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Population history of American indigenous peoples: Map

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Natives of North America.


Natives of South America.


The population figures for the New World prior to the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus are unknown. Estimates based on archaeological data and written records from European settlers range from as low as 8 million to as many as 145 million indigenous "Native American". Contact with the New World led to the European colonization of the Americas, in which millions of emigrants from the "Old World" eventually settled in the New.

The population of Old World peoples in the Americas grew steadily, while the number of the indigenous people plummeted. Old World diseases such as smallpox, influenza, bubonic plague and pneumonic plagues devastated the previously isolated Native Americans. Conflict and outright warfare with European newcomers and other American tribes reduced populations and disrupted traditional society. The extent and causes of the decline have long been a subject of academic debate.

Population overview

Given the fragmentary nature of the evidence, even semi-accurate pre-Columbian population figures are impossible to obtain. Estimates are made by extrapolations from small bits of data. In 1976, geographer William Denevan used the existing estimates to derive a "consensus count" of about 54 million people. Nonetheless, more recent estimates still range widely.

Using an estimate of approximately 50 million people in 1492 (including 25 million in the Aztec Empire and 12 million in the Inca Empire), the lowest estimates give a death toll due from disease of an astonishing 80% by the end of the 16th century (8 million people in 1650). Latin America would only recover its 15th century population early in the 20th century; it numbered 17 million in 1800, 30 million in 1850, 61 million in 1900, 105 million in 1930, 218 million in 1960, 361 million in 1980, and 563 million in 2005. In the last three decades of the 16th century, the population of present-day Mexico dropped to about one million people in 1600. The Maya population is today estimated at 6 million, which is about the same as at the end of the 15th century, according to some estimates. In what is now Brazilmarker, the indigenous population declined from a pre-Columbian high of an estimated 4 million to some 300,000.

Historian David Henige has argued that many population figures are the result of arbitrary formulas selectively applied to numbers from unreliable historical sources. He believes this is a weakness unrecognized by several contributors to the field, and insists there is not sufficient evidence to produce population numbers that have any real meaning. He characterizes the modern trend of high estimates as "pseudo-scientific number-crunching." Henige does not advocate a low population estimate, but argues that the scanty and unreliable nature of the evidence renders broad estimates inevitably suspect, saying "high counters" (as he calls them) have been particularly flagrant in their misuse of sources. Many population studies acknowledge the inherent difficulties in producing reliable statistics, given the scarcity of hard data.

The population debate has often had ideological underpinnings. Low estimates were sometimes reflective of European notions of cultural and racial superiority. Francis Jennings argues, "Scholarly wisdom long held that Indians were so inferior in mind and works that they could not possibly have created or sustained large populations." On the other hand, some have argued that contemporary estimates of a high pre-Columbian indigenous population are rooted in a bias against Western civilization and/or Christianity. Robert Royal writes that "estimates of pre-Columbian population figures have become heavily politicized with some scholars, who are particularly critical of Europe, often favoring wildly higher figures."

Civilizations rose and fell, and indigenous peoples migrated long before Europeans arrived on the scene. The indigenous population in 1492 was not necessarily at a high point and may actually have been in decline in some areas. Fernand Braudel has pointed out a problem the Amerindian faced which was not a factor on other continents: "The Indian population ... suffered from a demographic weakness, particularly because of the absence of any substitute animal milk. Mothers had to nurse their children until they were three or four years old. This long period of breast-feeding severely reduced female fertility and made any demographic revival precarious." Indigenous populations in most areas of the Americas reached a low point by the early 20th century. In most cases, populations have since begun to climb. In the United States, for instance, the numbers may already have recovered to pre-Columbian levels or even exceeded them.

Pre-Columbian Americas

Anthropologists and population geneticists agree that the bulk of indigenous American ancestry can be traced to Ice Age migrations from Asia via the Bering land bridge. The possibility of migration by watercraft along coastal routes or ice sheets is viewed as a possible viable complement to this model.

