May 31, 2021

1802: The Life and Disappearance of Dr. James Durham

1802: The Life and Disappearance of Dr. James Durham

How do stories like this fall through the cracks? This week the ONUC gals discuss the inspiring life of Dr. James Durham and what could have caused the first black doctor in United States history to disappear. 

Trigger Warning Level: None (Yay!)

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Sources: Encyclopedia, Black Past, NOLA, and a research document 'Dr. James Durham, Mysterious Eighteenth-Century Black Physician: Man or Myth?' By Charles E. Wynes at the University of Georgia

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Transcript

You are listening to one nation under crime, a chronological true crime podcast. Each week we go through our nation's history and discuss one case from each year, starting in 1800. I'm Kayla and I'm Leah. And this week we are going to be talking about James Durham, 1802. You don't know who he is now. I don't, but you will. May. I had a neighbor named James. He's very important. And he's very influential. I will say that he's more important than he's given credit for. Interesting. I'm intrigued. Yes. So it's pretty interesting story. 

0  

00:00:41

And guys, as we were talking before this, this episode, doesn't have a trigger warning. This is kind of a different story than what we've done previously, while this kind of is a case it's more of a mystery, like a mystery. So, well, you're not going to like this. So it is a mystery and it's why I chose this case. So there were other cases that I could have chosen from this year, but I ran across this one and I started reading. Cause I, you know, I just saw the name and I didn't know who it was. 

0  

00:01:21

And I started reading more and more about James Durham. And I mean, it's another one of those things that you sit there and you're like, we didn't learn this in history who is like this, this should have been someone that we knew about, cause this is 1802. Right. And I'm not brand new. So, you know, we've discussed before. And if you've listened to our intro episode, you know, we don't want to talk very politically about things, but you know, the James Durham was black and this is 8, 18 0 2. 

0  

00:02:04

Yeah. So keep in mind like the emancipation crop proclamation, the crocodile proclamation, emancipation proclamation, hard to say wasn't I mean, until years later, so he 1802 was when this mystery begins. So he's been living this whole time, I think around this time he's like 37. Maybe. I think I'll say it at the end of, you know, kind of how old he was during this time. But you know, that's not going to happen until like 1860 or something like that, you know? 

0  

00:02:44

So we got, we got some time before a 60 year long mystery. No, but I'm saying that like the emancipation proclamation doesn't, it's not done until 1860. So this is too that this case kind of makes its way. And so in saying that it's an 1802, like I just said, that's the, that's where this case ends. Okay. So I mean guys, it's, it's a good one. It's really good. It's heartwarming in some parts, but it's, it's good. It's historical. 

0  

00:03:25

And you drew me in with heartwarming, no trigger warning. And then you say, you're not gonna like it. You're not going to love the ending it because it's, it's, it's a, it is a mystery. So it's unresolved. And I don't like, I don't like, I want it to be wrapped up. And so, so we'll discuss at the end kind of where we think this is going to go. So again, we're going to discuss James Durham, just going to go through the sources again that I used real quick, the one and only Wikipedia, of course, encyclopedia.com. Let's see, there was a NOLA article. It was nola.com like new Orleans, Louisiana, how to, it was a shorter article, but it was really good. 

0  

00:04:08

And then I used to this research document that it's, I got a lot of info from it and this is going to totally give away who this person is. But I have this person who wrote this, deserves all the credit in the world because they did a fantastic job. So the document that I use for research is called Dr. James Durham, mysterious 18th century, black physician, man, or myth by Charles. He wins at the university of Georgia. That was a research paper. And so, yeah, like I said, that kind of gives it away, but let's get into it. 

0  

00:04:50

So it's 1802, like I said, so April 19th, the judiciary act of 1802 is enacted, which reorganized the federal court system May 3rd, Washington DC is incorporated as a city. July 4th just think is funny. July 4th at west point New York, the United States military academy opened. So west point, this, this is when west point started. That's cool. And then July 7th, this is kind of cool. July 7th, 1802, the first comic book, the wasp is published in Hudson, New York, criticizing Republican politicians. 

0  

00:05:39

The first comic book was, I mean, that's a tire. I mean it, which is so funny. I mean, I love a satire. Sure. I really do. So today we are going to discuss the life and disappearance of the first black man to formally practice medicine in the United States, which is a big deal. Dr. James Durham. I want to go ahead and kind of right at the top, say a couple of things. I kinda like to do this just to preface it, you know, cause I know where we're going with this case. So first of all, if you look into any of this on your own, Durham is going to be spelled two different ways. 

0  

00:06:23

It's either D U R or D E R. So if you do go researching, it's the same person, it's just spelled different ways in different texts. Is there an H in the name? Yes. It's D E R H a M or D U R H a N. So you know, if you ever go looking for anything about him, it's likely going to be spelled both ways, most commonly it's with a you. So that's what I went with. Okay. Secondly, we will go into this further when we get into Dr. Durham story. And again, we try to be as respectful as we can respectful to people's history. 

0  

00:07:07

And Dr. Durham was born into slavery versus coming to the us from Africa. Gotcha. So he was born in the us, so yeah, and I understand that, that sounds like real nitpicky and I'm not, and I'm saying it for a reason because I want to try and be as politically correct as I can be. And I don't want terminology of discussing him to distract from his shirt. You know, the civil rights act didn't happen until 1866. And the civil rights act is what actually stated that all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians, not taxed or hereby declared to be citizens of the United States. 

0  

00:07:57

And later the 14th amendment was added in 1868, which just simply said, all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. So given all of that, I understand these laws were passed after Durham's life, but he was born here. And in this story, I'm going to refer to him as a black man. And if you look at various sources, he is referred to as both black and African-American okay. But you know, I do have friends that are black and they don't like to be referred to as African-American because they aren't from Africa. 

