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Welcome To The Norfolk Historical Society

Committed to preserving the diverse history of the Norfolk, Virginia area.

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"Laboring Irish" and the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1855

  • Wednesday, May 13, 2020
  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • MacArthur Memorial Visitor Center Theater

Benjamin H. Trask, teacher and historian, will explore the impact of the yellow fever outbreak of 1855 on the Irish communities in Norfolk and Portsmouth. This horrific epidemic came at a time when the American Party (Know-Nothings), an anti-immigrant movement was a political force in Virginia. This complex and timely discussion will examine the roles of the Catholic clergy, famine immigrants and the “hidden” Irish in the cities. Trask is the author of Fearful Ravages: Yellow Fever in New Orleans, 1796-1905 and six related articles.

FREE and open to the public

We welcome you to contact us!  The Norfolk Historical Society maintains space at Historic Fort Norfolk (c. 1810).  We are also available via mail, e-mail, and social media.


Fort Norfolk
810 Front Street
Norfolk, VA 23510


Norfolk Historical Society
P.O. Box 6367
Norfolk, Virginia 23508-0367

(757) 754-2004


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