|Some of the
earliest actions of the Provincial legislature addressed sanitary measures
and quarantine, the two basic public health preventive strategies that were
known at the time. In 1692, the
Provincial Legislature passed an ordinance against swine running free in the
city, and ordered property owners to cut their stinking weeds. Towns were
filthy places. People threw their wastes into the streets. Pigs were a major
method of garbage disposal, but they didn’t add much to the ambiance. The
1698 ordinance began the quarantine measures that were an occasionally
effective way of keeping contagion away from the city.
|Charles Town grew
rapidly into one of America’s wealthiest and most cosmopolitan cities in the
|As the city grew it
was beset with all manner of problems. There were fires, famine, epidemics,
hurricanes, and attacks by pirates and Indians. There were extremes of great
wealth and poverty. Health care for the sick and welfare for the poor were
seen as the responsibility of the
community and church. The colonists recognized their dependence on one
another for responding to all types of threats. Mutual aid groups and parish organizations
represented the community’s way of organizing a public health response.
|Mike Byrd, ‘Social
Welfare Policy Roots, Charles Towne, 1732-1773.” PowerPoint presentation. USC
School of Social Work, 2000.
|Farley, M. Foster.
An Account of the History of Stranger’s Fever in Charleston, 1699-1876. Washington,
DC: University Press of America, 1978.