0  

00:08:43

They were right in here, they're American, you know? And so, like I said, I don't want any terminology to distract from his story. So I just want to go ahead and say that to begin with. So we know 

1  

00:08:57

That was one of my most embarrassing moments in high school, by the way, had a debate while I was in AP history, AP American history, and we had to do a debate and you know, you had partners and I don't remember what my debate topic was, but I do remember that race did come into play. Like I don't think it was civil rights, but anyway, the books and this was before I'm old school. So this was before you just Googled everything. Like we had to go to the local college, to the library there, check out the old dusty musty books and her, I know the ones that were wiped off, 

0  

00:09:34

Off the encyclopedia Britannica, 

1  

00:09:39

My mama's shelf, but the, those were, they were printed in the sixties or seventies. And so the terminology in there, and I was so confused as to what to use, because the terms that were used at that time were black Negro, you know, African-American and I was, I was so afraid of stepping on people's toes. That 

0  

00:10:09

'cause one of those is a very outdated term to not use anymore. And it's difficult when you are trying to do. 

1  

00:10:17

And you know, when you're saying that historically and you want to stay historically, correct, but then you also don't want to offend people currently. Oh my gosh. It was horrible. People were snickering at me because I didn't know what you say. 

0  

00:10:29

Yeah. And that's why, you know, I understand race is a hot topic issue in our country. We've discussed it before. We love everybody. We don't care who you are. 

1  

00:10:44

I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings either. 

0  

00:10:45

I don't care who you love. I don't care who you are. We're we're still gonna treat you like a person. And we love you. That's it that's just as how we were raised you, you just love people. And so, you know, and like I said, this is a story that like, we were not taught, which blows my mind. And we've discussed before we are from the south. If he can't tell and we're actually from Alabama. Cause I don't think we've told them that yet. You know, Selma is here. We have the civil rights museum in downtown Birmingham. 

1  

00:11:19

So many historic things happened in our state did happen here. 

0  

00:11:24

Yeah. It's it's, it's like, I've been to Selma. I've seen the bridge, I've done all those things. Like we that's, what we did growing up is like, what should I hate to say field trips? Cause it makes it sound so like kitschy, but it was one of those things that like, Hey, this history 

1  

00:11:41

Happened 

0  

00:11:42

Year here. And so we totally understand race being a hot topic button. And as it's just why up on the top, I just want to go ahead and make that known. I don't, I don't want our intention is 

1  

00:11:56

Never to offend. No, 

0  

00:11:58

It's, we're always up for being educated, you know, politely please. Yes. But we have feelings. We were very sensitive. I'm really 

1  

00:12:08

Sensitive. 

0  

00:12:10

So I'm very sensitive even though I don't act like it got that hard exterior, she's 

1  

00:12:16

Just going to cry in a closet when she gets home 

0  

00:12:18

Pretty much. But you know, so all of that to say, I just want to go ahead and get that out of the way. So we can go into his story. May 1st, 1762, James Durham was born into slavery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1783. Durham was a free man and started a highly reputable medical practice in new Orleans, Louisiana. How did he become a free 

1  

00:12:48

Man? Don't 

0  

00:12:49

Worry about it. We go find a week. Get there. Oh, and then in 1802, Dr. James Durham mysteriously disappears. So Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is where our story is going to start out. It was founded in 1682 by William Penn fun fact. Philadelphia means brotherly love and Greek, 

1  

00:13:20

The city of brotherly 

0  

00:13:21

Love. And a lot of people, you may not be aware of the most important part of Philadelphia 

1  

00:13:29

Tastykake 

0  

00:13:31

West Philadelphia, because as the fresh prince of Bel air was born and raised 

1  

00:13:39

Also parenting when ma 14 and 17 year old nephews can recite 

0  

00:13:47

It's I, I couldn't, I saw Philadelphia and I was like, I can't, you know, and what's so funny is that so nostalgic God fresh prince of Bel-Air was such a good show. And so yeah, 

1  

00:13:57

The junior reunion show coming up. Thanks so 

0  

00:14:04

Much. I hope it's 

1  

00:14:05

Good. I know. I always had this high expectations with the friends that are high, where they do reboots. 

0  

00:14:14

Yeah. So you know, so anyways, sorry. West Philadelphia, fresh prince Belair around the time of John Durham's birth, Philadelphia had actually passed Boston as the largest city and the busiest port in British America. And it was actually only second to London in the entire British empire. Nice. Yeah, I thought that was kind of crazy. There is an infinite amount of history and information around the city. It's Philadelphia. And so this is going to sound like a lot, but I'm just going to list off a bunch of things that they have. Cause they got the first of everything in Philadelphia. 

0  

00:14:54

This is why 

1  

00:14:55

Almost our main destination for my husband, Emma 20th anniversary trip because we love history stuff. 

0  

00:15:03

Yeah. It's it's a lot, it's like a lot, a lot of stuff that's there. So that talk them 

1  

00:15:08

Into Disney instead. 

0  

00:15:10

So I'm going to list them off real quick. Philadelphia is where the declaration of independence was signed is the site of the first continental Congress. And this city preserved the Liberty bell during the revolutionary war. It's where the battle at Germantown took place. It was the temporary us Capitol while DC was being built. And Philadelphia is home to the first, first library, hospital, medical school, national capital's stock exchange, zoo and business school zoo zoo, the first zoo. 

1  

00:15:46

I mean all those things, we're all kind of tracking together and you throw in zoos, 

0  

00:15:51

I'll let the critters. So Philadelphia contains 67 national historic landmark, not surprised. And the, we say national treasure, right? Don't get me started on national trends. So, and the world heritage site of independence hall of course is in Philadelphia. So a lot of history there and it's yeah, let's go on James Durham story begins in Philadelphia on May 1st, 1762. His last name is speculated to be the same as the owner of the plantation he was born on, which is common. It is. 

0  

00:16:32

But while there are overall records on Durham, his very young, early life isn't known very well. So that's kind of why you're, it's kinda hard for me to say like what age he was at one time. So we don't know there's sometimes that I will be able to like put in at one, but you know, like even his birthday is both listed as May 1st and May 2nd, depending on what source you look at. My second 

1  

00:17:01

Is my husband's birthday. 

