Clara Louise Maass

Clara Louise Maass

East Orange, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
Death 24 Aug 1901 (aged 25)
Havana, La Habana, Cuba
Burial Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
Plot Section L, Lot 81, Grave 2
Memorial ID 5827 · View Source
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Medical Pioneer. While working as a nurse in the Newark German Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, she volunteered to be a contract nurse for the United States Army during the Spanish-American War, serving in Army Camps in Florida, Georgia, the Philippines and Cuba. Her experience in treating cases of yellow fever brought her to the efforts of Major Walter C. Gorgas and Dr. John Guiteras to find the causes of the disease and effective immunization. While at the Las Animas Hospital in Havana, Cuba, she volunteered to be bitten by an infected mosquito to test the theory that mosquitoes were carriers of Yellow Fever. She subsequently died from the experiment, giving her life for medicine, and proving that targeting mosquitoes could prevent the disease. She was the only person to die from the experimentation, and her sacrifice led to the discovery of a cure. In 1952 the hospital in Newark she worked in was re-named the Clara Maass Memorial Hospital. In 1976 a United States postage stamp was issued in her honor.

Bio by: Russ Dodge


Army nurse with the seventh U.S. Army Corps in Jacksonville and Cuba Oct. 1, 1898 - Feb. 5, 1899, and with the eighth U.S. Army Corps in Manila 1899-1900. Entered service in the hospital at Las Animas, Cuba, 1901. Volunteered for inoculation by Yellow Fever infected mosquitos in a government study to establish the transmission of this disease. She contracted Yellow Fever, died as the result and was buried in Colon Cemetery Havana with military honors. Her body was returned and buried here on Feb. 20, 1902.

"Greater love hath no man than this"



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 6 Jul 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5827
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Clara Louise Maass (28 Jun 1876–24 Aug 1901), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5827, citing Fairmount Cemetery, Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .