The Bubonic Plague in... San Francisco?

That time San Francisco was plagued by THE LITERAL PLAGUE.
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Mortician: Caitlin Doughty
Producer & Writer: Louise Hung (@LouiseHung1)
Editor & Graphics: Landis Blair (@landisblair)
"Black Death ('Hollaback Girl' by Gwen Stefani)": historyteachers
This video was largely informed by "Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plague" by David K. Randall. Thank you to Mr. Randall for your exhaustive research and illuminating insight.
We'd also like thank Marilyn Chase for her book, "The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco". Thank you Ms. Chase for your research and thoughtful explanations.
Go read about the plague everyone!

Impact Prelude by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution 4.0 license.
Iron Horse - Silent Film Dark by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Comic Plodding - Silent Film Dark by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Batty McFaddin - Silent Film Light by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under
a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Bad Ideas - Silent Film Dark by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Amazing Plan - Silent Film Dark by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Discovery Hit by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution 4.0 license.

Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plague
Randall, David K. W. W. Norton & Company. New York, 2019.
The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco
Chase, Marilyn. Random House. New York, 2003.
"San Francisco's bubonic plague epidemic has eerie parallels to modern day"
"San Francisco’s Plague Years"
"Maybe Rats Aren't to Blame for the Black Death",go%20on%20to%20bite%20humans.
"Rats May Not Be to Blame for Spreading the 'Black Death'"
"Studies reveal how plague disables immune system, and how to exploit the process to make a vaccine"
"The ‘Chinese Flu’ Is Part of a Long History of Racializing Disease"



  • I love that you all love the "plague song" in this video! Alas it did not come from my brain, check out the full song here:

    Caitlin Doughty – Ask A MorticianCaitlin Doughty – Ask A Mortician2 aylar önce
    • The Chinese workers that came over to work on the railroad were for all intents and purposes indentured servants and were given a temporary residence in the US. Too many of them weren't going home after their contracts were up. Sound familar? 50% of all illegal immigrants in the US were green card holders that dropped off the radar after their green cards expired. Gee...why would we ban the Chinese? It's not because of race, it's because China was taking advantage of our immigration laws.

      1776TwoPointOh1776TwoPointOh2 gün önce
    • Wow well done 👍✅

      Scott RichardsScott Richards5 gün önce
    • The begining of this video gives me York/london dungeon vibes. (10/10 recommend the horrors of history there )

      peachy girlpeachy girl5 gün önce
    • I knew the video the second I heard it, I love the history teachers songs🙂

      Maggie EMaggie E7 gün önce
    • Shout-out to my freshman geography and history of the world teacher for getting my class hooked on all the songs

      Jack CombsJack Combs10 gün önce
  • Why are you wearing a mask? Covid isn't so bad. It is just the common cold, but now it cures the flu.

    Wes BaumguardnerWes Baumguardner8 saatler önce
  • Twas thEE miasmas

    Moth ManMoth Man13 saatler önce
  • What I got from this video is that while history may not repeat, it sure as hell rhymes.

    Troy BaerTroy Baer17 saatler önce
  • The value in this is quite simple. Look at the facts . And , if it turns out that the plague was manufactured in a laboratory in the Wuhan Provence of China, then hold them accountable. Trump did, and we will.contiue to hold the Chinese authorities that let loose this cjina plague on the world, causing several thousand deaths, accountable. Put the blame where the blame needs to go, so we learn the lessons about who we can trust. China is not one we can trust.

    S. BasgicS. Basgic18 saatler önce
  • gosh Caitlin get out the road. XD

    cath paathcath paath20 saatler önce
  • Here I am. Sitting here with my pet rat, Theo. Listening to a Bubonic Plague story. 🐀❤️ Theo & I really liked that not only did you talk about how cool/athletic/smart rats are, but you also clarified that all the plague spreading was really because of the flees. Theo says the only thing he spreads is love and good vibes.

