From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Fever, 1793

Fever, 1793

  

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Fever, 1793 Chapter 16 Summary

September 24th, 1793

  • Grandfather and Matilda bid farewell to Rush Hill and Mrs. Flagg. They ride into Philadelphia on a wagon with five children being sent to the orphanage.
  • Matilda sits next to Mrs. Bowles, a Quaker dressed in gray. The two make small talk and Matilda reveals that she'll be fifteen in December. Mrs. Bowles mentions that the orphan house could use an extra pair of hands.
  • Matilda is happy to be treated like an adult, but tells Mrs. Bowles that she must first think of her family – Grandfather and Mother.
  • Mrs. Bowles warns Matilda not to go venturing out into the Philadelphia streets (thieves, fever victims, no food in the markets).
  • The driver interjects that the post office is also closed down.
  • Mrs. Bowles and Matilda discuss the fate of one of the orphans in the wagon – Susannah. She'll probably be hired out as a servant or, since she's pretty, she may be able to find herself a husband. (So many options!)
  • Matilda decides that this is not the life she wants. At all.
  • The wagon arrives in Philadelphia and the city is a ghost town with dead bodies on the side of the streets. Mrs. Bowles mentions that most of the dead are being buried in the Potter's Field in mass graves. Matilda calls it "a field plowed by the devil" (16.49).
  • The wagon arrives at the orphan house. Mrs. Bowles and Matilda part ways.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement