Topic: Smallpox

1853-1854 Smallpox Visitation to the Moqui

The Moquis have been frequently scourged with epidemics the one accompanied by famine in 1775 was frightful. The severe modern smallpox scourge among the Moquis (which came from Zuñi) was in 1853-1854. Lieutenant Whipple refers to it in his Pacific Railroad Survey Report. He was en route from Zuñi to explore as a side trip the Colorado Chiquito and needed guides. He sent some Zuñians to the Moqui Pueblos for them. In his journal he writes: November 28, 1853 José Maria, Juan Septimo and José Hacha were the guides sent to us by the caciques of Zuñi. They described the

Blackfeet of Today

In the olden times the Blackfeet were very numerous, and it is said that then they were a strong and hardy people, and few of them were ever sick. Most of the men who died were killed in battle, or died of old age. We may well enough believe that this was the case, because the conditions of their life in those primitive times were such that the weakly and those predisposed to any constitutional trouble would not survive early childhood. Only the strongest of the children would grow up to become the parents of the next generation. Thus a

1837 Smallpox Epidemic

No disease which has been introduced among the tribes, has exercised so fatal an influence upon them as the smallpox. Their physicians have no remedy for it. Old and young regard it as if it were the plague, and, on its appearance among them, blindly submit to its ravages. This disease has appeared among them periodically, at irregular intervals of time. It has been one of the prominent causes of their depopulation. Ardent spirits, it is true, in its various forms, has, in the long run, carried a greater number of the tribes to their graves; but its effects have