Indiana. General Assembly.

Documentary journal of Indiana 1859 (Volume 1859) online

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length of time. Under the use of conium and iron, the bath and the
flesh brush, or coarse towel, the physical powers may be partially
restored, but it rarely becomes permanent.

Intemperate drinking furnishes more cases of insanity than our
list gets credit for, but then as we remarked above, the desire to
suppress the history of patients strongly applies here, and many who
are placed under other heads of causes should have been placed
under " intemperate drinking." We attribute the frequent occur-
rence of insanity from intemperate drinking to the str^^chnine, fish-,
berries and other poisonous drugs used in the adulteration of the,
various alcoholic preparations.

Although tobacco is not a very prominent cause of insanity in the
table referred to, yet we feel that our experience justifies the asser-
tion that it bears an important part in predisposing some minds to
alienation. Scores of men may and do use this narcotic plant without
producing any perceptible effects, either on the mental or physical
system, yet tiitre are constitutions upon which it acts as a powerful
depressing agent, manifesting its deleteiious effects in nervous head-
ache, tremor of the hands, want of appetite, dimness of sight, heart-
burn, ringing in the ears, listlessness, and inaptitude for any kind of
exertion either in thought or deed. Individuals affected in this way
become sooner or later careless, indolent, incoherent, and eventually
insane, it generally appearing in the form of dementia accompanied
with paralytic symptoms.

We admitted to-day a young man, as a patient, who inherits his
misfortune from the maternal side, but whose vicious habits, doubt-
less, have precipitated his present attack. According to the testi-
mony in the case, he is a confirmed masturbator, and an inordinate
consumer of tobacco.

If one of these habits is sufficient to develop insanity, in a constitu-
tion already hereditarily disposed, what must be the result upon such a
system, when another equally vicious practice is brought in aid, and
both indulged in to the fullest extent? The answer to this interrog-
atory needs no argument, but is self-evident that such pernicious and
demoralizing habits must sooner or later sap the very foundations of
the body and mind, and precipitate a general wreck. Parents, in
our opinion, cannot be too watchful of the habits of their children.
The vile practice of onanism is contracted at a period of life in both


sexes, when such a thing would hardly be suspected by the most care-
ful observers.

In our last two annual reports we called your attention to the ex-
pediency of commencing and completing the proposed north wing of
this Institution. The necessity certainly exists. The present capac-
ity and arrangements of the wards allow the accommodation of two
hundred and sixty patients, when pressed beyond that number it be-
comes inconvenient if not positively hurtful.

The applications during the past year have exceeded the number
of admissions thirty-four patients, thus showing the refusal of a num-
ber sufficient to fill one-third of the proposed improvement. We be-
lieve it would prove economy to the State to initiate a system liberal
enough to extend care and treatment to every insane person within
her borders. There are at least nine-tenths of the insane who can-
not be properly taken care of at private residences, even if they
had the means, and were not disposed to destroy themselves or others.
There are almost innumerable difficulties of a serious character Avhich
are constantly supervening to prevent a successful treatment.

The propensity of many patients for destroying clothing and other
property, their offensive personal habits, their turbulent and vocifer-
ous proclivities, and the vile and blasphemous language used by many
of them, and the impossibility of pursuing any systematic treatment
with no other than the ordinary means within the reach of physicians
engaged in general practice, are strong arguments in favor of provi-
ding room for more patients. The cost of supporting insane persons
at our poor houses and in our county jails, far exceeds in many in-
stances the cost of treatment in the Hospital.

The reasons offered above for enlarging our accommodations ap-
ply with equal force to the poor house and jail system. Neither of
.these receptacles afford anything like adequate means for the moral
and medical treatment of insane patients. The course of the physi-
cian in the treatment of his patient under such circumstances must
necessary be desultory and not unfrequently injurious.

