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Shobal Vail Clevenger Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS C 36

Abstract

Correspondence, photos, articles, notes, memoranda, documents, clippings, and printed matter mostly related to Clevenger's association with the Illinois Eastern Hospital for the Insane.

Dates

  • 1864-1924

Extent

0.63 Linear Feet

Creator

Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Language of Materials

Collection materials primarily in English

Restrictions

Collection is not restricted. Contact the Reference Staff for information regarding access.

Copyright and Re-use Information

Donor's copyrights were transferred to the public domain. Archival collections often contain mixed copyrights; while NLM is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. It is the user's responsibility to research and understand any applicable copyright and re-publication rights not allowed by fair use. NLM does not grant permissions to publish.

Privacy Information

Archives and manuscript collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in any collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which the National Library of Medicine assumes no responsibility.

Biographical Note

Clevenger was a surveyer, editor, reformer, psychiatrist and author. His medical contributions were chiefly in the field of neuro-pathology. A biography by Victor Robinson, Don Quixote of Psychiatry, was published in 1919.

Son of a Cincinnati stonecutter-turned-sculptor, Shobal Vail Clevenger, Jr. (1843-1920) was born during a family visit to Italy. He grew up in various places – Ohio, Alabama, New Orleans and St.Louis. He became a surveyor for the U.S. Engineer Corps during the Civil War. After the war he continued as a civil engineer, building the first telegraph terminus in the Dakota Territory at Yankton before becoming Chief engineer for the Dakota Southern Railway. When he tried to expose western land and Indian Department misdeeds in Washington, D.C. he became disillusioned with politicians and corruption and abandoned engineering for an education in medicine.

In 1879 he graduated from the Chicago Medical College (now Northwestern University) and pursued an interest in neuro-pathological studies. Hired as a pathologist at the Insane Asylum of Cook County at Dunning, Illinois, Clevenger agitated to end criminal use of facilities and funds by officials and the consequent mistreatment and neglect of patients. Attempts on his life persuaded him to resign his position in 1884, although his continued campaign for reform resulted in some convictions. In 1893, Clevenger was appointed medical superintendent of the Illinois Eastern Hospital for the Insane in Kankakee. He again opposed state and county officials who stole from the institution and abused patients. His tenure in Kankakee lasted only three months. He was appointed professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Harvey Medical College in 1900, and later taught at the Chicago College of Medicine.

Collection Summary

Contains correspondence, photos, articles, notes, memoranda, documents, clippings, and printed matter. Many letters relate to Clevenger's association with the Illinois Eastern Hospital for the Insane. Much of the correspondence is to Victor Robinson and contain reminiscences and opinions on various subjects, including scientists and physicians.

Abstract

Correspondence, photos, articles, notes, memoranda, documents, clippings, and printed matter mostly related to Clevenger's association with the Illinois Eastern Hospital for the Insane.

Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Provenance

Gift of S.R. Shapiro, 1956.

General

Processed by
HMD Staff
Processing Completed
2002
Encoded by
Jim Labosier
Title
Finding Aid to the Shobal Vail Clevenger Papers1864-1924
Status
Unverified Partial Draft
Author
HMD Staff
Date
2002
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English
Edition statement
1.0

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collection Collecting Area

Contact:
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1-888-FINDNLM (1-888-346-3656)