1896 State Care System Complete


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. Thirty days are allowed for carrying its provisions into effect, and then the system for the State care and maintenance of the dependent insane will be completed, save for perfecting the accommodations and facilities required.

Sixty years ago all the indigent insane in this State whose friends or relatives could not or would not take care of them were sent to the county poorhouses. The care they got and the condition of their wretched loves may be imagined. In 1836 the State hospital at Utica was established for the reception and treatment of acute cases of insanity only. Nearly thirty years later, in 1865, the movement originated by the State Medical Society for the State care of the chronic insane was carried to partial success by the establishment of the Willard State Hospital. That was a formal adoption of the State-care policy, and was followed by the opening of the Hudson River Hospital, at Poughkeepsie, and the Homeopathic Hospital, at Middletown, in 1871, the Buffalo State Hospital in 1880, and the Binghamton State Hospital in 1881.

Instead of fully carrying out the policy thus adopted, the Legislature began to exempt one county after another from the operation of the act of 1865 and to permit them to retain the milder cases. It caused a relapse in about a third of the counties of the State to the old poorhouse system, with all its horrors. This was deprecated by the State Board of Charities, the Commission in Lunacy, and the State Charities Aid Association, and many reports and recommendations were made in favor of completing the State-care system and transferring all the dependent insane to the State hospitals, whose accommodations and facilities should be enlarged correspondingly. It was in 1886 that the State Charities Aid Association took the first active steps in formulating a plan and preparing for legislation. Its first bill was introduced in 1888 and was defeated. It was defeated again in 1889, but in 1890 it had rallied public opinion to its support with so much effect that the State Care bill was carried through both houses, in the face of vigorous opposition from county authorities, and was approved by the Governor. The same year the St. Lawrence Hospital was completed.

The act of 1890 established the hospital districts and placed the administration of the system in charge of the Lunacy Commission and the first special appropriation f $454,850 was made in 1891. This was for enlarging the facilities of the existing hospitals and preparing for the reception of patients from the county asylums and poorhouses. The three counties of Monroe, Kings, and New-York had been exempted from the operation of the act because they had adequate institutions of their own, but provision was made for bringing them into the system by their own voluntary action upon the transfer of their asylum property to the State. Monroe County took advantage of this in 1891, and her asylum was reorganized as the Rochester State Hospital. The first appropriation for maintenance of the system by a special tax levy was made in 1893, and amounted to $1,300,000, and by the beginning of 1894 the transfer from poorhouses and the miserable “asylums” of counties was completed.

New-York and Kings still remained outside the State system, though they had to contribute their share of the special tax for its support. This payment was contested by New-York, but not by Kings, and last year the act was passed which took possession of the Kings County institution at St. Johnland and made of it the Long Island State Hospital. The bill effecting the corresponding result for this city would have become a law then also, except for the litigation over the unpaid arrears of State taxes and the condition imposed in the bill of their payment and the abandonment of the suit then pending on appeal. A short time ago the litigation was ended, and now the Manhattan State Hospital act is a law of the State. This will bring the dependent insane of the whole State, now numbering 18,898, under one uniform, enlightened, and effective system of care and maintenance.

For this gratifying result much credit is due to the State Charities Aid Association and the Commission in Lunacy, which worked persistently and zealously together for years, and the completion of the system will redound to the honor of the State of New-York.

SOURCE: Reprinted from The New York Times. Published January 30, 1896. Copyright @ The New York Times.


1873 Our State Charities

“The State Board of Charities, of which Dr. Charles Hoyt is the Secretary, and Prof. Theodore W. Dwight the President, has just issued its fifth annual report. The duty of this Board is to inspect the public charities of the State, and make such recommendations to the Legislature as they deem best on their management. Few who have not studied the subject can have an idea of how broad is the field of work of our charities receiving aid from the State. Their property interest alone is enormous, amounting during the past year to $20,450,272 of real estate, and $3,727,602 of personal property. The aid they received from the State Treasury reached the sum of $1,635,558, and from municipalities the large amount of $3,341,762, while their total annual receipts were $7,832,902, and their expenditure $7,259,568. The whole number of persons in these institutions during the year was 92,741; the number temporarily relieved, 98,368; the number receiving outside free medical and surgical aid, 294,364, and the number under gratuitous educational training, 70,339.

