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Yellow Fever Monument
Today it is difficult to imagine the terror that yellow fever was to Florida citizens in the 19th century. In 1878 it killed 15,000 persons along the Gulf coast from Louisiana to Florida. When yellow fever hit Tampa in the spring of 1888, panic ensued and quarantines were enacted. The disease spread north in spite of steps taken-citizens could only travel if they had health cards. Guards with shotguns enforced the quarantine. Riots broke out in Fernandina and authorities feared the town would be burned. The Gainesville Guard, a National Guard unit, was sent to Fernandina to help. Two of the young men, Lieut. Elam A. Evans and Sgt. M. Fitch Miller, contracted yellow fever and died. The disease also killed many other Gainesville citizens. This monument was erected on the Courthouse Square in 1890 to the memory of those who died. The monument was moved to Evergreen Cemetery in February 1924.
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