The year was 1847. James Polk was president of the United States and the U.S. was embroiled in the Mexican American War (1846-48). A Yellow Fever epidemic affected New Orleans, and an influenza outbreak spread worldwide. In Philadelphia, the American Medical Association (AMA) was founded with goals to establish a code of ethics and create minimum requirements for medical education and training. And on July 24, Brigham Young led the first group of Mormon pioneers into Salt Lake Valley.
Across the world, Ireland was in the midst of the Great Potato Famine and waves of immigrants left their homes for America and other countries, often in the so-called “coffin ships.” In addition to starvation, in 1847 diseases like cholera, typhus, fever, dysentery, tuberculosis and smallpox spread through the country.
AWJ Editor’s Note:Â To seeÂ a larger image, click on the map.Â Ancestry.com members with access to the Historical Map Collection can viewÂ the image usingÂ the advanced viewer here.