Throughout much of the nineteenth century, a husband, father, or other male authority figure could—and did—have a woman declared insane as easily as getting two doctors to sign the certificate, and they didn’t even have to see the patient. A man’s testimony was enough to get a female relative locked up in secret, indefinitely. Some women suffered from “puerperal insanity,” but others were imprisoned in an asylum for no greater cause than disagreement with established norms.
Faces of the Civil War In remembrance of the Union and Confederate soldiers who served in the American Civil War, the Liljenquist Family donated their rare collection of over 700 ambrotype and tintype photographs to the Library of Congress. Most of the people and photographers are unidentified.
Pvt. Louis Napoleon Nelson, in Confederate uniform. Nelson joined the Confederate army in 1861 at age 14. He served in Gen. Forrest's cavalry as a cook, forager, body guard, and soldier. He saw action at places like Shiloh and Vicksburg. He wore his Confederate uniform to 39 veterans reunions.