Biography of SC's pioneering doctor - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Biography of SC's pioneering doctor

Dr. James Woods Babcock (Source: Dr. Charles Bryan) Dr. James Woods Babcock (Source: Dr. Charles Bryan)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Every day, thousands of people see the landmark building named after Dr. James Woods Babcock sitting at the center of the former South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane at Bull and Elmwood Streets.

Dr. Babcock earned the honor for his work with the state's mentally ill as superintendent of the hospital between 1891 and 1914. He also contributed to the reduction of the disease pellagra in America.

"Babcock's lasting significance was for his role in the pellagra epidemic," Babcock biographer Dr. Chares Bryan said. "In 1909 he had a national conference which really became an international conference, perhaps the biggest thing that happened in Columbia since Sherman came through in 1865. It attracted international attention."

Bryan's study of Babcock has been published in the book Asylum Doctor: James Woods Babcock and the Red Plague of Pellagra.

Babcock was a South Carolina native who studied at Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard School of Medicine. He eventually returned to his home state and was appointed Administrator of the South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane by Governor Ben Tillman in 1891.

"Babcock was a physician and was South Carolina's first fully-trained psychiatrist, or alienist. He was well-recognized and esteemed as one of the leading alienists, or psychiatrists in the Southeastern United States," Dr. Bryan said. "He was also one of the first to call attention to the growing problem of mental illness in African-Americans during the late 19th century."

His administration at the hospital occurred during difficult years for South Carolina.

"Because of poverty, racial discrimination, violence and other factors and were terrible years for the State Hospital for the Insane because of overcrowding and under funding," Bryan said.

Now that society enjoys a pellagra-free existence, Babcock's name lives on through the red-domed building on Bull Street. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building is one of a few that will survive development at the former asylum that includes a minor-league baseball park.

"I think the preservation of the Babcock Building is important and I think the significance of the Babcock Building, particularly vis-a-vis pellagra, probably transcends what we've read about so far.

Bryan will be discussing his book, Asylum Doctor, Tuesday, July 29 at 5:30 p.m. at Historic Columbia Foundation's Robert Mills House Carriage House.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

  • Biography of SC's pioneering doctorMore>>

  • NewsMore>>

  • The Latest: Ledecka wins 2nd gold medal of Pyeongchang Games

    The Latest: Ledecka wins 2nd gold medal of Pyeongchang Games

    Friday, February 23 2018 8:14 PM EST2018-02-24 01:14:57 GMT
    Saturday, February 24 2018 1:19 AM EST2018-02-24 06:19:37 GMT
    (AP Photo/Michael Sohn). Driver Nadezhda Sergeeva and Anastasia Kocherzhova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia take a curve in their third heat during the women's two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, ...(AP Photo/Michael Sohn). Driver Nadezhda Sergeeva and Anastasia Kocherzhova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia take a curve in their third heat during the women's two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, ...

    The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation says it isn't commenting yet on an alleged anti-doping rule violation by Russian women's bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva.

    More >>

    The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation says it isn't commenting yet on an alleged anti-doping rule violation by Russian women's bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva.

    More >>
  • Report: FBI probe docs list range of payments to top players

    Report: FBI probe docs list range of payments to top players

    Friday, February 23 2018 10:37 AM EST2018-02-23 15:37:22 GMT
    Saturday, February 24 2018 1:19 AM EST2018-02-24 06:19:24 GMT
    Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives. (Source: NCAA)Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives. (Source: NCAA)

    Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to...

    More >>

    Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports.

    More >>
  • Ex-Trump aide pleads guilty, will cooperate in Russia probe

    Ex-Trump aide pleads guilty, will cooperate in Russia probe

    Friday, February 23 2018 12:14 AM EST2018-02-23 05:14:34 GMT
    Saturday, February 24 2018 12:36 AM EST2018-02-24 05:36:54 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - in this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, Rick Gates departs Federal District Court in Washington. In a dramatic escalation of pressure and stakes, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional criminal charges Thursday...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - in this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, Rick Gates departs Federal District Court in Washington. In a dramatic escalation of pressure and stakes, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional criminal charges Thursday...

    Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed additional criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate.

    More >>

    Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed additional criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly