Monday, May 28, 2012

History of grave robbery

Earle Gray. via the latest page on his blog Sandy's Collected Thoughts, offers an apercu about historical changes in the economics of grave robbery. When the American Civil War ended, a valuable source of dissection cadavers for medical schools also came to an end, it seems. Med students had to go back to the more traditional source -- in the cemetaries.
Two cases, marked glass-ware and containing the bodies of two men and five women, packed in snow, were sized by the police on a freight train from Point Levi. They were intended for the McGill College dissecting room, and taken from the cemetery in the vicinity of Quebec [City], the authorities of which city telegraphed to our [Montreal] police about them.