U.S. National Institutes of Health

Congressional Pugilists, 1798

Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Both the Federalists and the Republicans, America’s first political parties, sparred over a variety of national as well as local Philadelphia issues. Members of each party seized on the yellow fever epidemic to advance their respective agendas. As a result, Philadelphia’s sick and dying received medical care informed as much by politics as by the best available science.