On this date in 1717, the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee (or Iroquois) Confederacy were conducting an investigation into the cause of a small pox epidemic. They had sent investigators as far as Maryland and Virginia.
They met with the Governor of New York. The Governor, however, was either steeped in primitive superstitions or sought to hide from the truth. His explanation for the epidemic: “We Christians look upon that disease and others of that kind as punishments for our misdeeds and sin, such as breaking of covenants & promises, murders, and robbery, and the like.”
What the Governor did not know was that, like a boomerang, the epidemic was about to return to Boston, striking sixty percent of its population.