The news as reported 101 years ago is quite different than what we know in our time. To judge people of a different time and place by our standards has an element of conceit.... and there is a bit of intellectual dishonesty in it, I think. Suffice to say that although the geographical place may be the same, the times and culture of 1903 and 2004 are quite different.
In any event, the purpose of reprinting this article is not to make an ethnic put down, but rather to illustrate what was going on at the time.... and to post a few names in case any genealogically inclined people stumble across this. As Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".
Camden Post-Telegram - September 2, 1903
THINK THE BLOCK IS "HOODOOED"
Superstitious Negroes Declare Row of Pine Street Houses is Under a Spell.
FOUR PERSONS SERIOUSLY ILL
Superstitious colored people have come to the conclusion that a block of houses on Pine Street between Seventh and Eighth Streets, is "hoodooed". On three consecutive Tuesdays neighbors in adjoining houses have been taken to Cooper Hospital suffering from different afflictions and this morning another house in the row was place under quarantine owing to a case of diphtheria.
Two weeks ago yesterday Samuel Burk, colored, of 773 Pine Street. was afflicted with appendicitis and had to be taken to Cooper Hospital.
On Tuesday of last week Lyman Johnson, colored, of 775 Pine Street was sent to the hospital suffering from typhoid fever. Then the negroes of the neighborhood began trio whisper that there was a "spell" on the houses.
Their fears of a hoodoo gained ground when James Oliver colored, of 771 Pine Street was injured yesterday by a cable breaking at the licorice plant at the foot of Jefferson Avenue, causing a compound fracture of one of his legs and necessitating him joining his two neighbors at Cooper Hospital.
When they saw a yellow sign tacked on the door of the house at 786 Pine Street this morning by the Board of Health the colored folks declared that all doubts of the row being "hoodooed" were settled. Solomon Satherwaite lives in this house and his 11-year old daughter, Edna, has diphtheria. About two months ago Satherwaite's wife, who was the mother of sixteen children, died after giving birth to a child.
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