On That Date, No. 7

Manhattan Abattoir

“It has been said that the vitality of [dying] animals unites with the atmosphere, and is absorbed by those people who are immediately about the body at the time of death. This vitality is known to exist in the blood, and it is not surprising then that there are persons who daily visit the abattoirs to catch the hot blood of the bullock and, drinking it, nourish and sustain their own exhausted vitality.

“Such is actually the case, and the abattoir at the foot of Thirty-Fourth street . . . is the recipient of the most patronage of numbers among its patients or customers the greatest variety of diseases. The blood is drank principally for consumption [now tuberculosis] and debility, and for diseases and complaints of a kindred nature.

“A visit to the slaughter-house . . . was made yesterday by the writer[, who asked an employee]: “Do people come here to drink blood?”

“Lord bless you, yes; lots of them . . . .”

“Has it an unpleasant taste?”

“O no; it tastes something like warm milk,” and here the man made a motion as if to get some, which the writer hastily checked.


“The Blood-Cure,” Chicago Daily Tribune, November 30, 1877, p. 8A; originally published in the New York Herald.