An extensive outbreak of yellow fever occurred in 1878, spreading across eight states, but particularly affecting Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. Some 16,000 people died from the disease that year alone. On Tuesday a mass grave was unburied in downtown Montgomery, Ala., is believed to contain bodies from the yellow fever epidemic of yellow fever that swept the city in the 1970’s.
Two buildings from the 1940’s were torn down at the site, and maintenance workers grading the land in preparation for the construction of a new building uncovered the remains.
The site is adjacent to the cemetery and based on the information they have from historical documents kept by the actual cemetery, it does appear that it may be the remains from the yellow fever epidemic in the 1870’s. Officials from the Alabama Archaeological Society and the Alabama Historical Association were at the site and are expected to be able to confirm that the bodies are from the yellow fever epidemic. It is not immediately known how many bodies might be buried at the site, but authorities are reassuring the public there is no cause for concern. The remains are clearly too old to suggest any recent activity.