Smallpox strikes down a man in Griffintown

A sad death – The Montreal Daily Post, Sep. 23 1885

A smallpox patient falls dead in Dalhousie Street

One of the saddest events which it has been our lot to chronical in connection with the smallpox epidemic, occurred early this morning in Dalhousie street. It appears that some days ago Mr. Adams, a strong and powerfully built man, residing at 177 Dalhousie Street, was stricken down with the fell disease. The neighbors got wind of the case, and avoided the house, while some of the more considerate ones laid complaints at the Health Department, the last one being made on Sunday last, but the house was neither placarded nor any attention paid to the case.

Last night, or rather in the early hours of this morning, while the storm was at its fiercest, the inhabitants in the locality were aroused by the piercing shrieks of a woman, and upon looking out saw the form of a man clad in bedclothes dashing wildly along the street. The vanishing spectre-like being proved to be Mr. Adams, who, in a state of delirium, had got control of his wife, and despite her efforts had left the house. He had, however, gone but a short distance when he sank to the sidewalk in an apparent lifeless condition.

His wife cried for help, and word was sent to the police, but they refused to meddle in the affair. Finally, a French Canadian of the neighbourhood volunteered to assist the afflicted woman, and with his aid she managed to drag the nude form of her demented husband to the doorway of her home; but alas, here they found they were unable to carry him up stairs, and they were reluctantly compelled to leave him in the doorway, where he died shortly after.

Had the police or health authorities, acted with a little more promptitude the opinion is freely expressed that a life might have been saved in this case. In conversation with several persons this morning a Post reporter was informed that the number of authenticating physicians were entirely too small for the demand.