Tag: Spanish Influenza

‘Three Good Leads’ Captures the Essence of Houston, Galveston During Spanish Flu Epidemic


It’s September 1918. Donald Brown is a photographer in Houston. His close friend Clara Barnes is a nursing student at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston. “Three Good Leads,” by Richard Cunningham, is their story, which unfolds as World War I is approaching its climax and the Spanish influenza is sweeping the world — and the Texas Gulf Coast.

Orphaned by the 1900 Storm, Donald was adopted by a white family living in Freedman’s Town in Houston’s Fourth Ward. He picked up photography and become a freelance photographer, selling photographs to local newspapers.

In ‘Three Good Leads,” Donald has made a name for himself through photographs he took to accompany a series on the effects of the influenza plague sweeping through Houston written by reporter and mentor Clifford Murray.