    Abigail BridgesAbigail BridgesGün önce
  • It's weird how stupidity transcends time

    TheSchmeisterTheSchmeisterGün önce
  • Bubonic plague sounds SO similar to acute radiation poisoning.

    kayla1245768kayla1245768Gün önce
  • Wow, I stayed at the Grant Hotel few years back.

    jack eddinsjack eddinsGün önce
  • Unless there's a world wide conspiracy to cover up deaths (though we know for certain many deaths were attributed to covid because they had covid among other things), the survival rate does rather dictate that covid has been blown way out of proportion. That doesn't mean it's nothing, but at this point there are quite a few other things we've been wrestling with since the dawn of civilization that are more likely to kill you. Btw, Trump was reassuring the people just like most world leaders did, but for some reason (gee, I wonder why...) it's only wrong when Trump does it. He, nor anyone else except those working closest with it, could know how bad it would or wouldn't be.

    WhatIsMisophoniaWhatIsMisophoniaGün önce
  • Not to be racist buuut (that's never a good way to start a sentence)... What's the deal with southern China and pandemics anyway? I get that there's a lot of people who live in squalor and also eat anything that moves, but I still get the feeling there's just something about the region and climate that breeds novel human-hating disease.

    WhatIsMisophoniaWhatIsMisophoniaGün önce
  • You're my boy blue!

    Bumble BeeBumble BeeGün önce
  • You know what's more deadly than a bubonic plague or a bullet in the face? Covid apparently

    Bumble BeeBumble BeeGün önce
  • In 1906, carried by rats and their fleas, the bubonic plague came from China to San Francisco. With powerful political and business foes fighting at every turn, a series of brave people tried and failed to institute necessary health measures. Finally a Dr. Blue, thought to be a good old boy from the south, stepped in- and to the chagrin of the elites- did what had to be done. He killed the rats, cleaned up the streets, and finally stopped a plague that could have devastated the whole of the United States as it once killed half of Europe. If Dr. Blue could kill the rats and stop the plague, surely we can... I don't know... Wear masks? Caitlin- I don't know if you know this, but the above paragraph, Your idea, is probably the best case of guerrilla education (realpolitik) I have ever seen. You are way smarter than you present. I also think you might be hyperactive, since the depth and layering of your videos is decptively difficult, requiring a rainbow of knowledge and skills. Not to mention the total output. I mean, when do you sleep? Peace

    Peter ThierrryPeter ThierrryGün önce
  • Magnificent, as always :) Many thanks

    Alisdair WilliamsAlisdair WilliamsGün önce
  • There is bubonic plague in the LA homeless camps. Now.

    Guy ConradGuy ConradGün önce
  • The song not so much better me and u Take a ride love you God bless 👍💋💓

    thomas sorrelsthomas sorrels2 gün önce
  • .............. ........the plague fake....🤣

    AnonBiscuitAnonBiscuit2 gün önce
  • Thank you for this video!

    Manny EspinolaManny Espinola2 gün önce
  • "Like Baby on board but Less fun " I Love Love your sense of Humor !!!!

    svagrodsvagrod2 gün önce
  • Oh no, I keep checking my lymph glands just in case it’s more than the usual egg leg.

    Derry PopeDerry Pope2 gün önce
  • It’s always China...

    DionysusDionysus2 gün önce
  • Dear Caitlin (as in "Dear Abby") "the China plague" (interjected along with a 1.5 sec vid of Ex- President Trump, and repeated 2-3 times). Well now, Mortician (even though I still plan to have my ashes interred in your yard), please let me ask you, and other women, a question that continues to evade my understanding: Why is it that so many American women seem to have automatically expressed such distain for Donald Trump, even though knowing next to nothing about the man until he declared himself a candidate for the 2016 presidential nomination? In the years following Mr. Trump's election, both the employment percentage and earnings of women and minorities in this country reached an all-time high. There was also a higher percentage of women appointed to positions in the Trump administration than any other in the history of our republic. Why did you vote him out of office?

    jeffry gagnonjeffry gagnon2 gün önce
  • That plague song took me all the way back to the seventh grade and I’m glad that I forgot about it lmao I did not expect that to hear that today

    Jamie VeeJamie Vee2 gün önce
  • Wear a mask? Doesn't yours work?

