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Precarious PrescriptionsContested Histories of Race and Health in North America$
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Laurie B. Green, John Mckiernan-González, and Martin Summers

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816690466

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816690466.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 16 May 2022

At the Nation’s Edge

At the Nation’s Edge

African American Migrants and Smallpox in theLate-Nineteenth-Century Mexican–American Borderlands

(p.67) 4 At the Nation’s Edge
Precarious Prescriptions

John Mckiernan-González

University of Minnesota Press

John McKiernan-Gonzalez Camp Jenner, a quarantine camp on the Texas border for black migrants, provides an unexpected lens on medical authority and black migrant citizenship in 1895. The returning migrants were quarantined in Eagle Pass when the United States Marine Hospital Service needed to test a promising smallpox treatment. The migrants, in turn, leveraged their status as objects of a federal field trial to guarantee their return home in defiance of white southern authorities. Camp Jenner illuminates the ways African American workers leveraged their role as commodities in an emerging research economy, even as federal health officers exploited their illness while laboring on their behalf.

Keywords:   Traditional healing, Ethnic Studies, Medicine, African Americans, Native Americans, Critical Race Theory, Public health, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Immigration Studies

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