0  

00:17:03

I will look at their husband was born not the same year. No, but you know, it's interesting. So which, you know, I can, that's why it's so frustrating when you research these time periods, because while like it's all fascinating and it was the Dawn of a new nation and big things are happening. Like no one thought to write anything down in detail, other than general timelines, like just send me back, I'll do it. I don't care. You know, there are exceptions to this rule, if you're a founding father or if you're well-known we know everything about you. 

1  

00:17:44

So if you're rich, if you're prominent, because you're able to have things written about you and you have those 

0  

00:17:50

Exactly. But stories like this one that I cannot reiterate how important and influential it is to our history. It's hard to find even the sources that I did find about him. Like several of them had the same information. It was hard to like pull apart when he confirmed what this stuff. Exactly. And it's like, are y'all just copying back and forth with the other person said, you know, so anyways, but at least it matches up. I know when Durham was a child, he was sold to Dr. John <em></em> Jr. Who was a prominent physician in Philadelphia at the time. 

0  

00:18:33

And he specialized in sore throat. Distempers so sore throat distempers curiously taught Durham as a child to read and write fluently, including in French and Spanish, French, he was pretty fluent in Spanish was kind of, he could speak it, but it was, you know, that's impressive. Especially he would also, Dr. Kingsley would also go on to introduce a Durham to medicine, principles of pharmacy, such as mixing medicines. And 

1  

00:19:11

Which at that time, doctors kind of did all of that. 

0  

00:19:13

Exactly. And talk to her Kingsley, let Durham assist him in treating patients. So this is where it all gets started for him. 

1  

00:19:23

And just said, I mean, and I'm not saying that I'll be one of the people that did it, but I wonder if some people were confused, 

0  

00:19:30

I'm sure 

1  

00:19:30

Let him practice, 

0  

00:19:32

Which is sad, but 

1  

00:19:33

It is, you know, somebody's skin doesn't have one lit to do with their ability. I just wonder, 

0  

00:19:41

Especially that was really interesting. Yeah. So, but on the other hand, this was in the north. So that's still, I mean, even then, yeah, still, but I'm saying it would be better received in the north absent. It would be in the south. 

1  

00:19:57

It's still not as crazy. 

0  

00:20:00

It gets Wilder out here. Some people you could be thinking that Durham was actually not the first black doctor in the U S if you know anything kind of about black history and that the title actually belongs to Jane McKee chains, McCune Smith. However, Smith is recognized as the first black doctor to practice with a medical degree in the U S Durham, 

1  

00:20:32

Not practice medicine. 

0  

00:20:33

Durham never had an official MD to be called a doctor, 

1  

00:20:38

But he 

0  

00:20:39

Apprenticed his apprenticeship with Kingsley was no different than the medical training American physicians were getting at the time. She was the same exact thing. 

1  

00:20:49

And that was, again, that was common before everything had to be standard because not everybody kept things above board. 

0  

00:20:57

We'll learn later about his relationship with other prominent doctors who did have medical degrees. And those doctors know that those, those doctors referred to Durham as a physician or Dr. Durham. Excellent. Actually I want to put it in later, but I feel like it is important to put here Dr. Benjamin Rush, who he was white. He was a pioneer in medicine at the time. And actually he's one of the signers of the declaration of independence said this about Durham. I conversed with him on medicine and surgery and found him learned. I thought I could give him information concerning the treatment of disease, but I learned more from him than he could ever expect for me. 

0  

00:21:44

That's awesome. It's and Dr. Benjamin Rush, we'll get into him later guys. He's like, he knows the story. You'll deal. Like he's very, he did a lot, a lot of stuff and we'll get it kind of into him and in a little bit, but I 

1  

00:22:00

Mean, when you say somebody's revelation of something of that mean, that means 

0  

00:22:04

He's good. So in October of 1775, Durham continued to learn from Kingsley. When a series of letters, here's Lee wrote two correspondence in England were intercepted and they found to have military information and charts of the Delaware channel. Interesting. So Kingsley was arrested as a loyalist and he was thrown into prison. Not good. Curiously was not prepared for the harsh conditions of this prison. And he soon went clinically insane and died in 1777, which I can't imagine the conditions of some like prisons today, bright, much less. 

0  

00:22:55

You're talking about a prison in the back woods of Pennsylvania 

1  

00:22:59

And 

0  

00:23:00

Air conditioning. 

1  

00:23:02

But I mean, also think about the fact that he was a loyalist and I mean, this was in the middle of the revelation, you know, that he was not given any 

0  

00:23:09

Exactly. So also, which goes to our next one at the time, curiously, it would have been considered a, a pow, a prisoner. Sure. But he was treated no different than any criminal because loyalists were considered the worst <em></em> you could have been on the British side, fighting as a PO and become a pow. And it didn't matter if you were a loyalist, you were bottom of the barrel. Like you have betrayed your people. So Durham was only 13 at the time of cures Lee's arrest. Wow. But it wasn't until 17, 17, 17, you had already been trading papers for years. 

0  

00:23:54

1776 Durham was 15 and was sold to a plantation owned by Dr. George West west was a surgeon and the 16th British regiment. So he's still a slave. Yes. He was not frayed by no curiously, but I would do want to note this too, because yes, that is a good point at, at this point he is still, he is still, I mean, he can practice medicine, but I'm going to sell. Yeah, exactly. It doesn't make sense. So, but I will say this, the curiously family had every right to move him to a different place when curiously was arrested. 

0  

00:24:34

Yeah. And they kept him there for another two years because they didn't have, as long as they could, they didn't want him to go. So Dr. George West was a surgeon and the 16th British regimen, and he took Durham under his wing as kind of a physician's assistant at this point, Durham, his team. Wow. I mean, I have a nephew that age. I'm just saying, Nope. So this is when Durham's knowledge really expanded past throat illness. Cause you know, that's what he was specialty. Right. So at the end of the revolutionary war, Durham was sold again. But for the last time to a Scottish physician, Dr. 

