By Thomas Doherty
In 1847, younger Dr. Abraham Van Norstrand left Vermont to hunt his fortune within the West, yet in Wisconsin his company ventures failed, and a clinical perform between hard-up settlers additional little to his pocketbook. in the course of the Civil battle he equipped and ran one of many army's greatest hospitals yet resigned whilst darkish rumors surfaced approximately him. again domestic, he authorised with combined emotions the only prestigious position to be had to him: superintendent of the state's first medical institution for the insane. Van Norstrand used to be a newcomer to the so-called "Hospital Movement," might be th. Read more...
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Extra resources for The best specimen of a tyrant : the ambitious Dr. Abraham Van Norstrand and the Wisconsin Insane Hospital
Time and again—in letters seeking 20 • The Best Specimen of a Tyrant favors, in speeches to professional colleagues, and in these memoirs— Van Norstrand tries to elicit a scent of lilacs only to fill the air with swamp gas. In the first paragraph of his life story he is at his worst. He strains for humility but what flows from his pen is pure vanity. But gradually the stage makeup is sweated away, and something real emerges. Forget the tin ear and false modesty, because underneath all that the reader detects lingering hurt.
They all lived cheaply together and got along well. The Woodstock faculty was receptive to new ideas. A staff member just back from France gave instruction in auscultation and percussion. Van Norstrand studied “Minute Anatomy and Physiology” through the compound microscope, a rarity in American schools. 11 Having met most requirements for graduation in twenty-eight months, young Abraham felt well-qualified to sit for the final exam, and in the spring of 1846, two months shy of his twenty-first birthday, he received his sheepskin.
Then why, in October of 1849, did he walk away from this village that had been so good to him? What went wrong? He does not say, but once again Dr. . ”28 How would Van Norstrand have reacted to a husband scowling over his shoulder and second-guessing his every move as he tried to examine a delirious woman, or to a mother’s interventions as he fought to control a combative child? Run into him on the boardwalk on Main Street and he was a genial, hale fellow sort of guy. But he also had a hair trigger.