In 1839, the surgeon Ambrosio Moreno removed a tumour from an infant just born into slavery on a plantation in the province of Havana and discovered that the growth contained bones and teeth. 1 He donated the medical curiosity to the Anatomy Cabinet of the San Ambrosio Hospital’s School of Practical Anatomy, whose director was the hospital’s Chief Surgeon, Nicolás Gutiérrez. Moreno also wrote up his finding as a clinical note for a Havana medical journal, El Reportorio Médico-Habanero, a paper founded by Gutiérrez, and edited by one of his medical faculty colleagues. 2 These transactions trace an important circuit in Cuba’s extraordinary nineteenth-century medical universe, one that connected plantation medicine with the academic and commercial pinnacles of the art, science, and business of healing. The schooled and licensed medical practitioner engaged in a lucrative practice on the sugar plantations of the hinterland, maintaining the corporeal machinery of the ingenio (sugar mill complex), and simultaneously gaining clinical and surgical experience while generating clinical material that could provide useful native content to the development of medical institutions and professional exchanges in the capital. In the process, the practitioner enhanced his own stature within the metropolitan scientific community in a way that might open up professional and commercial possibilities in the capital following a stint in the countryside.