Depopulation from disease

Nearly all scholars now believe that widespread epidemic disease, to which the natives had no prior exposure or resistance, was the overwhelming cause of the massive population decline of the Native Americans. They reject both of the earliest European immigrants' explanations for the population decline of the American natives. The first explanation was the brutal practices of the Spanishmarker conquistadores, as recorded by the Spanish themselves. The most notable account was that of the Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas, whose writings vividly depict Spanish atrocities committed in particular against the Taínos. Historians have noted there simply were not enough Spanish to have caused such a large population decline (though this does not exonerate many Spanish incomers from having committed grossly inhumane acts against the native peoples). The second European explanation was a perceived divine approval, in which God removed the natives as part of His "divine plan" to make way for a new Christian civilization. Many Native Americas viewed their troubles in terms of religious or supernatural causes within their own belief systems.

Soon after Europeans and Africans began to arrive in the New World, bringing with them the infectious diseases of Europe and Africa, observers noted immense numbers of indigenous Americans began to die from these diseases. One reason this death toll was overlooked (or downplayed) is that once introduced the diseases raced ahead of European immigration in many areas. Disease killed off a sizable portion of the populations before European observations (and thus written records) were made. After the epidemics had already killed massive numbers of natives, many newer European immigrants assumed that there had always been relatively few indigenous peoples. The scope of the epidemics over the years was tremendous, killing millions of people—possibly in excess of 90% of the population in the hardest hit areas—and creating one of "the greatest human catastrophe in history, far exceeding even the disaster of the Black Death of medieval Europe", which had killed up to one-third of the people in Europe and Asia between 1347 and 1351. The Black Death occurred to a European population which also had not been exposed and had little or no resistance to a new disease.

One of the most devastating diseases was smallpox, but other deadly diseases included typhus, measles, influenza, bubonic plague, cholera, malaria, tuberculosis, mumps, yellow fever, and pertussis (whooping cough), which were chronic in Eurasia. The indigenous Americas also had a number of endemic diseases, such as tuberculosis and perhaps including an unusually virulent type of syphilis, which soon became rampant when brought back to the Old World. (This transfer of disease between the Old and New Worlds was part of the phenomenon known as the "Columbian Exchange"). The diseases brought to the New World proved to be exceptionally deadly to the Native Americans.

The epidemics had very different effects in different regions of the Americas. The most vulnerable groups were those with a relatively small population and few built-up immunities. Many island-based groups were annihilated. The Caribs and Arawaks of the Caribbeanmarker nearly ceased to exist, as did the Beothuks of Newfoundlandmarker. While disease ranged swiftly through the densely populated empires of Mesoamerica, the more scattered populations of North America saw a slower spread.

Why were the diseases so deadly?

A disease (viral or bacterial) that kills its victims before they can spread it to others tends to flare up and then die out, like a fire running out of fuel. A more resilient disease would establish an equilibrium; if its victims lived beyond infection, the disease would spread further. The evolutionary process selects against quick lethality, with the most immediately fatal diseases being the most short-lived. A similar evolutionary pressure acts upon the victim populations, as those lacking genetic resistance to common diseases die and do not leave descendants, whereas those who are resistant procreate and pass resistant genes to their offspring. For example, in the fifty years following Columbus' voyage to the Americas, an unusually strong strain of syphilis killed a high proportion of infected Europeans within a few months; over time, however, the disease has become much less virulent.

Thus both diseases and populations tend to evolve towards an equilibrium in which the common diseases are non-symptomatic, mild, or manageably chronic. When a population that has been relatively isolated is exposed to new diseases, it has no resistance to the new diseases (the population is "biologically naïve"); this body of people succumbs at a much higher rate, resulting in what is known as a "virgin soil" epidemic. Before the European arrival, the Americas had been isolated from both the Eurasian-African landmass. The peoples of the Old World had had thousands of years for their populations to accommodate to their common diseases.

The fact that all members of an immunologically naive population are exposed to a new disease simultaneously increases the fatalities. Populations where the disease is endemic have generations of individuals with acquired immunity or hardiness. In populations where a disease is endemic, most adults are exposed to the disease at a young age. Thus resistant to reinfection, they are able to care for individuals who catch the disease for the first time, such as the next generation of children. With proper care, many of these "childhood diseases" are often survivable. In a naïve population, all age groups are affected at once, leaving few or no healthy caregivers to nurse the sick. With no resistant individuals healthy enough to tend to the ill, a disease may have higher fatalities than otherwise.

