erefore Virginia, a colony of seventeenth-century Europe, started life burdened with a heritage of deadly and widespread disease and inadequate medicine. Not only did the ships that brought the settlers to Jamestown Island bring surgeons and medical supplies but also medical problems frequently more serious than the men and supplies could cope with.
The European or Englishman, however, did not originate the practice of medicine in Virginia for the Indian had had to struggle with the problems of disease and injury long before the seventeenth century.
INDIANS AND THEIR MEDICINE
Seventeenth-century Americans found the medical practices of the Indians interesting enough to include descriptions of them in their accounts of the New World. The attitude of the authors of these early observations is a mixture of curiosity, wonder, and--on occasion--admiration.
Henry Spelman, one of the early colonists, wrote of Jamestown and Virginia as they were in 1609 and 1610. He described the manner of