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Medical History of the 1841 Niger expedition

1841 Niger expeditionMedical history Section 4 * Chapter 2


Section V.

Vital Statistics of the Expedition at its close.

Statistical Account of the Cases of Fever that actually occurred on board H.M.S. Albert, (including Amelia tender and Model Farm), Wilberforce, and Soudan, while the vessels were in the Niger: showing also where the Deaths took place.*

* These Tables are wholly irrespective of the ships to which the officers, seamen, &c., belonged. They are intended to denote on board of what ships they were first seized with fever: and in what ships, or where the deaths took place. Without some plan of this nature, it would be impossible to convey a clear idea of the vital statistics of the expedition; seeing that at the Confluence, the distribution of the crews of the squadron was considerably changed.)

H.M.S. Albert, including Amelia Tender and Model Farm.
Albert in the river 64 days.

Number of officers, white seamen, marines, and sappers62†
Died on board the Albert9
" Wilberforce1
" Soudan1
" Dolphin4
" Merchant ship Warree1
Died at Fernando Po Sick Quarters6
" Royal Naval Hospital, Ascension1=23
Ratio of deaths in total number victualled1 in 2.696
" in number of casesl in 2.391
Men of color of various nations entered in England15‡
" attacked with fever in Niger6, or 1 in 2.500
Blacks entered on the coast76
" attacked with fever in river0

† Adding Captain B. Allen, Mr. Webb, mate, and William McLauchlan, sailmaker of Soudan, who joined before the Albert left the confluence to proceed upwards, and were taken ill immediately afterwards: also Mr. Kingdon, schoolmaster, and Mr. Ansell, collector, who were received on board in a dangerous state from fever, when the Albert was at the confluence on her way out of the river, and deducting Lieut. Fishbourne.
‡ Adding one received at confluence when the Albert was descending the river.

H.M.S. Wilberforce; in the river 45 days.

Number of officers, white seamen, marines, and sappers56*
Of whom were attacked with fever in the Niger48, or 1 in 1.666
Died on board the Wilberforce6
" at Fernando Po Sick Quarters1 = 7
Ratio of Deaths in number victualled1 in 8.000
Ratio od Deaths in number of casesl in 6.857
Men of color of various nations entered in England7†
" attacked with fever in Niger3, or 1 in 2.500
Blacks entered on the coast39

* Deducting Mr. Ansell.
† Deducting the officer of colour received on board Albert at model farm.

H.M.S. Soudan; in the river 40 days.

Number of officers, white seamen, marines, and sappers27*
" attacked with fever in the Niger27, or 1 in 1.000
Died on board the Soudan5
" " Wilberforce1
" " Dolphin4 = 10
Ratio of deaths in number victualled1 in 2.700
Men of color entered in England3
" attacked with fever in Niger2, or 1 in 1.500
Blacks entered on the coast18

* Including Lieut. Fishbourne, who joined her at the confluence, before descending the river.

Statistical Summary deduced from the above Tables.Albert, &c.Wilberforce.Soudan.Total.
Total Number of Whites625627145
Cases of fever among ditto554827130†
Deaths among ditto2371040
Number of blacks914621158
Cases of fever63211

Names of those who escaped the Fever in the Niger.
Albert. William Stanger, M.D., geologist, suffered afterwards from intermittent in England.
Theodore Müller, chaplain, left the river at the confluence.
Charles Hodges, sergt. marines, was frequently unwell afterwards from headach, but was a good deal relieved by ulcers breaking out in the legs.
Morgan Kinson, P. marine, died of gastritis at Fernando Po.
John Huxley, sick-berth attendant, had a severe fever seven weeks after leaving the river at Fernando Po.
William Lamb, mid-steward, ditto, ditto.
Archibald Yair, sick-berth attendant, left at the confluence in Soudan, and was quite well throughout.
Wilberforce. William Cook, commissioner, left the river in Wilberforce.
James N. Strange, lieut. (now commander), ditto, ditto.
Morris Pritchett, M.D., surgeon, ditto, ditto.
James F. Schön, chaplain, ascended to Egga in Albert.
T.R.H. Thomson, assistant-surgeon (now surgeon), left the river in Soudan.
John Stirling, assistant-surgeon, left the river in the Soudan.
Walsh, carpenter’s crew, left the river in the Wilberforce.
Douglas, mid-steward, ditto, ditto.

H.M.S. Wilberforce on her return to the Coast in 1842.

Died of fever1

Wilberforces Second Voyage up the Niger in July, 1842.

Number of whites on board8
Number attacked with fever7, or 1 in 1.140
Deaths in number on board from after effects2, or 1 in 4.000
Ditto in number of cases1 in 3.500

Return of the Total Mortality stated under the respective Ships to which the Officers, Seamen, Marines, &c. belonged, from the time the Expedition left England to its completion.

 Albert, including the Amelia, &c.Wilberforce.Soudan. 
Average complementOfficers, including Engineers.White Seamen. Marines, and Sappers.Kroomen, liberated Africans, &c.Total. Officers, including Engineers.White Seamen. Marines, and Sappers.Kroomen, liberated Africans, &c.Total. Officers, including Engineers.White Seamen. Marines, and Sappers.Kroomen, liberated Africans, &c.Total.Grand Total
Deaths from fever contracted on the coast........1..12........2
" " in the river614..2036..958..1342
Other complaints..2..2....11........3

Geological section
Geological Section


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