O. N. Bradbury papers  1864-1874
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Bradbury papers contain five manuscript addresses written by Bradbury, all probably dating from the late 1860's and early 1870's. In two very similar essays, Bradbury discusses the importance of physicians in American society and the responsibilities, including continuing education, which accompany that role. Two other speeches, a Fourth of July speech from 1869 and a Decoration Day address, probably from 1874, examined the impact of the Civil War on American society and look forward to the healing that Bradbury anticipated was reuniting the country.

The longest and most significant manuscript in the collection is an untitled, 166 page essay/speech on mesmerism, animal magnetism, spiritualism and "biologism" as used in medicine, with further commentary on clairvoyants, mediums and other practitioners of such techniques. In this essay, Bradbury documents a large number of instances of cures effected by non-traditional medicine, many of which he personally witnessed, and he recorded several accounts of parapsychological activity. Bradbury was willing to admit to the efficacy of mesmerist and spiritualist medicine, but he steadfastly attributed cures to natural causes, not supernatural, and he rejected the existence of spirits as being unnecessary and unproved.

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