Between 1832 and 1834, serious outbreaks of cholera traveled up the Mississippi River from the Gulf Coast, spreading that disease and the fear of it into areas which had previously seemed safe from the reach of “coastal” diseases. In response to this epidemic, Congress passed “An Act to Enforce Quarantine Regulations” on July 13, 1832, empowering the Secretary of the Treasury to allocate ships and officers to aid in the enforcement of state quarantine and health laws. This statute did not materially change the powers of the federal government to interfere with quarantine laws, maintaining the federal health role as assistant to state authority. It did, however, materially increase the usefulness of this power to the states and it increased the federal presence at state ports.
- Williams, Ralph Chester, M.D., The United States Public Health Service, 1798-1950 . Commissioned Officers Association of the United States Public Health Service, Washington, D.C., 1951, pp. 70.
- “An Act to enforce quarantine regulations”, July 13, 1832. Twenty-Second Congress, Session I, Ch. 202, 203, 204.