence Reed informs Hench that he was interviewed by Sidney Wallach. He appreciates his efforts to memorialize his father’s work by supporting the passage of a bill in Congress but he is unsure of Wallach’s motives.
Blossom Reed sends Hench rough copies of her invitation from the Cuban government to attend the Lazear Memorial, and of her reply declining to attend.
Hench stresses Cuban American cooperation underlying the conquest of yellow fever.
Hench explains why he has not yet written his book on yellow fever.
This brief sketch gives details into Walter Reed’s early military career out west.
This commemorative first day cover features the Clara Maass postage stamp and a drawing of Lutheran Memorial Hospital.
Keen reports the death of a former participant in the yellow fever experiments and offers his opinion on politics, war shortages, and Albert Truby and Laura Wood’s books on Reed.
Hench provides an outline of questions for Truby about his book, Memoir of Walter Reed. Responses by both Truby and Hench are included for some of the questions.
Truby answers all of Hench’s questions regarding Memoir of Walter Reed.
Truby asserts that Reed knew of Carter’s and Finlay’s theories long before Lazear. Consequently, Reed was the real pioneer in the mosquito theory, not Lazear. Truby is concerned that Hench supports Lazear as being the mosquito theory proponent instead of Reed.
Truby adds more information to the answers he supplied for Hench’s questionnaire. Truby believes Lambert is trying to discredit him because he didn’t support Gustaf Lambert’s and Roger Ames’ inclusion on the yellow fever roll of honor.
Reed writes his sister about the special language he and his wife use.
Reed writes to his sister regarding women’s health and education.
Walter Reed’s wife, Emilie Reed, provides information on her husband’s favorite pet and her family life for biographer, Howard Kelly.
As requested by Howard Kelly, [Emilie Lawrence Reed] writes a description of Walter Reed’s illness, treatment, and death.