In the late 1800s we were handed out blankets, a traditional gift among our people, by the US government. They did their best to give one to every Comanche man, woman, and child.
These blankets had come from a small pox hospital and every one of them was infected by the small pox virus. The military made a special point to make sure the soldiers assigned to handling the blankets (which had been slated to be burned) had previously had the disease.
By the US Army's own estimates at the time, 90% of all Comanches died from the disease.
The first to die were buried on the military base at Ft. Sill. Later as the number of dead overwhelmed the grave diggers wagon loads of bodies were taken to the Wichita Mountains and buried in great pits.
Why is she telling us this? Can this woman ever get to a point? That's ancient history, right?
First of all it's less ancient than you imagine, my own great grandmother, who was instrumental to my upbringing, had legs covered with small pox scars. It's not as far off as some people would like to believe.
Secondly, right now, as we speak, due to the B.R.A.C. or Base Realignment and Closure large numbers of soldiers have been reassigned to Ft. Sill.
As a result of this decision FT. Sill is expanding housing. Where? Right on top of where the first small pox victims were buried. The Army admits they have come up with "around seven" bodies in the course of building. Bodies they will not release to the Comanche tribe, although we have asked. They promised to use state of the art technology to hunt for bodies, they have not. Instead they had an enlisted man drive two extremely elderly ladies out to the site and had them point out where there might be bodies. Now the Army historian, one T. Spivey, who is notoriously biased, has issued the pronouncement that the genocide of the Comanches never occurred at all.
Apparently we went from an estimated 10,000 (low estimate) or 20,000(high estimate) to 1,050 by entirely peaceful pleasant means no one has effectively explained, except it had nothing to do with small pox or those blankets the government gave us.
Context is raising awareness; QWP