The north wing according to the estimate found in table A of
our annual report for 1856, which is here re-produced, will cost
eighty thousand dollars, and will accommodate one hundred and ten
patients. The calculation of the cost of the north is predicated upon
what it actually cost to build the south wing, and as the north is to
be similar in al\ its appointments, we think that our estimate is as


near correct, under the circumstances, as possible. If we look at
the proposed enlargement of the Hospital in the mere light of econ-
omy, we think it is easily demonstrable, that it is really cheaper to
support patients here, if they are to be maintained at all at the pub-
lic expense, than in our common county asylums or jails. The
eighty thousand dollars divided into one hundred and ten parts gives
about seven hundred and thirty dollars to each patient.

The improvements proposed for out buildings will cost thirty
thousand dollars, not alone fur the one hundred and ten patients, but
for the use of the entire household of three hundred and seventy or
seventy-five patients, which apportioned out to each patient will be
about seventy-eight dollars. Add another item of one hundred and
seventy dollars per capita for furnishing the north wing, and also twent j
dollars per capita for erecting a gas apparatus, and distributing the
burners throughout the house. By adding these several items of
cost, we have the sum of one thousand dollars investment necessary
for the treatment of one patient.

This is about the estimate per capita both in Europe and America.
Of course the land is not taken into consideration, but if it were,
notwithstanding our quarter section (1(J0 acres) is worth two hundred
dollars per acre, (it cost about thirty-three dollars per acre in 1845,)
we should be greatly the gainer over a large proportion of similar
institutions in our own country, where the peculiar location gives the
real estate a much higher value.

We are aware that these estimates in the minds of many will be
considered extravagant, and they will say at once, why not build upon
a cheaper scale, or in a less expensive style? We answer that it is
not possible to build a permanent house, with the necessary fixtures
for taking care and treating the insane for less money. If it were
for nothing more than an Asylum, a mere place for keeping patients
without any reference to their treatment and cure, we admit that the
expenses could be greatly reduced by simplifying the plan of the
buildings, but we conceive that the original design of the State Avas
to complete the Hospital upon a scale commensurate with the wants
of her unfortunate insane, and in strict accordance with that section
of the constitution which makes it imperative upon the General As-
sembly to provide for the maintenance of our several benevolent

The peculiar construction of Hospitals for the treatment of the
insane require a greater outlay of money than other benevolent or


public institutions. The great amount of metal for window sash,
water closets, bathing establishment, and heating apparatus, mate-
rially increases the cost. The arrangements too for conveying food
to the several wards, and the system for ventilating the house, are
items of additional expense. The counter-ceiling of floors, the nu-
merous locks, and the necessary tanks for holding water, are also
items which go to make up expense in the erection of Hospitals for
the insane. The most of these elements may be totally or partially
dispensed with in the construction of other public buildings, and not
be injuriously felt, but every particular enumerated above is absolutely
necsssary for the proper construction of Asjdums for the insane.

We again call your attention to the growing necessity of buiiding
a house immediately in the rear, which will aiford room for an ample
cellar, wash-house, bake-house, sewing room, library room and chapel.
The proposed house should be put up upon the site now occupied by
the old, and almost worthless concern, which is now used as a very
poor excuse for wash-house and bakery and with all is in danger of
falling. Our laundry is very inefficient, and is becoming in conse-
quence very expensive as well as very laborious. The average wash-
ing for the insane is quite double that necessary for the sane, and
is of a character wdiich requires treble the labor. We have, as
stated on a former occasion, about one thousand • dollars worth of
washing machinery lying perfectly useless for the want of a proper
house in which to erect it. The room now used for a chapel is en-
tirely too small and was originally designed for an infirmary and is
needed for that purpose now. There is a general library room need-
ed, where the patients may resort and read without being annoyed
hy their boisterous comrades, and where books and papers may be
put away and kept in safety.

In an establishment like this there is necessarily a great deal of
sewing to be done, and were we to depend upon hired help to do it
all wo slio uld find that it would cost five or six timosmore than what it
does under the present arrangement. The female patients are induced
to sew and knit, not so much for their labor, although it saves quite
an item of expense, as for the beneficial effect labor has in fixing
their minds upon the object immediately engaging their attention.

