Transcribe this: Fever in Philadelphia

March 10th, 2015

In a letter written by Secretary of War James McHenry to President John Adams on August 24, 1799, McHenry describes the fever that has gripped Philadelphia. The fever has “similar ravages” to those that occurred in 1793, 1797, and 1798. The sickness is so bad that McHenry tells President Adams the offices of the War Department are moving out of Philadelphia to Trenton, and that he expects to reach the city the following Monday. The move must have been challenging for McHenry, as he notes that the “personal inconveniences attending upon this removal are very great.”

While the document contains four separate pages, it is short and written legibly. Are you interested in transcribing this document and adding to the searchable content of the PWD? Learn about the transcription process and sign up for a transcriber account here.


Community Transcription – Forty-Six Months

March 3rd, 2015

February was the forty-sixth month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription. We are still receiving regular requests for transcription accounts. Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for the month:

As of February 28, we had 2,119 users, with 19 new transcribers registered since the last update. Those volunteer transcribers have made 14,224 saves to War Department documents, which is about 26 additional edits since the last update. The average number of edits before a document is saved continues to be three. We have had 228,226 total page views.

Among those who signed up to transcribe in the last month were archaeologists and authors, as well as high school and university students. Transcribers include teachers at every level of education, elementary to university. Those who specified an interest or focus mentioned espionage, the Whiskey Rebellion, privateers on the Outer Banks, and digital history projects in general.

As we continue to move forward with the project, individuals may still register for a transcription account.