Category Archives: Philadelphia history

Yellow Fever takes a Life

Yellow fever was a major killer in the 19th Century.   It was often called the American plague.  New Englander Cotton Mather described it as “turning yellow then vomiting and bleeding every way.”   It was spread by a species of the … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Detroit, Detroit Free Press, Detroit History, Military history, Norvell Family History, Philadelphia history | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Tale of Two Portraits

In 2011 we visited Detroit in search of the portraits of my great great grandparents: Senator John Norvell and his wife Isabella Hodgkiss Freeman Norvell. Isabella’s portrait had once belonged to their daughter Emily Virginia Norvell Walker, the wife of … Continue reading

Posted in American History, American Newpapers, Detroit, Detroit History, Family History, Genealogy, Masons, Michigan History, Philadelphia, Philadelphia history, Social History | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Letter to Mr. Jefferson

In 1807, my great great grandfather John Norvell, then a 17 year-old boy, wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson, then president of the United States, asking him about his opinion of journalism as a future career. Danville, K[y]. May 9, … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Journalism, Michigan History, Norvell Family History, Philadelphia history, Social History, The press, Thomas Jefferson, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment