The Health and Medical Care of Enslaved African Americans at Somerset Place , 1839-1863

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jay Colin Menees (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: Somerset Place was one of the largest plantations in North Carolina at the end of the Antebellum period. The owner of Somerset Place , Josiah Collins III , owned the third largest slave plantation in the state. Slaves at Somerset Place focused primarily on growing rice; however , they also grew corn , wheat , peas , and ran a saw mill. Situated on Lake Phelps , the rice fields of Somerset were regularly flooded and drained by canals that ran throughout the plantation. The type of work done by the enslaved workers put them constantly in contact with disease carrying mosquitos and stagnant water that made them ill. For this reason in 1839 Collins converted a two story slave cabin into a plantation hospital. The original structure is no longer present; however , because of its importance in the history of Somerset , a replica of the old structure was built on the modern historic site. To date , the Somerset Place historic site is the only plantation to have reconstructed a slave hospital. This thesis is a study of the health of enslaved African Americans at Somerset that were treated in the slave hospital. It argues that the conditions of slavery at Somerset Place , under the tenure of Josiah Collins III , were so deleterious to slave health that they necessitated the construction of a slave hospital which functioned with varying levels of effectiveness.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
African American, Southern, Antebellum, Health, Medicine, hospital, Hardy Hardison, William Warren, Edward Warren, Washington County, Tyrell County, Pettigrew, Slavery, Rice Plantation, Dorothy Redford, Uriah Bennett

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