Note: Indigenous remedies and medicines saved the lives of some of Cartier’s crew. What disease was Cartier describing in the excerpt below?

Excerpt: “In the month of December… the disease began all around us… Everyone’s mouth became so infected that the gums rotted until the flesh fell out, right up to the roots of the teeth, of which almost all fell out as well… In our three ships… by mid-February, of a hundred and ten men only ten were healthy.”


Excerpt of Jacques Cartier’s journal, cited by DION-MCKINNON, Danielle and Pierre LALONGÉ. Notre histoire, Ottawa, Les Éd. du renouveau Pédagogiques, 1984, p. 21.