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Grosse Isle Supply List in May 1847
By May 1847, Dr. George M. Douglas, the Medical Superintendent for the Quarantine Hospital at Grosse Isle, had already anticipated a larger than normal emigration from Ireland. He had seen emigration in 1846 rise about 30% to almost 33,000 over the numbers for 1845. In 1846 there had been 892 admissions to the Quarantine Hospital at Grosse Isle, with 66 deaths, a mortality of 7.4%. Nothing at all could have prepared him for the horror of the emigration season in 1847. By the end of the year, there had been an emigration of over 98,000, mostly Irish passengers. Of those numbers, nearly 9,000 were admitted to the Quarantine Hospital at Grosse Isle, with over 3,000 deaths, a mortality of 37.26%. (This does not represent those who died on ships in passage, about 5,000, or those who died at other Hospitals or in towns, after arrival. The actual number of deaths for the year 1847 is unknown, but estimated at over 17,000 persons.)
The first ship to arrive at Quarantine with a large mortality,
was the Syria, on May 14th 1847 which was detained 6 days, landing
her healthy passengers at Quebec on May 20th.. Ship Syria, Captain
M.B. Cox, had sailed from Liverpool on March 28th with 245 passengers.
Upon arrival there had been 9 deaths at sea, and 125 passengers sick with
fever and dysentery; 40 more passenger subsequently died in Quarantine.
Then followed the Jane Black on May 17th, with 19 deaths; the Perseverance
on May 19th with 19 deaths; the Wandsworth on May 19th with a staggering
104 deaths. By then, Dr. Douglas had to react quickly with a request for
further supplies to equip the Quarantine Station. This was one of many
Required for Immediate Service for the Quarantine Hospital, Grosse Isle, 25th May 1847
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