Extract of a letter received from Calcutta, dated 22d November, 1819:–“An afflicting circumstance has recently taken place. The Captain of the Bengal, a Liverpool trader, very lately gave a ball on board his ship, which was about to sail for England. The party was very small, and more than half were taken ill with a violent fever immediately afterwards. I buried the Captain and the Surgeon a few days after it; not less than ten of the part died within as many days, all younger persons. Only one officer survives of those who left England in the ship, and he is just recovering in the Hospital. All sorts of conjectures were made, but it turns out that there were 17,000 undressed buffalo horns in the hold, in a complete state of putrefaction. This vessel has sailed for England in this state without a Surgeon. I question whether it will ever arrive; it ought not to be admitted among other shipping if it does;–the opening of the hold will be death to him who does it, and perhaps to many more.”–In consequence of this disastrous information, Ministers have issued an order for the vessel, on her arrival at Liverpool, or any other part, to undergo quarantine.– London Paper.
All apprehension on the above subject is completely done away by the following letter from Liverpool, May 14:–
“I noticed a paragraph in the London papers, respecting the Bengal, of this port, at Calcutta, stating that a number of deaths had taken place, supposed in consequence of the Infectious vapours arising from some buffalo horns.–The Bengal arrived here April 5, and has been discharged without any of those dreadful consequences which the medical gentlemen of Calcutta prognosticated.–I should rather suppose that the fatal consequences which ensued to those individuals who attended the ball given on board this vessel at Calcutta, would be none justly attributed to the exposure to night air.”
Citation: Glasgow Herald (Glasgow, United Kingdom), 22 May 1820, available at the Scissors and Paste Database, http://www.scissorsandpaste.net/165.