The natives of the Americas suffered the introduction of several new diseases at once, so that a person who successfully resisted one disease might die from another. Multiple simultaneous infections (e.g., smallpox and typhus at the same time) or in close succession (e.g., smallpox in an individual who was still weak from a recent bout of typhus) are more deadly than just the sum of the individual diseases. In this scenario, death rates can also be elevated by combinations of new and familiar diseases: smallpox in combination with American strains of syphilis or yaws, for example.

Other contributing factors:

  • Native American medical treatments such as sweat baths and cold water immersion (practiced in some areas) weakened some patients and probably increased mortality rates.


  • Europeans brought many diseases with them because they (and Asians) had many more domesticated animals than the Native Americans. Domestication usually means close and frequent contact between animals and people, which is an opportunity for diseases of domestic animals to mutate and migrate into the human population.


  • The Eurasian landmass extends many thousands of miles along an east–west axis. Climate zones also extend for thousands of miles, which facilitated the spread of agriculture, domestication of animals, and the diseases associated with domestication. The Americas extend mainly north and south, which, according to the environmental determinist theory popularized by Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, meant that it was much harder for cultivated plant species, domesticated animals, and diseases to migrate.


  • Mexican epidemiologist Rodolfo Acuña-Soto argues that mortality due to imported diseases was compounded, or even dwarfed, by mortality due to a hemorrhagic fever native to the Americas. The Aztecs called it cocoliztli. Acuña-Soto's conclusions are based in part on the 50 volumes written by Francisco Hernandez, physician to Philip II of Spain. He interviewed survivors of the 1576 epidemic and autopsied many victims, then recorded his findings and observations. He found that the fever was endemic during drought years, a series of which had coincided with the early Spanish invasion of Central America. Acuña-Soto noticed that previous historians using the same reference works that he used had chosen which accounts to base their results on, so that epidemic illnesses coinciding with the Spanish invasion could, by selectively using resources, look like accounts of European-caused smallpox rather than the Aztec-recognized cocoliztli. The disease the Aztecs described, however, when read in full described a hemorrhagic fever that had nothing in common with smallpox. Such fevers are viral, spread by rodents and bodily fluid contacts between infected people. Using evidence from 24 epidemics, Acuña-Soto concluded that the Spanish did not bring the epidemic to the Aztecs, but arrived during its onset and intensification. Acuña-Soto's theory is controversial and not widely accepted .


Deliberate infection?

One of the most contentious issues relating to disease depopulation in the Americas concerns the degree to which Europeans deliberately infected indigenous peoples with diseases such as smallpox. Cook asserts that there is no evidence that the Spanish attempted to infect the American natives. The cattle introduced by the Spanish polluted the water reserves which Native Americans dug in the fields to accumulate rain water. In response, the Franciscans and Dominicans created public fountains and aqueducts to guarantee access to drinking water. But when the Franciscans lost their privileges in 1572, many of these fountains were not guarded any more. Deliberate well poisoning may have happened. Although no proof of such poisoning has been found, some historians believe the decrease of the population correlates with the end of religious orders' control of the water. However, it is undeniable that the colonists spread diseases carelaeesly, with little regard for human life.

1763 Smallpox outbreak at Fort Pitt

In one disputed incident, Britishmarker soldiers in North America were said to have discussed intentionally infecting native people as part of a war effort. During Pontiac's Rebellion in 1763, a number of Native Americans launched a widespread war against British soldiers and settlers to drive the British out of the Great Lakes region. In what is now western Pennsylvaniamarker, Native Americans (primarily Delawares) laid siege to Fort Pittmarker on June 22, 1763. Surrounded and isolated, William Trent, the commander of Fort Pitt gave representatives of the besieging Delawares two blankets and a handkerchief from the Pittsburgh smallpox hospital, "out of our regard to them", when the two Delaware men came to talk to him. Letters exist between two other British officers, Jeffrey Amherst and Henry Bouquet, that explicitly advocate the idea of using smallpox-infested blankets to kill Indians. Historians disagree as to whether Trent acted with the intent expressed by Bouquet and Amherst.

Whatever Trent's intent, a number of recent scholars consider doubtful the evidence connecting his gift of blankets to the smallpox outbreak. These scholars believe that the disease was most likely spread by native warriors returning from attacks on infected white settlements.In other words, while some officers expressed the desire to use biological warfare, smallpox was so widespread and so easy to catch that there were other opportunities for Native Americans to be infected. Others attribute the smallpox outbreak to the common Indian practice of digging up recent European graves to retrieve the clothes of those buried, some of whom had died from smallpox.

