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Doctoring FreedomThe Politics of African American Medical Care in Slavery and Emancipation$
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Gretchen Long

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835838

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837399_long

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Sickness Rages Fearfully among Them

Sickness Rages Fearfully among Them

A Wartime Medical Crisis and Its Implications

(p.44) Chapter Two Sickness Rages Fearfully among Them
Doctoring Freedom

Gretchen Long

University of North Carolina Press

In the course of the Civil War, Union army camps were natural destinations for ex-slave refugees or “contraband” ex-slaves in need of protection from their former masters and the Confederate army. This chapter explores how white northerners perceived the medical needs of “contraband” ex-slaves. When abolitionists tried to organize medical treatment for African Americans, they brought with them a host of ideas about African Americans' bodies and their potential. Antebellum notions about “African” bodies, both slave and free, shaped their perception of ex-slaves' illness.

Keywords:   Civil War, Union army, ex-slave refugees, contraband, Confederate army, abolitionists

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