Updated: Apr 4, 2021
Cholera Pandemic & the situation of people that time
The cartoon painting title ‘The kind of “assisted emigrant” we cannot afford to admit’, 1883 by F. Graetz.
Friedrich Graetz was an Austrian Cartoonist who used to draw cartoon urging social changes in public health, politics, Govt. responsibilities etc.
The whole world suffered from Cholera Pandemic and it hit the world for seven times among that third one was the deadliest. The first cholera pandemic emerged out of the Ganges Delta with an outbreak in Jessore, India, in 1817, stemming from contaminated rice.1 The United States had three serious waves of cholera, an infection of the intestines, between 1832 and 1866. The pandemic began in India and swiftly spread across the globe through trade routes.2 New York City was the first U.S. city to feel the impact. Between 5 to 10 percent of the total population died in large cities.3
You may find it helpful to know that the setting is the Battery area, at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, New York. The building with the flag is Castle Clinton, which from 1855 to 1890 was America’s immigrant processing centre, and the 1880s was a period in which migration to America was escalating. Note that an assisted emigrant was one whose government paid their fare to help them leave the country.4 This cartoon described the mentality among Americans towards emigrant. They were not in a state to welcome anyone from other country as they were already suffering from Cholera Pandemic, which came from outside. Govt. was arranging the smooth passage for their emigrant to leave the country to control the pandemic.
Public Health in History by Virginia Berridge, Martin Gorsky & Alex Mold