Isaac Ray, M.D.
Mental Hygiene, (1863, first edition) by Isaac Ray, M. D.
M.D. was among the first to use the term 'mental
hygiene', and his treatise on the subject was
one of the earliest American works to present a
detailed program for the prevention of mental
diseases. It's interesting this book, given its
topic, is 'notated' as having been at the Post
Hospital at Fort Richmond, during the Civil
From the Bowdoin College
Alumni: Bowdoin 1823-24; A.M. 1846;
LL.D. Brown 1897. Born 1807 in Beverly,
Mass. Physician in Portland 1827-29;
Eastport 1829-41. Supt. Maine St. Hosp.
Augusta 1841-45; Butler Hosp. Providence,
R.I. 1845-67; Physician Philadelphia, Pa.
1867-81. Pres. R. I. Med. Soc. 1856-58.
From the Bowdoin College Alumni: Bowdoin 1823-24; A.M. 1846; LL.D. Brown 1897. Born 1807 in Beverly, Mass. Physician in Portland 1827-29; Eastport 1829-41. Supt. Maine St. Hosp. Augusta 1841-45; Butler Hosp. Providence, R.I. 1845-67; Physician Philadelphia, Pa. 1867-81. Pres. R. I. Med. Soc. 1856-58. Died 1881.
Isaac Ray (1807-1881) was an American psychiatrist, one of the founders of the discipline of forensic psychiatry. In 1838, he published A Treatise on the Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity (Boston), which served as an authoritative text for many years.
A graduate of Phillips Academy (Class of 1822), Ray received his medical degree in 1827 from the Harvard Medical School and spent the following year visiting medical facilities in New England, England, and France. After several years in private practice in Maine, he became Superintendent of the State Hospital for the Insane in Augusta in 1841, and in 1845 he moved to Providence, Rhode Island, to supervise the building of the private Butler Hospital and became its first Superintendent. In 1867, he moved to an active retirement in Philadelphia.
The Treatise on the Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity was very influential and was deployed effectively by defence lawyer Sir Alexander Cockburn in the English trial of Daniel Mc'Naghten in 1843. At the trial, Cockburn quoted extensively from the book which rejected traditional views of the insanity defense based on the defendant's ability to distinguish "right from wrong" in favor of a broader approach based on causation.
One of the founding members of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, he served as President from 1855 to 1859. Between 1828 and 1880, except for one year he published at least one article every year, mainly dealing with insanity and its legal implications. Ray also published several important monographs, including Mental Hygiene (Boston, 1863) and Contributions to Mental Pathology (Boston, 1873).
(The personal edited research notes of Michael Echols, the source of which may or may not be completely documented)