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Additional info for A Darkened House: Cholera in Nineteenth-Century Canada
For the dependants of immigrants and the poor, things could be desperate. The emigrant agent was able to arrange for some widows to return to Britain, but most families which lost their father and husband had to be helped in Canada. Many of these survivors had few or no resources and once the early panic had died down the question of caring for them was raised in the press. The government had allowed the Quebec Board of Health £150 to buy 'blankets, clothing or necessaries of life' but some more permanent solution had to be found.
While the party was returning to town, Mr Perry died. 23 Callous carters, an absence of customary courtesies, fear of premature burial, and interment without prayers in unconsecrated ground all added to the horrors of the epidemic. The horror could provoke anger and violence. In the rural community of St Eustache, the magistrates ordered that no person dying of cholera was to be buried in the plot which lay in the centre of the village. Two people who died were buried as ordered outside the village.
In Canada, William Lyon Mackenzie echoed the English radicals and scoffed at reports from England of the extent of the disease. 26 As he was in England when cholera attacked Upper Canada he could make no comment on its progress in York, but as first mayor of Toronto he would later be directly involved in the second epidemic. 21 Scrape, wash and cleanse Canadians lived for more than six months with the expectation that the summer would bring cholera. They were months marked by political division and rancour.
A Darkened House: Cholera in Nineteenth-Century Canada by Geoffrey Bilson