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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

Chapter:
(p.44) Chapter Two Sickness Rages Fearfully among Them
Source:
Doctoring Freedom
Author(s):

Gretchen Long

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807837399_long.6

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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