Essential Workers: Formerly Enslaved People and Smallpox in the age of COVID-19

Professor Jim Downs will join CWI Director Dr. Peter Carmichael and John Heckman (The Tattooed Historian) for a Facebook Live stream this Wednesday, May 27th at 7:00PM EST. Dr. Downs is the author of Sick From Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering During the Civil War and Reconstruction (Oxford University Press, 2012). His next book, Maladies of Empire: How Slavery, Imperialism, and War Transformed Medicine will be released in January 2021 by Harvard University Press.

Downs Headshot April 2020
Dr. Jim Downs 

Dr. Downs will discuss how outbreaks of disease impacted African Americans during the Civil War and Reconstruction. The discussion will also touch on a recent piece Dr. Downs wrote for The Atlantic.   Dr. Downs has provided two primary source documents for our audience to view ahead of the livestream.

A Report of African American Illness in Charleston.


A report detailing the illness of whites in Charleston in 1865.

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