To my fellow Bourbon Democrats and interested Mugwumps,
Yellow fever. Were ever two more frightful words uttered by man? This "American Plague" has ravaged our cities from New York to New Orleans for over a hundred years. Thousands have died in its jaundiced grip. Fourteen years ago, it even destroyed one of our greatest cities: Memphis, Tennessee.
As I wander the marble ruins of the former Court Square, I find myself in a stunned, nearly reverent silence. Ingenious souls like President Jackson founded this place. On these high bluffs, a great economy once boomed. And in its final hours, when more than half the city understandably fled, what courage it took to stay and defend this noble experiment.
In those horrific days, Sister Constance of St. Mary's Cathedral (Episcopal) tended the sick and dying. She walked these once-gleaming streets, though they were caked with shovelfuls of chalky disinfectant. Even as she herself succumbed to the dreaded disease, the praise of our Sovereign Lord remained ever on her lips.
Yet even now, hope blooms anew for western Tennessee. As we dined on the America II en route here, I was intrigued to learn of fantastic new innovations in the study of this dreaded disease. Dr. W.H. Thomson, a medical professor who has pedaled us since Manhattan, informed us that Dr. Carlos Finlay of Cuba has made an astonishing claim. Dr. Finlay's research suggests that bad air may not, in fact, be the carrier of this illness. He has even postulated that the pesky little mosquito may be the culprit. I sat in amazement as Dr. Thomson regaled us with possibilities for the treatment of yellow fever and even (God willing) prevention.
Should this research prove valid, then I propose that we rebuild a great and noble city on these ruins without fear of another outbreak. In honor of the devoted sister who served here until the end, I propose that we name it "Constantinople." Such a name would be a fitting legacy for one of Christ's bravest servants. The Mohammedans on the Bosphorus abandoned the name ages ago; let us soon resurrect it!
A gleaming new city astride the old Fourth Military District could indeed launch our plans for the 20th century. Imagine a new Southern metropolis, free of disease, built to the glory of God on Gold alone, by a nation that dares where others quiver!