During slavery were the enslaved treated by doctors or vets?

Jun 2015
249
London UK
#1
I don’t know if this was an urban myth. Were doctors only allowed to treat ‘free’ people? Were ‘free’ or ‘white ‘ citizens regarded as ‘human’ so got treated but blacks or ‘negroes’ classed as ‘sub human’ so had to be seen by vets?

At the time blacks were Classed as ‘3/5ths of a man’ based on constitution and voting rules and clearly treated accordingly in society
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,276
Dispargum
#2
The 3/5s clause was a political compromise - nothing more. It was not a pseudo-scientific assessment a person's humanity. The slave states actually wanted to count the slaves as whole people so that the slave states could boost their representation in Congress. The free states argued that slaves should not be counted at all since they could not vote nor would the slaves' interests be represented in Congress. The founders compromised on 3/5s. I find it interesting how the owners of slaves insisted their slaves were people if there was an advantage to it but insisted the slaves were only property when other aspects of civil rights came up.

Even today doctors are relatively rare in rural America. More often than not, I have to drive in to the city to see a doctor. Historical fiction aside, country doctors were rare in the 19th century and were often not very good. Then, like now, doctors could make a lot more money in the cities were there were more patients within easy traveling distance. A doctor who left the city for a rural practice was probably fleeing a bad reputation. (It's not like 19th century medicine was very good to begin with. Leeches were still within living memory.)

I once read an account of Andrew Jackson treating himself by reading a medical book which means that there was no doctor in the neighborhood. He lived on a plantation.

There is the argument that slaves were well treated and well cared for because they were so expensive. To allow a slave to die a preventable death did not make economic sense. It's possible that some slaves saw doctors more often than most whites did.

More so than today, veteranarians were more rare than doctors in the 19th century.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,664
Portugal
#3
I don’t know if this was an urban myth. Were doctors only allowed to treat ‘free’ people? Were ‘free’ or ‘white ‘ citizens regarded as ‘human’ so got treated but blacks or ‘negroes’ classed as ‘sub human’ so had to be seen by vets?

At the time blacks were Classed as ‘3/5ths of a man’ based on constitution and voting rules and clearly treated accordingly in society
In the thread’s title you used the expression “During slavery” in a way that made me think that you are only making mention to the 18th or 19th century, but when we say “during slavery” we are really talking about millenniums of the history of mankind and the part of which the blacks were the biggest part of the product was essentially in the last 5 centuries.

Anyway, during the Atlantic slave trade, the bigger ships could had a surgeon on board. The designation of surgeon was often an euphemism, and it was a merely a “sangrador”, literally a “bleeder”, don’t know the correct English translation, but it was a man that made the bloodletting to the sick.
 
Likes: Niobe
Jun 2015
249
London UK
#4
Time
In the thread’s title you used the expression “During slavery” in a way that made me think that you are only making mention to the 18th or 19th century, but when we say “during slavery” we are really talking about millenniums of the history of mankind and the part of which the blacks were the biggest part of the product was essentially in the last 5 centuries.

Anyway, during the Atlantic slave trade, the bigger ships could had a surgeon on board. The designation of surgeon was often an euphemism, and it was a merely a “sangrador”, literally a “bleeder”, don’t know the correct English translation, but it was a man that made the bloodletting to the sick.
Tulius as this was a thread on American history forum I thought it would be obvious we were discussing the Atlantic slave trade not all the others throughout history.
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,442
South of the barcodes
#5
Neither.

As Chlodio said, Doctors were rare and expensive so you only called them out in emergencies.

On the other hand most households had knowledge of home remedies, women were expected to know at least the basics of these remedies since they had the most exposure to herbs, cooking and kitchens. Of course many of these family remedies were useless and bordering on witchcraft but thats another subject.

You have a cold, a fever, stomach troubles, go see the local healier. Slaves tended to have their own.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,664
Portugal
#6
Time

Tulius as this was a thread on American history forum I thought it would be obvious we were discussing the Atlantic slave trade not all the others throughout history.
Yes, we are in the North American history sub-forum, and Slavery in North America (in the territories that are today Canada, USA and Mexico, and in this forum even includes Central America) predated the arrival of the Europeans.

It predated the Atlantic slave trade.

Wikipedia can help us here: Slavery among the indigenous peoples of the Americas - Wikipedia

And in the same entry we also can see mentioned the enslavement of Indians by the Europeans that also begun before the Atlantic slave trade and then was contemporary.

Besides, slavery even happened in areas that were almost not touched by the Atlantic Slave trade:

History of slavery in Alaska - Wikipedia

Running away from Wikipedia, you can also see at JSTOR the review of Christina Snyder’s book “Slavery in Indian Country”:

Review on JSTOR

Anyway, even if I didn’t find obvious, I found quite probable that you were mentioning the Atlantic slave trade and exclusively the situation in the USA, and mentioned the existence that I recalled about surgeons on board (Arlindo Manuel Caldeira mentions them in his work “Escravos e Traficantes”/“Slaves and Traders”). Sorry I don’t know anything about the situation after the landing in the USA.
 
Likes: Niobe
Jun 2014
23
Indiana
#9
Yes, we are in the North American history sub-forum, and Slavery in North America (in the territories that are today Canada, USA and Mexico, and in this forum even includes Central America) predated the arrival of the Europeans.

It predated the Atlantic slave trade.

Wikipedia can help us here: Slavery among the indigenous peoples of the Americas - Wikipedia

And in the same entry we also can see mentioned the enslavement of Indians by the Europeans that also begun before the Atlantic slave trade and then was contemporary.

Besides, slavery even happened in areas that were almost not touched by the Atlantic Slave trade:

History of slavery in Alaska - Wikipedia

Running away from Wikipedia, you can also see at JSTOR the review of Christina Snyder’s book “Slavery in Indian Country”:

Review on JSTOR

Anyway, even if I didn’t find obvious, I found quite probable that you were mentioning the Atlantic slave trade and exclusively the situation in the USA, and mentioned the existence that I recalled about surgeons on board (Arlindo Manuel Caldeira mentions them in his work “Escravos e Traficantes”/“Slaves and Traders”). Sorry I don’t know anything about the situation after the landing in the USA.
I find the obsession with American slavery in some quarters fairly disturbing. No wonder racist issues persist today
Just because somebody has an interesting in acquiring knowledge about how things worked during that era is neither disturbing nor racist.