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The Civil Index of the District Court of Santa Barbara County California.

I first found these in November of 1996. The comprehensive comment near the end of the second page of the old leather bound ledger "The insanity papers", at the end of the first entry period reveals the perceptions of the individual making the record. This was a distinct event comprised of like documents separated in the mind of the recorder from normal events. Notice there are no dates and the filing references change. This scan is from the second page and shows the end of an entry period containing 72 insanity actions in two years.

The officials when compiling the index couldn't decide whether to write 1875 or 1876. There are seven pages of entries with very few spanish surnames. Nearly all are "Insanity of" indicating that the state is examining the sanity of the defendant.

Insanity means "unsanctified".

Forth up from the bottom is seen, "Huse C.E. Charles E. Huse was one of the most prominent lawyers in California fifteen years prior to his insanity at age sixty five. I read in the medical examination that he knew the "direction of the universe". Many of the examinations described men who babbled incoherently or raved. There was a popular term in many of the descriptions "The Mania".
Women rejected their husbands and families and men were utterly unable to take care of themselves. One man suffered a delusion of grandeur that had him writing checks and IOU's for thousands of dollars and no one could convince him that he wasn't wealthy. Rage and unreason reigned.

 

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH