The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Volume 22: Science and Medicine

JAMES G. THOMAS
CHARLES REAGAN WILSON
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 336
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5149/9780807837436_thomas
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  • Book Info
    The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture
    Book Description:

    Science and medicine have been critical to southern history and the formation of southern culture. For three centuries, scientists in the South have documented the lush natural world around them and set a lasting tradition of inquiry. The medical history of the region, however, has been at times tragic. Disease, death, and generations of poor health have been the legacy of slavery, the plantation economy, rural life, and poorly planned cities. The essays in this volume explore this legacy as well as recent developments in technology, research, and medicine in the South.Subjects include natural history, slave health, medicine in the Civil War, public health, eugenics, HIV/AIDS, environmental health, and the rise of research institutions and hospitals, to name but a few. With 38 thematic essays, 44 topical entries, and a comprehensive overview essay, this volume offers an authoritative reference to science and medicine in the American South.

    eISBN: 978-1-4696-0143-4
    Subjects: General Science, Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. GENERAL INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xi-xvi)

    In 1989 years of planning and hard work came to fruition when the University of North Carolina Press joined the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi to publish theEncyclopedia of Southern Culture. While all those involved in writing, reviewing, editing, and producing the volume believed it would be received as a vital contribution to our understanding of the American South, no one could have anticipated fully the widespread acclaim it would receive from reviewers and other commentators. But theEncyclopediawas indeed celebrated, not only by scholars but also by popular audiences with...

  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xvii-xx)

    When a reader thinks of “southern culture,” images of research scientists and physicians probably do not immediately come to mind. Representations of the region often go back to 19th-century myths, icons, and social types, and science and medicine were not at the center of early imaginings of the South. Those subjects are, nonetheless, important ones for a full understanding of the region’s internal dynamics and positioning in the nation. The climate nurtured certain kinds of distinctive diseases, from epidemic diseases like yellow fever to debilitating illnesses like hookworm and pellagra, the latter of which fed southern stereotypes of lazy poor...

  5. SCIENCE AND MEDICINE
    (pp. 1-24)
    JAMES O. BREEDEN, JAMES G. THOMAS JR. and CHARLES REAGAN WILSON

    Although little noticed by the myriad students of the South, science and medicine have been important and instructive components of southern culture. On one level, they have contributed to social progress. On another, they have been barometers for gauging intellectual life. The South’s experience in these areas also sheds valuable light on the question of southern distinctiveness, providing additional support for the contention that regional separateness has had a retarding effect on cultural development.

    Colonial South. An interest in science was part of the cultural baggage that the first colonists brought to the South. This interest was fed and intensified...

  6. Abortion
    (pp. 25-29)
    CHRISTINE M. SIXTA and LAURA R. WOLIVER

    Humans look away or deny the evidence of their actual behavior. Southerners are no exception to this rule. Southern behavior belies many dominant images of the region. Although the South is described as the belt buckle of the Bible Belt, that belt is often, in fact, unbuckled. Abortion rates in the South provide one indicator of the complexities of southern reproductive behavior.

    Denial about sexual behavior is rampant in the South. For instance, one entire southern state, South Carolina, lived in official denial about the late senator J. Strom Thurmond. Even though many people whispered for decades that Thurmond had...

  7. Aerospace
    (pp. 29-33)
    ROGER E. BILSTEIN and MARY AMELIA TAYLOR

    The term aerospace gained currency during the 1950s and was a product of U.S. Air Force nomenclature. It evolved in response to the growing interest of aviation manufacturers and the government in space exploration as well as in traditional aeronautics. From the first flight of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk, N.C., to the launch of America’s first astronauts from Cape Canaveral, Fla., the South has played an active role in aerospace developments.

    On 17 December 1903 the Wrights made the world’s first flights in a powered airplane. During the years before World War I, planes were generally viewed as...

  8. Agriculture, Scientific
    (pp. 33-37)
    JOHN HEBRON MOORE and JAMES G. THOMAS JR.

    Although southerners made remarkable agricultural progress between 1800 and 1860, science contributed comparatively little until the 1870s. Before the Civil War, American agriculturists using empirical methods developed the essentials of modern farming. In the 20th century, science and technology built upon this foundation to make American agriculture the most productive in the world.

    In the South, planters started in the 1790s to cultivate new crops of Sea Island cotton, upland cotton, and sugar with slave labor and primitive farming methods based on spades, hoes, and ox-drawn turning plows. Within the span of a single lifetime, they created advanced systems for...

  9. Alcohol and Alcoholism
    (pp. 37-41)
    DAVID T. COURTWRIGHT

    “Ambivalence,” the label social scientists most often apply to American attitudes toward alcohol, fits southerners particularly well. Extremes of opinion and practice can be found in practically any southern community, with teetotalers condemning alcohol and good old boys swilling it in manly ritual. Will Rogers joked that some southerners did both, voting dry “as long as they can stagger to the polls.”

    It was not always so. Southern colonists and their descendants in the early years of the Republic had few qualms about alcohol; they drank hard and often. The Virginia Company was plagued by planters who crowded aboard floating...

  10. American Indian Health and Medicine
    (pp. 41-45)
    LISA J. LEFLER and THOMAS N. BELT

    Early European travelers found the inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere to have developed extensive knowledge and efficient use of their natural resources. Archaeology is uncovering evidence that the South could have been inhabited for at least 16,000 years, as shown at the Topper Site in the central Savannah River area of South Carolina, with the oldest radiocarbon dated material in the country. It is no mystery, then, that southern tribes have had many generations to systematically study and utilize their diverse landscape and its contents. With the collective knowledge of flora, fauna, and ecosystems, tribes systematically observed, measured, and experimented...

  11. Childbirth, Antebellum
    (pp. 46-50)
    SALLY G. MCMILLEN

    Childbearing was the central life experience for nearly all southern women during the colonial and antebellum periods. Because most women married or lived with a male partner and because birth control devices were unknown or of limited effectiveness, a woman in good health could anticipate a pregnancy every two to three years during her fertile years. Society glorified motherhood as woman’s sacred occupation.

    Few details are known about childbirth during the colonial period. Research on the 17th-century Chesapeake region reveals that women there tended to bear children later than the norm because a significant number of young women immigrated to...

  12. Civil War Medicine
    (pp. 50-54)
    MICHAEL A. FLANNERY

    The difficulty in determining the exact number of physicians serving in the Confederate Medical Department — and virtually everything else related to medicine in the South during the war period, from mortality rates to numbers hospitalized — is exacerbated by the fact that a considerable portion of the Confederate States’ records was destroyed in the burning of Richmond at war’s end. Confederate surgeon Joseph Jones’s estimate has been questioned, but it may be the best we have: he put the total number of medical officers in the Confederate army at 834 surgeons, 1,668 assistant surgeons, with 73 more in the...

  13. Climate and Weather
    (pp. 54-57)
    CARY J. MOCK

    The American South is defined here as the region encompassing the states east of the Mississippi River and from Virginia southward. Both climate and weather play prominent roles on human behavior, including the cultural landscape and activities evident from clothing, architecture, and urban planning schemes. Climatic events occur more slowly from annual, decadal, to even longer time frames, commonly expressed as 30-year averages. Weather events occur hourly to daily, sometimes as extreme events such as severe flooding, snowstorms, and hurricanes.

    Climatic characteristics are commonly expressed in terms of temperature and precipitation. Latitude is an important control on temperature, with warmer...

  14. Drug Use
    (pp. 57-62)
    DAVID T. COURTWRIGHT

    The history of southern drug use falls into three distinct eras. Before the Civil War, southerners drank heavily but were largely untroubled by other intoxicating drugs, as was true of antebellum Americans generally. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, while regional alcohol consumption declined, southerners used more opiates and cocaine than northerners and westerners. Then, during the mid- and late 20th century, the pattern reversed: southerners consumed fewer illicit drugs than other Americans, even as they confronted a range of novel drug-taking practices.

    In the 19th century, southerners used opiates (including opium, laudanum, paregoric, and morphine) to relieve...

  15. Education, Medical
    (pp. 62-66)
    KAREN KRUSE THOMAS

    Southern medical education has always been shaped by the South’s distinctive climate and disease environment, its medical profession and health-care institutions, and its educational system. All of these in turn have been strongly influenced by the South’s racial and economic history of cash-crop agriculture dependent on slave labor, which set it apart from the urban Northeast, the power center of American academic medicine. Well into the 19th century, most aspiring southern physicians either apprenticed themselves to an experienced practitioner or attended the small, independent proprietary schools that proliferated beginning in the 1820s. Many chose to attend the better-established northern schools,...

  16. Environmental Health
    (pp. 67-71)
    ELLEN GRIFFITH SPEARS

    Environmental health — the impact on human health and disease of both geophysical and built environments — covers a vast field, from disease ecology to climate change, agricultural policy to urban sprawl, pesticide resistance to pollution prevention. The World Health Organization offers one broad definition: “the direct pathological effects of chemicals, radiation and some biological agents, and the effects (often indirect) on health and well-being of the broad physical, psychological, social and cultural environment, which includes housing, urban development, land use and transport.”

    As elsewhere, from the moment of conquest, the interchange of pathogens inflicted disastrous consequences on indigenous societies....

  17. Eugenics
    (pp. 71-75)
    STEVEN NOLL

    Eugenics is the set of scientific beliefs designed to improve the human race by selective breeding. Developed in the late 19th century, eugenics fused scientific methodology, racialized ideologies, and invasive state action to promote the goal of human betterment. American scientists, physicians, social workers, psychologists, educators, and politicians participated in this movement throughout much of the 20th century, creating a problematic legacy with far-reaching consequences. The social, legal, medical, and ethical questions raised by eugenics still have resonance today as we grapple with the implications of genetic testing and the human genome project. And many of the nationally contentious issues...

  18. Folk Medicine
    (pp. 76-80)
    ERIKA BRADY

    Like the phrases “folk music” and “folk religion,” “folk medicine” is a slippery term, suggesting shared practices of individuals excluded from fully evolved forms of cultural knowledge and expression. But if we interpret this term to mean any community’s informal set of interrelated patterns of understanding and practice concerning wellness, folk medicine becomes a more universal and potentially sophisticated concept. Whereas formal medical practice derives its authority institutionally in the form of official regulation and credentialing, folk medicine relies on an authority that is typically relational in origin: the familiar practices and beliefs of a group both in the present...

  19. Gender and Health
    (pp. 80-84)
    SUSAN L. SMITH

    Gender is a crucial factor in understanding the history of health status and health care in the American South. Gender studies examine the social construction of womanhood and manhood to explore how differences have been created and given meaning. This essay illuminates the gendered, and racialized, nature of health and healing. Through a focus on several case studies, it demonstrates the significance of reproduction in the history of women’s health, war in the history of men’s health, and public health in the history of women’s health work.

    In 1809 Jane Crawford of Kentucky rode 60 miles on horseback to be...

  20. Healers, Women
    (pp. 85-88)
    MOLLY C. DOUGHERTY

    Women in the South have a long tradition of helping family and friends maintain and restore health. Healing traditions were brought to the South with the early settlers, and they evolved as ideas and procedures were incorporated from European medical practice, African traditions, and American Indian traditions. The passing of remedies and techniques for care of the sick through generations of women is found in many cultures. Distinctive southern healing characteristics stem from the types of rural areas in which folk medicine practices have predominated and from the healers’ use of indigenous plants and animals. Because modern techniques for controlling...

  21. Health, African American
    (pp. 88-92)
    TODD L. SAVITT and KATHRYN RADISHOFSKI

    In the post–Civil War era, white southern physicians noted the rise of disease among newly emancipated blacks and predicted the eventual extinction of blacks from the United States despite all that medicine could do to prevent it. Many white laymen in the South held similar views. In fact, issues of black health have always concerned southern whites. Interest in the subject constitutes a minor theme in the region’s history. It is paradoxical that so politically voiceless a group as southern blacks has received so much attention with regard to health, medical care, and disease characteristics. Important reasons for this...

  22. Health, Mental
    (pp. 92-95)
    CLARK R. CAHOW and JAMES G. THOMAS JR.

    Before the mid-19th century, there was little publicly supported mental health treatment in the South. By 1825, Virginia, which made the first public attempt to treat the insane before the Revolution, was the only southern state to have a hospital for the insane. The South lagged behind the rest of the nation in this regard: eight other asylums existed in states outside the South. The sufferings of the insane in the South, as elsewhere in the nation, were looked upon as the natural consequences of a stern, unbending Providence, meting out judgment to the wicked and the innately inferior. The...

  23. Health, Public
    (pp. 96-100)
    JO ANN CARRIGAN and JAMES G. THOMAS JR.

    The public health experience of the South, at least until the mid-20th century, was in many respects unique in the nation. Perceived as distinctive by northerners — and some southerners — for more than a century, the region’s poor health record served as one more defining characteristic, one more peculiar burden added to southern history’s extensive list. Although sharing many disease problems with the rest of the country, the South at various times exhibited maladies largely peculiar to itself — yellow fever in the 19th century and hookworm and pellagra in the early 20th century. Furthermore, certain infectious diseases that...

