Carson Berrier: Proposal
Dorothea Lynde Dix was one of the most influential names in social reform in the 19th century—one who served as an advocate for the mentally ill and campaigned throughout the United States for the improvement of conditions of the facilities caring for those with mental illnesses. Prior to her crusades for the mentally ill in the United States, she travelled abroad where she discovered people who were aiding the mentally ill. Beginning her campaign in Massachusetts after visiting a jail and noting that some of the patients were not criminals but mentally ill, she wrote a “memorial” to the state legislature to ask for the improvement of conditions. The proposed research will examine the impact of Dorothea Lynde Dix’s campaigns for the improvement of conditions for the mentally ill across Massachusetts.
The proposed research will analyze Dix’s “memorial” to the state legislature of Massachusetts to understand her complaints and mission towards the improvement of conditions for those struggling with mental illness. Specifically examining the Memorial to the Legislature of Massachusetts: Protesting Against the Confinement of Insane Persons and Idiots in Almshouses and Prison will show the beginnings of her campaign. Another vital source was Dix’s address to the U.S. Congress, titled Memorial of D.L. Dix: Praying a Grant of Land for the Relief and Support of the Indigent Curable and Incurable Insane in the United States. This document shows the broadness of her mission’s reach and the publicity that her campaign may have received. Many books will provide vital background information as well as details of the time and some newer sources will place these events into the historical narrative, which is vital to understanding the proposed research. David Gollaher’s Voice for the Mad: The Life of Dorothea Dix provides background information on Dix’s life and mission and will provide the context which made these campaigns happen. These sources along with many others will help the proposed research on the improvement of conditions for the mentally ill in Massachusetts be successful.
I pledge I have neither given nor received any unauthorized help on this assignment. – Carson Berrier
Dix, Dorothea Lynde. Letter to Convicts in State Prisons and Houses of Correction, or County Penitentiaries, November 1850. Boston, National Library of Medicine.
Dix, Dorothea Lynde. Memorial to the Legislature of Massachusetts: Protesting Against the Confinement of Insane Persons and Idiots in Almshouses and Prisons, 1843. Boston: Printed by Munroe & Francis, 1843.
Dix, Dorothea Lynde. Memorial of D.L. Dix: Praying a Grant of Land for the Relief and Support of the Indigent Curable and Incurable Insane in the United States, 1848. Washington: Printed by Tippin & Streeper, 1848.
Dix, Dorothea Lynde. Remarks on Prison Discipline in the United States. Montclair, N.J.: P. Smith, 1845.
“A Dorothea Dix Centenary.” The Social Service Review 16, no.1 (March 1942): 665-667.
Brown, Thomas J. Dorothea Dix: New England Reformer. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1998.
Commager, Henry Steele. “A Samaritan of the Nineteenth Century: Dorothea Dix’s Contribution Was as Significant as Any in Her Time.” New York Times, July 11, 1937, 76.
Gollaher, David. Voice for the Mad: The Life of Dorothea Dix. New York: Free Press, 1995.
Greenstone, David J. “Dorothea Dix and Jane Addams: From Transcendentalism to Pragmatism in American Social Reform.” Social Service Review 53, no. 4 (December 1979): 527-559.
Grob, Gerald N. The Mad Among Us: A History of the Care of America’s Mentally Ill. New York: Free Press. 1994.
Kramer, Lawrence David. “Dorothea Lynde Dix: A Psychobiographical Study.” PhD. Diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 1996.
Marshall, Helen E. Dorothea Dix: Forgotten Samaritan. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1937.
Michel, Sonya. “Dorothea Dix: or, the Voice of the Maniac.” Discourse 17, no. 2 (Winter 1994): 48-66.
McKelvey, Blake. Review of Dorothea Dix: Forgotten Samaritan, by Helen E. Marshall. New England Quarterly 12, no. 1 (March 1939): 160-162.
Muckenhoupt, Margaret. Dorothea Dix: Advocate for Mental Health Care. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Parry, Manon S. “Dorothea Dix: Voices from the Past.” American Journal of Public Health 96, no. 4 (April 2006): 624-625.
Ross, Ishbel. “Flowers of New England: Three Wise Virgins.” New York Times, November 17, 1957, 124.
Rothman, David J., “The Politics of Virtue: A life of Dorothea Dix, Reformer and Advocate for the Mentally Ill. VOICE FOR THE MAD: The Life of Dorothea Dix.” New York Times, August 6, 1995, 22.
Tiffany, Francis. “Dorothea Dix, Philanthropist: Life of Dorothea Lynde Dix.” New York Times, October 20, 1890, 3.
Yacovone, Donald. Review of Dorothea Dix: New England Reformer, by Thomas J. Brown. New England Quarterly 72, no. 2 (June 1999): 310-312.