1874: Measles: “50,000 have perished. Throughout the whole of Fiji, one in five has gone!”

“An additional melancholy has been thrown over our entry upon this new possession by the breaking out of a frightful epidemic at the very moment. Some wretched vessel carried the measles into the islands; and out of a population of 250,000 souls, more than 50,000 have perished. Throughout the whole of Fiji, one in five has gone! Of course it is felt by these poor savages that death has come upon them as a penalty for their want of patriotism, and of course there are not wanting among them leaders who inculcate the idea. Such a mortality will appear to many as though the whole population were destroyed. Now, as I write, the destruction has passed away, and gradually the terrible feeling of which I have spoken will die out”.

Trollope, Anthony. The Tireless Traveler: Twenty Letters to the Liverpool Mercury. Berkeley: University of California Press, The articles, which bear Trollope’s signature, can be found on page five every Saturday from July 3, 1875, through November 13, 1875. [1978,c1941] 1978. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft1d5nb0hv/

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One Response

  1. Thank you for the diligent work in this blog – amazing amount of recorded history and facts – it will take some time for me to wade my way through it all indeed! – i have some friends that would value your site!

    Excellent stuff! 😉

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