Maine History Talk: Madness & Mayhem in Maine: the Parkman-Portland Parley & a Mass(achusetts) Murder
Dr Richard Kahn’s talk will explore a chapter of Jeremiah Barker’s unpublished manuscript, Diseases of the District of Maine, written between 1797-1820. Madness and insanity is the topic of Chapter one of this manuscript and the fifty-five page chapter was found separate from the other eight and was bound with several offprints on the care of the mentally ill written by Dr. George Parkman, one of America’s early alienists (19th century term for psychiatrist). The talk title’s “Mass. Murder” refers to Parkman’s death at the hands of Harvard’s professor of chemistry in 1849. Kahn will discuss casebooks, letters, cited contemporary literature, and the Portland-Parkman link to explore the medical and moral treatment of the mentally ill in the District of Maine from the 1770s to the 1820s.