Between 1616 and 1619, a plague struck native villages of coastal New England from Maine to Cape Cod. It killed tens of thousands of people, among them hundreds of men, women, and children from the Wampanoag Nation. The exact nature of the “Great Dying,” and how it came to Cape Cod, might never be known. There was is speculation that it came ashore when a French fishing boat was wrecked in Cape Cod Bay. The plague consumed its victims from the inside, turning skin yellow and causing it to fall off.

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