Quinnipiac Students Get the Opportunity to Study the Bones of a Slave

200px-Quinnipiac_University_Seal.svgA slave, named Fortune, was owned by Preserved Porter, a Westbury, Connecticut,  bone surgeon. After Fortune died in his late 40s or early 50s, Dr. Porter boiled his remains but preserved his bones to teach anatomy to medical students. Later the bones were displayed in the Mattatuck Museum until 1970.

Now students at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, have had the chance to examine the skeleton of the former slave before he will be given a Christian burial in the cemetery of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Waterbury, where Fortune was baptized in 1797, a year before his death.

Students will examine the bones and take X-rays and CT scans in an effort to determine how Fortune died. Using the skull and clay remodeling, students will attempt a facial reconstruction.


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