Ashcroft announces program on 1849 Great Fire, Cholera Epidemic in St. Louis

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft today announced a Thursday Evening Speaker Series program examining how the tragedies of 1849 affected the city of St. Louis.

Christopher Alan Gordon, director of the library and collections at the Missouri History Museum, will speak about his latest book, Fire Pestilence and Death: St. Louis 1849. The program will be held in the interpretive center of the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center, the location of the Secretary of State’s State Archives, on Thursday, January 24 at 7:00 pm.

In Fire Pestilence and Death: St. Louis 1849, Gordon offers a detailed study of the Great Fire and cholera epidemic that was a result of the city’s rapid population growth and poor infrastructure. Drawing upon the archives of the Missouri Historical Society, including newspaper accounts, city and county records, letters, diaries and contemporary publications, Gordon reveals the story of 1849 St. Louis as it was experienced by the people who lived through that incredible year.

Join us as Gordon not only provides an in-depth look at the city during one of the most turbulent years in its history but also a glimpse into the struggles of a growing nation and the determination of its people.

The State Archives is the official repository for state documents of permanent historic value and is located at 600 West Main Street in Jefferson City.

All programs at the Archives are free of charge and open to the public, with seating available on a first-come, first served basis.