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MICHIGAN FOOD & BEES

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

As if the "fever'n ager" was the initiatory process to citizenship in this State. Anson Mapes and my brother Martin were the last ones in our settlement who had the fever and ague. They had escaped it so long that they began to boast that they would not have it at all. But they counted without their host. If it delayed it was to come with greater severity; for when they did have it, it almost shook them to death. When Martin was attacked he shook so that the dishes rattled on the shelves against the log wall. No one was ever supposed to die with the ague. It was not considered a sickness, but a sort of preface or prelude to disease. "He ain't sick, he's only got the ager, " was a common expression among the settlers. With many it renovated the system; they had better health after it. The doctors could not ward it off or cure it. There was no quinine here then; in fact there was no remedy known—it was "A disease no hellebore could cure. " The prevailing opinion was, that we must have it until we wore it out; and •Since writing this, Mrs. Dr. L. W. Lovell, of Climax, informs me that she' has seen an Indian have the ague, which shook Mm as it did the white man. Stephen Eldred (Mrs. L. s brother) assured me that he had seen one Indian dog shake with the ague. tit Is a fact worth recording that, for a large part of the first pioneer decade, the fever ana ague was almost the only disease or sickness that afflicted the settlers. There was what was called the shaking ague, the dumb ague (the ague and fever without the shake), and the chill fever that came later. These were all the dangerous complaints in the early settlements. The other more dangerous diseases came in later years.

Michigan


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