0  

00:25:19

Robert Dow of new Orleans, and it'd be a good guy. I know. And Wikipedia actually lists him as dove as Dr. Robert dove, but according to the research journal and everything that I read it is Dao. So again, if you see that name too, yeah. If you do see that it is Dr. Dow. So yeah, Durham's on his way to new Orleans, a quick history about new Orleans at the time, kind of up to this point, because it is important later on when some events happen as to what's been going on in new Orleans, new Orleans was founded in 17, 18 by the French Mississippi company. And it changed hands to the Spanish due to the treaty of Paris in 1763. 

0  

00:26:04

So a good thing that he needed French, Spanish and Spanish. So new Orleans was actually very important to the revolution at the time because the Patriots used it as a port to smuggle supplies and military equipment up the Mississippi river. Yeah. And for those of you who aren't really familiar, the Mississippi river kind of like runs north across the United States, but it comes out in new Orleans. And that's where, like, I guess the mouth of the Mississippi river kind of meets with the Gulf of Mexico. And it's very, if you've never been to new Orleans, it's wonderful. I love new Orleans. I haven't been to new. It's great. A really historical town I would like to go. 

0  

00:26:46

It's a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it. I went on a ghost tour there guys. It was so cool. A story for another time. So it wasn't until 1803 that Napoleon Bonaparte's hay sold Louisiana T like to the United States and the Louisiana purchase. So while Durham was in new Orleans, it was under Spanish control and this does become very important to Durham story. So once Durham was in new Orleans Dao really took him in and wanted to continue his medical knowledge. And the two actually became very good friends. 

0  

00:27:29

I mean, if you're working together 

1  

00:27:30

With satellite, that 

0  

00:27:32

It'd be good. In fact, this is crazy Dao, let Durham treat any patient regardless of their race. And this is the first recorded instance of this ever happening barely two years after Durham arrived in new Orleans, he became a free man. Cool. So he wasn't even there two years 

1  

00:27:56

Dell freedom. 

0  

00:27:59

Oh dear. Yeah, yeah. 

1  

00:28:02

This, I wanted the Scott to be like 

0  

00:28:05

The moderator rant about this. Cause I'm sorry, this pisses me off on another level. And I know I can never relate to this. Right. And it is so infuriating. So I mean, it was common at the time, but it was just because 

1  

00:28:26

It's common practice. 

0  

00:28:28

Exactly. And it's putting it in terms of today that I, that you'll say right. So some sources say that Dow freed Durham and others say that Durham paid 500 pesos in small amounts over time to Dow to buy his freedom. So 500 pesos, common practice. Yeah. How much do you think 500 pesos was 

1  

00:28:52

A lot back then? That's all, that's a lot. I mean, I 

0  

00:28:56

Don't have to put a number on it. 

1  

00:29:01

You said 500 paces outside, probably $5,000 at late 

0  

00:29:06

$122,000 by a hundred, like 

1  

00:29:15

A man. I know that, that, that was more than he really made 

0  

00:29:18

122. 

1  

00:29:21

That's like a, a small 

0  

00:29:22

House thousand dollars. Wow, dude, that's more than my student loans. 

1  

00:29:30

Not much. 

0  

00:29:32

It's not far off guys. 

1  

00:29:34

That's how much they quoted my kitchen 

0  

00:29:36

Renovation. I mean, just because, although it's insane and I can't comprehend just to buy your way out of servitude to someone who would let's keep in mind, bought you. Right. Right. Right. So then want their money. That there's a potential that he paid him $122,000. I mean, which, which is no return on his investment. Like it, it makes me sick until I heard the next part. Okay. I'm ready for that Dow. I think the, I think the climate that they were in and I am not making an excuse for him. 

0  

00:30:19

Right. But I think this is a case that this was common at the time. Didn't know what else to do that it could have been. He's just trying to do it through the right legal channels. I don't know. I'm not sure. And I'm not coming up with an excuse for him, but I don't base off of this. I don't inherently think Dow was a bad person. This was just the situation, which is deplorables. But this, this is what kinda gave me some warm fuzzies, you know, either way Durham started his practice in new Orleans and he specialized in throat medicine. 

0  

00:31:03

Dao was the first person who financially backed Durham to open his entire practice. That's awesome. So maybe it was a, and again, not making excuses, just trying to think. Maybe he used the money to pay that money, to do the exactly. And you know, again, like, we're not sure, I don't know, but it's it said that if Dow had not helped him with his practice, he would not have had well, because he spent every penny he has to get out. So by 1788, Durham was married and he made about $3,000 a year and take a guess, well, 500 pesos. 

0  

00:31:46

This is in dollars, 3000 Alice do in dollars before. So this is dollars. I don't do numbers. Just tell me, $71,000. It's crazy. So $71,000 a year, and his practice treated patients from every walk of life. And it was an unprecedented, he treated slaves. He treated free people. He treated, I mean like high society, people can see him. I mean, he was, he was truly like, you know, he didn't care. 

0  

00:32:28

You come in, like, I'm a, I'm a help you. If you're sick, we're going to fix it and do this. And it was just, it was really crazy. So that's impressive. It really is. So in the same year, Durham traveled back to Philadelphia for a bit and he met Dr. Benjamin Rush. And we had discussed him before Benjamin Dr. Benjamin. He's the most, this, everything that I saw about him. And I looked over a few different sources. He was the most influential physician in the United States at the time. That's awesome. That's a big deal. It is a, when I say like, I can not explain how influential this guys, I'm going to go into some of it. 

0  

00:33:12

But we are talking Princeton, we're talking university of Edinburgh, like big deal. He taught medicine and clinical practice at the university of Pennsylvania. And at the time he made it the best medical school in the nation. Awesome. He was a member of the second continental Congress. Like we discussed before he signed the declaration of independence. He served has the surgeon general for a brief time during the revolutionary war. And he established the first dispensary in Philadelphia, not the kind of dispensary you are. 

0  

00:33:54

No, no green crosses not, not those. It was the nation's first charity walk-in clinic and no one paid it. It was, it truly was unprecedented. I mean, rush is also credited as the father of American psychology and was a strong abolitionist who wanted education reform for women to get a formal education. Thank you. So, yeah, I mean, you know, I think he and Eliza would have been good to hands. They might've known each other and they had Russia's interests in abolition. 

