View Full Version : Anyone Hear This Theory?

10-09-2005, 10:43 AM
That there were as many as 150 million natives living in North America at one time, and that they were mostly wiped out by smallpox and other diseases that came ashore long before the Pilgrims? A single European fisherman might have wiped out as much as one-fifth of the world's population! What a sad story, if true!

IIRC, the Pilgrims found well-built villages inland from Plymouth, virtually empty. Another account from a Spanish explorer mentioned a large city along the Missouri River, which had completely disappeared 175 years later.

10-09-2005, 10:58 AM
I am not sure about the 150 million. That seems like a lt. The death toll from European diseases was enormous.

10-09-2005, 11:11 AM
I've read something similar, too. Not terribly recently, so I don't remember the details well - but there was also a city complex as big as anything in central/south -america ... in Ohio. Of a size and level of culture to rival Inca/Maya cities, and from just about the same time.

Phillip Allen
10-09-2005, 11:23 AM
Was taught it in a class at University...figured un provable at the time...but a good theory just the same

10-09-2005, 11:34 AM
the pilgrams infact were allowed to settle where they did because the tribe that had ocupied the area previously had been mostly wiped out and the remainder had moved in with neighboring tribes. had it not been for ilnesses that space would not have been emepty but I don't think the totle population was really close to 150 milion. would that be both north and south america?

the caribs proably numbered over a milion when columbus landed in 1493 perhapse half died from dease and half were enslaved and maybe 1% passed their genes on down with the colinizers.

10-09-2005, 06:25 PM
I will expand in pieces. Apparently either the wooden boat web or Fox Fire doesn't like long posts.

I believe I have heard/read it before, perhaps in Jarred Diamonds "Gun Germs and Steel".

The probelm started for the Native Americans prior to 13,000 BC. Sometime before that their ancestors left what is now the Middle East and went across Asia, the Bering Sea and into the Americas. This was before the Neolithic Revolution, before agriculture. The only domestic animal they took with them was the dog.

10-09-2005, 06:31 PM
They did learn agriculture in time, but the only animal they domesticated in the Americas were the Guinea Pig and the llama. There were also here North America at that time camels, masadons and horses, but they did not domesticate them. They ate 'em. Camels, horses and masadons disappeared from the Americas shortly after the first humans arrived. They must have been formidable hunters, even with a stone age technology.

Paul Pless
10-09-2005, 06:32 PM
Apparently either the wooden boat web or Fox Fire doesn't like long posts.
you can type long response in Word or someother editor and then cut and paste them to the WBF entry window

10-09-2005, 06:39 PM
Meanwhile, back in the Middle East the humans were inventing agriculture and there were a lot of wild animals that were suitable for domestication, essentially all of our common barnyard animals.

The Neolithic farmers lived with their animals, pigs, goats, cows, horse, chickens etc. under the same roof. It wasn't very sanitary. Most of our common communicable diseases like small pox, diptheria, etc. were originally diseases of domesticated animals. These diseases made the jump from aninmal to human. Probably a lot humans died but those that lived pased on partial immunity.

10-09-2005, 06:44 PM
This aquired immunity did not happen in the Americas. There was no opportunity for it occure. The Native Americans were sitting ducks. All that was necessary was for one sick European sailor or fisherman about 1500 to meet one Native American, and the epidemic was off and running. The mortality rate amoung Native Americans may have been as high as 95%. What the first European explorers saw was the wreakage of decimated societies.