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Ramsey After Dark: Mental Illness & the Victorian Mind

Aug. 23
7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Literary, Speakers

Organized by the Minnesota Historical Society as part of its Ramsey After Dark series, “Mental Illness and the Victorian Mind” exposes a facet of everyday life that was once shamefully secreted away. In an era when the common course of treatment involved locking sufferers away in “insane asylums” for prolonged confinement, sessions of freezing-cold hydrotherapy, and experimental surgery, it’s no wonder the notion of being branded mentally ill was a horrifying prospect. This insightful tour details the personal experiences of the Ramsey family, revealing that social prestige provided no immunity from the scourge of mental illness. Informed by newspaper clippings, letters, and journals, tour guides will discuss how one of Minnesota’s most prominent families struggled to find help for both Alexander Ramsey’s brother, Justus, and his son-in-law, Charles. In the sharing of their tale, the Minnesota Historical Society manages to not only empathize with past generations, but connect their experiences to those currently coping with the same afflictions. Find tickets and more at 18+.