0  

00:34:38

Just didn't stop at ending enslavement. It didn't stop there. It is said that his focus was quote the emphasis upon the ill effects of slavery on the black mind. Ooh, wow. Chills, like honestly, seriously. Like I got him again after reading it and it, it took me a moment to like process that and to read it through. And I was like, whoa, like that, that's amazing. That's such different thinking. And the time, I mean to think about it in that sense of like, Hey, I'm not just thinking that we need to, you know, in slavery. 

0  

00:35:20

I'm also saying like, we need to make sure they okay. Yeah. We're best mates people up. People not, they're not they're people and when, when they're not property. Exactly. And when, you know, he's like, look, we get rid of slavery, dude. We got to make sure these people are okay and that's you can't just say, okay, you're faking it. Which is what was happening at the time. You know, we see how well that works. Exactly. And I mean, and then there were times where we never saw, you never saw some people get out of slavery to Edinburgh. You said university of Edinburgh where he went steady school. 

0  

00:36:02

I figured that's what it was. I was just curious. So, and again, like I said before, I'm not reading off these accomplishments to like, talk about how amazing rush was or to overshadow Durham in any way, the accomplishments that rush had highlight just how influential and important Durham was to the physician and black community alike. Absolutely. I mean, for you have got a man who is, you know, let me read this quote first, because this will kind of say it too. So this is where we kind of discussed part of this quote that I went into earlier said by rush. 

0  

00:36:43

And they were actually kind of at a, they were at a church in Philadelphia when he said this quote, there is now in the city of black man of the name, James Durham, a practice of it says physic a practitioner of physic belonging to the Spanish settlement of new Orleans on the Mississippi. I have conversed with him upon most of the acute and epidemic diseases of the country, where he lives and was pleased to find him perfectly acquainted with the modern, simple mode of practice in those diseases. 

0  

00:37:24

I expected to have suggested some new medicines to him, but he suggested many more to me. This dude went to Princeton. Yeah. And like, everybody's looking up to him and he's in the medical society. Exactly. So rush, like guys think about that. Russia was the most prominent doctor in the United States just said, this guy knows more than me. Durham taught me more than I could ever teach him. Like, that's amazing. Gosh, just let it sink in like a white, highly successful doctor from Princeton learned more from a black man who was raised in slavery. 

0  

00:38:12

And by definition, not a doctor, right. There was no documentation saying he was one nun. He just had the education. He didn't have the piece of paper. Right. And which, again goes to show you college could be a sham. It's a piece of paper anyways. I'm not better rush actually begged Durham to move back to Philadelphia and open a practice. But Durham decided he was going to go back to new Orleans. 

1  

00:38:45

Well, I probably felt like he was needed there. I mean, with it being in the south, like you said, we know how the south is in was 

0  

00:38:52

It's a very good, well, technically at this time the Louisiana purchase still hasn't happened. Oh yeah. I guess it's not a part of the us yet. It's still under Spanish control. Keep that in mind, like this it's still Spanish control and that will become important. When Durham returned to new Orleans, he quickly jumped back into his practice. And yellow fever started tearing its way through the city. He treated 114 patients according to his records. And he wrote in a letter to rush that he only lost 17. Wow. Which was quote, less than all the other doctors here, like shame 

1  

00:39:38

Not calling out numbers or names, but 

0  

00:39:42

I'm just saying, just going to light. It was in 1801 that Durham wrote his last letter to rush. And he said that he was ready to leave new Orleans and come back to the states, 

1  

00:39:57

Which is definitely cause you think about them still bringing in the states. So it took a second to 

0  

00:40:02

Spanish. Yeah. Spanish authorities at the time, barred Durham from practicing any kind of medicine other than throat ailments. And this could be a reason that Durham was ready to come back. 

1  

00:40:16

Yeah. Like, Hey, I know what I'm doing. I don't don't hold me down man. 

0  

00:40:22

But Dr. James Durham never returned to Philadelphia. 

1  

00:40:30

So there was a letter. And then that was it. 

0  

00:40:32

He sent one last letter to rush and they were pen pals for a long time. Like Durham needed medicines and rush had them. And so he would send them down to him and you know, they kind of had this, they did have this friendship and they would send things back and forth to each other and they wrote letters and there is a gap of time that they didn't write letters to each other. But people think that rush could have been sick during the time. So it's not really sure, but yeah, in his last letter to rush, he said he wants to come back to the states and he wants to leave new Orleans and no one ever heard from him again, 

1  

00:41:09

Who searched for him? 

0  

00:41:13

Nobody really. I mean like people looked but you know, 

1  

00:41:16

Rushed it and such one that, 

0  

00:41:18

Yeah. I mean, yeah. We'll talk about it a little bit more. Okay. There's more. Okay. I was going to 

1  

00:41:23

Be, if that's where you left me, 

0  

00:41:27

I had to talk about this guy. What guy I'm going to try and hold in my rage. Dear. This pretty person. He is a prince. He is a prick. His name is James Duffy. He could still be alive. I don't know if he is or not, but I'm calling him out. He's still, he is. No, I do. I think it's a possibility that he is. They supposedly a leading authority of medicine in Louisiana. 

0  

00:42:07

Duffy stated this about Dr. Durham, this illustrious black physician may have practice in Philadelphia or in some other city, but not in new Orleans. But then this is what's so funny. Duffy continued to say that there was a record of a quote free black called Durham, D E R U M. But he had the right to only cure throat diseases and no other. Okay. 

0  

00:42:47

Now when did, when did he write this? I it's been, I'm pretty sure it's been recent. I think it was like seventies, eighties, something like that. This was 200 years old. No, no, no, no. This is recent. That makes me feel better about your grasp. It's not it's it doesn't make me feel better. So again, Duffy contradicts himself in another car. He just said there was a Durham, D E R U M, but he could only practice throat medicine, but he was a free black. But then you're also saying he never practiced in new Orleans, maybe in some other city, but not here, not here. That's fair, fair economy. 

0  

00:43:29

I mean like anyways, so he contradicts himself again and said, quote, the story of James Durham is a myth based upon garbled versions of the activity of the free black Durham. Unfortunately. So many historians have quoted each other about Dr. James Durham, that he is firmly established as historical quote backed. I understand that the record Duffy found was on a Durham and Durham. Like I, he literally just said they've established it as yeah. 

0  

00:44:14

So, you know, and like I get it all right. But I mean, how many other doctors who practice that specify in threads? I mean, come on or specialize whatever. And again, like I understand that one letter difference, right? I mean, I understand that the records that Duffy found was on a Durham, a Durham with a U and a Durham with an eight, 

1  

00:44:40

How names are all spelled differently. A lot of times 

0  

00:44:47

We're the ones taking medical records of the area at the time. And it is most likely just a misspelling of Durham, 

1  

00:44:57

Which is very common. I mean, you know, you look when Kayla and I talked about when we were introducing ourselves that, you know, we're on 23 and me and one of our cousins like traced the line that we have in common back to England in the 16 hundreds. 

0  

00:45:16

Yeah. 

1  

00:45:17

It may be further, but it's at least this, I think it's 16, which is pretty daggum far. And there are names are spelled differently. Like in census, like it could be the person that is writing down the information on the census form, spells it differently. And I love to watch, oh, what's the name of the show where they, they do the background of different stars and kind of see what their background air, 

0  

00:45:45

Oh, I love it. I've only seen it a couple of times. Yeah. 

1  

00:45:49

A lot of times the, you know, handwritten documents, things are spelled differently. But if you look at like a birth date or something, you're like, okay, well this is the same one. You know, you have to use those context clues and not be a dummy. So if all the historians say, yeah, this is them and commonly, there was one letter change or one letter difference. You kind of stupid. If you're saying it, wasn't him 

0  

00:46:13

Take the accomplishments of someone away just because you think it could be a myth when it is proven that he is, that he did live and he was out there. So Durham disappeared. You know, after that last letter to rush, stating that he was ready to leave new Orleans. 

1  

00:46:33

Did you think you are the name of the show, 

0  

00:46:37

The first city directory of, you know, so this is kind of where we get into people say he just went somewhere else. Okay. We're going to go into the theories. So Durham disappeared. After that last letter to rush stating he was ready to leave new Orleans, the first city directory of new Orleans was in 1805. So that is a few years after this. And a Durham is not listed in the city directory. He also wasn't listed in the 1822 directory or the census of 18, 10, 18, 20, or 1830 in new Orleans. 

0  

00:47:17

Not there. The argument could be that he left new Orleans because of the restrictions of his medical practice by the Spanish. But if we assumed he returned to Philadelphia, 

1  

00:47:31

Then why did rush never hear from him? I mean, surely he would have gone to his friend and like sold his practice and had his money to start somewhere else, which would make sense 

0  

00:47:45

Exactly. 

1  

00:47:46

I mean, that's just me thinking I'm not the most monetarily sound person, but that does make sense. 

0  

00:47:52

So Durham's name does not appear in the Philadelphia city directories for 1803 to 1805 or 18, 10 and 1816 today. Durham, N D U R N D E R are common names in new Orleans and Philadelphia. Interesting. But again, that was 

1  

00:48:16

The family name. That 

0  

00:48:17

Exactly. Exactly. So they could have also been to be there part of that, you know, same place. So I mean, but like what happened? Yeah. So it's a possibility that he decided to move to another city. He called, 

1  

00:48:37

Well, what if it got really bad there? And it was a hate crime. I mean, that, that happens. I may not know that term hadn't really been coined yet, but I mean, 

0  

00:48:45

Right, so he's only 39. So it doesn't make sense that he would just stop practicing medicine, especially when the reputation he had for himself and the connections he had in the medical community. And I want to go ahead and say this to encyclopedia.com, not God bless him. They end Durham's injury with Durham, eventually set up a practice in Philadelphia and continued to have a successful medical practice and career. And I'm not sure where they're received the information on this. And I think it is an assumption of context clues because of the 

1  

00:49:23

Letters. Maybe you'd like to talk to somebody, 

0  

00:49:26

I need to speak to your manager. But again, back to the directories of Philadelphia in that time, there's no record of him. And I would think that a doctor in Philadelphia who 

1  

00:49:36

Is closing this to some way 

0  

00:49:38

Dr. Benjamin Rush would be in there, you know, and others argue that life expectancy at the time, wasn't as high as it is today, 

1  

00:49:46

But sure. You'd have some sort of 

0  

00:49:48

Record if had. And they say like, he might've died of natural causes, but if he helps so 

1  

00:49:52

Many people, 

0  

00:49:53

Exactly. But given the time of his disappearance, I think he went missing under nefarious 

1  

00:50:04

Circumstances. That's what it sounds like 

0  

00:50:06

To me. So when the Spanish took away, Durham's ability to practice all medicine and limited him to just throat illnesses, five other 5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 other doctors who were white in new Orleans lost their ability to practice medicine at all. 

1  

00:50:31

Hmm. 

0  

00:50:33

So who's to say that those five doctors didn't just take matters into their own hands and retaliate against Durham because of its success. 

1  

00:50:42

And why did these five doctors lose 

0  

00:50:44

Their, I don't know if this was still a time when the Spanish was, was a part of it. So I don't know if it had something to do. I'm not sure there wasn't a lot of information. I'm just curious. I wonder too, if there was something else going on, but you know, they didn't say so. I went down a rabbit hole of deer and several comments on Reddit forums say that it's not uncommon for people to disappear at the time. And look, I get it. They say, oh my great, great uncle disappeared in 18, whatever. But a family member had a letter from the uncle in 1903. 

0  

00:51:25

Okay. So here's my question for you was your great, great uncle, a black physician who bought his way out of slavery and go on to befriend. One of the greatest doctors in our history. Is that your uncle? No, I didn't think so. And you know, so 

1  

00:51:46

I mean, even if you did decide to go out west, he would still keep that 

0  

00:51:51

Only a triathlete. There should still be a history of him. Cause I don't think having to go out with exactly, but I don't. And I also don't think that as close as Durham was to rush that he would have cut off all communication with, 

1  

00:52:04

It's only telling you it's still need medicine, especially if you did go out west. I mean, things were even in more scarce supply. Okay. 

0  

00:52:12

Exactly. So outcomes, raiser. 

1  

00:52:20

It is a hairball. 

0  

00:52:25

It's the theory that suggests that the simplest explanation is usually the best one, which I get. But what happens when there isn't a simple explanation? 

1  

00:52:39

Yeah. There's not one here. There's nothing that really leads you to an idea. I mean, was he killed? Did he run away? If he ran away? Why did he not? 

0  

00:52:51

And kids at this time, keep that in mind, he's traveling alone. 

1  

00:52:56

And the, the wife and kids were gone because they weren't listed on a census either. So 

0  

00:53:02

Where did they go? 

1  

00:53:04

Did they check the Wells? I'm just saying we've got sick. That is a place that people can be found. So DBS articles of clothing nearby. 

0  

00:53:17

Right? So a Durham would have been 100 when the emancipation proclamation was ordered by Abraham Lincoln, which stated all persons held as slaves are and hence forth shall be free. You know, Dr. Durham, like I actually like was tearing up about this when I was like writing notes for it. And you know, I don't cry, but like Dr. Durham, he deserves for his story to be told, but he deserves a bookend. He deserves his life. Absolute. He deserves it and nobody can find it. It is, you know, it's 219 years later and the mysterious disappearance of Dr. 

0  

00:54:05

James Durham is still not solved. They're sad. Like, and guys, I hope it is a case of, oh, we found him. He made it all the way to Mississippi and state. Yeah. He met lovey weeks and they ran off in the sunset together. I mean, we don't know, we don't know. We don't know. He could've needed a house built. I'm just saying, you know, just say he 

1  

00:54:31

Probably wouldn't put in jail at 

0  

00:54:33

That time, you know, but it's just like, there's nothing. Yeah. There's nothing. 

1  

00:54:40

And not even a trail on the Y for the 

0  

00:54:43

Kids or nothing. That is correct. Right. Yeah. So it's like, where did he, did he change his name, but then why would you change your name? Your, 

1  

00:54:53

Yeah, maybe he was being persecuted at, he changed his name, but then he would still 

0  

00:54:57

Be, what would he do for a living? 

1  

00:55:00

Exactly. He'd still be a black man practicing medicine, which was very unusual. 

0  

00:55:07

Truly the only other place he could have gone back to, to do that is Philadelphia. But again, we don't know. We don't know. We don't know. And that's, what's so crazy about it, but like, again, I want to say he's the first black man to have practiced medicine in the United States in 1802. Wow. This is, this is major. This is it's. Unpressed like he wrote the book. Like he, you know, he, the one that made way for the ones, like in the future, Dr. 

0  

00:55:46

Smith, who does become the first actual, you know, with a medical degree as a doctor. And I mean, but he's just gone he's he is, you know, a lot of people say, and, and it is true in this case, he's lost to history 

1  

00:56:03

And that's, that's a 

0  

00:56:04

Shame. It is, it really is a shame. He, you know, he fought through so much and thankfully, you know, it did seem as though he, he did have people who did care about him to an extent, 

1  

00:56:17

And that's their legacy too. I mean, the sentence don't know how clean does have the sentence and like the whole family wasn't exactly. 

0  

00:56:25

You know, and I mean, and we can hope that, but guys, like we know, we know the bad things that happened back then to people, 

1  

00:56:33

People could just disappear 

0  

00:56:34

For nothing, for absolutely. For existing. And, and so it's 

1  

00:56:40

The right person with the right influence decided that you were persona non grata been. 

0  

00:56:48

Yeah, bye. He was going to say, bang, bang, bang. I mean, you know, and that's just, it's, it's so crazy. So yeah. I mean, he's still, still an unsolved case. Nobody knows what happened to him. And like I said, it's a really good story in the beginning and he like triumphs and it's so great. And then you get to the end and you're like, oh wow. Yeah. And you know, and I hope he went on and lived just like a wonderful, I hope it was, you know, everything 

1  

00:57:19

Says he is not a warm, fuzzy. 

0  

00:57:20

No, it's not. So yeah. I mean, I think you think along the same lines that I do, that he definitely someone he went missing, not on his own accord. 

1  

00:57:32

I don't think you did. Or maybe it was at his own a, he was kind of forced into it. Yeah. But then what did he do? 

0  

00:57:40

I don't know. What could you have done? 

1  

00:57:43

Well, maybe if he was a smart guy and you know, he may have been able to, that's true. You know, work under somebody and you know, 

0  

00:57:52

I am, it just, wasn't common for 

1  

00:57:56

That's true. But you know, I don't know. I'm trying to have a happy 

0  

00:58:03

Outlet here. I mean, people 

1  

00:58:06

Were reinventing themselves a lot 

0  

00:58:10

For one side of the state to the other and change your name and just be like, oh, I used to be so-and-so and now I am, 

1  

00:58:18

My name was Maria, but I want to go about Esmeralda. Now. It was Leah, 

0  

00:58:23

But now it's Leah it's. 

1  

00:58:27

We added the us levy, 

0  

00:58:31

Not Libby, a saw on culture swine. I was 

1  

00:58:35

Thinking of the Linda. 

0  

00:58:38

Oh yeah. 

1  

00:58:39

But death is 

0  

00:58:40

Silent. I mean, it's just it's so 

1  

00:58:45

Yes. I mean, it is very possible. And I really had that. What happened was they went on the Lam and they went, you know, they changed their name and they were able to live long and happy prosperous lives, wherever they went. I really heard that. That's the 

0  

00:58:59

Case. It just doesn't seem that 

1  

00:59:01

It doesn't. But I really hope that that will be a great ending. All right. Yeah. That would be the hallmark ending. And I'm a hallmark movie girl. You are not a hallmark movie girl, 

0  

00:59:15

Christmas hallmark. Ooh, 

1  

00:59:17

Christmas hallmark card. 

