Bringing the Text to Life
They called him "Resurrection Man."
He was a 36-year-old slave, purchased for $700 (a considerable sum in those days) off an auction block in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1852. His buyer was the Medical College of Georgia, and his mission was morbid but simple: to provide the medical school with fresh cadavers.
Everyone knew that his real name was Grandison Harris. But doctors playfully plastered him with the nickname Resurrection Man once he got good at robbing the local black cemetery and bringing the bodies back to school.
The Resurrection Man was good. According to an eyewitness, he would go to the cemetery late at night, with only the moon watching. Quickly, he would dig down to the upper end of the box, smash it with an ax, reach in there with his long and powerful arms and draw the body out. He would put the cadaver in a big sack, place it in a cart and then - after restoring the grave to good order - carry the body to the school.
Grandison Harris was really a glorified grave...