The New York Times

Beyond the Slave Trade, the Cadaver Trade

FOR MUCH OF THE 19TH CENTURY, WHEN MEDICAL SCHOOLS NEEDED SPECIMENS, THEY RELIED ON THE DEAD BODIES OF ENSLAVED PEOPLE.

The topic of slavery features prominently in each February’s reflections on African-American history. But when it comes to this darkest time in our country’s past, experts are still discovering horrors that have not yet made their way into history books.

One shocking fact that’s recently come to light: Major medical schools used slave corpses, acquired through an

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