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Old 09-04-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
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Default First Use Of Biological Warfare In America

In the summer of 1763 the British army at Ft. Pitt found themselves besieged by Indians of Chief Pontiacs tribe. A British officer sent the Indians a gift of two blankets and a handkerchief from the forts smallpox hospital.

http://www.nativeweb.org/pages/legal/amherst/lord_jeff.html

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Old 09-04-2012, 08:07 PM   #2
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That is a trip!

[wonders if bears use handkerchiefs]

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Old 09-04-2012, 08:42 PM   #3
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[wonders if bears use handkerchiefs]
Not sure. Big grizzlies have been known to wipe their faces with shredded clothing after dining on long pig.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:45 AM   #4
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I am not sure that was the first. I was under the impression the Plymouth Rock Pilgrims had also done that at some point during their Indian problems. If memory serves small pox infected blankets were sent to the Chiefs and tribes who didn't come to the party we now call Thanksgiving.

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Old 09-05-2012, 06:09 PM   #5
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I am not sure that was the first. I was under the impression the Plymouth Rock Pilgrims had also done that at some point during their Indian problems. If memory serves small pox infected blankets were sent to the Chiefs and tribes who didn't come to the party we now call Thanksgiving.
LOL! "Give thanks or else!"
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:42 PM   #6
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Yup. The Pilgrims ticked off a bunch of tribes that first winter. There wasn't much food around. In anticipation of this the tribes buried caches of food with the anticipation of nomadic travel bringing them to the cache as the food ran out. It was a plan that had worked for hundreds of years. The Pilgrims found a few caches, emptied them, then sat about finding and looting more caches. I guess their thinking was, God was so nice, he left lightly hidden stores of preserved food in the new world for them to find. Anyway it was a hard winter and a couple of tribes went to get their food stores and found them empty. Starving babies and all that. I forget the names of the tribes and some are no longer with us, but the Pilgrims now had very ticked off neighbors. A period of education followed with one (smart) tribe agreeing to teach the Pilgrims how to grow and hunt food in the new world. That ticked off the tribes with starved children who viewed the Pilgrims as invading vermin. The feast with small pox blankets given to those who were refusniks increased the domain of the friendly tribe while reducing the numbers of the Pilgrim's opponents and also created a mythical historical event we misinterpret today.

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Old 09-05-2012, 06:44 PM   #7
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Yup. The Pilgrims ticked off a bunch of tribes that first winter. There wasn't much food around. In anticipation of this the tribes buried caches of food with the anticipation of nomadic travel bringing them to the cache as the food ran out. It was a plan that had worked for hundreds of years. The Pilgrims found a few caches, emptied them, then sat about finding and looting more caches. I guess their thinking was, God was so nice, he left lightly hidden stores of preserved food in the new world for them to find. Anyway it was a hard winter and a couple of tribes went to get their food stores and found them empty. Starving babies and all that. I forget the names of the tribes and some are no longer with us, but the Pilgrims now had very ticked off neighbors. A period of education followed with one (smart) tribe agreeing to teach the Pilgrims how to grow and hunt food in the new world. That ticked off the tribes with starved children who viewed the Pilgrims as invading vermin. The feast with small pox blankets given to those who were refusniks increased the domain of the friendly tribe while reducing the numbers of the Pilgrim's opponents and also created a mythical historical event we misinterpret today.
You should submit this to the Southpark writers for use as a future classroom lecture from Mr/Mrs Garrison. It would be awesome, IMO.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:11 PM   #8
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There is a lot of glossed over history with events we celebrate which when you start going through old records you learn it wasn't nearly as nice and wholesome as the media (Disney? CNN?) and grade school teachers would have you believe. Some of it is actually ugly. This is true in every country.

Take old Cpt. Smith and Jamestown for instance. Read his journals. You can find one of the earlier ones at http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/h?ammem/lhbcbbib:@field%28NUMBER+@band%28lhbcb+0262a%29%29 [He wrote some others, some quite fanciful (polite speak for lies), but not all of them are online.

Yes, people starved in Jamestown. Don't work, don't eat. Sure they starved. It was a harsh winter. That's how your 4th or 6th grade teacher wanted you to remember it anyway.

Living here as a hunter and a fisherman and a part time farmer I am reasonably familiar with Virginia. At the time of their arrival the Chesapeake Bay was perhaps the greatest fishing grounds on the planet. We are asked to believe that not a single one of the sailors knew anything of nets or fishing. There were as many deer and small game (probably more actually) around today as there were then (the numbers went through a great decline in the period 1840 to 1930 due to their being harvested without limits for food, but have rebuilt due to state bans on unlicensed hunting). I have many edible wild plants on my property. This was true on Jamestown's peninsula also. I won't say you wouldn't lose weight living off the land, but you wouldn't die of starvation either. Even if all you had was a matchlock. Can you say bow and arrow? (A device not unknown to the English.) The reality is almost anything (except wood) that moves or grows can be eaten (acknowledged some things need to be boiled or cooked first). Can you say deadfall? Can you say snare or trotline or gill net?

Here is the reality. Smith was a mercenary soldier of questionable morality (who traveled to the New World with a 12 year old male 'page' and had actually been arrested on the voyage to Jamestown by the ship's captain and was supposed to be brought back to England for a trial and execution). He was hired by a King James' (the Bible guy) chartered company (the Virginia Company of London) to take a mixed party of colonists and lots of soldiers to a new colony and was secretly assigned to be one of the leaders of the colony (sealed orders stating this were opened upon arrival at the destination and his arrest was quickly vacated). The first settlers were a strange mix of soldiers, seamen, common people and wealthy aristocrats who having been in opposition to the King becoming named as King of Great Britan, or Catholic Aristocrats who had been suspected but not yet proven to be involved in the Gunpowder Plot, or who generally had found the idea of leaving England to be be possibly better for their health than staying in England. Some of the Aristocrats were too old for most manual labor, but were sent with Smith nonetheless. Now Smith himself in his writings referred to the Aristocrats as 'useless parasites.'