  24. Health, Rural
    (pp. 100-103)
    CAROLE E. HILL and KATHRYN RADISHOFSKI

    As of 2000, more than 40 percent of America’s nearly 60 million rural residents lived in the South. Along with the Midwest, the region is the most rural in the country. Historically, the southern countryside and the city have differed in almost every way, including health. Although a national homogenization process changed much of rural culture and social structure during the 20th century, many non-metro counties still retain fundamentally distinct environments. Unfortunately, those in the South frequently exhibit the most execrable health indicators. Scholars have identified indigence, poor diet, inadequate housing, impure water supplies, lack of public transportation, and limited...

  25. Health, Worker
    (pp. 103-108)
    ELIZABETH W. ETHERIDGE and JAMES G. THOMAS JR.

    No concept of occupational health existed in the South or elsewhere in America until after 1910. “It is well known that there is no industrial hygiene in the United States,” a Belgian labor expert told the International Congress on Occupational Accidents and Diseases in Brussels that year. In the next decade, however, widespread interest in social justice bore fruit in the recognition of hazards in the workplace. The U.S. Public Health Service (phs) was particularly active, and the South was the site of one of its early efforts.

    The first disease associated with southern industry was pellagra, a dietary deficiency...

  26. Maternal and Child Health, Urban
    (pp. 108-112)
    JOY A. CLAY and BRIDGETTE R. COLLIER

    Maternal and child health status provides a snapshot of an urban community’s social and economic vibrancy. Improvements in maternal and child health benefit society not only by increasing survival rates but in improving the overall quality of life for families and communities and, thus, nations. From a population-health perspective, researchers who link health to economic development argue that interventions to improve maternal and childhood health are a social investment that can have positive long-term economic effects as birthrates adjust, healthy children are better prepared to be educated and be productive citizens, and healthier populations require less to be spent on...

  27. Medical Care, Public Health, and Race
    (pp. 113-117)
    GRETCHEN LONG

    In the antebellum South, Americans were vulnerable to many diseases and conditions that scientific information and medical knowledge have rendered rare in the present-day United States. Without antibiotics, advanced surgical techniques, understandings of infection, vaccines, or effective sewage systems, antebellum Americans suffered from postpartum infection, tuberculosis, and a host of other problems. But African Americans, particularly southern slaves, had health issues that sprang directly from their enslavement. Among these were malnutrition, parasites, tuberculosis, and childbirth complications. Whippings, which were carried out across the South from the colonial era through the Civil War, injured skin, muscle, and occasionally internal organs. Slaves’...

  28. Medical Centers
    (pp. 117-118)
    RICHARD K. THOMAS

    In visiting southern urban centers, one often gets the impression that there is a hospital on every corner. While this may be more perception than reality because of the prominent locations of hospitals in southern cities, it could be argued that the state of medicine in the South has historically been more advanced than that for most other areas of the economy. Although there are major medical centers all over the nation, southern medical centers appear to play a much more important role in the economies and culture of their respective communities than do medical centers in other regions of...

  29. Medical Science, Racial Ideology, and Practice, to Reconstruction
    (pp. 118-120)
    RANA ASALI HOGARTH

    Slavery in the American South presented a unique catalyst for growing questions and concerns about race within the practice of medicine. The arrival of the first Africans in Jamestown, Va., in 1619 laid the foundation for future medical preoccupations with physical differences between blacks and whites. Ideas governing disease causation remained closely tied to the relationship between region, climate, and physical constitution and the South’s distinctive ecology — for example, hot and humid summers and frequent spells of yellow fever led to pervasive beliefs that the southern climate was too harsh for the constitutions of white laborers but perfectly suited...

  30. Medicine, States’ Rights
    (pp. 120-123)
    JOHN DUFFY

    As slavery came under increasing attack in the 30 years before the Civil War, white southerners in all fields closed ranks. The professions, as might be expected, sought to provide the intellectual justification for the South’s peculiar institution — lawyers argued on constitutional grounds, ministers cited the Bible, and physicians, as natural scientists, endeavored to demonstrate that blacks were an inferior race and that southern medicine was distinct from northern medicine. The first southern physician to argue the inferiority of the black race was Dr. Josiah C. Nott, a prominent physician in Mobile, Ala., who had learned his medicine in...

  31. Obesity
    (pp. 123-125)
    NOVELETTE BROWN

    In the past two decades, waistlines across the county have expanded, but in the South the increase in obesity rates can best be described as an epidemic. An estimated 80 percent of counties in the South and Appalachia have elevated rates of obesity and diabetes. A study published jointly in 2010 by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation reported that 9 of the 10 states with the highest rates of adult and childhood obesity are located in the South. Additionally, the South leads the nation in percentages of hypertension and diabetes. Some attribute high obesity...

  32. Physicians, African American
    (pp. 125-130)
    THOMAS J. WARD JR.

    After Emancipation, a small but important black medical community developed in the South as medical schools opened to educate African Americans. However, as a result of medical reforms, in the first three decades of the 20th century medical schools for African Americans in New Orleans, Raleigh, Chattanooga, Louisville, and Memphis all closed their doors, leaving Howard University (Washington, D.C.) and Meharry Medical College (Nashville, Tenn.) as the only institutions south of the Mason-Dixon line where African Americans could receive a medical education. Although a handful of medical schools outside the region annually admitted a small number of black students, the...

  33. Poverty, Effects of
    (pp. 130-133)
    MICHAEL A. FLANNERY

    Beneath mythical images of parasol-accessorized southern belles sashaying amid goateed gentlemen in white linen suites sitting under the shade of sprawling trees festooned with gently swaying curtains of Spanish moss lurks the reality of poverty in the South. Poverty has unfortunately been a defining feature of the South, Old and New. In a classic essay, Avery Craven observed that “no generalization can hold from place to place and from time to time [in the South]; that its life was so individualized by rural and frontier forces that each relationship was a thing unique in itself; that the human element ever...

  34. Professionalization of Science
    (pp. 133-138)
    NANCY SMITH MIDGETTE, JOHN R. THELIN, AMY E. WELLS and JAMES G. THOMAS JR.

    Although hardly an ordinary man, Andrew Jackson, with his election to the White House in 1828, signaled the “Age of the Common Man” in America. Hard work, determination, and self-improvement were the catchwords of the day, and elitism was out of fashion. Public insistence that knowledge be immediately understandable and useful aroused concern among a growing number of scientists. Scientists resented their need to supplement their meager incomes, usually derived from college professorships, by traveling the popular lecture circuit to which Americans flocked. The root of their discomfort lay in their awareness that rapidly expanding scientific knowledge, and the means...

