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On the eve of the Revolution, the Carolina lowcountry was the wealthiest and unhealthiest region in British North America. Slavery, Disease, and Suffering in the Southern Lowcountry argues that the two were intimately connected: both resulted largely from the dominance of rice cultivation on plantations using imported African slave labor. This development began in the coastal lands near Charleston, South Carolina, around the end of the seventeenth century. Rice plantations spread north to the Cape Fear region of North Carolina and south to Georgia and northeast Florida in the late colonial period. The book examines perceptions and realities of the lowcountry disease environment; how the lowcountry became notorious for its “tropical” fevers, notably malaria and yellow fever; how people combated, avoided, or perversely denied the suffering they caused; and how diseases and human responses to them influenced not only the lowcountry and the South, but the United States, even helping to secure American independence.Read more
- An unusually wide perspective on the impact of disease in the South
- Reveals the connection between disease and the cultivation of rice using enslaved African labor
- Shows how the defense of this economic system shaped ideas about race and influenced pro-slavery arguments
Reviews & endorsements
"...offers thought-provoking insights..." -Karen Cook Bell, The Journal of American HistorySee more reviews
"...a valuable book for anyone interested in the history of health in the American South." -Bradford J. Wood, The Journal of Southern History
"McCandless makes a significant contribution to the scholarship on lowcountry slavery and disease by connecting variable contemporary medical theories with political and cultural concerns that shifted from year to year." -Jeffrey Robert Young, Bulletin of the History of Medicine
"McCandless offers insight into the shifting understanding of early American medicine, how it is shaped by geography, economics, and demographics specific to an area." -Lindsay Rae Smith, Southern Historian
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- Date Published: January 2014
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107656185
- length: 324 pages
- dimensions: 234 x 156 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.5kg
- contains: 6 b/w illus. 4 maps
- availability: Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer
Table of Contents
Part I. Talk about Suffering:
1. Rhetoric and reality
2. From paradise to hospital
3. 'A scene of diseases'
4. Wooden horse
5. Revolutionary fever
6. Stranger's disease
7. 'A merciful provision of the creator'
Part II. Combating Pestilence:
8. 'I wish that I had studied physick'
9. 'I know nothing of this disease'
10. Providence, prudence, and patience
11. Buying the smallpox
12. Commerce, contagion, and cleanliness
13. A migratory species
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