Here is what they didn’t teach you about colonial America in school. (Part-I)

Jamestown cannibalism

The winter of 1609 was so bad it was called the Starving Time. A survivor George Percy reported that when there were no more horses, rats, cats and dogs, the living started looking at the dead with less sorrow and more hunger. He wrote about people who dug up graves they'd just filled in, eating the flesh of the dead and even drinking blood from people who still lived but were too weak to protest.

The basic principles of colonial medicine

Historians say there were no facilities for training new doctors in the colonies until 1765, when the Medical Department of the College of Philadelphia opened its lecture halls. Strangely, treatment options were standard no matter what your doctor was taught. They still believed that treatment with the most visible effect on a patient was the most effective, so whatever knocked people out the fastest or gave people the most violent vomit was clearly working because they were getting rid of the corruption assailing the patient.

The witch hunts of Hartford

In 1642, Connecticut made witchcraft an offence that could get someone the death penalty, and it only took a few years before that’s exactly what happened. Alse Young and Mary Johnson were among the first victims. As far as reports go, at least 11 – including two men – were hanged. Others fled or were banished. It only took a single witness to put someone on trial and get a guilty verdict. One woman was sentenced to death after being accused of practicing witchcraft that made one of her neighbours shoot another man.

to be continued...