Think the Smallpox issue on Outlander was far fetched?

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Claire, never one to mind her own business when there’s sickness afoot – especially when that sickness is smallpox and she’s the only person in the entire world who can’t catch it – makes a dangerous enemy of the Comte. After she diagnoses one of the Comte’s ships as being infected with the fatal disease, and refuses to keep the news quiet (to do so would cause smallpox to spread throughout the city), the ship and its cargo are burned to the ground, thus costing the Comte a significant amount of money in losses. Outlander-Wall Street JournalOutlander-

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the passage of time by drawing pictures of memorable events on calendars called winter counts. This picture, titled “Small Pox Winter,” is for 1837–1838 …

 

The 1837 smallpox epidemic spanned 1836 through 1840, but reached its height after the spring of 1837 when an American Fur Company steamboat, the S.S. St. Peter, carried infected people and supplies into the Missouri Valley. More than 15,000 Native Americans died along the Missouri River alone, with some tribes becoming nearly extinct.

Early settlers were not spared from infectious diseases. In 1832, an estimated 20,000 lives were lost in Upper and Lower Canada from a cholera epidemic. In an attempt to contain the disease, the Lower Canada Board of Health created a quarantine station for new arrivals on Grosse Île in the St. Lawrence River. Quarantine measures were enforced by the military to prevent the spread of the disease through Upper and Lower Canada.

Perth Courier–1899 Michael Cavanaugh of Smith’s Falls told the Smith’s Falls News a few days ago of a case of smallpox at Oliver’s Ferry in 1837.  In that year an Irish woman with two daughters aged 12 and 13 were put off at the ferry from a steam boat.

 Margaret, one of the daughters, had smallpox and the mother, on landing , went to the hotel there kept by Mrs. Campbell, a widow, and told her of her troubles and that here daughter was in the barn. The hotel lady gave the Irish woman a tick and told her to go to the barn and fill it with straw and that she could have the warehouse to herself.

There was no doctor in the neighborhood but the good landlady supplied the family with food and for five weeks the store house was their only shelter.  By that time the sick girl was taken to the hotel and soon recovered and no one seemed to be afraid of her.  No other cases developed and soon after the Irish woman and her two daughters moved to Farmersville,  which is now Athens.

 

Related reading-

Smallpox in Carleton Place — Did You Know?

The Great White Plague

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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