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May 18, 2009

SIU Med School Sponsors Annual Pearson Medical History Lecture

The mental state of Mary Todd Lincoln is the topic for the 14th annual Emmet F. Pearson Memorial Medical History Lecture at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.  The free, public lecture is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, in SIU’s South Auditorium (second floor), 801 N. Rutledge St. in Springfield.

“The Madness of Mary Lincoln” will be presented by Jason Emerson, an historian and freelance writer.  He will discuss his book about newly discovered letters pertaining to Mary Todd Lincoln’s life and insanity case.  Some of the letters were written by Lincoln to her son, Robert, from the insane asylum.  Emerson’s work is the first examination of Lincoln’s mental illness based on the lost letters and the first new interpretation of the insanity case in twenty years.

Emerson has recently published a second book, “Lincoln the Inventor,” as well as numerous articles and book reviews.  He has worked as a National Park Service ranger at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Gettysburg National Military Park and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (the Arch) in St. Louis.

The event is jointly sponsored by the SIU medical humanities department and Friends of the Pearson Museum.  Dr. Emmet F. Pearson, who is memorialized by the lecture, was a Springfield physician who was also a professor emeritus in the internal medicine and medical humanities departments at SIU.  He died in June 1996.  SIU’s medical museum is named in his honor.

For more information, call SIU’s medical humanities department, 545-4261 weekdays.



thern Illinois University School of Medicine Office of Public Affairs News Releases P.O. Box 19621, Springfield IL 62794-9621, 217-545-2155