  35. Racialized Medicine
    (pp. 138-142)
    ANDREA PATTERSON

    Racial differences in health have long been ascribed to inherited biological differences in susceptibility to disease. In the American South, this tradition can be traced back to the pre–Civil War debate about slavery, when medical “science” was used to justify the institution of slavery by invoking the innate inferiority of blacks to whites. When health conditions for southern blacks deteriorated at the end of Reconstruction, scholars increasingly relied on biological determinism (the idea that social conditions are merely a reflection of biology), rather than attributing the decline to social, economic, and political factors that had created a highly structured...

  36. Racism, Scientific
    (pp. 143-147)
    JAMES REED

    The history of “scientific racism” before the 20th century is synonymous with the development of the modern scientific study of race. Scientific racism was not “pseudoscience” but an integral part of the intellectual worldview that nurtured the rise of modern biology and anthropology. In the 20th century, the paradigm of racial hierarchy based on comparative anatomy came under withering attack from the American anthropologist Franz Boas and his students, but, in the history of race science before the emergence of the Boasian school, almost all the participants were racists, and the insights into human diversity provided by the “culture concept”...

  37. Science and Religion (Evolution vs. Creationism)
    (pp. 147-151)
    E. BROOKS HOLIFIELD

    At the beginning of the 19th century, southern theologians and the region’s educated clergy entertained optimistic hopes for an alliance between science and religion. They believed that scientific discovery would confirm theological orthodoxy and even improve the methods of theology itself. By the beginning of the 20th century, that earlier confidence had eroded, and religious conservatives led a series of movements against the teaching of evolution in public schools that still continued in the 21st century. In large part, the change resulted from growing popular awareness of Darwinism, but it also reflected preconceptions formed during the antebellum period.

    When John...

  38. Slavery and Medicine
    (pp. 151-155)
    DEIRDRE COOPER OWENS

    Early histories that focused on slavery and medicine in the American South had typically examined the enslaved as either hapless victims or practitioners of hoodoo and conjuring. In the same spirit, white southern antebellum-era physicians have also been characterized by myopic renderings that have painted them as either saints or sinners in their treatment of black people. More recent scholarship on these themes, however, has broadened intellectual discussions to include the perspectives of enslaved women and the poor and to examine midwifery as a skilled trade. These new offerings have even explored the political dimensions of southern medicine and slavery...

  39. Slaves in Medical Education and Medical Experiments
    (pp. 155-159)
    STEPHEN C. KENNY

    In his autobiography,Slave Life in Georgia, fugitive slave John Brown described his experience as a human guinea pig in a series of distressing medical experiments suffered at the hands of physician-planter Dr. Thomas Hamilton. Having successfully cured slave owner Thomas Stevens, Hamilton was granted the favor of borrowing one of his slaves, Fed (as Brown was then named), “for the purpose of finding out the best remedies for sun-stroke.” Brown’s important narrative provides a rare insight into how the chattel principle of antebellum southern slavery (the idea and practice of owning other human beings) could render slaves “medically incompetent,”...

  40. Surgeons General
    (pp. 159-167)
    MARY AMELIA TAYLOR

    Since the late 1800s, the U.S. surgeon general, or “America’s Doctor,” head of the Public Health Service (phs), has been advising the American public about its health. The Marine Hospital Service (mhs), precursor to the Public Health Service, was established in 1798, but the first supervising surgeon of the mhs was not appointed until 1871, after an 1870 reorganization of the service as a national hospital system. The supervising surgeon post was filled by a medical officer and appointed by the president and approved by the Senate. The name for the position became “surgeon general” in 1902. Until 1968 the...

  41. Technological Education
    (pp. 167-172)
    GEORGE E. WEBB

    Along with the rest of the nation, the South has long been aware of technology and its impact. Automobiles, computers, and hydroelectric power represent three of the most obvious examples of revolutionary change brought about by technology. Only in recent decades, however, has southern technological education kept pace with these changes or evidenced a high level of achievement.

    Southern higher education before and after the Civil War was little different from that in the North. Focusing on the classical curriculum, a university education prepared the student for life as a cultured gentleman. Training in the sciences and practical fields such...

  42. Technology
    (pp. 172-176)
    ROGER E. BILSTEIN and DWIGHT B. BILLINGS

    Southern industry has traditionally included the processing of lumber, coal, and agricultural commodities. Such enterprises tended to perpetuate low wages and minimal skills. In fact, the agrarian tradition encouraged movement of the work force in and out of these industries on a seasonal basis. Early societal patterns seemed little affected by technology, although Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1793 provided a technological foundation for the South’s development. Most white southerners could easily identify with the position of ardent agriculturalists like Edmund Ruffin, a staunch advocate of the superiority of southern agrarian society in the antebellum era. Rural...

  43. Urban Health Conditions
    (pp. 176-180)
    RICHARD K. THOMAS

    The southern region of the United States has historically been characterized by a poor health status and unfavorable ratings on most indicators of health and illness. This phenomenon can be traced back to pre–Civil War days when much of the region was isolated from the more “advanced” regions of the country. Not only did the region suffer from conditions that were not conducive to good health (e.g., poor nutrition, environmental hazards), but there was a general dearth of health-care resources to address the health problems that were so ubiquitous. The lack of resources was reflected in the absence of...

  44. Barnard, Frederick A. P. (1809–1889) EDUCATOR AND SCIENTIST.
    (pp. 181-182)
    KAREN M. MCDEARMAN

    Born in Sheffield, Mass., Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard spent half of his professional life in the South. Barnard received his A.B. degree from Yale in 1828 and, suffering from increasing deafness, he taught mathematics and geography at institutions for the deaf from 1831 to 1837. In 1838 he accepted a teaching position at the University of Alabama, where he hoped to pursue his developing interest in the sciences, especially astronomy, and higher mathematics.

    Barnard taught mathematics, natural philosophy, and chemistry at Alabama. He was instrumental in the establishment of an observatory at the university, although he had to struggle with...

  45. Cancer Alley (Louisiana)
    (pp. 182-183)
    ELIZABETH BLUM

    Cancer Alley lies along a 100-mile stretch of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The area has become a central case study for some of the most controversial and pointed issues in the modern environmental movement. The “Cancer Alley” moniker arose in the 1980s with the emergence of the environmental justice movement linking minorities and poverty to increased environmental hazards. Louisiana has a long-standing history of attempting to attract industry and business through tax incentives and plenty of available, cheap land. Cancer Alley, reflecting the monumental success of that policy, holds more than 300 industrial plants, as...

  46. Carver, George Washington (c. 1864–1943) SCIENTIST.
    (pp. 183-185)
    LINDA O. MCMURRY and MARY AMELIA TAYLOR

    Born in the final days of slavery in southwest Missouri, George Washington Carver was raised by his former owners, left home before his teenage years, and wandered until he was almost 30 years old seeking the elusive goal of many black contemporaries — a good education. After a brief career as an art major at Simpson College, he entered Iowa State, where his impressive abilities in botany earned him an invitation to pursue postgraduate studies. He received his master’s degree in agriculture in 1896 and immediately accepted the position of director of agricultural studies at Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute...

