Archive for the ‘Smallpox’ Category

JOSEPH JEFFERIES – FROM NEW YORK TO RIO AND OLD SYDNEY TOWN: ONE – THEN THERE WAS NONE

Monday, November 14th, 2016

1789 – April, Sydney: ‘Not one case of the disorder occurred among the white people either afloat or on shore although there were several children in the settlement; but a North American Indian…took the disease and died’. Samuel Bennett, Australian Discovery and Colonisation, Vol. 1 to 1800, Facsimile edition, 1981

Smallpox inoculation, using dried scab-matter was widespread in the British army of the eighteenth century. It served a dual purpose; to protect – to destroy.

‘It is true our surgeons had brought out variolous matter in bottles’. Marine Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

1787 – August, Brazil: When the First Fleet en-route to Botany Bay put into Rio de Janeiro for supplies in August 1787 Joseph Jefferies, a North American Indian born on New York’s Staten Island, joined the crew of HMS Supply. The young adventurer died of smallpox at Sydney on or about the 10th of May 1789. (more…)

A VERY CONVENIENT THEORY – SMALLPOX 1789 – IT WAS THE MACASSANS STUPID

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Up to 1,500 Macassans a year would reach [northern] Australia and they did influence the Aborigines by trading iron axes, tobacco, cloth, knives and glass. They taught the Aboriginal of those parts how to make dug-out canoes, more substantial than the simple water-craft of stringy-bark’. Stewart Harris, Treaty, It’s Coming Yet, 1979  

1788: The Englishmen of the ‘First Fleet’ did not find Sydney’s Eora Peoples familiar with iron axes, knives, tobacco, cloth or glass but when introduced they were valued.

1789, April: ‘Smallpox had decimated the indigenous population probably not brought by the Europeans, as first feared, but possible introduced by Indonesian traders visiting the far northern coast of Australia…By a strange coincidence, smallpox reached Port Jackson at about the same time as the First Fleet’. Cassandra Pybus, Black Founders, UNSW Press, 2006 

1789- April: If, in the light of Tench’s hard evidence ‘variolous matter in bottles’ came with the ‘First Fleet’, smallpox reached Sydney in 1789 would have been very ‘strange coincidence’ indeed.        .

‘It is true, that our surgeons had brought out variolous matter in bottles’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

It has also been suggested, its appearance may have stemmed from an outbreak in Samartra in the early 1780s. However given the way smallpox expresses; the soles of the feet, palms of hands, the face and eyes – affecting sight –  swollen mucous membranes with extreme thirst that argument is risible.

Add to these physical difficulties strict protocols observed by Aboriginals entering the country of another clan either peaceful or hostile, it would not be feasible for Aborigines to travel such a great distance from the most northern tip of the continent in time to coincide with the arrival of the ‘First Fleet’ at Port Jackson.

1789 – April, Sydney Cove: Smallpox appeared among local Aborigines a whole year after the ‘First Fleet’ arrived.

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A LETHAL WEAPON: SMALLPOX – ROBERT ROSS & DAVID COLLINS – BOSTON 1775: SYDNEY 1789 – MAJOR ROSS & CAPTAIN COLLINS

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

1775 – BOSTON – SMALLPOX

‘From time to time throughout history, peoples and governments around the world have used micro-organisms as efficient and cost-effective weapons of mass destruction. In 1763, in the earliest recorded deliberate release of a virus, Sir Jeffrey Amherst, British Commander-in-Chief authorised the distribution of smallpox-contaminated blankets to native Americans who were harassing European settlers around the garrison at Fort Pitt in Pennsylvania’. Professor Dorothy H. Crawford, Invisible Enemies, Edinburgh University Press, 2001.

1763 – America: British General Thomas Gage served as second-in-command to General Amherst during the Indian Wars. In 1763 North American Indian tribes united under Chief Pontiac and moved against the British.

At first their efforts were successful but later, when laying siege to Fort Pitt, they were out-gunned and not only out-gunned: “We gave them two Blankets and an Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital, I hope it will have the desired effect”.

General Gage was implicated in the distribution of ‘smallpox-contaminated blankets’ among the Indian tribes ‘harassing’ the British at Fort Pitt, now Pittsburgh.

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SMALLPOX & DEAD ABORIGINES DON’T EAT

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

‘Before leaving Botany Bay Phillip had messages painted on the rocks of Bare Island near which the Fleet had been moored, to guide the ships which Phillip believed were following closely from England, around to Sydney Cove. Bruce Mitchell, The Australian Story and Its Background, Cheshire Press, 1965

1787 – 13 May, Portsmouth: A large convoy eleven (11) ships commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN, with a complement of fifteen hundred (1500) souls – one-half convicted criminals – sailed from England to New Holland now Australia. See: All The King’s Men

‘In determining the daily ration no distinction was drawn between the marine and the [male] convicts …the standard adopted was that of the troops serving in the West Indies’. Wilfrid Oldham, Britain’s Convicts to the Colonies, ed. Hugh Oldham, Library of Australian History, 1990

1788 – 20 January, Botany Bay: Between 18-20 January 1788 the large fleet of eleven (11) ships  known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’, anchored in Botany Bay.

‘While the seine was hauling some of them [Aborigines] were present…No sooner were the fish out of the water than they began to lay hold of them as if they had a right to them, or that they were their own’. Dr John White, Chief Medical Officer, First Fleet Journal, Oxford City Press, 2011

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