Silas Weir Mitchell papers, 1809-1915 and undated

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Summary

Creator:
Mitchell, S. Weir (Silas Weir), 1829-1914
Abstract:
U.S. physician, neurologist, and author. Papers date from 1809-1915 and include correspondence and documents sent to Mitchell relating to matters personal and professional. Transcripts are often present. Principal correspondents include his relative Mitchell Henry, his publisher Frank H. Scott, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jeffries Wyman, Charles-Edouard Brown-Séquard, Louis Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz, Anna Eliot Ticknor, Sir W. T. Gairdner, Louis Lee Lawrence, Charles Leonard Moore, Julian Stafford Corbett, Harrison S. Morris, T. Lauder Brunton, Sir William Osler, and Hideyo Noguchi, among others. A complete list of correspondents is available in the collection. Papers are arranged chronologically. The principal language is English, although there are some letters in French and German. Also includes a set of Mitchell's diplomas. The papers form part of the Trent Manuscripts Collection and were acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.
Extent:
1.2 Linear Feet (2 boxes; 1 oversize folder)
747 Items
Language:
Materials primarily in English, although there are a few letters in French and German.
Collection ID:
RL.00901

Background

Scope and content:

The papers of physician and neurologist Silas Weir Mitchell date from 1809-1915 and comprise over 700 documents and correspondence sent to Dr. Mitchell relating to matters both personal and professional. Transcripts are often included. Principal correspondents include his relative Mitchell Henry, his publisher Frank H. Scott, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jeffries Wyman, Charles-Éduoard Brown-Séquard, Louis Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz, Anna Eliot Ticknor, Sir W. T. Gairdner, Louis Lee Lawrence, Charles Leonard Moore, Julian Stafford Corbett, Harrison S. Morris, T. Lauder Brunton, Sir William Osler, and Hideyo Noguchi, among others. A complete list of correspondents is available in the first box of the collection. A set of Mitchell's diplomas is also included.

The Silas Weir Mitchell papers form part of the Trent Manuscripts Collection and were acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.

Biographical / historical:

Silas Weir Mitchell is considered a pioneer in the field of neurology. Born in Philadelphia into a family of physicians, he earned his medical degree in 1850 at the Jefferson Medical College, University of Pennsylvania. His interest in neurology grew out of his experience treating nervous disorders in soldiers during the Civil War. He is well-known for his use of the "rest cure" for hysteria and neurasthenia, particularly in women. He was Charlotte Perkins Gilman's physician, who then indicted this treatment in The Yellow Wallpaper; the treatment was also used on Virginia Woolf, who also condemned the practice. He also promoted the use of electrotherapy and massage. Mitchell was elected president of the Association of American Physicians in 1887 and served as a founder and president of the American Neurological Association in 1908-1909. Mitchell was also a patron of the arts and produced many literary works, including poetry, historical novels, and short stories. He died in 1914 after contracting influenza.

Acquisition information:
The Silas Weir Mitchell papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a transfer in 2011.
Processing information:

Processed by Paula Jeannet, August 2013.

Encoded by Paula Jeannet, August 2013.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Contents

Using These Materials

Using These Materials Links:

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Restrictions:

Collection is open for research.

Terms of access:

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Silas Weir Mitchell papers, 1809-1915, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.