  47. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    (pp. 185-188)
    MARY AMELIA TAYLOR

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc), an Atlanta-based U.S. Federal Agency under the Department of Health and Human Resources, works to develop and implement disease control and prevention measures nationally, locally, and globally. It encourages disease-prevention policies in state and local governments and assesses and develops measures against national bioterrorism and environmental threats.

    The cdc began in 1942 as the Malaria Control in War Areas (mcwa) agency, whose primary goal was the containment and eradication of malaria. Because the southern part of the United States was particularly susceptible to malaria outbreaks, and because much of the U.S. basic...

  48. Country Doctor
    (pp. 188-189)
    ANNE ANDERSON

    Over the years, the image of the country doctor has taken various forms. One is a romantic image of the southern country doctor who administers to the needs of his community. This scene is aptly illustrated in Luke Fildes’s pictureThe Doctor(1891), in which the doctor leans over his young patient, a girl asleep on a row of chairs with her parents in the background, fretful and worried about her well-being. For others, a doctor’s bag and stethoscope or a horse and buggy have become symbols of the country doctor. The reality of a rural medical practice and the...

  49. Creation Science
    (pp. 190-192)
    KAREN M. MCDEARMAN and MARY AMELIA TAYLOR

    Creation science, or scientific creationism, holds that scientific evidence supports the biblical refutation of Darwinian evolution as an explanation for human existence. Usually identified with fundamentalist religion, creationism’s proponents aim to prove the biblical account of creation using the scientific method. The creation-evolution battle has been fiercely waged since the 1920s and the highly publicized Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tenn., and much of the struggle has consistently been fought on southern soil. The South led the 1920s fight to remove the theory of evolution from public school curricula. At that time, four southern states — Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee...

  50. DDT
    (pp. 192-194)
    DAVID KINKELA

    First developed by the Swiss chemist Paul Muller in 1939, ddt (from dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) has been one of the most widely used pesticides in the world. During World War II, ddt helped alleviate two major problems for U.S. forces stationed overseas, typhus and malaria. Much of the early research for wartime use was conducted at the Orlando, Fla., laboratory of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine and as part of the Public Health Service’s Office of Malaria Control in War Areas, which conducted ddt experiments throughout the South.

    After the war, ddt became the predominant form of insect control in...

  51. DeBakey, Michael (1908–2008) SURGEON.
    (pp. 194-195)
    LUCIE R. BRIDGFORTH and MARY AMELIA TAYLOR

    Dr. Michael Ellis DeBakey, a longtime fixture in the Department of Surgery at the Baylor University College of Medicine in Houston, Tex., ranked among the world’s leading authorities in the field of cardiovascular research and was a significant influence in transforming Houston into a major international medical center.

    Born 7 September 1908 in Lake Charles, La., to a Lebanese immigrant family, DeBakey received his M.D. degree from Tulane University in 1932. He worked for some time under New Orleans surgeon Dr. Alton Ochsner and then served in the Surgical Consultants’ Division in the Office of the U.S. Army Surgeon General...

  52. Faith Healing
    (pp. 195-197)
    CHARLES REAGAN WILSON

    Faith healing is deeply rooted in southern folklife, often connected to spirituality, as in African-derived practices, Native American lore, Latinocuranderismo,and white folk customs tracing back to European magic traditions. TheFoxfireproject documents southern Appalachian healing practitioners, who treat burns, thrush (a childhood mouth ailment), and any health problem they see as not having natural causes. The recitation of verses from the Old Testament is often a part of the healing procedure. “I do all that by the help of the Lord,” said one healer quoted by interviewers.

    In the late 19th century, the Pentecostal-Holiness movement emerged, foregrounding...

  53. Frontier Nursing Service
    (pp. 197-200)
    MELANIE BEALS GOAN

    In the 1920s experts expressed alarm that the United States’ maternal and infant mortality rates were among the highest in the Western world. At that same time, a significant push was under way throughout the country to replace lay midwives with trained physicians. Mary Carson Breckinridge (1881–1965), a member of a politically prominent Kentucky family, shared the widespread concern that American women, particularly women living in poor, rural areas, lacked access to medical care. After the deaths of her own two small children, she pledged to assist other women and their babies through the creation of a public health...

  54. Garden, Alexander (1730–1791) PHYSICIAN AND NATURALIST.
    (pp. 200-200)
    EDMUND BERKELEY and DOROTHY SMITH BERKELEY

    Alexander Garden was born at Birse, near Aberdeen, where his father was a Church of Scotland minister. He attended Marischal College and began the study of medicine as an apprentice to an Aberdeen physician. He served two years in the Royal Navy as a surgeon’s mate. After study at the University of Edinburgh, in 1752 he immigrated to South Carolina, becoming one of the leading physicians of Charleston. Although Garden was highly regarded there, his loyalty to Great Britain necessitated that he leave when Loyalists were expelled after the Revolution. He spent the remainder of his life in London.

    Although...

  55. Geophagia and Pica
    (pp. 200-202)
    JACQUES HENRY

    Geophagia (or geophagy) is the intentional consumption of earth. In Western culture, it is commonly labeled a pica, an eating disorder characterized by the consistent consumption of nonnutritive substances such as feces (coprophagy), starch (amylophagy), or wood (xylophagia). In 2000 a panel convened by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in Atlanta proposed to distinguish between geophagia (culturally sanctioned behavior) and soil pica (“recurrent ingestion of unusually high amounts of soil … on the order of 1,000–5,000 milligrams per day”). Other differences between both behaviors include impacted populations (pica is more prevalent among children under six, geophagia...

  56. Guyton, Arthur C. (1919–2003) EDUCATOR AND SCHOLAR.
    (pp. 202-204)
    JANIS QUINN

    Dr. Arthur C. Guyton spent his career as chairman of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. During those five decades, he became one of the most highly regarded physiologists in the world and the author of theTextbook of Medical Physiology, in publication since 1956, a medical textbook of unparalleled popularity. He also wrote 40 other books and more than 600 articles for scientific publications. His work led to a new understanding of the cardiovascular system and changed the entire field of physiology.

    Guyton was born in Oxford, Miss., in 1919,...

  57. Hardy, James D. (1918–2003) SURGEON.
    (pp. 204-206)
    JANIS QUINN

    Dr. James D. Hardy was the first chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center from the opening of the Medical Center in Jackson in 1955 until his retirement in 1987. He and a team of surgeons from the Medical Center performed the world’s first lung transplant in 1963; the patient lived for 18 days before dying of kidney failure. Then, in 1964, Hardy and his team took the heart from a chimpanzee and transplanted it to a man dying of heart disease, the world’s first heart transplant. Hardy is generally credited with having performed...

