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Upcoming Speaker Series Presentations

The Thursday Evening Speaker Series is free of charge and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Unless otherwise noted, programs will be held at the Missouri State Archives, located at 600 W. Main Street in Jefferson City. The series is underwritten by the Friends of the Missouri State Archives.

[Presentation Videos from past events are available at the following location:
Missouri State Archives Presentation Videos.]


The 1849 Cholera Outbreak in Jefferson City

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021



In 1849, a steamship named after President James Monroe left St. Louis for Council Bluffs, Iowa. On board along with 50-plus crewmembers and miscellaneous passengers were 135 Latter-day Saints from Philadelphia, joined in St. Louis by a group of 35 California-bound prospectors from Jeffersonville, Indiana. Shortly after departure, on what was supposed to be a routine trip, cholera broke out among the travelers. Days later, 14-year-old James McHenry discovered the steamship after a skeleton crew landed it at Jefferson City. Observing the dead and dying victims along the riverbank, several local churches opened their doors to serve as hospitals for the afflicted. Though the exact number of deaths resulting from the outbreak is unknown, with different sources recording quite different figures, it had far-reaching effects. Join us for a presentation on Facebook Live from Gary Elliott, author of The 1849 Cholera Outbreak in Jefferson City, as he details this tragic, yet historic event. Jump to Top