Saturday, December 22, 2018

Main Street Hospital for Slaves in Richmond

I've posted on here about a couple of hospitals that focused on treating slaves in the South. Those facilities were Jackson Street Hospital in Augusta, Georgia, and Dr. Robards Private Infirmary for Negroes in Memphis. This week while browsing through Virginia newspapers I located one in Richmond, Main Street Hospital. The above advertisement appeared in the Christmas Day 1860 issue of the Richmond Daily Dispatch.

With slaves being such a valuable commodity, it is no wonder that health care providers target marketed their services to owners who wished to keep their enslaved property healthy and productive. In Richmond, the second largest slave trade center in the South, a hospital for slaves, especially one near the epicenter of the trade at Shockoe Bottom, had to be seen by them as an attractive alternative to nurse ill slaves back to health for the market.

The ad claims that the hospital was for the "MEDICAL, SURGICAL and OBSTETRICAL treatment of SLAVES. The notice also provides the terms of treatment costs and listed the names of three medical doctors and the resident assistant. I assume names of the physicians were provided for reference purposes.

Started in the former Ross tobacco warehouse at Main and 26th streets, the facility had a rather short life as a slave hospital. Soon after the Civil War began, the hospital turned into a care facility for sick and wounded Union prisoners. After the war it reverted to is former use as a tobacco warehouse. It is no longer standing.

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