Death comes to Jefferson College
Reverend Matthew McGrath, SM, had been in Algiers when he suffered what was thought to be a case of typhoid fever. At a doctor’s recommendation, he traveled to Jefferson College to convalesce. Not only did he fail to recover, he passed yellow fever to others. Brother Joseph Michard was the first to succumb, on September 15, 1873, followed by McGrath on October 3, 1873. A lay teacher and Jefferson College alumnus, Pamphile Loriot, also died from the fever. Meanwhile, Rev. Henri Gaud, SM, who had served as president of Jefferson since 1870, nursed sick patients for over a month. He finally became ill and soon his case was declared hopeless. Father Gaud died on October 8, 1873. The last victim, Rev. Peter Freyssinet, SM, died on October 23, 1873.
As a side note, at the time of Gaud’s death, Papal Bulls were reportedly en route from Rome, appointing him to an auxiliary archbishopric.
Image from Jefferson College Catalogue, 1872-1873
Times Picayune, October 10, 1873