The Packard Case

19 May

Early on the morning of the 18th of June, 1860, as I arose from my bed, preparing to take my morning bath, I saw my husband approaching my door with two physicians, both members of his church and our Bible-class and a stranger gentleman, Sheriff Burgess.
Fearing exposure, I hastily locked my door, and proceeded with the greatest despatch to dress myself. But before I had hardly commenced, my husband forced an entrance into my room through a window with an axe! And I, for shelter and protection against an exposure in a state of entire nudity, sprang into bed, just in time to receive my unexpected guests.
The trio approached my bed, and each doctor felt my pulse, and without asking a single question both pronounced me insane! Of course my pulse was bounding at the time from excessive fright; and I ask, what lady of refinement and fine and tender sensibilities would not have a quickened pulse by such an untimely, unexpected, unmanly, and even outrageous entrance into her private sleeping room?

Charles E. Goshen, M.D., Documentary History of Psychiatry (Philosophical Library, New York 1967)

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