  58. Herty, Charles Holmes (1867–1938) CHEMIST.
    (pp. 206-207)
    GERMAINE M. REED

    Charles Holmes Herty was a southern chemist whose career as a teacher, researcher, and publicist contributed significantly to the economic development of the South and the growth of chemistry and the organic chemical industry in the United States. Born in Milledgeville, Ga., and educated at Johns Hopkins (Ph.D. 1890), Herty taught at the universities of Georgia and North Carolina from 1891 to 1901 and 1905 to 1916, respectively. Associated with the Bureau of Forestry in the U.S. Department of Agriculture between 1902 and 1904, he patented the Herty Cup and Gutter System of turpentining, which, by supplanting the destructive system...

  59. HIV/AIDS
    (pp. 207-209)
    STEPHEN INRIG

    Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (aids) is the final stage of a communicable disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (hiv). hiv/aids cripples the immune system and prevents its host from combating other diseases. The virus spreads via sexual intercourse, intravenous needles, perinatal transmission, infected breast milk, and contaminated blood and tissue. The disease arrived in the United States in the late 1960s but was not discovered until 1981. By the end of 2010, hiv/aids had killed more than 600,000 Americans, including 230,000 southerners. An additional 1.2 million Americans were living with the infection at that time.

    By the end of the...

  60. Hookworm
    (pp. 210-211)
    KATHRYN RADISHOFSKI

    The parasitic nematode wormNecator americanus, or the New World hookworm, was found to infect a significant portion of the population in the southern United States during the first decade of the 20th century. Hookworms thrive in warmer climates and sandy soils, entering hosts through the skin and eventually ensconcing themselves in the intestinal wall and living off the victim’s blood supply. There the nematode typically enjoys a five-year life-span, laying up to 10,000 eggs daily, which exit the body in fecal matter. Victims often harbor multiple hookworms, a condition commonly leading to uncinariasis, or hookworm disease, and causing anemia,...

  61. Hoxsey Therapy
    (pp. 211-212)
    KATHRYN RADISHOFSKI

    A naturopath and purveyor of one of the most popular alternative medical therapies in United States during the 20th century, Harry Hoxsey administered treatment to thousands of cancer patients at his Dallas, Tex., clinic between 1936 and 1958. Hoxsey waged a populist war against the strictures and stronghold of the official U.S. medical establishment and institutions like the American Medical Association (ama), believing his holistic, herb-based cancer treatment to be superior to the more invasive cancer remedies that were deployed by standard practitioners, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Indeed, Hoxsey claimed his therapy cured 85 percent of patients afflicted...

  62. Influenza Epidemic of 1918
    (pp. 212-214)
    DIANE DECESARE ROSS

    Known variously as “Spanish influenza,” “the Spanish lady,” or “purple death” (for the characteristic coloring of the oxygen-starved victims), the influenza epidemic of 1918 claimed more American lives than World War I. Victims often progressed rapidly from mild illness to death within a few days. Unlike most flu strains, which tended to result in death primarily among the elderly and those already in poor health, this epidemic predominantly targeted infants and otherwise healthy adults between 25 and 35.

    Southerners seemed particularly susceptible, for several reasons. First, the health-care system in the South was less developed than in other areas of...

  63. LeConte, John and Joseph (JOHN, 1818–1891; JOSEPH, 1823–1901) SCIENTISTS.
    (pp. 214-215)
    LESTER D. STEPHENS

    Natives of Liberty County, Ga., John LeConte and his brother, Joseph, were sons of Lewis and Ann Quarterman LeConte. Descended from a French Huguenot, Lewis operated a large plantation and became an able amateur scientist. Both John and Joseph graduated from the University of Georgia and earned the M.D. degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. After the death of their father, each inherited land and slaves. The brothers operated their plantations through overseers until the end of the Civil War. John practiced medicine in Savannah, Ga., from 1843 until 1846, when he was appointed professor...

  64. Leprosy
    (pp. 215-219)
    NEIL WHITE

    Persons afflicted with leprosy consider the term “leper” an odious label. Many even oppose use of “leprosy,” preferring “Hansen’s disease,” or hd, named after Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen, the Norwegian who discovered the bacilli. In Cajun culture, leprosy wasla maladie que tu nommes pas(the disease you do not name). Patients today generally agree that the stigma of leprosy is worse than the disease.

    The perception that leprosy is “a disease of the soul” is deeply rooted in the Western psyche. Stereotypes like gross deformities, fierce contagion, and body parts falling off are commonplace. In fact, leprosy is probably...

  65. Lewis, Henry Clay (1825–1850) PHYSICIAN AND HUMORIST.
    (pp. 219-221)
    ED PIACENTINO

    Like several other newspaper humorists of the Old Southwest — Francis James Robinson, Orlando Benedict Mayer, and Marcus Lafayette Byrn — Henry Clay Lewis was a frontier doctor and a writer by avocation. Born in Charleston, S.C., on 26 June 1825, Lewis, who graduated from the Louisville Medical Institute in 1846, practiced medicine, first in Yazoo City, Miss., and then in rural Madison Parish on the Tensas River in northeastern Louisiana, and in late 1848 in Richmond, La., the county seat of Madison Parish. Many of Lewis’s patients were planters and their slaves, farmers, swampers, and hunters — the real-life...

  66. Long, Crawford W. (1815–1878) PHYSICIAN.
    (pp. 221-222)
    JAMES HARVEY YOUNG

    A general practitioner in the village of Jefferson, Ga., Crawford Williamson Long in March 1842 first used ether to anesthetize a patient, James Venable, before the removal of an encysted tumor from the back of his neck. He was thus one of the earliest southern physicians to make a major contribution to medicine.

    Born in Danielsville and raised in Jefferson, Long graduated from Franklin College (University of Georgia). After reading medicine with a Jefferson doctor, Long studied at Transylvania and then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania medical school, receiving his M.D. degree in 1839. He gained surgical experience in...

  67. Malaria
    (pp. 222-223)
    SHAUNA DEVINE

    Malaria plagued the United States from colonial times until its practical eradication in the 1940s. Prevalent throughout the South and parts of the Midwest, it encompassed four diseases caused by the Plasmodium parasite:falciparum,vivax,ovale, andmalariae. In America, it was manifest only invivax, a mild form, andfalciparum, a more deadly strain that could prove fatal by blocking the blood vessels. The parasites are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected femaleAnophelesmosquito; after an incubation of 7 to 14 days, the disease produces very high fever, splitting headache, parched throat, and severe chills,...

