Finding Aid for the Rev. Charles Wesley Parsons Correspondence Biomed.0373

Finding aid prepared by Courtney Dean, 2020.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Online finding aid last updated 2020 November 16.
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575

Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
Title: Rev. Charles Wesley Parsons correspondence
Creator: Parsons, Charles Wesley, Rev.
Source: Walkabout Books
Identifier/Call Number: Biomed.0373
Physical Description: 1 unknown (1 collection)
Date (inclusive): 1895-1902
Language of Material: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Unprocessed collection. Material is unavailable for access. Please contact Special Collections reference ( for more information.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 8062911 

Scope and Contents

"A fascinating archive of letters from Rev. Charles Wesley Parsons (1851-1907) to his close friend Henry M. Quackenbush (1847-1933), gun manufacturer and inventor of the extension ladder and the nutcracker. Once a highly respected Methodist Episcopal minister, by his late forties Parsons had begun to suffer severely from both the symptoms and the treatment of tic douloureux (also called trigeminal neuralgia), a neurologic disorder that causes intense pain in the face. The pain was treated with topical cocaine, which over time caused Parsons to experience paranoia and hallucinations. In series of letters written to Quackenbush between 1895 and 1902, Parsons writes repeatedly of being watched in his home, followed by detectives and 'sneaks,' and harassed by gangs and policemen. On January 28, 1902, he told Quackenbush he was out of cocaine and desperate for more to ease the pain, asking 'Will you please (I beg) send me by the quickest way possible (mail, I think best) one oz. of cocaine.' The next letter thanks his friend for the package, saying the pain has diminished, but reports that they tapped the wires of our telephone, put a microphone on and heard every word spoken in our house. And on March 9: 'I am cutting down, and by summer will hardly use any at all. ... This is the last time I'll ask it of you, I feel sure -- just mail me one more oz. of cocaine.' The archive includes 17 letters and a postcard from Parsons to Quackenbush (three typed and the rest handwritten, c. 70 pages in all), as well as 3 letters to Quackenbush from a mutual friend, expressing concern that Parsons' 'brain power' is failing and enclosing two postcards he received from Parsons complaining of abuse by the police."--Antiquarian bookseller's description, 2016.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Walkabout Books