0  

00:59:18

Good. But which is funny. So I'll get into this like super quick, but they say that people who have like high anxiety, which hello, like to watch the same things over and over 

1  

00:59:35

Again. And that's why we like hallmark movies. 

0  

00:59:37

Exactly. Because it's the S I'm sorry guys. It's the same movie, 

1  

00:59:43

Busy 

0  

00:59:43

City girl is going to go back to her hometown and she's going to see that the nice shirtless man who chops wood again. 

1  

00:59:55

Well, yeah, they're not. 

0  

00:59:59

And you know, you know, the, 

1  

01:00:02

Yeah. I mean, not everything is exactly the same, but the basic ingredients are there, you know, and you know that it's going to, there's not going to be ugly taught. I don't, I don't enjoy ugly tall. I don't, I, I just don't. I taught preschool. And so I don't use non preschool words plus my mama. I still I'm. I am white past the age of, you know, being a grown up. I'm like, I'm a grown up and still I have to spell C R a P around my mom, or I'll get the look. I might get my, 

0  

01:00:41

I mean, there's another four letter word that I have to spell in front of my mama, but it ain't that one. Oh, 

1  

01:00:46

I would not even attempt. I would not, even at 10 

0  

01:00:51

Mom is listening right now. My mom is like, you do not spell it, 

1  

01:00:56

But yeah. But you know, hallmark movies to me, they are, it can be Nealon and you know, there might be some different things in it, but it's not going to have ugly talk. It's not gonna have anything inappropriate. So like, if you do have your nephew, that's with you. Cause I don't have kids, like, is it going to walk in and be like, what's that? And he'd be like, oh no, I got some explaining to do when you're ready to have that 

0  

01:01:18

Burden. 

1  

01:01:19

And then there's, you know, there's always a happy ending and you always learn some sort of lesson about, you know, money isn't, what's important. It's your family or you know, that sort of thing. 

0  

01:01:30

Yeah. I mean, it's, it's always good when, and you know, it's the same reason that people watch the same shows over and over again, or the same movies you watch. Like guys y'all should know by now. Like my comfort is watching Harry Potter. Like, I, I love it. I don't care that I have, like, I have, I can watch them at any time. I have the entire set, like on blue Ray to watch and I will still, Leah will text me and she'll be like, there's a Harry Potter marathon on E. And I'm like, oh, okay. And I'll watch it. Like, What am I doing here? It's so crazy. But you know, 

1  

01:02:08

I'll text, you may not like administer what you got to admit. Dumbledore has got styled. And one of your favorite lines comes on. You have to share it. 

0  

01:02:19

Really, 

1  

01:02:20

Mine is Harry Potter and friends. Like I can tell you friends episodes back and forth. And I mean, they're on all day. I work from home now and I have a TV, you know, on just to have some noise and I can watch friends pretty much all 

0  

01:02:35

Day. A lot of people watch over and over love 

1  

01:02:38

It. I grew up with friends like I was in high school and then married when friends was on. And so that's, that's a really happy time in my life, you know? And I remember them. So, I mean, I call my husband my lobster and it comes directly from friends. 

0  

01:02:54

Okay. So I think that about does it for us this week. 

1  

01:03:01

So we ended on a little bit of a warm, fuzzy 

0  

01:03:03

A little bit, you know, hopefully it's a story you haven't heard before. I actually, I hope it's one you have heard, heard before, but I'm glad maybe you learn some new things. So yeah. Follow us on Instagram at one nation under crime and on Twitter at O N U C pod. If you love our podcast, just as much as we do, maybe even more, maybe, maybe you love our podcast possible. Maybe, you know, follow us on your preferred podcast platform. You know, there's a lot out there. There's Spotify, there's Google, there's apple. So follow us on it. You'll get all of the new episodes as soon as they come out and you know, while you're at it just recommend us to anybody. 

0  

01:03:47

I don't care who they are. You could actually be in traffic, just roll your window down and just be like, Hey bro. 

1  

01:03:54

Or if you're an old person like me and you're on the Facebook, you know, you can share 

0  

01:04:00

Sure. They're sharing an episode there. Look, Hey, if we see like, I'll go ahead and say it. If I see that you shouted us out on something out, I'll say your name. I'll say like, Hey, you know the job, 

1  

01:04:13

We love you for the affirmation. 

0  

01:04:17

You know, we also have a Patrion. So if you were so inclined, you can find us on Patrion. Don't donate some Dallas. If you want to, you can find us. It's, it's just one nation under crime. I'm pretty easy. And if you have any questions, you can always email us@onenationundercrimeatgmail.com and again, family stories. You got them. We want to hear him again. I want to know if your grandma buried someone underneath grandpa. 

1  

01:04:45

It is crazy. And 

0  

01:04:49

You didn't know Margaret. I'm going to go ahead and tell you that right now, Margaret kill you. As soon as she look at she cross her. She's not messing around with anybody. My mom will tell you, this is my dad, my dad's mom. And she's gone from this world. God bless her, but I miss her. And she woo. That is a strong woman. And I would not, I don't want to cross her in a dark alley at night when I made her mad. I'm just saying she, 

1  

01:05:12

She was great. He was a strong woman. This woman, 

0  

01:05:15

She was just sweet as she could be. But look, she's smoking that pack of green marbles and damned if you tell her she can not. She had, she had one of those little pocket books that the cigarettes go in anyways. So anyways fun. But to stories like that, you know, some, sometimes some good history stories you related to somebody famous. I want to know how you found out. You know, it's just email us. We would love to read them. We'll email you back. And we love trivia too. Yeah. So that's episode three. We got three episodes in the book. Thanks for hanging with us. We appreciate it. 

0  

01:05:55

Thank you guys for tuning in this week to one nation under crime, we will see you here. Same time. Do you cry old crime, but new crime, different crime. And remember there isn't always Liberty and justice for all. We will see you guys next week. Bye.