Playing Cholera

Children find play even in the most tragic events. Many believe the universal nursery rhyme “Ring Around the Rosey” to have originated in London, where the Great Plague of 1665-66 killed upwards of 75,000 people (“ashes to ashes, we all fall down!”). On Saturday, August 25, 1849 the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on local children who responded to that summer’s cholera epidemic by making up a game:


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