Our mc;ins for religious services arc very much restricted on ac-
count of the contracted and ill arranged cliapel now in use. If it were
larger and more commodious in other particulars we might very con-
veniently assseiuble two-tiiirds of our patients to hear ministerial


services. As it is, however, we are not able to accommodate one-third
of the household. We feel so much the importance of religious
services as a means of keeping up the police of the house as well as
for its moral influence, that we make it a rule to assemble as many
patients as can be crowded in the chapel every Sunday, and if a minis-
ter cannot be obtained, we sing hymns and read a sermon written by
some approved author.

The importance of a large and airy cellar in this institution can-
not be appreciated unless one were here and familiarized himself
with the inconvenience arising in consequence of its want. The
amount of fresh meats (very little of any other kind is used,) and
vegetables used, require some appropriate room to secure them from
injury, and enable the steward to provide and keep articles which are
now purchased from day to day. The house proposed to be built to
fill all the wants noted above, will cost thirty thousand dollars as per
estimate of architect, table B, to which we most respectfully refer

The deficiency of water is still experienced, and although this has
been rather more than an ordinary wet year, yet the wells failed to
supply at all times, the necessary amount. From the experiments
made in digging three or four wells upon the premises, we are fully,
satisfied that the great depth of the quicksand is the principal ob-
struction to an ample supply from that source.

We have employed experienced well diggers, and have gone to
considerable expense to overcome the difficulty, but thus far have
failed. We think it totally impracticable to procure water in suffi-
cient quantity, by means of ordinary wells, to supply the house as
required. It is immaterial how deep the wall of the well is sunk in
the sand, the agitation of the water in the process of pumping, sets
the sand afloat, and in a short time fills the well to the top of the
water level. As it seems almost an impossibility to procure enough
water for our use, from the ordinary well, other modes have been
suggested, and their practicability and probable cost examined. Our
favorite plan has been to construct a reservoir at Big Eagle, from
which any quantity of water might be pumped to cisterns near the
engine house, from which there Avould be no trouble, at any time, to
supply the house for all ordinary, as well as extraordinary purposes,
as in case of fire.

The expense of this mode is a great objection, being estimated by
a competent engineer, to cost o\ ex fourteen thousand dollars. There


are two things to be considered in this mode of procuring water with
reference to its cost ; first the outlay will amount to a sum which
seems to be too much to spend for water in this ^vay, before other
less costly modes have been tried. Secondly, the inequality of the
ground and the difiiculty in crossing Little Eagle, are urged as seri-
ous objections, which ■would involve future expense, in the character
of repairs. We admit that there are almost insuperable objections
to our plan, that is, if the first outlay and the future repairs, are
viewed as principal reasons ; but the certainty of an ample supply
of water, its practicability and the indispensable necessity of an
abundance for the use of the house, overcome in our mind, any and
all reasons, urged on the score of expense.

The other mode of supplying water, is by means of an Artesian
well. This mode, as we remarked in one of our former reports, is
entirely practicable ; that it is a question of cost only, and not of
practicability. The investigations made in reference to the proba-
bility of procuring water by an Artesian well, have been so favorable
for success, and moreover, the cost by this mode is so much less than
that proposed in our former report, which is referred to above, that
we feel inclined to favor the boring of one, before anything else is
done towards getting water by any other mode. In similar localities
wells have been bored and plenty of water obtained. In boring Ar-
tesian wells, and determining the distance necessary to go, before
water is forced to the surface, a very extensive survey of the coun-
try is taken, comprehending hundreds of miles, and although it seems
hardly credible that any very definite conclusion could be arrived at,
yet those persons who make boring Artesian wells a profession, esti-
mate the depth to water, and the kind of strata through which they
have to bore, with a great deal of accuracy.

