This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Mr. Stewart, who has resided thirty years in Memphis, writes to the Memphis Avalanche in favor of a large park with hospital to which any person with contagious disease be at once removed. He combats the idea that Memphis is dirty, and contends that it has always compared favorably with any city in the South. He protests against the expenditure of vast sums of money in sewering a small city like Memphis at an expense that would only be warranted in wealthy communities like St. Louis or New York, when there is no more likelihood that " filth" had any more to do with the fever in Memphis than in many much more dirty places which were wholly exempt. He favors rather a sort of Board of Cleanliness, which shall clear up everything once a week, and the material be used for fertilizing purposes on the hospital farm, - in this way making cleanliness pay its expenses, instead of costly culverts which sweep the fertilizers into the Mississippi.
It would seem as if some distinct understanding should be had as to the cause of the yellow fever, before immense sums are expended on mere guess work. One of the worst places for yellow fever in 1878 was Grenada, Miss. The writer of this spent a little time there the year before, and it seemed to him there were few cleaner or more pleasant places, - and the idea that " filth" had anything to do with the disease there is ridiculous. Canton, also, he found a remarkably healthful place in all that is usually considered sanitary conditions. Cleanliness always aids health everywhere. No effort, in reason, is too great to secure it; but some of the efforts of public bodies under this excuse are as ridiculous as they are costly. During the yellow fever scare of 1878, a city in New Jersey had men continually employed mowing down the weeds all around, and the stench from the rotting material in every direction was awful, - and all this in the name of the "Public Health".