In the County Poor-houses alone were, during the year, 18,933, and in the City institutions 39,286 persons. The Houses of Refuge trained and sheltered 5,619 of our youth, the Catholic Protectory containing much the largest number, 2,380. Of idiots, 681 were specially cared for, and of inebriates, 315 in the Binghamton Asylum. The number of deaf and dumb instructed and relieved were 714; of blind, 549;  of insane, 5,073.

The report of Prof. Dwight in regard to the management of our County Poor-houses contains suggestions of the highest value. It is well known that when this Board began its labors, the condition of these misnames houses of charity was shocking in the extreme. There was but little classification; old and young, unfortunate, virtuous girls with abandoned prostitutes, children and hardened ruffians, sand and insane, sick and well, the purely unfortunate and the lazily vicious, were all herded together in one building, and sometimes in the same rooms. The result was that one of the most terrible diseases which can afflict a civilized community began to break out here in our rural districts-hereditary pauperism. The Secretary of the State Board visited one almshouse in Western New-York where four generations of females were prostitutes and paupers. Even at this time, in the Westchester Almshouse, there are two or three generations of paupers. The treatment of the insane and the blind or deaf or sick in these institutions was simply atrocious. The first great step of reform in the State was the classification of the insane, and the withdrawal of large numbers from the County Poor-houses and the placing them in the State Willard Asylum, on Seneca Lake.

Still another important measure was the separation of the pauper children in Broome County and several adjoining counties from the almshouses, and placing them in an institution near Binghamton, called the “Susquehanna Valley Home.” This wise measure, however, should at once be imitated in all parts of the State. A poor-house is no place for children. They catch the bad habits of the institution, and they grow up lazy and dependent. They are paupers even in childhood. The taint of an almshouse rest on them all their days. Of girls, it is well known that they are often corrupted in these places before they go forth in life. There is no excuse in this country for retaining a single child in a poor-house. The demand everywhere for children’s labor is beyond all supply, and thousands of homes are open to shelter and instruct such unfortunate children. Before the Randall’s Island Nursery was so exclusively under Roman Catholic influence, the Commissioners of Charities used to send forth each year hundreds of their little waifs, under the charge of the Children’s Aid Society, to homes in the West, where many have grown up as prosperous farmers. All our almshouses could easily thus dispose of their children, if of sound mind and body. Indeed, the report of the “State Charities Visiting Society“-alluded to very favorably in Prof. Dwight’s report-states that the Children’s Aid Society had offered to the Westchester County Poor-house where are housed some sixty pauper children-to send them all to homes without expense.

The only place for a pauper child is a family. Even the Binghamton Home would fail of its great object if it retained the children during any long period. We trust that an act will pass during this session of the Legislature, requiring the Superintendents of the Poor in the various counties to place their pauper children in intermediate houses, like the Susquehanna Valley Home, which institutions shall be under State and private management. Every five counties should be allowed a “Children’s Home,” and the counties need not be required to pay any more for the support of the children than they do now. Then each Home should be required to place out very carefully every sound pauper child after a six months’ residence. Prof. Dwight also recommends, very wisely, the establishment of “industrial almshouses.” Our county poor-houses are full now of able-bodied paupers. Each Winter they sail in there for harbor. They ought to be made to support themselves. As it is now, the county paupers of the State only pay one-fifth of their cost, or about $32,342. If State work-houses were established these county able-bodied paupers could be separated, classified, and made to earn their living. Then the county houses could be limited to the sick, aged, and helpless. All that considerable class, moreover, who commit minor offenses, and are put for short periods in county jails, ought to be placed where they would support themselves, and at the same time learn some useful branch of industry.

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. We trust that the present Legislature will enlarge the authority of this Board, and enable it to go on with the great reforms which it has inaugurated.”

SOURCE: The New York Times. Published: January 14, 1873, Copyright @ The New York Times.

