Friday, January 26, 2018

Dwindling Native Americans in North America

After Columbus’s landfall in 1492, the Native American peoples were nearly extinguished mostly from disease. More native North Americans died each year from infectious diseases brought by European settlers than were born into their tribes. They fell victim to epidemic waves of smallpox, measles, influenza, bubonic plague, diphtheria, typhus, cholera, scarlet fever, chicken pox, yellow fever, and whooping cough. Just how many died may never be known. For North America alone, estimates of native populations in Columbus’s day range from 2-18 million. By the end of the 19C the population had shrunk to about 500 000. 
Great Mortality Among the Wampanoags due to Smallpox, Colonial Massachusetts. 1600s