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drapetomania


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A form of mania (2) supposedly affecting slaves in the 19th century, manifested by an uncontrollable impulse to wander or run away from their white masters, preventable by regular whipping. The disorder was first identified in a medical report that is often cited as a fanciful case of psychologism. Compare dysaesthesia aethiopis. [Coined by the US physician Samuel Adolphus Cartwright (1793–1863) in the New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal in 1851, from Greek drapeteusis an escape + mania madness]


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