Medical snark of the 19th century

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I was just tickled by this little essay in a US medical journal, published in response to the discovery by a Southern slavery-supporting doctor of a disease called “Drapetomania”, which is the apparently unreasonable tendency of the slaves to abscond. (Google Books embed; scroll slowly as it is a large volume.)

A bit of Swiftian snark to brighten your day. The best part is the whole “vital electricity” becoming “detached”, so that the patient has the involuntarily tendency to write sermons and spiritual communications, as well as the odd tendency to go north. The disease somehow declines a little past the 44th parallel…

(h/t commenter Sly at LGM))

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This page contains a single entry by Mandos published on December 30, 2013 4:41 PM.

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