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Distant freedom"St Helena and the abolition of the slave trade, 1840-1872"$
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Andrew Pearson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382837

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382837.001.0001

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‘All, all, without avail’

‘All, all, without avail’

Medicine and the Liberated Africans

Chapter:
(p.154) Chapter Five ‘All, all, without avail’
Source:
Distant freedom
Author(s):

Andrew Pearson

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781382837.003.0006

The Africans disembarked at St Helena suffered from the same gamut of disease as the millions who had preceded them on the Middle Passage. Medical treatment lay at the core of the Establishment’s operation and also provided one of the major points of contact between European and African within the depot, but its application was in many ways unsatisfactory. St Helena had long been the saving of European mariners but the same did not hold true for the liberated Africans, who died in their thousands. For many of them the hospital was merely an interim step between the slave ship and the graveyards. Chapter Five addresses this subject, considering disease, medicine and mortality. It investigates the extent to which the medical science of the period was capable of curing the diseases of the slave ship and its aftermath. And, in those instances where viable solutions to disease existed but were not implemented, it seeks to understand the balance of blame, between those working in the depots, the St Helenian authorities and the British government.

Keywords:   Disease, Medical treatment, Medicine, Middle Passage, Mortality

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