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Harvey Lillard’s Literacy and Racial Identity: An Evaluation of Primary Documents and Review of the Literature

Jerome Rundall, D.C.   


Journal of Philosophy, Principles & Practice of Chiropractic ~ December 31, 2015 ~ Pages 28-33



Objective: This paper seeks to evaluate primary source information in the form of firsthand accounts of the first chiropractic adjustment written by D. D. Palmer and Harvey Lillard, oral interviews with Lillard’s daughter Valdeenia Simons, and U. S. Federal Census data in order to provide insight into whether or not Lillard was literate.

Methods: A narrative, integrative review of chiropractic literature was conducted to review the available material concerning the history of Harvey Lillard.  In addition, U. S. Federal Census data was collected and reviewed for consideration.

Results: There is a relative lack of peer-reviewed information regarding the life of Harvey Lillard.  There are, at present, three avenues of primary source material that contribute to the body of evidence concerning Lillard’s literacy status.  

Conclusion: While no single piece of primary evidence is conclusive on its own, when the entire body of knowledge is taken into account, a compelling argument can be made suggesting that Lillard was indeed literate.  

Key words: Harvey Lillard, literacy, Federal Census, chiropractic