Vaccination

After Edward Jenner's 1796 confirmation of the efficacy of smallpox vaccination, the inoculation technique became more well known. Smallpox became less deadly in the United States (and elsewhere). Many colonists and natives became vaccinated. Although in some cases officials tried to inoculate natives, the disease often was carried beyond containment attempts. At other times, trade demands broke quarantines. In other cases, some natives refused inoculation because of suspicion of European Americans. In 1831 government officials inoculated the Yankton Sioux at Sioux Agency. The Santee Sioux refused inoculation and many died.

Other causes of depopulation

War and violence

While epidemic disease was by far the leading cause of the population decline of the American indigenous peoples after 1492 , there were other contributing factors, all of them related to European contact and colonization. One of these factors was warfare. According to demographer Russell Thornton, although many lives were lost in wars over the centuries, and war sometimes contributed to the near extinction of certain tribes, warfare and death by other violent means was a comparatively minor cause of overall native population decline.

There is some disagreement among scholars about how widespread warfare was in pre-Columbian America, but there is general agreement that war became deadlier after the arrival of the Europeans and their firearms. Europeans had gunpowder and swords, which made killing easier and war more deadly. Europeans proved consistently successful in achieving domination in warfare with Native Americans for a variety of reasons. One reason was the staying power of the Europeans, who could call on a far ranging supply network, and could sustain a conflict over several years including the winters if necessary. Almost no Indian tribes had the stored resources to conduct a war for more than a few months. The massive death toll from disease played a major role in the European conquest, but equally decisive was the European approach to war, which was less ritualistic and more focused on achieving decisive victory. European colonization also contributed to a number of wars between Native Americans, who fought over which of them should have first access to the new weapon.

Empires such as the Inca's depended on a highly centralized administration for the distribution of resources. Disruption caused by the war and the colonization hampered the traditional economy, and possibly led to shortages of food and materials.

Exploitation

Exploitation has also been cited by a few as a cause of native American depopulation. The Spanish employed the pre-Columbian draft system called the mita. The Spanish conquistadors replaced the ruling Aztecs and Incas and divided the conquered lands among themselves ruling as the new feudal lords, treating their subjects as something between slaves and serfs. Serfs stayed to work the land; slaves were exported to the mines, where large numbers of them died. Some Spaniards objected to this encomienda system, notably Bartolomé de Las Casas, who insisted that the Indians were humans with souls and rights. Largely due to his efforts, the New Laws were promulgated in Spain in 1542 to protect the natives, but the abuses in the Americas were never entirely or permanently abolished. The infamous Bandeirantes from Sao Paulomarker, adventurers mostly of mixed Portuguese and native ancestry, penetrated steadily westward in their search for Indian slaves. Serfdom existed as such in parts of Latin America well into the 19th century, past independence.

Massacres

Las Casas and other dissenting Spaniards from the colonial period gave vivid descriptions of the atrocities inflicted upon the natives. This has helped to create an image of the Spanish conquistadores as cruel in the extreme. However, since Las Casas's writings were polemical (argumentative) works, intended to provoke moral outrage in order to facilitate reform, most scholars speculate that his depictions were exaggerated . No mainstream scholar dismisses the idea that atrocities were widespread, but some now believe that mass killings were not a significant factor in overall native depopulation. It may be argued that the Spanish rulers in the Americas had economic reasons to be unhappy at the high mortality rate of the indigenous population, since nearly all of them wanted the natives as laborers to help support the Spanish economy.

However, in many areas settlers and even governments did engage in what have been called "democides," usually against nomadic Indian tribes who were seen solely as hindrances to land use by European settlers. (For further discussion of democide, see the following section.) Notable democides include:

  • The Tainos in the Antilles (Some believe 80% of the population disappeared in thirty years).
  • The Pequot War in early New England.
  • In the mid-19th century, post-independence leader Juan Manuel de Rosas engaged in what he himself presented as a war of extermination (the "Conquest of the Desert") against the natives of the Argentinian interior, leaving over 1,300 indigenous dead.
  • While some Californiamarker tribes were settled on reservations, others were hunted down and massacred by 19th century American settlers. Dr. David Stannard estimated that some 50,000 Native Californians suffered violent deaths between 1849 and 1870.


