Mad Yankees

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Overview

Throughout the western world, the emergence of insane asylums during the nineteenth century marked a significant change in the public perception as well as the medical treatment of mental illness. Mad Yankees tells the story of one of the earliest such institutions in the United States, the Hartford Retreat for the Insane. Opened in 1824, it was the first hospital of any kind in Connecticut and the only private mental asylum in the nation founded by a state medical society. Although conceived as an elite institution for well-to-do patrons, for many years the Hartford Retreat cared for the indigent insane and paying clients alike.

A number of remarkable physicians associated with the retreat shaped early psychiatry in Connecticut and placed the state in the vanguard of treatment for the mentally ill. Dr. Eli Todd's ethic of a "law of kindness" toward the afflicted and claims of extraordinary cure rates gained the hospital an international reputation. A coterie of doctors associated with Todd - including Mason Cogswell, Samuel B. Woodward, Amariah Brigham, and John Butler - became prominent advocates of "moral" treatment that led to tending for the insane with respect and dignity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558494053
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 10/7/2003
  • Pages: 256
  • Lexile: 1530L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Tables
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Ironies of Institutionalization 1
1 Origin of the Asylum 10
2 Eli Todd, Apostle of Moral Medicine 36
3 The Paradox of Curative Treatment 61
4 The Therapeutic Imperative of Amariah Brigham 89
5 The Impoverished Insane 113
6 John S. Butler and the Reinvention of the Retreat 137
Epilogue: The Emergence of Eugenics 165
Notes 169
Index 207
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