Jarvis, Edward

Jarvis, Edward

(1803–84) physician; born in Concord, Mass. He left private practice in 1843 to open a house for the insane in Dorchester, Mass. An "alienist"—as psychiatrists of the time were called—he wrote a 600-page report on the numbers and conditions of the insane and idiots that resulted in a new state facility. His love for statistics led to collaborations with and reforms by census reporters, and the collection of an international library that was donated to the American Statistical Association.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.