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Canadian Case Studies:
Jacques Cartier's Crew, 1535-1536


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Jacques Cartier's Crew
The sailors who took Jacques Cartier on his second voyage to what became known as New France fell ill in December 1535. One of the party described what happened:

"the sickness broke out among us accompanied by most marvelous and extraordinary symptoms; for some lost all their strength; their legs became swollen and inflamed, while the sinews contracted and turned as black as coal. In other cases the legs were found blotched with purple-coloured blood. Then the disease would mount to the hips, thighs, shoulders, arms, and neck. And all had their mouths so tainted, that the gums rotted away down to the roots of the teeth, which nearly all fell out."

Domagaya, son of Chief Donnacona of Stadacona, provided Cartier with a prescription: an infusion of the bark and leaves of a tree he called Annedda.

What happened to the crew?

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