1876 The Case Of The Lunatic Boy – Part 1

This is a very interesting article from The New York Times. It refers to an unnamed “lunatic boy” who was mistreated at the Government Hospital for the Insane in Washington, D.C. The Superintendent of the asylum was Dr. C.H. Nichols, formerly of the Bloomingdale and Utica Asylums for the Insane of New York State. The Government Hospital accepted veterans, pauper, and pay patients. The article speaks of the Testimony before a House Committee (of Congress), and alleges that veterans of the Civil War and pauper inmates, including women, were being beaten and whipped; starved; served rotten meat and butter; and were covered with vermin (hair and body lice), while the pay patients were treated humanely and were kept in good physical condition. The article speaks of the barbaric treatment in various insane asylums and county poor houses in the United States but gives praise to the Willard Asylum for its mild and humane treatment “of the wildest and most incurable cases from the county poor-houses.”

Back to the “lunatic boy. It is often difficult to figure out who people were from old newspaper articles because although the reporter knew who this boy was, he didn’t state his name. While trying to uncover the identity of the boy, I came across an old document/pamphlet entitled The government asylum. Horrible and extreme cruelty to the army and navy patients, Supplement only, July 1876, written by Mary J. Van Keuren. Mrs. Van Keuren’s son, William Edgar Van Keuren, a veteran, was horribly mistreated at the Government Asylum. She wrote the piece about the testimony given before Congress that included the cases of: OLIVER D. AMBROSE, THOMAS W. WHITE, GENERAL LOOMIS, and WILLIAM EDGAR VAN KEUREN (Edgar). After reading the account of the testimony, I believe that the unnamed “lunatic boy” was OLIVER D. AMBROSE, who “became insane from the effect of the assassination of President Lincoln, who happened to be sitting near the box in which Mr. Lincoln was killed. When Booth jumped out of the box Oliver shouted “Booth!” Booth!” Although I could not find any statement regarding Oliver’s age, the account suggests that he was a minor, was not insane, was beaten and starved, and was kept in the asylum for eight weeks without ever being seen or evaluated by a doctor.

The Case Of The Lunatic Boy.

“The testimony before the Committee on Expenditures, of the House, on Thursday, as to the management of the Government Hospital for the Insane, at Washington, was certainly painful enough. The institution evidently ought to be overhauled. But we wish some committee could examine various rural hospitals for the insane throughout the country, and especially the insane wards of the county poor-houses. Such treatment as the poor crazed boy received in Washington is mild and humane compared with that dealt to lunatics in these places in every State of the Union. Such a committee would discover in these “dark places of the earth,” lunatic women, often those who had seen better days, shut up in dark cells or cages, without clothing, cold, often hungry, devoured by vermin, besmeared by filth, chained, of, if loose, associating with vagabonds, paupers, and drunkards, and frequently debauched and ruined by them. The visitors of the insane wards in the poor-houses of the United States know that there is appearing in them what might be called a new and horrible human variety – a race, the offspring of the lunatic and the drunkard, of the crazed pauper and the vicious vagrant. In these “asylums” men are known who have been in chains and cages for years, some some confined as to be deformed for life; some scarred and marked by fetters and whips, without clothing, and treated during these long years worse than the brutes. Our readers have only to refer to the reports of such associations as the New-York Prison Association, the New-York and Pennsylvania State Boards of Charity, or the reports from every State of those experts and philanthropists who have visited and studied our county alms-houses where the insane have been cared for, to convince themselves that such facts as have been uncovered at Washington are common in every State of the Union.

The truth is that the condition of the insane poor in the United States is a disgrace to our humanity and civilization. The wonder is that it has continued as it has so long. Not a year has passed for fifty years, in which reports of experts have not exposed these abuses. Such philanthropists as Miss Dix, Dr. Willard, and others have spent their lives in seeking to reform them. Our own State Board of Charities, under Dr. Hoyt, have struggled incessantly with them. And it is only within a few years that in this State, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania a few victories over stupidity and barbarism begin to crown the long contest. In the West and South, and a large part of the Middle States, the condition of the insane, where they have no money, is still discreditable to our civilization and Christianity.

