As Harvard University and other American educational institutions grapple with their historic ties to slavery and its legacy, this display, drawn from the rare book and manuscript collections of the Countway Library's Center for the History of Medicine highlights some of the medical aspects of slavery and racism. Physicians of the 18th and 19th centuries were some of the most well-travelled individuals of their day and had many opportunities to witness slavery in the West Indies and United States. Their travel narratives provide firsthand accounts of the experiences of slaves, their medical care, and treatment by owners and slaveholders.
This Abominable Traffic : Physicians on Slavery is an online exhibit curated by Jack Eckert for the Center for the History of Medicine at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. The online exhibit was created in OnView in April 2017.