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16 January

HP109 – Smallpox in Hawaii


This is a request from Brandon Midgett for a topic about the 1800’s outbreak of smallpox on the Hawaiian islands. There is not a lot of information on the Internet about this subject, so I used two great books as my main sources. Below are links to the books and the few websites I did use for information. Thanks for listening!

The Hawaiian word for smallpox is ma’i pu’upu’u li’ili’i (the sickness with many little pimples).*


Gavan Daws’ Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands
John Tayman’s The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai*


3 Responses to “HP109 – Smallpox in Hawaii”

  1. ChrisWDP says:

    Great podcast. One of the things I like about history is learning about unknown events like this. They might be small in scope to the world, but is large to those affected.

  2. Brian says:

    If you enter “1850’s smallpox in Hawaii” for a Google search, an immense amount of info will come up. In 1852 whole villages were wiped out from smallpox, originating from Oahu. In 1899 Hawaii suffered a severe outbreak, originating from an 1850 outbreak in China. The whalers & the trading ships brought to Hawaii several diseases. Another great book that covers introduced diseases to Hawaii is: “Ka’a’awa: A Novel about Hawaii in the 1850’s)Hope this helps you.

  3. Alicia says:

    This was a great podcast. I absolutely love history I wish that today’s youth would have more of an interest in it than they do.

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