It will be said that this occurrence in Washington is different from what happens in county poor-houses, in that the Washington Asylum receives pay patients. But it will be found that the management of many asylums in the country districts, for patients of means, is disgraced by the old punishment and restraint system. In England, the old barbaric methods of handling the insane have been given up. “Non-restraint” is the rule. The vigorous exertions of the Commissions of Lunacy throughout the Kingdom have cleansed the “dark places of cruelty” of their abominations. A new and violent patient is seldom confined, or at most with the camisole or shirt, but is placed between two attendants, or is put in a padded room, where he cannot injure himself. Chains and blows, cages and cells, hunger and cold, are given up as means of curing lunacy. The lunatic is considered a patient under a peculiar disease, who can be broken of bad habits by kind and wise treatment, even as a child is. No asylum in this country has carried out the non-restraint principles so far as the best English asylums; but what has been accomplished by a singularly mild and humane treatment at the Willard Asylum of this State of the wildest and most incurable cases from the county poor-houses, shows what can be done by humanity and science combined. Such a treatment as that of the poor boy in the Washington Asylum, which might occur in many others, ought to be as much a thing of the past as the pillory, or whipping, or ear-cropping of our colonial days. And yet many a reputable asylum resorts to it. It would be a happy result of this cruelty if Congress could appoint a Commission of Lunacy which might help to reform such abuses throughout all the States, until every lunatic in the country was treated – as he should be – as an unfortunate and diseased human being.”

SOURCE: The New York Times. Published: April 24, 1876. Copyright @ The New York Times

1876 The Case Of The Lunatic Boy – Part 2

Newark State School for Women & Cemetery

New York State School – Newark Custodial Institution for Developmentally Disabled, Childbearing Age Women. February 17, 1932, Begins Accepting Boys.

1878-1885: The Newark State School operated as part of the Syracuse State School.
1885: By statute erected as the State Custodial Asylum for Feeble-Minded Women.
1919: Name changed to Newark State School for Mental Defectives.
1927: Became a part of the Department of Mental Hygiene and name changed to Newark State School.
1932: Accepts boys.

1916 Newark State Custodial Institution For Feeble-Minded Women.
Early State Schools in New York.
State of New York Thirty-Seventh Annual Report of the Board of Managers of the Newark State School for Mental Defectives, 1921 – Through – Fifty-Ninth Annual Report of the Board of Visitors of the Newark State School, at Newark, Wayne County, New York to the Department of Mental Hygiene 1943.

Newark State School 1937

Newark State School 1937

Newark State School 1937-2

Newark State School 1937-2

Newark State School 1937-3

Newark State School 1937-3


Newark State School for Women

Newark State School for Women

Photograph courtesy of The Museum of disABILITY History 

The New York State Custodial Asylum for Feeble-Minded Women was established in 1878 in response to an increasing awareness that almshouses were improper places for ‘feeble-minded’ women. Social reformer Josephine Shaw Lowell led the crusade, with assistance from the State Board of Charities. Lowell delivered several reports before the state legislature expressing her concern that feeble-minded women often disregarded moral and sexual restraint when placed in the undisciplined environment of an almshouse and frequently had illegitimate children who, in turn, became dependent on the state for their welfare. Women of child-bearing age, fifteen to forty-five, were admitted into this institution, in order to “prevent them from multiplying their kind.” (New York State Board of Charities Report, 1879).

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1883 New York State County Poor House Report

The following document is a yearly report to the Legislature of the State of New York, from the Secretary of the State Board of Charities, Dr. Charles S. Hoyt, dated January 10, 1884, for the year 1883. Dr. Hoyt was the physician in charge of visiting and inspecting all the county poor houses and asylums in the state which included examining the health, treatment, and living conditions of the “insane” population. This was an unbelievably enormous job for one man. Not only does Dr. Hoyt mention the names of the patients recommended for transfer from the county poor houses to the two State Asylums for the Chronic Insane: Willard (Ovid, Seneca County); and Binghamton (Binghamton, Broome County), but he gives a detailed account of his findings for each county poor house in the state. Willard Asylum for the Insane was the first and only “pauper chronic insane” institution in the State of New York from 1869 to 1881. Binghamton State Asylum opened in 1881 and was the second asylum in the state to care for the chronic insane only. It was originally named The New York State Inebriate Asylum, built in 1858, for the treatment of alcoholism. (I have divided Dr. Hoyt’s report into ten PDF files to make it easier for you to read. These reports contain the NAMES of several inmates. Click on the RED Links below to view the county reports.)

