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HIST 150: Dis/Ability in American History


Mss. 78 G 13 Galt I & II Papers 12 cu. ft.

Mostly Galt II (medical papers) is relevant for this topic. Papers, 1840-1862, of John M. Galt II concerning his work at the Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia. Includes correspondence, reports, clinical notes, medical diaries, financial papers, and printed material. 

One example from the correspondence in Galt I is a letter giving an assessment for the need of a hospital for the “blind, deaf & dumb: Folder 32, Item 3: Richmond. Cary [Caroline Lambert] to Elizabeth Galt, Williamsburg. : Folder 32, Item 3: Richmond. Cary [Caroline Lambert] to Elizabeth Galt, Williamsburg. "There has been a most interesting exhibition of the blind, deaf & dumb here. The wish to establish an Asylum in Virginia, there being more afflicted in that way in the state than in any other..." "The blind sing, read, write... & the deaf & dumb beside other things give an exact representation of the different passions... equal to the best dramatic performance." January 26, 1838.

Two scrapbooks of newspaper clippings were added to the Galt II in 2011 . The subject matter is mental health with topics such as insanity, murder, suicide and criminal behavior.  The scrapbooks have been scanned and are available in Swem's Digital Archive


Mss. Sm Coll Eastern State, Eastern State Hospital Records, 1862-1957 24 items

The collection is composed of material, chiefly 1862-1868, relating to Eastern Lunatic Asylum (now Eastern State Hospital), Williamsburg, Va. Includes correspondence, patient reports, and requisition orders of Dr. Peter Wager, director of the hospital during the Union occupation of Williamsburg. There are also replies, 1956-1957, to inquiries for information about Dr. John de Sequeyera [or Sequeyra], a physician at the hospital from 1773 to 1793, and the hospital during the Civil War.


Mss. 96 Au7: Austin-Twyman Papers

Parts of this substantial collection consists of correspondence regarding slavery, farm management, the study and practice of medicine. All records relating to slavery have been indexed and the indexed has been digitzed and is available in Swem's Digital Archive  


Mss. Acc. 2010.268: Sarah Bonwell Hudgins Foundation Records, 1963-1999,

Papers, circa 1963-1999, focusing on the founding and early history of the Sarah Bonwell Hudgins Center which serves developmentally disabled children and adults. Of interest might be Box 2, Folder 6: Sarah Bonwell Hudgins Center services proposal and newsletter, 1973, 1994, and Folder 7: Sarah Bonwell Hudgins Center operations manual, no date.


Mss. 83 C 36, R. Harvey Chappell, Jr. Papers 

Papers, 1950-1982, of R. Harvey Chappell, Jr., relating particularly to his tenures as president of the Virgina State Bar and the Richmond Bar Association and as a member of the council and executive committees of those organizations. Subjects covered by the papers include advertising by lawyers, contingency fees, the unauthorized practice of law, legal aid, legal ethics, lawyer referrals, legal assistants (paralegals) and the Crippled Children's Hospital of Richmond, Va.  Box 13, Folder 921-939: Correspondence of the Crippled Children's Hospital, 1974-1975


Mss. Acc. 2007. 36: Mrs. Henry Cassidy Papers, circa 1903-1935

Helen Saw Telle Cassidy Conley worked as a teacher at "The Spruces," a long-term care facility for children with emotional problems located in Staatsburg-on-Hudson, N.Y.  "The Spruces" was founded by Dr. Victor Vance Anderson in 1928.  These letters describe Mrs. Henry Cassidy's time at the Spruces as a teacher, giving vivid descriptions of the children's behavior and problems. It is now the Anderson Center for Autism

Mss. 39.1 C76, Civil War Collection, 1856-1938

The Civil War Collection is an artificial collection of material, chiefly 1861-1865, pertaining to the American Civil War including items from Union and Confederate forces. Of interest, for example, might be the following:  Folder 5, 1861-1865, Item 4  Discharges for disability; Folder 7, Item 20: 24 June 1863..."asks for the release of William L. Ellicott of the 49th Va. Volunteers who was wounded at the battle of Seven Pines, discharged for being permanently disabled;"  Item 21: 30 July 1863 ..."requests lists of medical officers, hospital stewards, nurses and attendants from your division who were left behind at Gettysburg or any other point behind enemy lines with the sick and wounded;"Additions, Folder 37: Acc. 2006.12 Addition:  Armistead Burwell Letter (Confederate) (Virginia), January 23, 1862,  Letter from Armistead Burwell ....thinks Charles should be discharged for disability;"

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The following list of search results from the database was provided by Prof Daen.  Some are collections in their own rights, some are items from larger collections. To find out more about them, try cutting and pasting them into the SCRC database search box, leaving the date and final punctuation off.
A True State of the Small Pox, 1747
Letter, John S. Caldwell to John Minson Galt II, 13 July 1841
Rush's Lectures, Medical Student Notes, circa 1790-1799
Dr. George Williamson Daybook, 1807-1819
Baird Family Papers, 1656-1922
Samuel F. Bright Account Books, 1826-1861
Gideon Christian Papers, 1838-1882
Jefferson H. Clark Collection, 1914-2000
Philip P. Hines Diary and Bible, 1851
Gray G. Hollaway Surgeon's Case Book, 1896-1924
James Keen Ledger, 1825-1837
Yeaman and Walker Family Collection, 1836-1937
John Clayton to a Doctor of Physik, 1684
Verner Gaggin Letters, 1918-1919
Nanny C. Waller Diary, 1849-1851
S. G. Davis Ledger, 1860-1875
James F. Clarke Papers, 1856-1907
Lunatic Hospital Book (A.D. Galt's Hospital Notes), 1799-1809
Craig Family Papers, 1860-1906
Eastern Lunatic Asylum Ledgers, 1876-1916
Eastern Luntic Asylum, Williamsburg, Va. letters, 1854
Eastern State Hospital Records, 1862-1957
Galt Papers (II), 1840-1862
H. Clinton Thompson, M.D. Affidavit on the Eastern Lunatic Asylum, 1866