Hosted by Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site and the Friends of the Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters
Public conversation around health, science, and the body are nothing new; in the 19th century the Longfellows and their social circle often engaged with the discourse of their day. Join us for our 2021 Virtual Fall Lecture series featuring historians, scientists, and poets. The series will trace the site’s intersections with broader stories of early anesthesia, disability history, medicine and literature, the body in art, slavery and illness, and more. Talks will take place on Zoom and are free and open to all. More information and registration at https://www.nps.gov/long/planyourvisit/fall-lecture-series.htm [this page will be live by 10/1]
First in the series:
October 21 Fanny Longfellow’s “Ethereal Baby” and her Moment in the History of Medicine
Tegan Kehoe in conversation with Kate Hanson Plass
Local author Tegan Kehoe will discuss her forthcoming book, Exploring American Healthcare through 50 Historic Treasures (Rowman & Littlefield, December 2021) with emphasis on sections of the book that provide context for the Longfellow family’s relationship with health and medicine. Site archivist Kate Hanson Plass will share details specific to the family. The discussion will touch on mid-nineteenth century attitudes towards childbirth and diseases that touched the family such as tuberculosis. The key story connecting the book and the Longfellows is the entry of anesthesia into the medical world, which took place in Boston in 1846, and Fanny Longfellow’s unprecedented decision to use ether anesthesia in childbirth the following year.