Considering the modes of travel in 1883 which did not include automobiles, and the harsh winters that New York State endures, Dr. Hoyt must have spent much of his time traveling on horseback and catching a train at the nearest station. He was dedicated to his work and spent most of his life trying to improve the lives of the poor, the pauper insane, and feeble-minded and destitute children, according to the social norms of his era. His obituary is located at the bottom of the “Interesting Articles & Documents” page.

There were many abuses to this “defective class” of Americans, especially for feeble-minded and mentally ill women, who literally had no rights during this time period. All women were vulnerable to rape and molestation in the county poor houses, and more than a few turned up pregnant (enceinte). When Dr. Hoyt came upon a young woman who was pregnant or nursing her baby in the county poor house, for her protection, he would remove her to a safer place, the Newark Custodial Asylum. Once the young woman had her baby and the nursing was sufficiently completed, usually between the ages of three to six months, the infant was removed from the mother and placed in an orphanage.

As you read Dr. Hoyt’s report, keep in mind that the New York State Asylums for the Acute Insane in 1883 were: State Lunatic Asylum at Utica (Utica, Oneida County), Hudson River State Hospital (Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County), State Homeopathic Asylum (Middletown, Orange County) and Buffalo State Asylum (Buffalo, Erie County). The Newark Custodial Asylum, located in Newark, Wayne County, New York, was an institution for feeble-minded, childbearing age women that opened in 1878. There were other state institutions that incarcerated sane, so-called sexually promiscuous, childbearing age women that could hold them in these institutions for up to five years in order to teach them how to become proper ladies, teach them some type of valuable employment skills, and prevent them from becoming pregnant again.

I have divided Dr. Hoyt’s report into ten PDF files to make it easier for you to read. Click on the RED Links below to view the county reports.

1883 Yearly Report Of The Secretary Of The State Board Of Charities

Report. – To the State Board of Charities:  Agreeably to the resolution of the Board of January 10, 1883, on motion of Commissioner Miller, directing me to visit the asylums of the counties exempted by the Board from the Willard Asylum Act, and the poor-houses of such other counties of the State, containing any considerable number of insane, as practicable, and to examine and inquire into their condition, with the view of securing the removal of the more disturbed and violent cases to the Willard and Binghamton State Asylums, and to communicate the result of such visits and examinations to the Board, I beg respectfully to report:The demands upon my time in other directions were such, that I was unable to enter upon this work until January 18, 1883.  It has frequently been interrupted by other duties, and the inclement weather, and at times almost impassable condition of the roads, in the winter months, also greatly embarrassed the work.  During the year, I have visited the asylums of the exempted counties, and the poor-houses of all the other counties of the State, one or more times, and have examined the insane in them as follows:

The exempted asylums of Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Erie, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, Oswego, Queens, Suffolk and Wayne counties, each four times; and the exempted asylums of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Jefferson, and Wyoming counties, each three times; the poor-house of Genesee county, three times; the poor-houses of Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Montgomery, St. Lawrence, Tioga and Warren counties, each twice; and the poor-houses of the following counties, each once, viz.: Albany, Allegany, Cayuga, Chemung, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Herkimer, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Seneca, Steuben, Sullivan, Tompkins, Ulster, Washington, Westchester and Yates.

The number of insane in the counties thus visited, October 1, 1883, according to the reports of the proper officers, was as follows: In the asylums of the exempted counties, males, 569; females, 747; total, 1,316.  In the poor-houses and asylum departments of the other counties, males 228; females 325; total 553.  This gives an aggregate of 1,869 in these institutions, October 1, 1883, of whom 797 were males, and 1,072 females.

