Title of Lecture

the Madness of Mary Telfair

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Description of Lecture

In mid-1875, Mary Telfair died, leaving clear directions in her will for the dispensation of her assets. The principal beneficiaries were the Georgia Historical Society and the City of Savannah. Telfair's nephews, who recieved only small disbursements, contested the will claming that Mary Telfair was not of sound mind when she signed the documnet. Not easily deterred by early losses, they pursued their case all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The contest over Mary Telfair's will provided a lens for examining how gendered assumptions about women's mental fitness and capacity informed late nineteenth-century medico-legal understandings of madness and insanity.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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