Determining how many people died in these massacres overall is difficult. In the book The Wild Frontier: Atrocities during the American-Indian War from Jamestown Colony to Wounded Knee, amateur historian William M. Osborn sought to tally every recorded atrocity in the area that would eventually become the continental United Statesmarker, from early contact (1511) to the closing of the frontier (1890), and determined that 9,156 people died from atrocities perpetrated by Native Americans, and 7,193 people died from atrocities perpetrated by Europeans or their descendants. Osborn defines an atrocity as the murder, torture, or mutilation of civilians, the wounded, and prisoners. Both numbers are far too low to account for the presumed large population loss.

The most reliable figures are derived from collated records of strictly military engagements, such as the research by Gregory Michno which reveals 21,586 dead, wounded, and captured civilians and soldiers for the period of 1850–90 alone. Other figures are derived from extrapolations of rather cursory and unrelated government accounts such as that by Russell Thornton, who calculated that some 45,000 Indians and 19,000 white Americans were killed. This later rough estimate includes women and children on both sides, since noncombatants were often killed by both sides in frontier massacres.

Displacement and disruption

Even more consequential than warfare or mistreatment on indigenous populations was the geographic displacement of native Indian tribes. The increased European population due to immigration and high birth rates of Native European settlers put pressure on native tribes to relocate and alter their traditional ways of life. The introduction of new forms of intensive agriculture by Europeans let them grow enough food in a given area to support many more people than the native hunting and gathering societies could. Displacement of native peoples living their traditional lifestyles often resulted in decreased birth rates and often higher death rates which steadily lowered their populations for some time. In the United States, for example, the relocations of Native Americans resulting from the policies of Indian removal and the reservation system created a disruption which resulted in fewer births and a short term population decline.

The populations of many Native American peoples were reduced by the common practice of intermarrying with Europeans. Although many Indian cultures that once thrived are extinct today, their descendants exist today in some of the bloodlines of the current inhabitants of the Americas.

Genocide debate

A controversial question relating to the population history of American indigenous peoples is whether or not the natives of the Americas were the victims of genocide. After the Nazi-perpetrated Holocaust during World War II, genocide was defined (in part) as a crime "committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such."

Historian David Stannard is of the opinion that the indigenous peoples of America (including Hawaiimarker) were the victims of a "Euro-American genocidal war." While conceding that the majority of the indigenous peoples fell victim to the ravages of European disease, he estimates that almost 100 million died in what he calls the American Holocaust. Stannard's perspective has been joined by Kirkpatrick Sale, Ben Kiernan, Lenore A. Stiffarm, and Phil Lane, Jr., among others; the perspective has been further refined by Ward Churchill, who has said "it was precisely malice, not nature, that did the deed."

Stannard's claim of 100 million deaths has been challenged because he does not cite any demographic evidence to support this number, and because he makes no distinction between death from violence and death from disease. Noble David Cook, Latin Americanist and history professor at Florida International Universitymarker, considers books such as Stannard's a number of which were released around the year 1992 to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the Columbus voyage to America to be an unproductive return to Black Legend-type explanations for depopulation. In response to Stannard's figure, political scientist R. J. Rummel has instead estimated that over the centuries of European colonization about 2 million to 15 million American indigenous people were the victims of what he calls democide. "Even if these figures are remotely true," writes Rummel, "then this still make this subjugation of the Americas one of the bloodier, centuries long, democides in world history."

Some historians argue that genocide, a crime of intent, was not the intent of European colonization while in America. Historian Stafford Poole wrote: "There are other terms to describe what happened in the Western Hemisphere, but genocide is not one of them. It is a good propaganda term in an age where slogans and shouting have replaced reflection and learning, but to use it in this context is to cheapen both the word itself and the appalling experiences of the Jews and Armenians, to mention but two of the major victims of this century."

However, a number of historians, though not viewing the history of European colonization as one continuous long act of genocide, do cite specific wars and campaigns which were arguably genocidal in intent and effect. Usually included among these are the Pequot War (1637) and campaigns waged against tribes in Californiamarker starting in the 1850s.

