The origins of Hamburg go back to the times of Charlemagne. Read all about Hamburg's history at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburg
In 1892 ten thousand died in Hamburg from a cholera epidemic. The following book describes Hamburg society and this devastating event
Evans, Richard J. Death in Hamburg. Society and politics in the cholera years 1830-1910, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1987, 8vo, pp. xxv, 676, illus.