Finding Aid
Silas Weir Mitchell space
Silas Weir Mitchell
1829 - 1914
(Art/Photo Collection, AM-061)

Silas Weir Mitchell Collection
1855 - 1964
0.5 Linear Feet (1 Box )

Biographical Note
Born in Philadelphia on 16 February 1829, S. Weir Mitchell (1829-1914) was the son of John Kearsley (Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College, 1841-1858) and Sarah Matilda (Henry) Mitchell. Mitchell studied at the University of Pennsylvania (ca. 1844-1847), received his MD from Jefferson Medical College (1850), and studied in Europe (1850-1851). Upon his return from Europe, Mitchell began a practice in Philadelphia. He interrupted his practice to serve as a surgeon for the Union Army during the Civil War. After the war, he resumed his practice with an emphasis on the research and study of neurology. Mitchell gained attention for his "rest cure," which advocated bed rest, massages, isolation and the avoidance of disturbing events, as well as a very rich and fattening diet. During his career, Mitchell also became a major critic of asylums and institutional psychiatry; he contributed to medical literature in several fields. In 1858, Mitchell married Mary Middleton Elwyn; they had two children. After her death, he married Mary Cadwalader in 1875; they had one child. Mitchell died in Philadelphia on 4 January 1914. He is recognized today as the "Founder of American Neurology," as well as a respected novelist and poet.

Scope and Contents
The collection consists of materials by or about S. Weir Mitchell, MD, and his family from 1855-1954 (bulk 1855-1912). Types of material include addresses (1872-1897) mainly presented to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, medical journal articles (1863-1912 with gaps), and correspondence.

Organization and Arrangement

  1. Addresses (1872-1897)
    Arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the sponsoring organization, thereafter in chronological order

  2. Correspondence (1855, 1900)

  3. Publications (1863-1912 with gaps)

  4. Events and Ephemera (1884-1964)
    Arranged in alphabetical order by subject

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