Part of the New York American article of
June 20, 1909, which first identified Mary
Mallon as "Typhoid Mary."
Photo Credit: New York County Clerk Archives
The year was 1906 and New York banker Charles Henry Warren rented a summer home in Oyster Bay, Long Island. Needing a cook for the summer, the Warrens hired Mary Mallon. Mary emigrated to America in 1884 from Cookstown, Ireland.
In late August one of the Warren's daughters became ill with typhoid fever. Soon his wife and his two maids became ill; then the gardener and then another Warren daughter. Six of the eleven people in the summer home became sick with typhoid.
Typhoid fever can be caught after ingesting water or food which has been contaminated during handling by a human carrier. The owners of the property, George Thompson and his wife, feared they would have trouble renting the place again unless they could discover what caused the illnesses.
The Thompsons hired George Soper, a typhoid researcher. Soper immediately suspected Mary Mallon as the cause.
Soper traced Mary's employment history from 1900 to 1906 and found that outbreaks of typhoid occurred at all of her jobs shortly after she came to work for them. Now all that Soper needed was stool and blood samples from Mallon to conclusively prove she was the carrier.
In March 1907, Soper found her working as a cook in the home of Walter Bowen and his family. He approached her at her place of work, told her she might be making people sick, and asked her for specimens of her urine, feces and blood. For some reason, she took him to be a lunatic and chased him away with a carving fork.
Mary felt completely healthy, had no symptoms of disease, and was insulted that anyone would think that she was a danger to society.
Soper tracked Mallon to her home and tried again, this time bringing along an assistant (Dr. Bert Raymond Hoobler) to help convince her. Mallon, after hurling a few carefully considered f* words, persuaded the two to quickly depart.
It must be said that Mary although normally a quiet, good-hearted person that would never intentionally harm a soul, did have an Irish temper which explains a lot of what happened next.
Mary Had No Clue She Was Dangerous
Frustrated, Soper turned over his research to Hermann Biggs at the New York City Health Department. Biggs, convinced by Soper's arguments, sent Dr. Sara Josephine Baker to talk to her but she had as much luck with Mary as all the others. By now Mary was convinced that the law was wrongly persecuting her when she had done nothing wrong.
Dr. Baker returned a few days later with five police officers and an ambulance and after a scuffle and a five hour search took her into custody and brought her to Willard Parker Hospital in New York. The City health inspector had her stool samples examined where they found typhoid bacilli present. Mary was declared a typhoid carrier and transferred to a cottage (part of the Riverside Hospital) on North Brother Island in the East River near the Bronx and held in quarantine for three years under sections 1169 and 1170 (1) of the Greater New York Charter.
Many of the public sympathized with Mary; after all, it wasn't as if she intentionally meant to harm anyone. In February of 1910, a new health commissioner decided to free Mallon on condition she never work as a cook again and take hygienic precautions to protect those with whom she comes in contact.
Skip 5 years: New York's Sloane Hospital for Women in Manhattan experienced a typhoid fever outbreak. 25 people became infected and two of them died. A cook named "Mary Brown" turned out to be Mary Mallon. She was again arrested and returned to quarantine on the island. This time for the rest of her life.
Public support plummeted and opinion turned against Mary Mallon in 1915 because of her conscious return to cooking when people believed she should have learned her lesson. "The chance was given to her five years ago to live in freedom," editorialized the New York Tribune, and "she deliberately elected to throw it away." Historians have since that time been no more lenient in their assessment of Mallon's informed return to cooking. In 1994, Robert J. T. Joy put it directly: "Consider that Mallon disappeared for five years, and used several aliases and went straight back to cooking!... Now, as far as I am concerned, this verges on assault with the possibility of second degree murder. Mallon knows she carries typhoid, knows she should not cook—and does so."
Mallon died on November 11, 1938 at the age of 69. She was still infective on the day she died.
For more information read NOVA: The Most Dangerous Woman in America
There were other healthy carriers of typhoid at the time but Mary's problems were in large part her own doing. She refused to see any connection between her working as a cook and people falling seriously ill on every single job she had. Even when doctors pointed this out to her she continued to maintain that she was healthy, never had typhoid fever, and could not possibly be a danger to society. Because she was blind to the misery she caused her victims and her refusal to stop cooking, it is completely appropriate that she was permanently quarantined to keep her from spreading the disease from one cooking job to another.
