Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2008-06 > 1212638108

From: Thomas Gull <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Iberian S116+
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2008 23:55:08 -0400
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

I read an interesting Internet blurb by a doctor about the New England events. He hypothesized that a major part of the problem was that the Europeans were aware that contact helped spread the various diseases and would quarantine people quickly and take other protective steps. The native American practice, by contrast, was to keep the sick individuals in with everyone else, take care of them personally, etc. So everyone would get exposed to the diseases very quickly and very directly with the results you might expect. Couple that with no built-up in-population immunity and you're in serious trouble very quickly. / Tom

> Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 13:08:44 +1000
> From:
> To:
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Iberian S116+
> Thomas Gull wrote:
> "We have a limited example of this in the New England landing of the
> Mayflower passengers. The tribes who inhabited the Cape Cod / Plymouth area
> contracted some European-carried disease a few years before 1620, probably
> smallpox. There were trading contacts and fishing going on along that coast
> - the Mayflower was not the first ship to pass that way. In any case, a
> sizable portion of the population in that local area had died prior to the
> arrival of the Pilgrims...."
> A more intriguing example was an epidemic of "variola" (= smallpox) which
> more than decimated the Aboriginal population after the arrival of the First
> Fleet in Sydney Cove in 1788. Historians long blamed the convicts and their
> British keepers for the infection, but there had been no smallpox on any of
> the ships of the First Fleet since it left Brazil several months earlier...
> These days the infection is usually attributed to Indonesian/Macassan
> fishermen who brought it to the North West Kimberley coast some months
> before the First Fleet dropped anchor in Port Jackson. So the epidemic had
> spread across the whole continent of Australia, from north-west to
> south-east at a great rate... Bad news travels fast!
> Bob Hay
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