References

References

Information: Webpages

  •  http://web.uvic.ca/vv/student/smallpox/overview/index.html
  •  http://web.uvic.ca/vv/student/smallpox/virus/explain.html
  •  http://web.uvic.ca/vv/student/smallpox/govt/indiff.html

Information: Book

  •  Illustrated History of British Columbia – Terry Reksten –pg.76 – pg.78

Pictures:

  •  http://web.uvic.ca/vv/student/smallpox/images/map.gif
  •  http://web.uvic.ca/vv/student/smallpox/images/song.gif
  •  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dd/Hemorrhagic_smallpox.jpg
  •  http://year9diseases.wikispaces.com/file/view/SmallpoxvictimIllinois1912.jpg/129608529/SmallpoxvictimIllinois1912.jpg
  •  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rahima_Banu.jpg
  •  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d4/Smallpox_virus.jpg
  •  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_npTuiQqQuss/S-jTWSdMFvI/AAAAAAAAAQQ/V4_HC-b5Hnw/s1600/steerage+early.jpg
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Guiding Questions

Guiding Questions

i. How have people in the past attempted to improve the world they live in?

ii. How have knowledge and values shaped civilizations and cultures?

iii. What are the connections between the past and our world today?

Answers

  1. People that were involved in the smallpox epidemic have tried to improve the world they live in by a variety of ways. First, they would identify the groups with the disease. After, they would deliberately try thousands of different ways to vaccinate and help the infected. When that did not work, they would isolate them from the public, and even send them away. Many people believed this to be in the city’s best interest, in order to escape any more deaths.
  2. Knowledge and values of smallpox have undeniably shaped civilizations and cultures. As more people begin to become aware of the disease around them, a shared knowledge begins to appear. Everyday new facts of smallpox are discovered, and it is becoming easier to control. Therefore, this new knowledge can change the effects of the past.
  3. We have learned and can take away a huge amount influence from the smallpox epidemic in Victoria. In understanding the past we have connected the overall results of smallpox and how we can change the present and the future.
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Historical Interview

Interview

Interviewer: Davin Hyde

Interviewee: Reverend Garrett

 

Davin Hyde: “Hello Mr. Garrett, can you tell me a little about yourself?”

Reverend Garrett:I have been living in British Columbia for a couple of years now, I am a newspaper editor for the British colonist, and I like to investigate the events surrounding this great land of BC.”

Davin Hyde:How do you feel about the rise of population in Victoria due to the Cariboo Gold Rush?”

Reverend Garrett:I find it fascinating; we were such a small colony, where we started as little as a couple hundred, we quickly grew into a few thousand people within a week.”

Davin Hyde: “When did you first realize the coming of smallpox in Victoria?”

Reverend Garrett: “It was quite sudden; it hit us like a storm and our community became covered with a cloud of disease.”

Davin Hyde: “How did it feel being in such close proximity to the disease?”

Reverend Garret: “It was quite frightening; it reminded me of the black plague. I thought god was smiting us all!”

Davin Hyde: “What were the major hardships that inhabitants had to deal with during the epidemic?”

Reverend Garrett: “Eating at the same table with those who had become infected; even sleeping with people who could die at any moment. Walking through town, I found myself constantly looking over my shoulder for those who were doomed.”

Davin Hyde: “Who became the most affected with the disease during the smallpox epidemic?”

Reverend Garrett: “From my observations, the large majority of the infected were the native people of the land.”

Davin Hyde: “Was anything being done to prevent the disease or even treat it?”

Reverend Garrett: “From my understanding, the infected were being separated from those who were not infected. Our government even tried to separate the diseased from the uninfected by moving them away.”

Davin Hyde: “Did you feel it was it an effective way to treat them? Was anything wrong with it?”

Reverend Garrett: “I’m pretty confident that vaccination would have been a wiser option for the diseased, so we could develop a cure for the newly infected.”

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Historical Timeline

Historical timeline.
1858  Colony of BC created
1860  Cariboo Gold Rush Starts
1862  Smallpox epidemic in Victoria
1867  Canada is a Dominion
1871  BC Joins Confederation
1871  Formation of Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR)
1885  CPR Completed
1885  Northwest Rebellion in Canada
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Victoria Smallpox Epidemic

Smallpox Epidemic in Victoria, British Columbia
Smallpox is a dreadful, contagious disease that has been around in history for hundreds of years. The symptoms of smallpox start with headache and fever, continuing with random blisters all over the body. In a couple days huge pus filled blisters called pustules appear, and death is the result. One important case of smallpox was the epidemic in Victoria in 1862. Smallpox could be represented as one of the worst diseases in history. It is highly contagious, is extremely painful to the body, and causes death within days and weeks of exposure. Smallpox is easily contained through the exposure to the diseased, as well as through contamination of objects being passed around.
The event in British Columbia that can easily be recognized through history is the smallpox epidemic of Victoria BC in 1862. During the time a few years before 1862, the city of Victoria had been colonized by British Columbia and ready for settlement. A little later in 1858 a huge roar of people arrived. The Cariboo Gold Rush had been starting, and people were eager for riches. A town of three hundred had just turned into a community of over five thousand people. The fortune of gold was now on the tips of their fingers. Thousands of people of American, Chinese, British, and Native American groups had come for fortune and trade. As more and more people were arriving each year, Victoria was just beginning to boom. In 1862, smallpox invaded Victoria. Three infected people from San Francisco arrived for the gold rush in March, 1862. These people caused the first case to appear days later on March 18, 1862. Later as the days had passed, even more cases began to arise when recorded on March 26, 1862. Then as the public started to become aware of the outbreak, a massive panic had erupted. This disease was frightening for many who came for the gold rush. Even though many were extremely frightened, the Native Americans had it bad. The Native Americans were affected more than others because most Europeans had immunity to the disease from past times. Almost no Native Americans had ever heard of smallpox and its severity. The race was on, and smallpox had been spreading as quickly as ever. At an attempt to cure the disease, many actions had been put in place. These actions include isolation from the public, force the infected into different countries, or vaccination. Many people believed vaccination became the answer to their prayers, yet it never succeeded. Not enough knowledge of the disease was present; therefore, it was believed that nothing could be done to prevent it. One idea that the government of the time imposed, was to force the Natives to another town. Many people believed this an act of the government continuing to obtain native title to the land. Lieutenant H. Spencer Palmer expresses his view of the smallpox epidemic through this quote, “poor creatures, they are dying and rotting away by the score, it is no uncommon occurrence to come across dead bodies lying in the bush. They have now dispersed from their villages, but it seems to be spreading through the valley.” In addition to all these events between the start of the gold rush to the end of the smallpox epidemic in 1864, more than twenty-thousand people died and all of Victoria left affected.
Therefore, the smallpox epidemic in Victoria is seen as one of the most significant events in history. Victoria began as a colony and evolved quickly overnight due to the Cariboo Gold Rush. Smallpox arrived from San Francisco, diminishing the native population rigorously. Hundreds were trying for a cure, but many things went wrong; nothing could be done. The epidemic is important because Victoria experienced a life-changing event that ultimately altered history forever.

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