This blog was written by Alice Browne
Nowadays we are more likely to associate electricity with execution than with healing. But in nineteenth-century New York, sellers of electric belts and proprietors of electric baths promised relief from many diseases, especially those that were chronic, embarrassing, or neglected by conventional medicine. Both claimed to relieve symptoms by passing electric or magnetic currents through the patient's body. They operated in the same uncertain area as the sellers of...Read More
This post was written by Alisa Wade, New-York Historical Society Graduate Archival Research Fellow
James Beekman and his wife, Jane Keteltas Beekman, circulated in New York’s high society in the post-Revolutionary era. After returning to the city following British evacuation in 1783, the Beekman family reintegrated themselves into the social circles of the urban elite, entertaining George Washington and others at their Mount Pleasant estate.
Their standing was entrenched by James Beekman’s flourishing mercantile firm, which he...Read More
This post was written by AHMC cataloger Miranda Schwartz.
A small, bright-red trial pass from the American Historical Manuscript Collection leads us to look back at a sensational 19th-century trial—that of Charles J. Guiteau, an unstable, itinerant bill collector and lawyer who assassinated President James A. Garfield just four months after his election.
For years Guiteau had bounced from job to job, city to city, exhibiting the warning signs of mental illness. After Garfield’s victory Guiteau seized...Read More
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