    Eric WEric W2 gün önce
  • "A good Bang day" When the context is important. xD

    Jolly NovaJolly Nova2 gün önce
  • Can't give haffkin too much trouble i mean a vaccine thats half effective is pretty good for the time.

    Jason KimesJason Kimes2 gün önce
  • Love your dark and irreverent sense of humour!

    Owen OultonOwen Oulton2 gün önce
  • There is no war in Ba Sing Se

    Walter LWalter L2 gün önce
  • They need to ban China from the world now.

    CortexCortex2 gün önce
    • Just get a map of earth and erase it

      Asuki TamashiAsuki Tamashi2 gün önce
  • The US averages 1-16 deaths per year from BP. It came over from China around 1910 on a cargo ship and is now part of the Rock Mountain's ecosystem. Campers, of no ages in particular, are the primary victims.

    1776TwoPointOh1776TwoPointOh2 gün önce
  • Was Trump a descendent of Gage?

    Frizzy KiKiFrizzy KiKi3 gün önce
    • Idk

      Asuki TamashiAsuki Tamashi2 gün önce
  • Watching in January 2021.. All of the below comments, and now people refusing vaccines. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

    wildflowersnhoney209wildflowersnhoney2093 gün önce
  • Ten years after the plague is declared gone from San Francisco the 1918 pandemic hits and I’m sure people were just done with disease forever

    Eire DuchessEire Duchess3 gün önce
  • Why are you so funny?

    Kelvin InnocentKelvin Innocent3 gün önce
  • i really like your chanel kissies from ksa

    zahra saifzahra saif4 gün önce
  • (Rhetorical) Question, the people asking you not to make it about race; where they expecting you to lie? Cut out 70% of the actual historical information, or just straight up stop doing videos on historic events?

    MidoriyamaRArekusuMidoriyamaRArekusu4 gün önce
  • Mind the man in the big white van Caitlin!! pmsl

    Lyndsay McFadzeanLyndsay McFadzean4 gün önce
  • Lol trump saying “the China plague” we’ll... I it did come from China

    MissyMissy4 gün önce
  • RATS!

    J SamJ Sam4 gün önce
  • My office is in the background on Broadway and Kearny. I wish I'd seen you there so I could have said hi cuz I think you're awesome and funny af! 👍

    MiSTR JTMiSTR JT4 gün önce
  • luv the trump inserts

    Ned KNed K4 gün önce
  • Really love when you sing...because that's something I would do with random thoughts...or doing random things. Like, " Kerrygold butter is better" or whatever but, it keeps me sane! Anyway, really like your channel a lot because I love history and it's fascinating to hear about certain stories about death (I also look at visiting gravesites of the stars). And I think you are awesome!!

    Sheronda LewisSheronda Lewis4 gün önce
  • Caitlin go to Kuala lumpur! There's a coffin shop literally called "fook chun's coffin shop" near China town

    DreamBeliefDreamBelief4 gün önce
  • It seems like, back in those years, nature was trying to show how much of a s***hole San Francisco was already. Humans didn't listen, and ol' San Fran is still a s**hole in 2021... Humans are prone to keep repeating same old mistakes over and over again. Next one: communism!

    Tommy GunTommy Gun4 gün önce
  • You know what's funny with leftists? They can't do their thing without including their hate for President Donald J. Trump. That mental illness is transforming in hate for President Trump supporters... That's a call for unity from leftist, isn't? LMFAO! The truth is President Trump still playing on leftists like they were fiddles. And his supporters, we live in your minds rent free! XD Excellent videos by the way. I love this channel.

