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Virginia 'Seasoning" Falls to 10 Percent *

The good news is that only 10% of new Virginia colonists are dropping dead this year. In previous years the death toll had reached 33%. Some colonists die within a week of getting off the boat. The Newbies are considered useless until they have undergone "seasoning". That means surviving the malaria season, but the Virginians have learned how to avoid the vivax malaria parasite by not wandering around at night and avoiding marshy areas. (Currently, malaria is called "marsh fever".) They might have tried to cure it using quinine but that's a relatively new medicine used in Italy. The disease is not contagious but mosquitoes won't be identified as the disease vector until 1898. The colonists have figured out one other thing. Only 3% of black West African slaves succumb to the disease. That is why they are preferred as field workers over indentured servants even though slaves are significantly more expensive. Indentured servants are generally Europeans and at a death rate of 10%-33% in the first year, They won't even make back the cost of their fare to cross the Atlantic. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Malaria is actually a parasite that is delivered when a mosquito bites and releases spores into the blood stream from an infected person into an uninfected person. Symptoms occur in 7 to 30 days. Unless it is treated quickly the parasite spores get into the liver and it becomes an ongoing problem... if you live, that is. And because Europeans had a death rate of 50% to 65% in West Africa, slave ships began running mostly black West African crews rather than white European crews. (They don't tell you THAT in school. Do they?) Another development coming from malaria is air conditioning. A doctor believed that by cooling down the air, he might cure the disease. It didn't work, but his experiments required an ice bath to cool the room so he figured a way to produce ice cubes. It's not the first refrigeration device ever invented, but it's close. The original device sits in the Smithsonian today. [6]

One King, One Law, One Faith.... for a Seven-Year-Old

This is going to sound terrible until it is placed into context. Then it will sound REALLY TERRIBLE. French religious authorities have determined that 7 years old is the age that a child can make the ultimate decision concerning which faith he will follow. The Huguenots (French Calvinists) have won rights to freedom of religion, but King Louis the 14th wants to tighten that up. He is an absolute ruler and he believes in "One King, One Law, One Faith." If this sounds familiar, you are seeing the first hints of the Age of Enlightenment, without the "enlightenment" part. He thinks of himself as God's representative on Earth, so his government is now a "Catholics Only" club. This has led to a faith test to hold government office and it has led to the questioning of Huguenot children. If a child decides that Catholicism is better than the (Calvinist) Reform Church, the child is taken from his parents and raised as a Catholic. This has a precedent. The Parisians did the same thing to Jewish children in the Middle Ages. [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
King Louis the 14th is an important character in how the American Revolution is going to roll out.... some of it for the good and some of it for the bad. It is actually illegal in 17th century France to use the will of the people as an argument about anyone's rights. The King defines your rights. Sit down, shut up and listen. This is one of the reasons why the Founding Fathers didn't want to place the Bill of Rights into the Constitution because people might think that those rights were the only rights a person could claim and secondly, that the people might mistakenly believe that those rights were granted by their government rather than by their Creator. But what are the chances of THAT ever happening? Well... it's happening.... mostly due to public schooling which divorces the spiritual framework from the Framers of the Constitution. [8]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1670, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (BOOK), Knopf. ISBN 9780307265722. “After that, Virginians learned by trial and error to live with vivax, avoiding marshes and staying indoors at dusk; those with acquired immunity carefully tended the sick, most of whom were children as in Africa today. Seasoning deaths fell from 20 or 30 percent around 1650 to 10 percent or lower around 1670--a considerable improvement, but still a level that represented much suffering.” 
  2. Malaria - About Malaria - Disease. CDC.gov (2015). Retrieved on 1 November 2015. “In P. vivax and P. ovale infections, patients having recovered from the first episode of illness may suffer several additional attacks ('relapses') after months or even years without symptoms. Relapses occur because P. vivax and P. ovale have dormant liver stage parasites ('hypnozoites') that may reactivate.”
  3. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (BOOK), Knopf. ISBN 9780307265722. “The figures were amazing: nineteenth-century parliamentary reports on British soldiers in West Africa concluded that disease killed between 48 percent and 67 percent of them every year. The rate for African troops in the same place, by contrast, was about 3 percent, an order-of-magnitude difference. African diseases slew so many Europeans, Curtin discovered, that slave ships often lost proportionately more white crewmen than black slaves—this despite the horrendous conditions belowdecks, where slaves were chained in their own excrement. To forestall losses, European slavers hired African crews.” 
  4. Malaria - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 2 November 2015. “In April 1894, a Scottish physician Sir Ronald Ross visited Sir Patrick Manson at his house on Queen Anne Street, London. This visit was the start of four years of collaboration and fervent research that culminated in 1898 when Ross, who was working in the Presidency General Hospital in Calcutta, proved the complete life-cycle of the malaria parasite in mosquitoes. He thus proved that the mosquito was the vector for malaria in humans by showing that certain mosquito species transmit malaria to birds.”
  5. Quinine - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 2 November 2015. “Quinine has been used in unextracted form by Europeans since at least the early 17th century. It was first used to treat malaria in Rome in 1631. During the 17th century, malaria was endemic to the swamps and marshes surrounding the city of Rome.”
  6. John Gorrie - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 2 November 2015. “Dr. Gorrie's medical research involved the study of tropical diseases. At the time the theory that bad air caused diseases was a prevalent hypothesis and based on this theory, he urged draining the swamps and the cooling of sickrooms. For this he cooled rooms with ice in a basin suspended from the ceiling. Cool air, being heavier, flowed down across the patient and through an opening near the floor.”
  7. Age of Louix XIV: a History of European Civilization in the Period of Pascal, Moliere, Cromwell, Milton, Peter the Great, Newton, and Spinoza: 1648-1715, The, The Story Of Civilization. Simon and Schuster, 69-70. 
  8. Thomas, Clarence. My Grandfather's Son: a Memoir. Harper. 0060565551. ISBN 9780060565558. OCLC 166295089. 

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