- Gerald N. Grob
Jarvis, Edward (09 January 1803–31 October 1884), psychiatrist and statistician, was born Asa Jarvis in Concord, Massachusetts, the son of Francis Jarvis, a baker and farmer, and Millicent Hosmer. In 1821 he changed his name to Edward Asa Jarvis, and shortly thereafter he stopped using his middle name. Raised in a patriarchal household, Jarvis imbibed the Unitarian faith in an orderly and moral world. He entered Harvard College in 1822 and graduated four years later. After successive apprenticeships with Drs. George C. Shattuck and Benjamin Lincoln, he received an M.D. from the Harvard Medical School in 1830. In 1834 he married Almira Hunt; they had no children. The two collaborated in treating mentally ill patients in their home as well as in professional work. Between 1830 and 1837 he practiced successively in Concord and Northfield, Massachusetts, and then moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he remained until 1842. His ventures in private practice, however, proved disappointing because relatively few patients returned for visits. In 1842 he returned to Massachusetts and settled in Dorchester. He quickly made the practice of psychiatry his specialty, which included caring for a small number of private mentally ill patients in his home....