Archive for the ‘Smallpox’ Category

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

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

‘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’. Professor Dorothy H. Crawford, The Invisible Enemy, Edinburgh University Press, 2000.

BOSTON

In 1763, in the earliest recorded deliberate release of a virus, Sir Jeffrey Amherst, British Commander-in-Chief in North America, authorized the distribution of smallpox-contaminated blankets to native Americans who were harassing European settlers around the garrison at Fort Pitt in Pennsylvania’. Crawford. op. cit.

Britain & North American Indian Wars:  General Thomas Gage served as second-in-command to General Amherst in the North American theatre of the (Seven Years War) 1756-1763.

 ‘We gave them two Blankets and an Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital, I hope it will have the desired effect’. Amherst, cited Professor Elizabeth A. Fenn, Pox Americana, The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82, 2001

In 1763 General Gage was implicated in the distribution of blankets seeded with smallpox to local Indian tribes at Fort Pitt now Pittsburgh.

“This act had the sanction of an impressive array of British officers, including Sir Jeffery Amherst, commander in chief at the time, and General Thomas Gage, who replaced Amherst and signed off on reimbursements for the “Sundries” used ” to convoy the Smallpox to the Indians”. Fenn. op. cit.

America – 1718-1775: Convict transportation: Britain between 1718 and 1775 exported approximately fifty thousand (50,000) convicted criminals to America.

Tied twice yearly to Assize and County Court Sittings some convicts – reprieved death on condition of exile ‘from the realm’were sentenced ‘for transportation to America’.

They were sold at regular ‘slave scrambles’ to plantation owners. Most were unskilled men these served their sentence labouring alongside African slaves shipped to America to work the tobacco and cotton fields.

Fewer women prisoners were transported most purchased as house-servants.

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SMALLPOX – A BIOLOGICAL WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION – 1789

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

‘The body of the [Aboriginal] woman showed that famine, superadded to disease, had occasioned her death‘It is true, that our surgeons had brought out variolous (smallpox) matter in bottles’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1961

Botany Bay – January 1788: At 2.15pm on 18 January 1788 HMS Supply, first of a large armed expeditionary force of eleven (11) ships, known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’ with a complement of 1500 souls anchored in the entrance to Botany Bay, New Holland now Australia.

Governor Phillip estimated local Aborigines numbered 1500. The fleet’s complement had doubled the population.

‘The main battle was about having enough to eat’. The Story of Australia, Don Watson 1984.

Sydney Cove 1789:   White survival and starving on the streets of Sydney.  In April 1789 viral smallpox wiped out 50% of Sydney’s Aboriginal families. See: Smallpox and Starvation Dead Aborigines Don’t Eat

‘Inexplicably, the epidemic did not affect the [invading] European population’.  People of Australia, Macquarie Series, Ed. Bryce Fraser, 1998

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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 either pus or 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 in August – September that year the ‘First Fleet’ en-route to Botany Bay put into Rio de Janeiro for supplies in Joseph Jefferies joined the crew of HMS Supply.

A North American Indian Jefferies was born on New York’s Staten Island.  In July 1776 Admiral Richard Howe RN commander of the Royal Navy’s ‘North American Station’ arrived there.

It is said during America’s Revolutionary War of Independence (1775-1783)  ‘the largest fleet in British naval history’ just on four hundred (400) ships were docked at Staten Island.

1789 – April, Sydney: ‘A smallpox epidemic struck the Aboriginal population around Sydney. Inexplicably the epidemic did not affect the Europeans, but [Governor] Phillip estimated that it resulted in the death of 50% of the local Aboriginal community’. People of Australia, Macquarie Series, Ed. Bryce Fraser, 1998.

The young adventurer Joseph Jefferies died of smallpox at Sydney on or about the 10th of May 1789.

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

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Sydney Cove – July, 1788: ‘Yesterday twenty [20] of the natives came down to the beach, each armed with a number of spears, and seized on a good part of the fish caught in the seine [trawling nets]…several stood at a small distance with their spears poised ready to throw them if any resistance was made’. Governor Arthur Phillip to Under-Secretary Evan Nepean, July 10, 1788, Frank Murcott Bladen, Historical Records of New South Wales

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By a strange coincidence, smallpox reached Port Jackson at about the same time as the First Fleet’. Cassandra Pybus, Black Founders, UNSW Press, 2006 

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‘They [Aborigines] are not pleased with our remaining amongst them, as they see we deprive them of fish, which is almost their only support’ . Governor  Philip to Evan  Nepean, September 1788  

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‘The voyage to and from Chilli and Peru would be Easy and Expeditious for a sailing from Port Jackson…the proximity of a Colony in that Part of the World to the Spanish settlement and the coast of Chile and Peru…makes it an important Post, should it ever be necessary to carry…war into those seas’. 

The night [8 May 1789] carried us [HMS Sirius] by daylight in sight of the entrance of Port Jackson, and in the evening we entered between the heads of he harbour and worked up to Sydney, where we anchored before dark after an absence of 219 days – 51 of which we lay in Table Bay Cape of Good Hope, so that, we had only been 168 days in describing that circle’. John Hunter Journal, Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island, 1793, Bibliobaazar ed. 2008

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You cannot overate the solicitude of H.M. Government on the subject of the Aborigines of New Holland. It is impossible to contemplate the condition or the prospects of that unfortunate race without the deepest commiseration. Still it is impossible that the government should forget that the original aggression was ours’.  Lord John Russell to Sir George Gipps, 21 December 1838, Historical Records of Australia, Series, Vol. XX.

