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February 17, 1900


Author Affiliations

Member of the Paducah Medical and Surgical Society; Member of the Southwestern Kentucky Medical Association; Member of the American Medical Association; Oculist and Aurist to the I. C. R. R. Hospital System. PADUCAH, KY.

JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(7):399-400. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24610070015001g

It is a coincident observation among oculists practicing in our southern states, where the larger proportion of our negro population lives, and where trachoma is a very prevalent disease, that the negro, except very rarely, is not affected with trachoma. Why the negro does not have it has been largely theorized on. Probably the explanation most largely entertained is that he is immune to this disease, that the conjunctiva of the negro does not present a soil suitable for the development of trachoma. To my mind this theory is untenable. The reasoning is loose and not based on facts to guarantee a correct conclusion. There is a rational, plain, scientific and simple explanation for the fact that negroes do not suffer from this disease, an explanation that does not call for some unique quality of construction in the negro; an explanation based on a line of reasoning, concurrent with that

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