1856 - Health and medicine

The biggest surprise emerging from... new studies is that many chronic ailments like heart disease, lung disease and arthritis are occurring an average of 10 to 25 years later [today] than they used to...

[People in mid-19th century America] expected to develop chronic diseases by their 40s or 50s. They died in their 50s or 60s... In 1900, 13 percent of people who were 65 could expect to see 85. Now, nearly half of 65-year-olds can expect to live that long.

From: So Big and Healthy Grandpa Wouldnt Even Know You (The New York Times, July 30, 2006)

Recent historical research has largely confirmed the abolitionist indictment of slavery... Infants and children were badly malnourished... Squalid living conditions aggravated health problems... We now know that slaves suffered extremely high mortality. Half of all slave infants died during their first year of life, twice the rate of white babies... [The slave death rate] remained twice the white rate through age 14. As a result of this high infant and childhood death rate, the average life expectancy of a slave at birth was just 21 or 22 years, compared to 40 to 43 years for antebellum whites. Compared to whites, relatively few slaves lived into old age. Between 1830 and 1860, only 10 percent of U.S. slaves were over 50 years old.

From: What Was Life Like Under Slavery? (University of Houston)

Medical text bookshelf

A Manual of the practice of medicine
(1856) by George Hilaro Barlow

A Manual of clinical medicine and physical diagnosis
(1856) by Thomas Hawkes Tanner

New remedies
(1856) by Robley Dunglison

Human physiology v.1
(1856) by Robley Dunglison

Manual of Chemical Physiology
(1856) by Karl Gotthelf Lehmann et alia

A Treatise on therapeutics, and pharmacology, or materia media v.1
(1856) by George B. (George Bacon) Wood

Lectures on the principles and methods of medical observation and research
(1856) by Thomas Laycock

The Microscope: and its revelations
(1856) by William Benjamin Carpenter

Medical lexicon
(1856) by Robley Dunglison

Medical jurisprudence
(1856) by Alfred Swaine Taylor