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Collection: African American Newspapers
Date: March 29, 1838
Location: New York, New York


A writer in the Richmond Whig, (transferred to the columns of the "Southern Watchman,") among other arguments for the establishment of a Medical College at Richmond, Va. which shall rival the Medical College of Philadelphia, urges; that in Philadelphia, as ever professional man informed on the subject well knows, from the almost sole use of whites in the labor of the city, and the establishment of "beneficial societies" among them, the supply for anatomical purposes, is totally inadequate to the wants of a large medical class." If we understand this, (and we think the disguise of the delicate language used is easily penetrated,) the argument in plain English is this; "because there are few blacks employed in servile labors in Philadelphia, and white laborers when reduced by want and disease to a state of dependence, are nursed and provided for in sickness, death, and burial, by "beneficial (beneficent?) societies," only few bodies can be secured by the medical College there, for dissection; but in Richmond, where the "labor of the city" is performed by blacks, there can be no want of proper subjects for dissection, and the practical instruction of the students."
So stupid and brutish have we been all our lives long, that till this very day, it has never occurred to us that slaves could be made eminently useful after death, as well as before it. We have known indeed that they could be made highly useful in life, so far as enriching their masters is concerned, but here we supposed the matter needed. Now it seems, that even a dead slave may be sold, or stolen, as the case may be, both to enrich his master, and bless the world by reflecting light on the darkness on anatomical science!
Will not this fact shut the mouths of Abolitionists, forever? What an age of wonders we live in! Wonderful facts! Wonderful arguments! Wonderful inventions! Wonderful discoveries!
The city of Richmond ought to have a Medical College forthwith, and without question. Medical science requires "anatomical subjects;" it is not fitting the dignity nor the sensibilities of white men to use their dead bodies for such purposes; and black men are not every where to be found; but in Richmond they may be found; and as the dignity and sensibility of a black man are of no account, and the health of slaveholders requires that they should have good physicians; articles to be forthcoming only from a "Medical College" where anatomical subjects" are abundant, ergo, a "Medical College" ought to be established at Richmond. - Surely, we ought to hear no more of abolition, henceforth and forever.
Quere? 1. If the slave be not a MAN, as very many slaveholders contend, why not use some other animals, such as horses, oxen, sheep, &c. of which we have goodly numbers at the north, for "anatom-subjects," instead of the "colored" animal in question?
Quere? 2. If the slave be a man, why not treat him as a man made in the image of God, both while alive and when dead? O Slavery! Foul spirit of darkness! Not content with gorging thyself with the tears and the blood of thy living victim, thou followest him into his grave, and there tearest him limb from limb, and riotest amid the last relics of his corrupting dust, as if thou coldst be satisfied with nothing short of his annihilation!