Dr. Francis Stribling was the first graduate of the University of Virginia medical school; long-time superintendent of Western State; the author of a substantial revision to a Virginia law governing the insane; a long-time friend and advisor to reformer Dorothea Dix; and a founder of the association that became The American Psychiatric Association; and an influential proponent of Moral Medicine in the South.
That Stribling's advanced the care and cure of the mentally ill is not widely known, an obscurity that this book hopes to correct. Stribling was influenced by events and attitudes of his time. His story and that of his hospital is also, in microcosm, a story of 19th-century psychiatry, 19th -century disputes about race, gender, and class, and 19th century politics.
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