Bibliographic Essay
WithKatherine Bankole-Medina
Pages 19

Our information on enslavement and medicine is revealed through numerous primary and secondary source documents. The primary source documents include: slave narratives/interviews/oral histories, ship records/logs, antebellum medical/science journals, plantation books (or farm) records (journals, letters, diaries, logs), the Black Codes, anti-slavery (abolitionist) documents, hospital/infirmary records, medical records/bills, municipal records, traveler's logs/letters, newspaper articles and advertisements. The secondary sources include: scholarly/historical articles, books, monographs, unpublished papers, master's thesis and doctoral dissertations. Primary source documents, with the exception of many of the oral histories and narratives of enslaved Africans, tend to support the views and experience of the slaveowners. The primary source documents on enslavement and medicine follow the themes of instruction and edification to the slaveowning class—teaching them how to care for Africans. Whites were instructed fully—from the slaveholding cells of the West African forts and castles, on the slaving ships bound for the Caribbean islands and through the enslavement experience in north and south America. Slaveowners developed and shared information about their own medical needs and counseled one another about the medical maintenance of Africans.