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The Fourth Congress met at Philadelphia, December, 1795, at the close of one of the most alarming and widespread epidemics of yellow fever which had as yet been known. The conflicting opinions and acts of different State and municipal authorities in the adoption and enforcement of measures for preventing the importation and spread of yellow fever had excited much public commemt. The fever was believed to be imported, and existing quarantines were regarded as inefficient, owing to a want of power on the part of the States to enforce their regulations. The questions which were raised in Congress were twofold, viz.: 1. Should not the establishment and management of quarantines be exclusively the duty of the General Government, under the provision of the Constitution empowering Congress "to regulate commerce?" 2. Is not a quarantine a police regulation of the State or municipality, and hence quite outside
SMITH S. EARLY NATIONAL LEGISLATION ON THE SUBJECT OF QUARANTINE. JAMA. 1892;XIX(14):408–412. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02420140022001j
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