The impossibility of the police preventing endemic crime, or protecting every victim, has become tragically evident over the past quarter century.
Tweet This file describes the smallpox epidemic among Northwest Coast tribes. White officials vaccinated as many whites as possible and very few Indians. When Indians camped near Victoria began dying of smallpox, Vancouver Island authorities forced them to leave.
The Indians returned to their homelands, causing the disease to spread north from Vancouver Island to southern Alaska, and south into the Puget Sound region.
As Robert Boyd writes in his seminal work, The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence, "this [Indian] epidemic might have been avoided, and the Whites knew it. She had traveled from San Francisco carrying about passengers, mostly gold seekers.
In the late fall or early winter ofnews of a large gold strike along the Salmon River in eastern Washington Territory, later Idaho had reached the nation, but an extremely cold and snowy winter had delayed the rush until spring.
The Brother Jonathan brought mail and the latest news published in the San Francisco papers.
In addition to to passengers bound for Victoria, the Brother Jonathan carried 60 tons of freight for the town, including hats, cigars, butter, saws, books, glassware, furniture, "oil suits," fry pans, vegetables, hops, boots and shoes, plus 75 sheep and 21 mules The Daily British Colonist, March 13, During the one night layover, prospectors filled every lodging house and hotel in town.
It was reported that they saw the sights, which likely included the insides of grog houses and brothels with their Native American prostitutes. The steamship stayed at Victoria for 24 hours.
On March 13, at 4 p. For three more years the steamer would ply the coast, carrying freight and passengers.
During an mid-summer storm, the Brother Jonathan, still commanded by Captain DeWolf, foundered while seeking refuge near Crescent City. All but 19 of the passengers and crew perished. On March 18,The Daily British Colonist confirmed that one of the passengers from the steamer had "varioloid" smallpox.
Two days later the paper reported on another passenger with the disease. On March 24, another steamer from San Francisco, the Oregon, arrived at Victoria carrying at least one passenger infected with smallpox.
Thus began the catastrophic epidemic The Daily British Colonist, March 18, 20, 22, 25, 26, Smallpox in California Apparently California had had smallpox infections for some time.
In Olympia, the Washington Standard reprinted a portion of a letter received from California that stated: It is reported that over two thousand cases have occurred within the last week, though proportionately but few have The Smallpox Virus Smallpox can be transmitted through the air by coughing and the virus can live on clothes, blankets, or other objects for some time.
Once a person is infected there is an incubation period that lasts about 12 days with no symptoms and minimal chance of transmitting the disease.
The first symptoms appear suddenly and include a high fever, headache, body pains, and perhaps nausea and vomiting. This continues for the duration of the illness. Two or three days later, two weeks after first exposure to the virus, a rash begins on face, hands, and feet.
With the rash comes the most contagious period. The rash spreads over the whole body. In about three days, the rash turns into red spots or bumps, and then into raised pus-filled lesions.
The lesions look like blisters and are about the size of a dime. In the worst cases, called confluent, there are so many lesions that they merge into one another covering whole parts of the body. It takes about a month for the disease to run its course. The lesions on victims still alive become scabs and then slowly fall off.
About six weeks after the initial infection most of the scabs are gone, leaving permanent scars or pockmarks on the body and for some, blindness in one or both eyes Boyd, p. Smallpox Prevention Well Known Once infected, except for bed rest, nothing could be done medically to stop the smallpox infection from running its course.
But in there was awareness in Victoria and along the Pacific Coast of two measures that could be taken to prevent or minimize the spread of the disease. One was to quarantine those with smallpox and anyone who came into contact with infected people.
The other was to vaccinate anyone who might become exposed. Neither of these was done for the northern tribes camped near Victoria. A week after The Daily British Colonist confirmed the first smallpox case, the newspaper published an editorial titled "Quarantine.
If a case occurs the parties ouaht [ought] to be placed beyond the reach of communicating the infection to others. Imagine for a moment what a fearful calamity it would be, were the horde of Indians on the outskirts of the town to take the disease.If I wanted to destroy an enemy society, and had a long-term focus, wanted to do it stealthily, and effectively, to make the society destroy itself and the ability to .
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