Gravesite: Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan
Photo Credit: ExtremeSkins
On NBC's Meet The Press on 19 Oct 2008, General Colin Powell announced his support for Barack Obama. See video. At the 5 minute mark General Powell was defending the notion that there is nothing wrong with a person being Muslim.
I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards -- Purple Heart, Bronze Star -- showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old.
And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross; it didn’t have the Star of David; it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life."
I have no words to express the absolute gratitude I have for the sacrifice this young man made for our country, but I wish he had not been a Muslim. Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan by himself was no danger to our country, quite the opposite. However, after 9/11 he should have renounced his faith. It would have taken him only a short time to read through the Qur'an to discover that 9/11 was a direct consequence of faithfully following its precepts.
Let me digress a moment, I know that whenever I mention barbarity in the Qur'an, some shmoe will toss up the Old Testament and how it too has savage, violent, brutal, and uncivilized passages therein.
Despite those passages it should be noted that Judaism long ago renounced the barbarities found therein. Stoning for adultery, death to children who insult their parents, death to farmers who gather sticks on the Sabbath. Talionic justice meted out during Biblical periods was replaced with monetary compensation during the Talmudic period over two thousand years ago when the Jews went through their enlightenment. Sadly, Islam is prevented from going through an enlightenment since the Qur'an cannot and never will be corrected since it is the perfect, absolute, immutable, and final word of God.
Muslims, if they'll still exist a thousand years from now, will still be stoning women for adultery and chopping off the hands of thieves. There is no reformation in Islam's future.
Now it could very well be that because Kareem grew up in America, went to public schools, and generally assimilated into our culture, that he ignored most of what he read in the Qur'an and therefore was a decent human being. I understand his parents left Pakistan to come here to have more freedom and opportunity and no doubt instilled in him American ideals. However, as the Muslim population increases, there will be Muslim schools and eventually Muslim Universities and assimilation will not be possible for future Muslims. There will be fewer and fewer parents teaching their sons American ideals.
As we get stuck with more and more Muslims it will be impossible for young Muslim men to go to places like Iraq and kill fellow-Muslims. When we reach 10% or more Muslims in this country, any person who kills a Muslim for our side will get a fatwa of death against his ass.
Once a critical point is reached, we won't be able to protect ourselves against attack by Muslims because our Congress will be too frightened to even vote to attack another Muslim country no matter how much danger they present.
Despite Khan's Sacrifice, Muslims are Still a Threat
That is why, despite the unbearably precious gift given to our nation by Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, Muslims are a threat to our country, especially moderate Muslims. Not because they are terrorists, 99.9999% of Muslims are certainly not terrorists, but because they are like typhoid Mary: they do not have any intention on harming anyone, but they carry a disease called Islam and that disease does intend on harming infidels.
In 1907 public health officials had to choose between civil liberty and public health. It's easy perhaps to look back with all the advantages we have today in medicine and say they should have chosen to let her run amok, they should have chosen civil liberty. But back then if Mary Mallon cooked in your home - you faced a 100% certainty of getting typhoid fever and perhaps even dying. If she worked in your neighborhood you would have chosen public health and rightly so. Because Mary was a menace to society - she was an unrepentant carrier of typhoid fever.
We can tolerate those whose religion will ultimately bring our downfall or we can wait until every city has thousands of typhoid Marys. But by then quarantine may not be an option. The humane thing to do now is not let any more in. Or we can be blind to Islam's threat to our civilization just as Mary refused to see any connection between her working as a cook and people falling seriously ill just as liberals today refuse to see any connection between Islam and tens upon tens of thousands of Muslims killing in the name of their religion since 9/11.
Liberals excuse these tens of thousands of attacks and say we should not blame an entire religion because of the actions of a few. Tens of thousands are not a few. When a Muslim is insulted by a cartoon we see millions, not two or three random Muslims, but millions take to the streets, thousands riot and kill Christians, and tens of thousands around the globe burn embassies. If there were only a few hundred Muslim attacks since 9/11 who would care about Islam?
Please, stop blaming all the Muslim atrocities in the world on two poor Muslims. It ain't just a few.
The charter of the city of New York: chapter 466, laws of 1901, Page 151
Greater New York Charter - [Section 1169]: The board of health shall use all reasonable means for ascertaining the existence and cause of disease or peril to life or health, and for averting the same, throughout the city. [Section 1170]: Said board may remove or cause to be removed to [a] proper place to be by it designated, any person sick with any contagious, pestilential or infectious disease; shall have exclusive charge and control of the hospitals for the treatment of such cases.