  68. Maury, Matthew Fontaine (1806–1873) CONFEDERATE GENERAL AND OCEANOGRAPHER.
    (pp. 224-225)
    HAROLD S. WILSON

    Born 14 January 1806 near Fredericksburg, Va., and reared on a plantation at Franklin, Tenn., Matthew Fontaine Maury was appointed a U.S. midshipman in 1825. He sailed on three cruises, one being around the world, and rose to the rank of lieutenant before being permanently disabled in a stagecoach accident in 1839.

    Maury attended Harpeth Academy, and his mastery of mathematics through calculus is evidenced inA New Theoretical and Practical Treatise on Navigation, published in 1836 and adopted by the navy for the instruction of midshipmen. In 1842 he was appointed superintendent of the navy’s Depot of Charts and...

  69. McDowell, Ephraim (1771–1830) PHYSICIAN.
    (pp. 225-226)
    JOHN H. ELLIS

    Of Scots-Irish descent, Ephraim McDowell was born in Rockbridge County, Va., the ninth of 11 children of Samuel and Mary (McClung) McDowell. In 1784 the elder McDowell, a former Revolutionary army officer and member of the Virginia legislature, moved his family to the small community of Danville in the Kentucky district where he served as land commissioner and magistrate. After completing his preliminary education, young Ephraim was apprenticed to Dr. Alexander Humphreys of Staunton, Va., an eminent physician and teacher. Then in 1793 and 1794 he attended medical lectures in Edinburgh, where he was influenced especially by the famous Scottish...

  70. Medical Committee for Human Rights
    (pp. 226-228)
    JOHN DITTMER

    In the spring of 1964, Mississippi civil rights activists invited upward of a thousand volunteers, most of whom would be white northern college students, to come down during the summer to work with local people on a variety of projects. To meet the medical needs of this influx of volunteers, Jackson physician Robert Smith contacted friends in New York asking for their help. That original group of doctors, predominantly Jewish and leftist in their politics, formed the Medical Committee for Human Rights (mchr) and recruited more than 100 health-care professionals — doctors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers — to spend...

  71. Medical Museums
    (pp. 228-229)
    STEPHEN C. KENNY

    In the 19th century, most college-educated physicians learned about bodies and anatomy through dissection, but anatomical knowledge was also acquired through study at medical museums and the preparation of specimens for museum displays. As medical college circulars and announcements, physician testimony, and surviving photographs indicate, museums were central to 19th-century professional medical education and research, illustrating the abstractions of the lecture hall and anatomical textbooks with the aid of preserved specimens, as well as being active sites of knowledge production and transmission. Early in the 19th century the South had few medical schools, but by the late 1850s the number...

  72. Medicine Shows and Patent Medicines
    (pp. 229-232)
    KATHRYN RADISHOFSKI

    Distilling the appeal of sundry forms of popular entertainment, medicine shows peddled lowbrow culture and bogus curatives to rural and urban audiences throughout the United States from the early 1800s to the mid-20th century. Ventriloquists, dime-museum sensations, fortunetellers, and circus animals sated public appetites for diversion and propitiated cautious consumers with free spectacle. Additionally, the shows frequently regaled customers with music, and, indeed, many celebrated southern artists, including Jimmie Rodgers, Louis Armstrong, Roy Acuff, T-Bone Walker, Gene Autry, Sonny Terry, and Charlie Poole, worked the medicine show circuit at one time or another.

    Between performances, the master of ceremonies, or...

  73. Meharry Medical College
    (pp. 232-234)
    RONDA RACHA PENRICE

    The genesis story of what is now Meharry Medical College, the first medical institution in the South to train African American doctors, is anything but simple. The institution was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1876 as the medical department of Central Tennessee College, a school for freedmen chartered in 1867, but the story begins on the Civil War battlefield with two men on seemingly opposite sides eventually coming together for a greater good. According to a 1948Chicago Tribunearticle by Lloyd Wendt, Confederate army surgeon Dr. William J. Sneed consistently crossed paths with Union Medical Corpsman George...

  74. Moore, Samuel Preston (1813–1889) CONFEDERATE SURGEON.
    (pp. 234-235)
    HARRIS D. RILEY JR.

    Samuel Preston Moore, surgeon general of the Confederate army, is among the most poorly appreciated personages of the Civil War. Born in 1813 in Charleston, S.C., he received his early education in his native state and graduated from the Medical College of South Carolina 8 March 1834. One year later, he was commissioned assistant surgeon (with the rank of captain) in the U.S. Army, beginning a 26-year stint of service at military posts in various areas of the country. After serving in the Mexican War, he was made full surgeon in 1849. On 25 February 1861 Moore resigned from the...

  75. Pellagra
    (pp. 235-238)
    MICHAEL A. FLANNERY

    Although pioneer nutritionist Casimir Funk believed that pellagra existed sporadically in America as early as 1880, Alabama reported the first epidemic during the summer of 1906, after which it soon spread rapidly across the South. Over the next five-year period there were nearly 16,000 cases with 39.1 percent mortality. The alarming death toll prompted action by the U.S. Public Health Service and Joseph Goldberger’s indefatigable campaign to eradicate a disease characterized by the “four d’s”: dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and sometimes death. As early as 1914 Goldberger, observing pellagra in various institutional settings, concluded that it was a nutritional deficiency disease....

  76. Poteat, William Louis (1856–1938) WAKE FOREST COLLEGE PRESIDENT AND INTELLECTUAL.
    (pp. 238-239)
    RANDAL L. HALL

    William Louis Poteat embodied Progressive Era leadership in the American South. He was a teacher of science, a college president, a Baptist liberal, an ardent Prohibitionist, a participant in myriad reform campaigns, and an advocate of freedom of thought and inquiry. His parents, James and Julia Poteat, owned a large plantation and an enslaved labor force near Yanceyville in Caswell County, N.C. William, nicknamed Bud Loulie as a youngster and Dr. Billy later in life, initially enjoyed a privileged childhood, but the end of the Civil War led the family to become hotelkeepers in Yanceyville, with tenants working the plantation....

  77. Reed, Walter (1851–1902) PHYSICIAN.
    (pp. 239-240)
    LUCIE R. BRIDGFORTH

    Major Walter Reed, who was one of the foremost bacteriologists and epidemiologists in the nation during the formative years of modern medicine, is best known for his work as chairman of the U.S. Yellow Fever Commission and discoverer of the mode of propagation of the disease.

    Reed was born near Gloucester, Va., on 13 September 1851 and spent his childhood moving around the countryside of Virginia and North Carolina with his father, a Methodist minister. He received an M.D. degree from the University of Virginia in 1869 and went on to work for several years in New York hospitals. In...

