Martha Louisa Pressley, Age 3 1/2

(22 Feb 1843 - 16 Aug 1846)

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Pressley Family Cemetery, Williamsburg County, South Carolina

Headstone of Martha Louisa Pressley, Age 3 1/2


memory of
daughter of
John B. & Sarah
who departed this life
on the 16th day of
August A. D. 1846,
aged 3 years 5 months
and 25 days


M.L.P. 1846

We know almost nothing of this sixth child of John B. and Sarah. Martha Louisa died at three and a half years of age from Diptheria, a frightening bacterial disease that attacked the ear and nose and coated the throat with a painful, leather-like membrane. During the later stages of the disease, as death approached, it affected the heart, kidneys, and liver.

"The Childrens' Angel of Death," as Diptheria was called in the nineteenth century, would continue to torment and kill the world's children until Christmas day, 1891, when Emil von Behrig would treat a sick child with diphtheria antitoxin, and an effective treatment would be born. He would follow in 1913 with a vaccine.


Copyright 2003 Bruce Tognazzini. You may feel free to link to any of these pages. You may also copy materials from them, as long as proper attribution is made.

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