See also



Notes

  1. 20th century estimates in Thornton, p. 22; Denevan's consensus count; recent lower estimates.
  2. "La catastrophe démographique" (The Demographical Catastrophe"), L'Histoire n°322, July-August 2007, p. 17.
  3. Henige, p. 182.
  4. Jennings, p. 83; Royal's quote.
  5. Fernand Braudel, The Structures of Everyday Life: The Limits of the Possible, New York: Harper & Row, 1981; 36. See also: Jared Diamond, Germs, Guns, and Steel.
  6. Thornton, pp. xvii, 36.
  7. Shoemaker, pp. 3–4.
  8. Cook, Noble David. Born To Die, pp. 1-11.
  9. Cook, Noble David. Born To Die, p. 13.
  10. Cook, p. 208; Thornton, p. 47.
  11. Cook, p. 214.
  12. Anderson, pp. 541–2; McConnell, p. 195; Dowd, War Under Heaven, p. 190.
  13. War not a major cause: Thornton, pp. 47–49.
  14. Increased deadliness of warfare, see for example Hanson, ch. 6. See also flower war.
  15. Bolivia - Ethnic Groups.
  16. Cook, p. 212.
  17. Carlos A. Floria and César A. García Belsunce, 1971. Historia de los Argentinos I and II; ISBN 84-599-5081-6.
  18. Stannard, David. American Holocaust. Oxford University Press, 1993
  19. Michno, "Encyclopedia of Indian Wars" Index.
  20. Thornton, American Indian Holocaust, pp. 48–49.
  21. Indian Mixed-Blood.
  22. INTERVIEW: David Stannard.
  23. Were American Indians the Victims of Genocide?
  24. Stannard, p. x (quotation), p. 151 (death toll estimate).
  25. Cook on Stannard, p. 12; Rummel's quote and estimate from his website, about midway down the page, after footnote 82. Rummel's estimate is presumably not a single democide, but is a total of multiple democides, since there were many different governments involved.
  26. Stafford Poole, quoted in Royal, p. 63.
  27. For example, The Oxford Companion to American Military History (Oxford University Press, 1999) states that "if Euro-Americans committed genocide anywhere on the [American] continent against native Americans, it was in California."


References

Books

  • Cappel, Constance, The Smallpox Genocide of the Odawa Tribe at L'Arbre Croche, 1763: The History of a Native American People, Edwin Mellen Press, 2007, ISBN 0-7734-5220-6, ISBN 13: 978-0-7734-5220-6.
  • Cook, Noble David. Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest, 1492–1650. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-521-62208-5, ISBN 0-521-62730-3.
  • Hanson, Victor Davis. Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power. New York: Doubleday, 2001. ISBN 0-385-50052-1.
  • Henige, David. Numbers from Nowhere: The American Indian Contact Population Debate. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8061-3044-X.
  • Mann, Charles C. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus New York: Knopf, 2005. ISBN 1-4000-4006-X
  • Royal, Robert. 1492 and All That: Political Manipulations of History. Washington, D.C.: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1992.
  • Shoemaker, Nancy. American Indian Population Recovery in the Twentieth Century. University of New Mexico Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8263-1919-X.
  • Stannard, David E. American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World. Oxford University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-19-508557-4
  • Stearn, E. Wagner and Allen E. Stearn. The Effect of Smallpox on the Destiny of the Amerindian. Boston: Humphries, 1945.
  • Thornton, Russell. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492. University of Oklahoma Press, 1987. ISBN 0-8061-2074-6.


Online sources





Further reading

  • Fagan, Brian. Ancient North America. London: Thames and Hudson, 2005, ISBN 0-500-28532-2.
  • Mann, Charles C. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Knopf Publishing Group, August 2005, ISBN 1-4000-4006-X.
  • McNeill, William H. Plagues and Peoples. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., New York, NY, 1976, ISBN 0-385-12122-9.
  • Michael Sletcher, ‘North American Indians’, in Will Kaufman and Heidi Macpherson, eds., Britain and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History, (2 vols., Oxford, 2005).
  • Cappel, Constance, The Smallpox Genocide of the Odawa Tribe at L'Arbre Croche. 1763: The History of a Native American People, Edwin Mellen Press, October, 2007, ISBN 10: 0-7734-5220-6 and ISBN 13: 978-0-7734-5220-6.


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