AD 1616–19: Smallpox decimates northeastern Native peoples
Smallpox infects traders along the coast of what is now known as New England, and the illness spreads among the Wampanoag, Penobscot, Nipmuk, Natick, Pokanoket, Nantucket, Chappaquiddick, Pahtuksut, and Massachusett peoples. As villages become infected, whole communities collapse. Survivors flee, and smallpox spreads to other villages.
Demographers estimate that 70,000 to 90,000 Native peoples lived in New England before the epidemic struck.