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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The 1781-1782 Smallpox Epidemic in Baja California


In the years 1781 and 1782, the Indian population of Baja California experienced a virulent smallpox epidemic that originated in central Mexico and then spread to the northern frontier provinces. The disease entered the peninsula by way of a group of infected families from Sonora, members of the Rivera y Moncada expedition enroute to Alta California (Sales 1956:60).

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