We have, as our report shows, two hundred and scveniy-seven pa-
tients in the wards, and from present prospects, we feel fully assured
that this will be about the average number for which you will have
to provide for the next two years and five months, with strong prob-
abilities that the number will be rather above than below the estimate.
We estimate that it costs two dollars and fifty cents per week, or one
hundred and thirty dollars per annum, to support a patient. This
calculation covers subsistence, medical treatment, attendants' wages,
officers' salaries, and the mere repair of the wear and tear of arti-
cles, and not for a new supply of furniture, nor the supply of cloth^
ing. The State furnishes clothing to about four-fifths of the patients.


and the amount is charged to the several counties from which the pa-
tients are sent, and then at the expiration of every appropriation
year, (March 31st) the several accounts are filed with the Treasurer
of State, who gives the Hospital credit for the total amount. What-
ever it may have cost to furnish clothing to the patients, dating from
the first day of April to the thirty-first day of October, is included
in the aggregate of current expenses of the Hospital, reported by
the Treasurer of State. This amount, whatever it may be, together
with two other items, namely : furnishing and repairs, or reconstruc-
tion, are not calculated in our estimate for current expenses. The
failure of the Legislature to make appropriations two years ago
compelled us to draw, as you are aware, upon the Treasurer for
means to furnish the house, and do large repairs, which amount iS
over three thousand dollars ; without this aid we should not have
been enabled to accommodate the number of patients which our re-
port exhibits. Beds, bedding and bed-steads which had been in the
Hospital for six or seven years, as well as many other domestic arti-
cles, were worn out and had become useless, and therefore had to be
replaced with new.

There are o\rer twelve thousand insane persons, in public and
private institutions, in the United States and Canada, under treat-
ment, at an average cost per capita of three dollars and thirty cents
per week, exclusive of clothing. This calculation of cost does not
include the prices charged at certain private and corporate institu-
tions, where no expense is spared to furnish to the wealthy patient
every luxury that can be procured, either for his comfort or amuse-

The inconvenience arising for want of airing courts is injuriously
felt by our patients. There is hardly one of them too much de-
mented, that would not appreciate two or three hours spent
every pleasant day in the open air, where they could feel compara-
tively unrestrained. As it is, they are greatly deprived of the invig-
orating effects of out-door exercise, and thus we are curtailed in the
application of a very important means of restoration. We estimated
the costs of airing courts at $3,000 00 in our report for 1856, and
we would most respectfully urge your Board to represent the neces-
sity of this appropriation to the General Assembly ; and also our
suggestions, referred to in the same report, in reference to the pur-
chase of a library.

There are outstanding debts against the Institution, for building


purposes and for furnisliing, Avliich amount in the aggregate to
nearly eight thousand dolhirs, the various items for which are
at hand, and can be produced and easily explained.

The creditors of the Institution who dealt with us, did so in good faith
supposing they would get their money whenever their contracts were
completed, and in every instance we are authorized to say that the
work was scrupulously done, and yet they have been unable to ob-
tain from the State what was justly due them. Messrs. Greenwood
& Co., of Cincinnati, are the largest creditors. The claimants de-
mand interest upon their several accounts *from the time the last
(Jeneral Assembly refused to pay them by appropriation. We con-
sider it but justice that they should be allowed that interest by the
State, which would have been exacted by individuals for claims thus

Everywhere in similar Institutions gas has been iiitroduced, not
only as being cheaper, cleaner, and giving better light, but there is
less danger from it on account of fire than from oil, which is used at
present for lighting the building. " Benzole gas " is recommended
very highly by those who are acquainted with it, but whether it can
be applied to this building on as large and cheap a scale as may be
done by gas generated from bituminous coal, is a question which we
are unable to solve.

The oil for lighting the house, as you will perceive by examining
the Steward's report, is quite a prominent item of cost.

It is necessary to keep light burning in all the wards during the
night, and this fact alone is sufficient to shoAV the imminent danger
we are subject to all the time from accidental fire. The walls and
ceilings of the new south wing, which were, when completed, unsur-
passed for beauty as well as durability, are now, we regret to say,
notwithstanding all possible care has been used to keep them intact,
marred from the smoke of the lamps settling on the wood work and

Gas is equally as cheap as oil, gives far better light, and certainly
lessens the accidents resulting from fire. The estimate for furnish-
ing "Benzole gas" is above five thousand dollars, but as we re-
marked elsewhere, Ave are not prepared to say whether it has any
advantages over the ordinary gas, cither in its cost or its facility for
application ; therefore we merely call your attention to the subject,
with a hope that it may elicit such consideration from the Legisla-


ture, as its importance demands, and that some course will be pur-
sued, whicli will introduce gas into the Hospital for lighting.