  78. Research Triangle Park
    (pp. 240-241)
    WILLIAM F. LITTLE and MARY AMELIA TAYLOR

    Research Triangle Park (rtp) is a planned industrial research park in North Carolina. Its “Triangle” includes more than 7,000 acres and is formed from the geographic locations of three research universities: Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Developed and managed by the nonprofit Research Triangle Foundation, the park contains industrial laboratories and trade associations, federal and state government laboratories, nonprofit research institutes, and university-related research organizations in 22.5 million square feet of developed space. The park’s 170 research organizations employ 42,000 full-time workers, who receive a combined annual payroll of $2.7...

  79. Ruffin, Edmund (1794–1865) AGRICULTURAL REFORMER.
    (pp. 241-243)
    WILLIAM K. SCARBOROUGH

    The preeminent scientific agriculturist of the Old South and a dedicated southern nationalist, Edmund Ruffin was born in Prince George County, Va., the son of a prosperous James River planter. He attended the College of William and Mary, served briefly in the War of 1812, and then embarked upon a nearly half-century career as a gentleman farmer. Plagued initially by lands impoverished by two centuries of tobacco culture, he set out to improve them. By means of an elaborate series of experiments conducted over the course of 15 years on his Coggin’s Point estate, Ruffin demonstrated the useful properties of...

  80. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    (pp. 243-245)
    PALLAS PIDGEON

    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas. The hospital, which opened in 1962, is the realization of a promise Thomas made as a struggling actor years before to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes. Thomas had vowed, “Show me my way in life, and I will build you a shrine.”

    In the 1950s Thomas consulted friends about what form this vow might take, and he decided to build a children’s hospital, devoted to finding cures for catastrophic childhood diseases, in Memphis. The city was centrally located and had...

  81. Savannah River Site
    (pp. 245-246)
    MICHAEL P. BIBLER

    When it was built in the early 1950s, the Savannah River Site was hailed as an engineering marvel on par with the construction of the Panama Canal. Containing five nuclear reactors, other large-scale nuclear and chemical facilities, high-tech research centers, multiple waste treatment sites, and a host of other support buildings, the entire site is spread over 310 square miles of mostly wooded land owned by the U.S. government on the western border of South Carolina, approximately 30 miles southeast of Augusta, Ga. Construction began on the site in 1950 when the Atomic Energy Commission contracted with E. I. du...

  82. Scopes Trial
    (pp. 246-248)
    JEFF MORAN

    The Scopes antievolution trial took place in the small town of Dayton, Tenn., 10–21 July 1925. The participation of William Jennings Bryan, the thrice-defeated Democratic presidential candidate, and Clarence Darrow, the celebrated criminal defense attorney, ensured that the trial would gain national attention, and the Scopes Trial remains the best-known clash between evolution’s defenders and activists who seek to ban Charles Darwin’s theory from the public schools.

    Dayton became involved in the controversy almost by happenstance. The South had seen scattered skirmishes over teaching evolution ever since the publication of Darwin’sOn the Origin of Speciesin 1859, but...

  83. Sickle Cell Anemia
    (pp. 248-250)
    PETER H. WOOD

    Hemoglobin is the iron-rich protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. People who inherit an abnormal hemoglobin gene (hemoglobin S) from one parent and a normal hemoglobin gene from the other parent have a condition called sickle cell trait. Though their blood contains some sickle-shaped cells along with regular disk-shaped red blood cells, they lead generally normal lives with few overt symptoms. But people who inherit two hemoglobin S genes — one from each parent — are born with sickle cell anemia, or sickle cell disease (scd), which gives them...

  84. Sims, J. Marion (1813–1883) PHYSICIAN.
    (pp. 250-252)
    STEPHEN C. KENNY

    James Marion Sims was born near Hanging Rock Creek, Lancaster District, S.C., on 25 January 1813 and named Marion in honor of Gen. Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox” of the Revolutionary War era. He pursued a bachelor’s degree at South Carolina College and graduated in 1832. His father, John Sims, strongly disapproved of a decision to study medicine but arranged for an apprenticeship under preceptor Dr. Churchill Jones prior to his son’s enrollment at the Medical College of the State of South Carolina in Charleston in 1833. Following graduation and another short spell as an apprentice, Sims attended Jefferson Medical...

  85. Slave Hospitals
    (pp. 252-254)
    STEPHEN C. KENNY

    Hospitals specializing in the care of enslaved patients date back to the earliest years of black presence in the New World and served various roles and white interest groups as the institution of slavery adapted and changed over time. Different types of hospitals were provided for enslaved patients: plantation hospitals, medical school hospitals, private infirmaries operated by individual doctors or physician partnerships, and commercial hospitals with strong links to the domestic slave trade.

    In the era of the transatlantic slave trade, one primary function of slave hospitals was to act as pesthouses, lazarettos, and quarantine stations: places to contain, segregate,...

  86. Tuskegee Syphilis Study (United States Public Health Service Syphilis Study)
    (pp. 254-256)
    RUEBEN WARREN

    The United States Public Health Service Study of Untreated Syphilis (usphss) in the African American male in Macon County, Ala., is the original name of the longest nontherapeutic study conducted in the United States. This study is more popularly known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study because the United States Public Health Service originally conducted it with cooperation from Tuskegee Institute (aka Tuskegee University). The study continued from 1932 to 1972. After its founding in 1881, Tuskegee Institute worked with members of the black community in Macon County and the surrounding Black Belt counties to improve the well-being and standard of...

  87. Whitfield (Mississippi State Hospital)
    (pp. 256-259)
    LUCIUS LAMPTON

    Whitfield is the colloquial name for the Mississippi State Hospital, Mississippi’s primary public mental institution and hospital, which dates to 1848. The name “Whitfield” is derived from the post office and railroad station located at the hospital. Situated 10 miles southeast of Jackson, the post office was named in memory of Gov. Henry L. Whitfield, a Rankin County native who served as Mississippi’s chief executive from 1924 to 1927, in office when the state legislature voted to relocate the Mississippi State Insane Hospital, as it was then known, from Jackson to its current Rankin County site. The history of Whitfield...

  88. Yellow Fever
    (pp. 259-260)
    MOLLY CALDWELL CROSBY

    “To no other great nation of the earth is yellow fever so calamitous as to the United States of America.” That was the conclusion of the board of experts authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1879 to investigate the worst yellow fever epidemic in U.S. history — an epidemic that took 20,000 lives in the Mississippi Valley in one summer.

    Yellow fever, Yellow Jack, and the Saffron Scourge were all monikers for a virus that made its way from West Africa to this hemisphere through slave trading in the 17th and 18th centuries. The virus caused high fever, delirium, organ...

  89. INDEX OF CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 261-262)
  90. INDEX
    (pp. 263-281)