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“We left Panama the 7th of March on the Bark Emily…we had very light winds and long calm…the thermometer stood at from 100 to 120. We had not been out long when disease and Death made its appearance among us. There was from 30 to 50 sick at one time myself among that number. There was from 2 to 3 shoved over board some days, some of them before they had fairly breathed their last. There was seventeen died before we got half way…”

From a letter describing a voyage north from the Isthmus of Panama, 1852 .