Smallpox would go on to almost wipe Gadigal people in the Sydney area. “There would have been a 50 to 90 per cent death rate, which is a huge number,” historian Craig Mear said. “It’s gone from Sydney all the way down to South Australia. And they were the major population centres of the Aboriginal people.”Mar 28, 2020
Australia in the 1780s
From April to May 1789 an outbreak of smallpox devastated Aboriginal clans around the New South Wales colony. It has been estimated that somewhere between 50 and 70 per cent of the Aboriginal population in the Sydney area died within two years of the British arrival.
Effect on Aboriginal people
The spread of smallpox was followed by influenza, measles, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases, all of which Australia’s Aboriginal people had no resistance to, and all of which brought widespread death.
They had never experienced smallpox, measles or flu before, and the viruses tore through the continent, killing an estimated 90% of Native Americans. Smallpox is believed to have arrived in the Americas in 1520 on a Spanish ship sailing from Cuba, carried by an infected African slave.
Within perhaps as little as six months of the arrival of the First Fleet, venereal disease was already a serious problem for local Aborigines; but the first disease to produce a major fall in the Aboriginal population around Sydney was the 1789 outbreak, some 16 months after the Fleet arrived, of what Governor Phillip …
The most immediate consequence of colonisation was a wave of epidemic diseases including smallpox, measles and influenza, which spread ahead of the frontier and annihilated many First Nations communities.
Then, in 1788, the first permanent settlers from Europe arrived in New South Wales. These people brought with them all the infectious diseases com- mon in Europe at that time, including measles, influenza, smallpox, diph- theria, pertussis, typhoid, syphilis, gonorrhoea and tuberculosis (Gandevia 1978; Curson 1985).
Around 1829, smallpox erupted in central New South Wales. A military surgeon, John Mair, investigating the epidemic reported that, those natives with marks from previous smallpox, were now immune from catching the disease. No other disease but smallpox could have arrived with the First Fleet to generate this immunity.
European settlers killed 56 million indigenous people over about 100 years in South, Central and North America, causing large swaths of farmland to be abandoned and reforested, researchers at University College London, or UCL, estimate.
One of history’s deadliest diseases, smallpox is estimated to have killed more than 300 million people since 1900 alone. But a massive global vaccination campaign put an end to the disease in 1977—making it the first disease ever eradicated.
|10,000 bc||Smallpox postulated to emerge in early northeast African settlements from unknown source|
|1600–1800s||Severe smallpox epidemics occur globally|
|1763||Smallpox intentionally used against Native Americans during French and Indian Wars|
|1949||Last United States smallpox outbreak occurs in Texas|
The Smallpox Pandemic of 1870-1874.
Historians estimate that Queensland’s Native Mounted Police was responsible for the deaths of between 24,000 and 41,000 Aboriginal people.
Humans are thought to have migrated to Northern Australia from Asia using primitive boats. A current theory holds that those early migrants themselves came out of Africa about 70,000 years ago, which would make Aboriginal Australians the oldest population of humans living outside Africa.
In respect to the Aboriginal community, [“invasion”] is something that is very important and needs to be used. Australia was not settled by the common law but by the rules and disciplines of war.
After European settlers arrived in 1788, thousand of aborigines died from diseases; colonists systematically killed many others. At first contact, there were over 250,000 aborigines in Australia. The massacres ended in the 1920 leaving no more than 60,000.
It can also be spread in soil and running water, on farm implements or machinery. Panama disease is one of the most destructive plant diseases of modern times. It is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia and was first reported in Australia in 1876.
The last major smallpox epidemic in the United States occurred in Boston, Massachusetts throughout a three-year period, between 1901 and 1903. During this three-year period, 1596 cases of the disease occurred throughout the city. Of those cases, nearly 300 people died. As a whole, the epidemic had a 17% fatality rate.
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States, and Thanksgiving 2021 occurs on Thursday, November 25. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.
The Five Tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy lived south of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Erie, for the most part in the present-day state of New York. The alliance comprised the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca peoples; the Tuscarora joined the confederacy later.
There are about 500 different Aboriginal peoples in Australia, each with their own language and territory and usually made up of a large number of separate clans.
Today about 400 000 Aborigines live in Australia and they form only about 2 % of the population of Australia. Nevertheless the Aboriginal culture is present in non-Aboriginal society. Many places have Aboriginal names such as “Wollongong” or “Wooloomoloo”, which are close of Sydney.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared smallpox eradicated in 1980. “It was eradicated solely through vaccination. We do not really have any treatments even today for smallpox that are proven, tried and tested,” Glatt said.
Before the smallpox virus was destroyed in the early 1980s, many people received the smallpox vaccine. As a result, they have a permanent mark on their upper left arm.
|Usual onset||10–21 days after exposure|
|Causes||Varicella zoster virus|
Routine vaccination of the American public against smallpox stopped in 1972 after the disease was eradicated in the United States.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, it killed several reigning European monarchs, including Habsburg Emperor Joseph I, Queen Mary II of England, Czar Peter II of Russia and King Louis XV of France, as well as an Ethiopian king, a Chinese emperor and two Japanese emperors.
Edward Jenner is considered the founder of vaccinology in the West in 1796, after he inoculated a 13 year-old-boy with vaccinia virus (cowpox), and demonstrated immunity to smallpox. In 1798, the first smallpox vaccine was developed.
Before smallpox was eradicated, it was a serious infectious disease caused by the variola virus. It was contagious—meaning, it spread from one person to another. People who had smallpox had a fever and a distinctive, progressive skin rash.
|Significance||Date of landing of the First Fleet in Port Jackson in 1788|
|An 1838 painting by Benjamin Duterrau of a Tasmanian Aboriginal throwing a spear|
|Date mid-1820s–1832 Location Tasmania Result British control of Tasmania|
|British Empire||Indigenous Australians|
explorer Willem Janszoon
While Indigenous Australians have inhabited the continent for tens of thousands of years, and traded with nearby islanders, the first documented landing on Australia by a European was in 1606. The Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon landed on the western side of Cape York Peninsula and charted about 300 km of coastline.
The nations of Indigenous Australia were, and are, as separate as the nations of Europe or Africa. The Aboriginal English words ‘blackfella’ and ‘whitefella’ are used by Indigenous Australian people all over the country — some communities also use ‘yellafella’ and ‘coloured’.
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