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Sex, Sickness, and Slavery – Illness in the Antebellum South - Illinois Scholarship Online
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Sex, Sickness, and Slavery: Illness in the Antebellum South

Marli F. Weiner and Mazie Hough


This study of medical treatment in the antebellum South argues that Southern physicians' scientific training and practice uniquely entitled them to formulate medical justification for the imbalanced racial hierarchies of the period. Challenged with both helping to preserve the slave system (by acknowledging and preserving clear distinctions of race and sex) and enhancing their own authority (with correct medical diagnoses and effective treatment), doctors sought to understand bodies that did not necessarily fit into neat dichotomies or agree with suggested treatments. Expertly drawing the dyna ... More

Keywords: medicine, antebellum South, slavery, physicians, race, gender, health, illness, geography

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780252036996
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017 DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036996.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Marli F. Weiner, author
University of Maine

Mazie Hough, author
University of Maine