Essays on deserted village

Please forward this error screen to sharedip-1071804188. Smallpox epidemic ravages Native Americans on the northwest essays on deserted village of North America in the 1770s.

30 percent of the native population on the Northwest coast of North America, including numerous members of Puget Sound tribes. This apparent first smallpox epidemic on the northwest coast coincides with the first direct European contact, and is the most virulent of the deadly European diseases that swept over the region during the next 80 to 100 years. Robert Boyd estimates that the 1770s smallpox epidemic killed more than 11,000 Western Washington Indians, reducing the population from about 37,000 to 26,000. During the 80 year period from the 1770s to 1850, smallpox, measles, influenza, and other diseases had killed an estimated 28,000 Native Americans in Western Washington, leaving about 9,000 survivors.

The Indian population continued to decline, although at a slower rate, till the beginning of the twentieth century when it reached its low point. Since then the Native American population has been slowly increasing. In 1792, members of the Vancouver Expedition were the first Europeans to witness the effects of the smallpox epidemic along Puget Sound. On May 21, 1792, Peter Puget discovered further signs of this disease on the Puget Sound residents. While Lieutenant Puget explored the southern reaches of the sound soon to receive his name, he met some Indians in a canoe. Doubt it has raged with uncommon Inacteracy among them.

The Vancouver expedition encountered likely evidence of the havoc wrought by the epidemic. Juan de Fuca Straits and anchored at Port Discovery. Boyd conducted extensive research on the effect of European diseases on Northwest coast Indians. Vancouver and others who explored the Northwest coast strongly suggest a disease of epidemic proportions.

A few Indian oral histories survive that may describe the 1770s epidemic. In the 1890s, an “aged informant” from the Squamish tribe, located near the mouth of the Fraser River, related the history of a catastrophic illness to ethnographer Charles Hill-Tout. One salmon season the fish were found to be covered with running sores and blotches, which rendered them unfit for food. But as the people depended very largely upon these salmon for their winter’s food supply, they were obliged to catch and cure them as best they could, and store them away for food. They put off eating them till no other food was available, and then began a terrible time of sickness and distress. A dreadful skin disease, loathsome to look upon, broke out upon all alike. Men, women, and children sickened, took the disease and died in agony by hundreds, so that when the spring arrived and fresh food was procurable, there was scarcely a person left of all their numbers to get it.

Camp after camp, village after village, was left desolate. The remains of which, said the old man, in answer by my queries on this, are found today in the old camp sites or midden-heaps over which the forest has been growing for so many generations. During the first or second decade of the 1900s, the photographer of Native Americans Edward S. Curtis interviewed an Indian who lived on the northwest side of Vancouver Island. So great was the mortality in this epidemic that it was impossible for the survivors to bury the dead. Although his informant told Curtis that the deaths were caused by an epidemic, others reported it was caused by warfare. So this may or may not refer to the late 1700s smallpox epidemic.

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