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This is number 435 of 585 Primary Sources.

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The Cholera Epidemic

Primary source: Editorial, 1832.
Caption: Many of New York's Protestant leaders interpreted the 1832 cholera epidemic as proof of God's displeasure with contemporary morality.

[The editor of the Western Sunday School Messenger explained:]

Drunkards and filthy, wicked people of all descriptions, are swept away in heaps, as if the Holy God could no longer bear their wickedness, just as we sweep away a mass of filth when it has become so corrupt that we cannot bear it. . . . The cholera is not caused by intemperance and filth, in themselves, but it is a scourge, a rod in the hand of God. . . .

Western Sunday School Messenger, (1 September 1832), in Charles E. Rosenberg, The Cholera Years: The United States in 1832, 1849, and 1866 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), 44 n. 9.



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