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Moral Treatment

Written by Dr. James W. Trent, Jr., Gordon College. “Moral treatment was a product of the Enlightenment of the late eighteenth century. Before then people with psychiatric conditions, referred to as the insane, were usually treated in inhumane and brutal ways.”Continue Reading »

Three Years In A Mad House (1851)

“Astounding Disclosures! Three Years In A Mad House,” by Isaac H. Hunt, 1851. Hunt, a former patient at the Maine Insane Hospital published a scathing attack on his treatment by the institution’s attendants and doctors. Isaac Hunt describes all sorts of abuses and mistreatment. His account makes people wonder whether or not the asylum offered conditions better than those uncovered in local almshouses and jails by the investigative reports of Dorothea Dix. Out of Hunt’s complaints came an investigation by the Maine Legislature into conditions at the asylum.Continue Reading »

Listening to Patients: The Opal as a Source

The Opal, which was “dedicated to usefulness,” is a ten volume Journal that was written and edited by the patients of the Utica State Lunatic Asylum, (1851 – 1860). The more than 3,000 pages of material in The Opal includes political commentary, humor, advice, and theory on insanity in the form of articles, poetry, prose, cartoons, plays, and literature.Continue Reading »

Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital: New York – 1891

This is a lengthy “Letter to the Editor” of The New York Times written by “Index Medicus,” a medical society and journal. If New York State was transferring patients out of their district to another state hospital, why couldn’t the State pay for the transportation of patients whose family and friends wanted them to receive homeopathic medical care as opposed to allopathic medical care?Continue Reading »

Our New York State Charities: 1873

“At present these petty criminals spend their time in complete idleness in the county jails, and go out worse than they entered. To improve this class there should be a separate department in the State work-houses proposed, and the criminal statutes should be changed, so that the magistrates could commit them to these, and for longer terms than is at present the custom.”Continue Reading »

New York State Care System For The Insane Completed: 1896

“The Governor has approved the bill creating the Manhattan State Hospital and providing for the transfer of the lunatic asylums of this city and the care of their inmates to the State”Continue Reading »

Willard Asylum for the Insane: Steward’s Report 1900

Steward’s Report by Captain Morris J. Gilbert, 1900. According to Dr. Robert E. Doran, Jr., author of “History Of The Willard Asylum For The Insane And The Willard State Hospital,” “…he was totally responsible for all purchasing as well as overseeing the farm and maintenance work.”Continue Reading »

State Board of Charities of New York: Reports 1878-1884

n the early years of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections, representatives of the states in attendance were invited to share reports on their experiences, problem areas and achievement in connection with the charities and institutions in their respective states. Below are reports from the New York representative at the conferences held from 1978 to 1884. Continue Reading »

Insanity in the Middle States: 1876

This entry is from the Proceedings of the third Conference of Charities held at Saratoga, New York, September 6, 1876. by Mr. Sanborn. “Insanity is, in the middle states, as in the other states, increasing disproportionately to the increase of population…”Continue Reading »

Treatment of the Insane: 1876

The “Preface” is from the Proceedings for the third Conference of Charities held at Saratoga, New York, September 6, 1876. It is followed by a paper titled “The Treatment of the Insane” delivered paper by Dr. Nathan Allen, of Lowell, Mass. Continue Reading »

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