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Encyclopedia > William Chester Minor

William Chester Minor, also known as W. C. Minor (June 1834March 26, 1920) was an American surgeon who made many scholarly contributions to the Oxford English Dictionary while confined to a lunatic asylum. For other uses, see June (disambiguation). ... Year 1834 (MDCCCXXXIV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year (86th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... “Surgeon” redirects here. ... The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of... A psychiatric hospital (also called a mental hospital or asylum) is a hospital specializing in the treatment of persons with mental illness. ...

Contents

Early life

Minor was born on the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), the son of Congregationalist Church missionaries from New England. At 14 he was sent back to the United States by steamship, finishing his education as a surgeon at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut in 1863. Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs. ... Two Mormon missionaries A missionary is traditionally defined as a propagator of religion who works to convert those outside that community; someone who proselytizes. ... This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... Paddle steamers - Lucerne-Switzerland Left: original paddlewheel from a paddle steamer on the lake of Lucerne. ... “Yale” redirects here. ... “New Haven” redirects here. ...


Military career

He was accepted by the Union Army as a surgeon and served at the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864, which was notable for the terrible casualties suffered. Minor was also given the task of punishing fugitive soldiers by branding them with a D for "deserter". Some of these men were Irish immigrants, which would later play a role in Minor's dementia delusions. Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Ulysses S. Grant George G. Meade Robert E. Lee Strength 101,895 61,025 Casualties 18,400 11,400 For the French and Indian War battle, see Battle of the Wilderness 1755. ... To Brand a person means to burn a symbol into a living persons skin using a hot or cold iron, with the intention that the resulting scar makes the symbol permanent. ... For other uses of Desertion, see Abandonment. ...


After the end of the American Civil War Minor saw duty in New York City. He was strongly attracted to the fleshpots of the city and devoted much of his off-duty time to going with prostitutes. By 1867, his behavior had come to the attention of the Army and he was transferred to a remote post in the Florida Panhandle. By 1868 his condition had progressed to the point that he was admitted to St. Elizabeths Hospital, a lunatic asylum in Washington, DC. After eighteen months he showed no improvement. He was allowed to resign his commission and take retirement pay.[1] Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... The De Wallen red-light district in Amsterdam A red-light district is a neighborhoooood where prostitution and other businesses in the sex industry flourish. ... Whore redirects here. ... The United States Army is the largest and oldest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ... The Florida Panhandle is the region of the state of Florida which includes the westernmost 16 counties in the state. ... St. ... Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, DC. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the United...


Insanity

In 1871 he went to the UK settling in the slum of Lambeth, in London where once again he took up a dissolute life. Haunted by his paranoia, he fatally shot a man named George Merrett, who Minor believed had broken into his room, on February 17, 1872. Merrett had been on his way to work to support his family of six children, himself, and his pregnant wife, Eliza. After a pre-trial period spent in London's Horsemonger Lane Gaol, Minor was found not guilty by reason of insanity and incarcerated in the asylum at Broadmoor in the village of Crowthorne, Berkshire. As he had his army pension and was not judged dangerous, he was given rather comfortable quarters and was able to buy and read books.[2] Lambeth is a place in the London Borough of Lambeth. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... is the 48th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... This article is about human pregnancy in biological females. ... Horsemonger Lane Gaol (also known as the Surrey County Gaol or the New Gaol) was a prison located close to modern-day Newington Causeway in Southwark, south London. ... ‹ The template below (Expand) is being considered for deletion. ... Location of Broadmoor Hospital at grid reference SU8464 in the United Kingdom Broadmoor Hospital is a high security psychiatric hospital at Crowthorne in Berkshire, England. ... Crowthorne is also a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa Crowthorne is a small town and civil parish in the Bracknell Forest district of south-eastern Berkshire. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Later life and OED contributions

It was probably through his correspondence with the London booksellers that he heard of the call for volunteers from what was to become the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). He devoted most of the remainder of his life to that work.[3] The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of...


He proved to be one of the most effective of the volunteers, systematically reading through his library, and compiling lists of the occurrence of words. These he kept current with the words needed in the volume being worked on at the time. As his lists grew, he was able to supply quotations on demand for a particular word. Eventually he became well acquainted with the editor of the OED, Dr. James Murray, who visited him at the asylum and befriended him. Sir James Augustus Henry Murray (1837-1915) was a Scottish lexicographer and philologist. ...


Minor's condition deteriorated and in 1902 he cut off his own penis. His health failed and he was permitted to return to the United States and St. Elizabeths Hospital. The science of psychiatry had progressed in the meantime and Dr. Minor was diagnosed as suffering from dementia praecox or schizophrenia. He died in 1920 in New Haven, Connecticut. In ancient civilizations, removal of the human penis was sometimes used as a means of demonstrating superiority: armies were sometimes known to sever the penises of their enemies to count the dead, as well as for trophies, although usually only the foreskins were taken[1]. The practice of castration (removal... St. ... Psychiatry is a branch of medicine dealing with the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of the mind and mental illness. ... “New Haven” redirects here. ...


Notes

  1. ^ The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, Simon Winchester, HarperPerennial, New York, 1998, trade paperback, ISBN 0-06-017596-6. OCLC 38425992 (Original British edition has the title The Surgeon of Crowthorne, ISBN 0-14-027128-7. OCLC 42083202)
  2. ^ Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum
  3. ^ William Chester Minor - Contributors - Oxford English Dictionary

  Results from FactBites:
 
William Chester Minor (537 words)
Minor, June 1834 - March 26, 1920) was born on the island of Ceylon, the son of Congregationalist Church missionaries from New England.
In time Minor's condition grew worse; his health failed and he was permitted to return to the United States and St. Elizabeth's.
Psychiatry had progressed in the meantime and Dr. Minor was diagnosed as suffering from dementia praecox or schizophrenia.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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