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The Contagious CityThe Politics of Public Health in Early Philadelphia$
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Simon Finger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801448935

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801448935.001.0001

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Looking West from Philadelphia

(p.153) Conclusion
The Contagious City

Simon Finger

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter charts the denouement of Philadelphia's development from an experiment in solving the problems of urban life, to its rise as a great provincial port, and finally its decline into a problem city in search of new solutions. From there the chapter looks beyond the city's borders in considering the question of whether people are shaped by their environments or vice versa, and the prospects of urban life from thereon. Once again medical discourse substantiates much of this history, as despite the city's decline in prominence it remained America's foremost scientific hub at the dawn of the nineteenth century. The conclusion is framed within the journey undertaken by Thomas Jefferson's secretary, Meriwether Lewis, and William Clark and the Corps of Discovery.

Keywords:   Philadelphia's development, urban life, problem city, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Corps of Discovery, medical discourse

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