Coming soon: The Diseased Ship Podcast

Gold dust, they’d said they were after. But when the surviving crew of the Ten Brothers docked this majestic ship in Boston Harbor back in 1819, one year after setting sail for West Africa, customs officials found no gold in the hold, just clouds of mosquitoes playing host to a deadly yellow fever virus. The rest, we usually say, is history… only in this case, it’s not. Host Meadow Hilley had to stumble upon the bare bones of this long-forgotten episode in New England’s maritime past at the bottom of a 200-year-old grave. The Diseased Ship is a gripping first-person account of her struggle to reconstruct this ill-fated voyage in the face of her own illness. Inviting scholars, cultural critics, and community members to consider the ways in which this hidden history relates to our current national conversations about race, privilege, identity, and access to the “American dream,” Meadow asks listeners to reflect on what we might make of a malignancy that has taken root so close to our heart, exploring the possibility for individual and collective recovery.
With generous support from the Maine Humanities Council.