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Author Sapinsley, Barbara
Title The private war of Mrs. Packard / Barbara Sapinsley ; foreword by Eric T. Carlson
Imprint New York : Paragon House, 1991
book jacket
 Euro-Am Studies Lib  362.1 P121sa 1991    AVAILABLE    30500100613358
Edition 1st ed
Descript xvii, 220 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Note "The dramatic story of the 19th-century feminist who lobbied for laws to protect wives from husbands who could commit them to mental institutions without legitimate cause" - Jacket
Includes bibliographical references (page 211) and index
Foreword / Eric T. Carlson -- Preface -- On trial -- The stage is set -- The blessings of marriage -- The road to war -- Skirmishes -- Armistice -- The first campaigns -- Once more into the fray -- Sounds and furies -- The best and briefest victory -- A reformer's work is never done -- Striking the flag -- Appendixes. Treatise on Calvinism, September 1862 -- Petition to the Massachusetts legislature to amend commitment laws, 1864 -- The Massachusetts Commitment Law as amended, May 1865 -- Petition to the Connecticut legislature to establish wives as partners to their husbands in family matters, 1866 -- "Personal Liberty Law" enacted March 1867 -- "Love letter" to Dr. McFarland, late 1862 -- Books by Mrs. Packard -- Bill introduced in Congress to grant asylum inmates uncensored access to the mails, January 1875
Committed to an insane asylum by her husband, a Calvinist minister, for arguing questions of dogma, Mrs. Elizabeth Packard's life was transformed from a nineteenth-century wife to a crusading reformer and pioneer feminist. Her plight illustrated the insecurity with which married women lived in an era when husbands could declare wives insane and commit them at whim. Three years after her incarceration and after a dramatic trial she was declared sane. Abandoned and left destitute by her husband, Mrs. Packard poured her energies into reforming the laws that had so ill-treated her. She wrote books, gave lectures and traveled to thirty-one states, lobbying for legislative reforms and challenging psychiatric thinking. She was directly or indirectly responsible for legal changes that made it unlawful in the United States to institutionalize any person without judicial approval and brought about many changes in attitudes toward the mentally ill. By the time she died in 1897, Mrs. Packard had achieved national and international prominence. Here is a dramatic social and cultural history of the time. Mrs. Packard's life will serve as a beacon to today's women and a revelation of what a woman's life was like a century ago. Reconstructed from Mrs. Packard's own writings, her husband's journals, newspapers, legal and medical records, plus an extensive cache of family letters and photographs, this is the untold story of one woman who made a difference. - Jacket flap
Link Online version: Sapinsley, Barbara. Private war of Mrs. Packard. 1st ed. New York : Paragon House, 1991 (OCoLC)645805599
Subject Packard, E. P. W. (Elizabeth Parsons Ware), 1816-1897
Psychiatric hospital patients -- Illinois -- Biography
Women social reformers -- Illinois -- Biography
Mentally ill -- Commitment and detention -- United States
Husband and wife -- United States
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