Re: New world populations

MBAWilliam (
19 Dec 1994 17:22:37 -0500

>The big killers were the European diseases that they inadvertantly
brought with them which quickly spread into areas that the Spanish never
reached. In the southeastern United States, these are believed to have
been responsible for the deaths of three quarters of the original
population by 1600.

In New England, there is a strong argument by Snow and others (still
haven't dug out those citations yet....) that many populations were left
unscathed by disease until AFTER European settlement, i.e. 1620, when the
*childhood* diseases of small- and chicken-pox decimated groups, with a
mortality rate in some areas of 85 to nearly 100 percent. Many critics of
earlier *pandemic* theory argue that such childhood diseases, with
incubation periods of only a couple weeks, could not be maintained on the
long (six week) journey, as the population of uninfected carriers would be
exceedingly low. However, this does not account for the groups that were
nearly obliterated (Squanto's village?) just prior to the Pilgrim's
landing... Hepatitis seems to be a favorite culprit bantered about these