1864 Seneca County Poor House

“The county house in Seneca county has sixty-five inmates, thirteen of whom are lunatics. One was admitted in 1830, one in 1843, one in 1845; one had received treatment at Brattleboro and at Utica, and six others in Utica. The ratio of those receiving asylum treatment is one-half. Four of the six that have received treatment at Utica are now mild cases. Four cases are filthy and four destructive. Nine are males and four are females. Eight are of American birth. Three are capable of doing out of door work. Some of the females are employed, with patch work and knitting. The only means resorted to for controlling the violent is by confining them to their rooms. The house has not a full supply of water. The rooms are provided with bunks for sleeping. The bedding is straw and feathers, the straw being changed once a month or oftener. The diet is represented as ample in material and variety. The males all come to the table; three females carry food to the others on plates. There is no convenience for the various grades of insane; the more violent are not allowed to have their liberty. All are cared for by a keeper and his wife, who, of course, have no possible knowledge about the scientific management of lunatics. The rooms are clean and well ventilated, and the clothing is comfortable and sufficient. The institution has sixteen rooms; the greatest number in confinement is fourteen. A physician visits the institution weekly, or when necessary; but no case is treated with reference to its recovery.”

SOURCE: Documents of the Assembly Of The State Of New York, Eighty-Eighth Session, 1865, Volume 6, Nos. 199 to 112 Inclusive, Albany: C. Wendell, Legislative Printer, 1865, Pages 215-216.

New York State County Poor Houses.

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