Anyway we have this harsh winter 1608-1609, Smith issues his famous, "you don't work, you don't eat" edict. Lots of colonists die. What Disney forgot to mention is most of the dead were the Aristocrats. They didn't work because they couldn't. Why couldn't they? Because Smith put them inside their cabins, then nailed the doors shut and posted armed soldiers outside with specific instructions to execute the occupants if they tried to leave. Many were given salt water to drink. By the spring many of them were dead. [Some cannibalism had occurred.] In all about 500 colonists died.

That was the time of Jamestown's 'great starvation.' In fall of (1609?) 1610 Smith returned to England and lands the dead Aristocrats had possessed mostly went back to the Crown. Smith himself is hailed by the company and the King as a hero of the colony and investors repeatedly back future travels to the New World led by Smith (hence New England).

Pocahontas. At the time she supposedly saved Smith's life, 1607, she (a child who frequently visited the settlement to play with other children and who always brought food with her for the colonists) was 10, he was 27. There is no documentation whatsoever beyond Smith's own writings to suggest a relationship existed. She was never considered to be a Princess by the Powahattans. She was merely one of the many daughters of the Indian King, who had congress with many temporary wives (such is part of the power and allure of being an Alpha male).

[Smith doesn't even mention her in his first Journals. And in fact in his first writings gives a totally different account of his capture in 1607 by the Powahattans.]

After Smith leaves the colony (the Indians are told he died, thereby releasing him from any promises he may have made to the Indian King) and goes back to England, in 1612 she marries a local tribesman named Kocoum. Meanwhile relations between the new colonies governor and the Indians deteriorate. In March 1613, the poor girl is captured by the English settlers and held for ransom. There is some dispute about what happens next. What is clear is that in April 1614 after her father has failed to pay the ransom (the return of weapons and tools stolen from the colonists) she marries one of her captors, a John Rolfe whose own original wife and child had died on the trip to the colony. Linwood "Little Bear" Custalow, in a 2007 book, asserted that Pocahontas was raped during her time of captivity, citing 400 years of oral tradition by the tribe.

[This doesn't fit the Disney image so he is being disputed by those not of the tribe.]

In 1616 the Company orders Rolfe to bring his wife and their child to England and he does and they arrive in Plymouth. For the first time Pocahontas learns James Smith, now in London, is not dead. The Company now renames her as Rebecca and bills Pocahontas as an Indian Princess who has converted to Christianity and has Cpt. Smith write a letter of introduction to Queen Anne. Here for the first time his writings claim she intervened to save his life at the very moment of his (not previously even hinted at in his previous 1608 writing of his capture, a later dinner as a guest and negotiations with the Indian King) pending execution by her father, the King of the Powhatan. He also describes her as the key to her father's kingdom, etc., yada, yada. She meets the King James in January 1617 while enroute to watch a play, but isn't told who he is until after the meeting. A few weeks later (late February?) she encounters Smith at a social event and according to Smith himself hid her face, seemed upset, and absented herself from the room for several hours. Later that day they had words and Smith described himself as discomfited by her talk. She also announced an intent to let her father know Smith was still alive and confirm her father's suspicion that the English had been lying when they said Smith had died.

The Company, in March 1617 now orders Rolfe and his wife back to Virginia. The boat doesn't even get out of the Thames River before Pocahontas is taken ashore by Rolfe as now being gravely ill. She very quickly died. She was dead at age 22. The official cause of death was 'illness.' Some have speculated it was murder by poison. Whatever the cause, a few days later she was buried at Gravesend, England.

[See Dr. Linwood "Little Bear" Custalow and Angela L. Danieal "Silver Star", The True Story of Pocahontas: The Other Side of History"]

Rolfe died in 1622. With her dead and Rolfe gone too Smith was now free to say whatever he desired. In 1624 Smith wrote that she had saved his life and prevented his execution by her father (who had himself died in 1618, possibly never learning Smith was alive after all). In his final years Smith began to write of having many adventures with Pocahontas and provided yet new accounts of his many adventures in life. He died in 1631. In 1823 a writer, John Davis speculated that maybe Pocahontas and Smith had a romantic relationship. In 1953 a Hollywood movie, "Captain John Smith and Pocahontas" provides further distortions. Walt Disney picked up that ball and ran with it.

You can decide for yourself whether or not Pocahontas' hiding her face and running from the room visibly upset is the mark of lovers reuniting or was that something else. In any case her sudden death before speaking to her father, like those of the Aristocrats before her, was probably fortuitous for Captain Smith and the company founding the Jamestown colony.

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Old 09-05-2012, 11:38 PM   #9
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The winners write the history books so they are pretty much one sided.

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Old 09-07-2012, 12:44 AM   #10
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Sorry, I think there are many exaggerations if not wholly made up sensationalized elements to that "history" IMO...

...not the least of which is Smith's authority (he was an ambitious but a relatively minor leader almost all of the time with the Virginia Company) and became well known when something he wrote was published w/out his knowledge in Britain, the lack of food including fish (while in Bermuda they were literally jumping onto the shore), the depraved actions of the natives (the worst has to be tying English between trees while women peeled their skin from their bodies with sharpened clamshells, then carefully disemboweling them, still alive, so they could be shown their intestines being thrown into a fire in front of them), and the sovereign respect paid to the native princes at the direction of the King of England and his counselors.

Forgive me, but I dream of lessons in buck-n-ball being taught to savages.

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