Spread of Cholera

“All of these complaints and illnesses of the Great Migration pale into insignificance, however, beside the great killer Asiatic cholera. Variously spelled in diaries colory, chollery, of coleramer, this virulent plague raged intermittently along the Platte River Road and its approaches during the climax years of the California Gold Rush. It was carried by rats on ships from Asiatic ports to New Orleans, thence by river streams to St. Louis and up the Missouri River to emigrant jump-off towns. Most of the fatalities . . . occurred between the Missouri River and Fort Laramie.”