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England -1787 May 13: Commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN the ‘First Fleet’ – a large armed squadron of  eleven (11) ships charged with the invasion and conquest of New Holland, now Australia – sailed from Portsmouth ‘bound for Botany Bay’.

Botany Bay – 1788 January:  The First Fleet’s 1500 English men, women and children arrived at Botany Bay within thirty-six (36) hours between the 18th and -20th of  January 1788.

Port Jackson – January 26:  Governor Arthur Phillip RN selected a ‘snug’  cove nine (9) miles north of Botany Bay deep within Port Jackson for permanent settlement.

Sydney Cove – February 7:  Proclamation Day; Governor Phillip, without consent or treaty, proclaimed British Sovereignty over New Holland from ‘Cape York in the northern most extremity…to South Cape’. See: Australia – Britain By A Short Half-Head Captain Arthur Phillip & Comte Jean-Francois La Perouse

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 [southern Sydney] water-craft of stringy-bark’. Stewart Harris, Treaty, It’s Coming Yet, 1979  

The invaders did not find the Gadigal Peoples familiar with iron axes, knives, tobacco, cloth or glass.  When introduced however the locals valued them highly – especially the hatchet.

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SMALLPOX – DEAD ABORIGINES DON’T EAT – STARVATION & SMALLPOX – JANUARY 1788 TO JUNE 1790

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

‘The body of the [Aboriginal] woman showed that famine, superadded to disease, had occasioned her death. But how a disease to which our former observations had led us to suppose them strangers could at once have introduced itself, and have spread so widely seems inexplicable’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961

Portsmouth – 1787, May 13: A large expeditionary force, eleven (11) ships commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN, sailed from England to invade the island continent of New Holland.. See: Apollo II, Fly Me To The Moon

Botany Bay – 1788, January 20: Within thirty-six (36) hours between 8-20 January the ships of the  ‘First Fleet’ were at anchor in Botany Bay, New Holland, now Australia.

HMS Supply first to arrive immediately played out her ‘seine’ trawling nets.

‘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

Port Jackson – 21 January: Taking Captain Cook’s 1770 charts Phillip accompanied by officers and surveyors set off in three (3) long-boats hoping to find a more defensible site.

Sydney Cove: They sighted the towering headlands of Cook’s Port Jackson’. Rowing through into a vast harbour Phillip settled on a protected deep-water cove naming it for the Home Secretary Lord Sydney.

Botany Bay – 23 January: ‘The boat[s] returned on the evening of the 23d…it was determined the evacuation of Botany Bay should commence the next morning.

24 January: ‘I rose at the first dawn… when the cry of “another sail” struck on my astonished ear’. Tench. ibid.

Two (2) French ships, La Boussole and L’Astrolabe, commanded by Jean-Francois La Perouse, appeared off the entrance to the bay. HMS Sirius’ deck- mounted cannon forced La Perouse back out into raging seas.

25 January: The weather kept Captain Phillip inside Botany Bay until the afternoon of the 25th January when aboard HMS Supply he quit Botany Bay. At  sunset Supply dropped anchor in Sydney Cove.

26 January – Sydney Cove: Next morning at first light Phillip landed with a detachment of marines. A flagstaff was built and the Union Jack raised. By nightfall the remaining English ships were riding alongside Supply. See: Australia Britain by a Short Half-Head – Captain Arthur Phillip & Comte Jean- Francois La Perouse

‘Owing to the multiplicity of pressing business necessary to be performed immediately after landing, it was found impossible to read the public commissions and take possession of the colony in form, until the 7th of February ‘. Tench. ibid.

The most ‘pressing business’ – what to do about La Perouse?  The solution was extraordinary. Drop everything and occupy an uninhabited mere dot in a wild ocean that, in 1774 Captain James Cook on his second Pacific voyage, had named Norfolk Island.

To stymie the French, who had the same notion, on 31st January 1788, Governor Phillip commissioned Lieutenant Phillip Gidley King RN, his closest friend and trusted ally, Lieutenant Governor of Norfolk Island and sent him off to establish an even more isolated ‘Robinson Crusoe’ settlement there.

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6 February, Sydney: At the end of the first week of February 1788 the fleet’s two hundred and twenty-one (221) women and their children were rowed ashore.

7 February, Sydney: The following day, with all the ‘pomp and circumstance of glorious war‘, Governor Phillip’s commissions were read.

Without consent of its First Peoples or entering into treaty them,in the name of King George III,Britain claimed ‘Sovereignty’ over New Holland ‘from Cape York in the most northern extremity….and adjacent islands….to South Cape’.

14 February, Norfolk Island:  A week later just on dusk HMS Supply slipped out through Sydney Heads and disappeared from view. See: Asleep In The Deep

10 March, Botany Bay: La Boussole and L’Astrolabe sailed for home never to be seen again.

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‘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

When no ships arrived it became clear European survival would depend on appropriating foods, especially fish, that for millennia had sustained local Aboriginal families

‘Our customary method was to leave Sydney Cove about four in the afternoon and go down the harbour and fish all night from one cove to another. We made 23 hauls of the seine in one night’. Jacob Nagle, The Nagle Journal 1775 to 1841, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, New York ed. John C. Dann, 1988

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