"many of them were lovely and many more bore the marks of syphilis."

When Spanish settlers started to arrive in Quechan territory in the late 1770s, they brought with them a number of diseases to which the Indians had no immunity, including syphilis.

Syphilis is a disease primarily transmitted through sexual contact, although it can also be passed from an infected mother to her unborn child. The signs and symptoms vary, including chancres, rashes upon the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, gummas, and neurological or cardiac symptoms. The exact origin of syphilis is unknown.