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Many Remedies to Choose From: Social Relationships and Healing in an Enslaved Community

Author(s): Matthew C Greer

Year: 2016

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When enslaved individuals fell ill, a plethora of cures were available from various sources.  For instance, a planter could have a local doctor treat an enslaved woman, or she could treat herself through the use of medicines she purchased or plants she gathered.  Whatever choice she made, however, did not occur in a vacuum.  Rather, the social connections and relationships that structured her daily life shaped the way in which she sought to heal herself.  So far, unfortunately, the interaction between the social worlds of enslaved individuals and the remedies they sought to cure themselves has remained poorly understood.  By looking at the recovered medicine bottles and floral remains from the homes of Montpelier’s early 19th century enslaved community, along with the plantation’s 1816-1819 medical accounts, this paper will explore the connection between social relationships and healing in the Antebellum South.

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Many Remedies to Choose From: Social Relationships and Healing in an Enslaved Community. Matthew C Greer. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434950)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 347

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America