    Tommy GunTommy Gun4 gün önce
    • update apparently you still can call him the president after hes out of office my bad. im Not american idk US political shit lmao . im not gonna try to radicalize you to the left bc theres No Point but yk. my bad here actually!!

      jaime wormsjaime worms3 gün önce
    • @Tommy Gun you say so many words.....and none of them make any sense....i simply asked you to stop calling somebody the president when he is clearly legally no longer the president. ??????? ?? ? ?? also dont use my name that was kind of weird lmao

      jaime wormsjaime worms3 gün önce
    • @jaime worms Hahaha! "To stop"... why? You're offended? Good! You leftists started a feud 4 years ago over an electoral fraud that never happened lead by Hillary Clinton, who'll never be president. You started that even if we told you you were too much of snowflakes to go through it... And now, there's grotesque Joe Biden in office. The most popular President in history... No one's buying that! Not even hardcore leftists... So Jaime, you want me to stop...? Quit daydreaming :) We will never stop... NEVER!!! :D

      Tommy GunTommy Gun4 gün önce
    • hes..not the president anymore you can stop

      jaime wormsjaime worms4 gün önce
  • Kill the humans save the rats

    Ice CactusIce Cactus4 gün önce
  • There's rats in my room currently. Pet rats are cool

    Kenny MariaKenny Maria4 gün önce
  • And then San Francisco had the worst numbers of the Spanish Flu😶

    Michael StottMichael Stott5 gün önce
  • Why does my reply to a comment keep disappearing! I repost, but instantly, its gone! Not fair! I even deleted parts I thought might be offensive to some if you really stretch it. What's going on?!

    cat magiccat magic5 gün önce
  • OMG! Every pandemic folllows the same patterns, caused by corrupt politicians. Diaper Donnie is NOT A GENIUS. SURPRISE SURPRISE! 💩😈💩

    cat magiccat magic5 gün önce
  • So crazy I just started Warrior and this came up on my feed.

    stemcellwhoaxstemcellwhoax5 gün önce
  • Hilarious!

    john tjohn t5 gün önce
  • eradicated.... e-rat-icated

    HyuugaC0bicatHyuugaC0bicat5 gün önce
  • I love your sarcasm! You make me laugh and make my day x

    Jacob MayhewJacob Mayhew5 gün önce
  • Caitlin tells it like is! She doesn’t die history it’s not her fault the ppl of San Fran were racist it’s just facts

    Kay Lee HowardKay Lee Howard5 gün önce
  • "The Chinese didn't want there to be plague. The government didn't want there to be plague. The press didn't want there to be plague. So everyone just goes, 'No plague here!'" It's amazing how knowing history can help us predict the future. It seems like humans never change.

    MaiCohWolfMaiCohWolf5 gün önce
  • "look for plague,but not for anything incriminating" feels like "the less tests we have,the less cases there are"... America

    Fat fluffy BunnyFat fluffy Bunny5 gün önce
  • omg i just died with that little piece of the History Teacher's Bubonic Plague song lol

    Shnikki_ReadsShnikki_Reads6 gün önce
  • We've learned so much?

    Jim FortuneJim Fortune6 gün önce
  • ♥️♥️👍👍love your videos, very insightful and informative.

    MexicanReformistMexicanReformist6 gün önce
  • I love for Caitlin yelling ‘Raaatttsss’ in the stress of San Francisco.

    Antonette YbarraAntonette Ybarra6 gün önce
  • It took them 8 years to get their act together omg. That’s awful. I’m glad it had a happy ending. Makes me hopeful that maybe things now will.

    craisins95craisins956 gün önce
  • Surely you know Donald called it the China plague NOT the Chinese plague. He was referring to it coming from China and their failure to contain it.

    KS 29KS 296 gün önce
  • Ive just found your channel tonight!! Bloody brilliant!! New subscriber 🤪

    Kelly WalshKelly Walsh6 gün önce
  • I loved the cameo appearances of cheeto trump

    Regina HolomanRegina Holoman6 gün önce
  • Seldom attacks Europeans....Ummm wasnt like 60% of Europe Decimated by this same plague in the 1300s and 1600s???

    AsigedgeAsigedge6 gün önce
  • Australia has an outbreak of the plague in 1890’s to early 1900’s in the outback 🤷🏻‍♀️

    Jess EssJess Ess7 gün önce
  • This is the only gender wage gap i approve

    Charlotte BerrymanCharlotte Berryman7 gün önce
The Bubonic Plague in... San Francisco?