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Smallpox decimates the Ojibwe in the 1770's

Vaccination of the Indians


In 1832, 22-year-old Dr. Douglass Houghton was instructed to try to vaccinate the Lake Superior Ojibwe against smallpox. As part of his work, Houghton asked the Ojibwe about the history of smallpox outbreaks among their people. Their responses are summarized in this short report, including memories of the deliberate introduction of smallpox among Wisconsin Indians by British fur traders in 1770. His report begins at the bottom of page 574; the history of smallpox among the Ojibwe begins on page 578. At the end he urges that the Menominee (Folle Avoine) also be vaccinated against smallpox.

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Related Topics: Explorers, Traders, and Settlers
Colonialism Transforms Indian Life
Creator: Houghton, Douglass (1809-1845)
Pub Data: Appendix IV in: Schoolcraft, Henry. Summary Narrative of an Exploratory Expedition to the Sources of the Mississippi River... (Philadelphia, 1855): 574-581
Citation: Houghton, Douglass. "Vaccination of the Indians," in Henry Schoolcraft, Summary Narrative of an Exploratory Expedition to the Sources of the Mississippi River... (Philadelphia, 1855): 574-581. Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=384; Visited on: 4/19/2014
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