We are under obligations to the following ministers for sermons
preached to our household during the past year, namely : Rev. Mr.
Stevenson, of the Presbyterian Church ; Rev. Mr. Foster, of the
Univei'salist Church ; Rev. Mr. Gt^odwin, of the Christian Church ;
Rev, Dr. Wechsler of the Jewish Church.

Religious services have a decidedh^ beneficial effect upon patients,
and is always attended by them solely at their ow'n request.

Whether we have a minister or not, we meet every Sunday in the
chapel Avith as many patients and attendants as can be crowded into it,
and hold service, whicli consist in singing hymns and reading a ser-
mon and portions of Scripture. If we had a larger chapel we might
very easily double the number of our audience.

Since our last annual report the distinguished philanthropist, Miss
Dix, visited our Institution and spent several days, and as a souvenir
of her sojourn Avith us she presented the Institution with more than
one hundred engravings of various designs.

Drs. Barnes and Dunlap, Mr. Pluntw, the Steward, and Mrs.
Hall, the Matron, have each filled their positions with credit to them-
sel\es and fidelity to the trust imposed in them. The duties of
each of these officers are onerous and important, and require pa-
tience and perseverance to meet the demand for the exercise of their
official obligations.


We again return our thanks to the following editors and pub-
lishers for their newspapers and periodicals, which they have sent us
without any other motive than to amuse and instruct the unfortunate
inmates of this Institution. The newspapers and periodicals are
sought for with as much interest as is commonly manifested by the sane
for such reading matter. Our supply of papers from this source is
insufficient, but is made up every week by the purchase of exchange


A list of J^ewspapers and Periodicals sent to the Asylum gratuitously


Daily Indiana Stnte Sentinel Indianapolis

Indianapolis Daily State Journal Indianapolis.. ..

New -'lliany Weekly Ledijer New Albany ...

Democnitic Pharos Loijansport

Locomotive Imlianapnlis

Prophetic Expositor and Bible Advocate Rochester N. Y

Ladies' Repository Ci'^ciiinati

Friends' Review Philadelphia

Lafayette Weekly Courier Lafayette

New Albany Weekly Tribune New Albany

Christian Record Indianapolis. . . .

Greensbur',' Guard Greensburg

Madison Weekly Courier Madison

American Easle j Paoli

Presbyterian Banner and Advocate

Hickory Withe

Weekly Vincennes Gazette

Jackson County Democrat

Martinsville Monitor

Richmond .Tt-flfersonian

Terre Haute Journal

Presby teri m of the West

Princeton C larion

Alton Weekly News

North Western Christian Advocate

Decatur Democrat

Salem Democrat

Shelby Volunteer

Miami County Sentinel

Wabash Express

Herald and Era

Cannelton Reporter

Parke County Republican

Northern Indianian

F rt Wayne Sentinel

Clay County Democrat

Laporte Times

Bluffton Banner

American Messenier

Rochester Senti' el Rochester ,

Southern Indianian Princeton

Witness Ind anapolia

Daily Citizen Indianapolis







Terre Haute







Shelby ville


Terre Haute

Ind'pls and St. Louis.. .




Fort Wayne

Bowling Green



Bingham & Doughty.

Sulgrove & Jones.

Norman, Morrison k, Matthews

N. A Hall.

Elder & Harkness.

Jasper Marah.

D. W. Clrk, D. D.

Samuel Rhoads.

W. P. LiDgle.

M. Gregg & Son.

James M. Mathes.

J. D. Covington.

M. C. Garher.

H. & D. O.Comingore.

Rev. D. McKinney.

J. S. Hester.

Harvey, Mason & Co

R. Applewhite.

Park & Williamson.

James Elder.

G. Cookerly & Co.

J. G. Manfort.

W. Kurtz.

Geo. W. Brown.

Thomas N. Eddy.

W. H. Vanhorn.

Z. L. Garriott.

F. Randall & Co.

John A. Graham.

Online LibraryIndiana. General AssemblyDocumentary journal of Indiana 1859 (Volume 1859) → online text (page 29 of 52)