My visits to these institutions in every instance except one, when it was desirable to meet the superintendents of Genesee county, have been made without previous notice.  The examination in each county was extended to all the insane in its care, and in the case of disturbed and violent patients, careful notes were made of their condition, and as to the means employed for their custody and care.  In many of the exempted asylums, the examinations were made unattended by the superintendents or keepers, at the request of these officers.  A number of the visits were made in the evening, and opportunity was thus given carefully to observe and study the night service in these institutions.  In making these visits, I have frequently been accompanied by the Commissioner of the district, and in numerous instances by the State Commissioner in Lunacy, who often united with me in recommending removals, and in other matters respecting the treatment and care of the insane; and whenever practicable, the attendance of the visiting physicians has also been secured.  It may be well to add, that all recommendations for removals have been made in writing, and that every such positive recommendation, except in the case of Warren county, has been cheerfully and promptly carried out by the superintendents, unless subsequently modified or changed, upon consultation with those officers, or with the physician in charge.

As the buildings in use for the insane in the counties exempted from the Willard Asylum Act have so recently been described in the report of the committee of the Board upon the subject, it is deemed unnecessary for me to refer to them at length in this report.  I shall, therefore, only notice the improvements in them that have since been effected, the condition of the insane at the times of my visits, and the recommendations as to removals, etc., that have been made.  In some of the counties not exempt from the Willard Asylum Act, separate buildings have been provided for a limited number of chronic insane, while in others they are domiciled in the poor-houses, in common with the paupers, or in rooms set apart for the purpose.  In a few of them, attendants are employed to care for the insane, but they are generally overlooked by paupers, under the direction of the keeper, and the medical supervision is usually the same as that extended to other poor-house inmates.

Before entering upon this work I learned from the late Dr. Wilbur, superintendent of the State Idiot Asylum, that the Custodial Branch Asylum at Newark had accommodations for about twenty-five additional inmates.  I, therefore, examined such feeble-minded girls and young women as were found in the various poor-houses visited and recommended their removal to that institution.  A considerable number of this class has been thus removed during the year, but there are still large numbers in the poor-houses whose removal cannot be effected, owing to the lack of adequate State accommodations for their care.  The condition of the insane in each of the counties of the State at the times of my visits, and the recommendations in regard to removals, etc., will now be noticed:


Albany, Allegany, Broome & Cattaraugus Counties 1883.
Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango & Clinton Counties 1883.
Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess & Erie Counties 1883.
Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton & Herkimer Counties 1883.
Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe & Montgomery Counties 1883.
Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario & Orange Counties 1883.
Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam & Queens Counties 1883.
Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben & Suffolk Counties 1883.
Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster & Warren Counties 1883.
Washington, Wayne, Westchester, Wyoming & Yates Counties 1883.

Results of the Visitations During the Year. – It may be well, before closing this report, briefly to sum up the results of these visitations during the year:

1. The number of insane removed to the Willard and Binghamton State Asylums during the year, as recommended, has been as follows: From the asylums of the exempted counties, 46; from the asylums and poor-houses of the other counties, 51; total, 97.  In addition to these, considerable numbers have also, voluntarily, been thus removed by the superintendents.  These have all been extremely disturbed and violent insane, and several of them suicidal and homicidal cases.  A much greater number of removals would have been recommended, if the State provision had been adequate to them.

2. These removals have greatly improved the condition of the asylums of the exempted counties, by relieving them of their most troublesome insane, and enabled a much better and more economic care of those remaining in them.  The amount of restraint has been largely reduced, and it may be kept thus, by continuing these removals, as disturbed and violent cases, from time to time arise.  In three of these counties, the high board fences, inclosing the asylum grounds, have been removed, and a much greater freedom of the insane, than heretofore, exists in these asylums.  The results in these counties have proved so largely beneficial and salutary, that their example in this respect is likely soon to be followed by other counties.

3. These removals of the insane from the poor-houses and asylum departments of the other counties have improved the condition of those institutions also, and rendered their management more easy and economic.  In two of these counties, viz.: Genesee and Tioga, all of their insane, requiring special oversight, have been removed to the care of the State, and the buildings heretofore occupied by them have been devoted to poor-house purposes.  It is believed that this course would soon be pursued by several other counties, were the accommodations of the State adequate for all of their insane.

4. These visitations and examinations during the year have clearly demonstrated that it is unwise and impolitic to retain violent and excited insane in the county institutions.  In the best regulated of the exempted county asylums they are the source of continued annoyance, and greatly disturb the more quiet and harmless patients; while in the poor-houses, and asylum buildings or wards of the other counties, they require persistent watchfulness and care, and are the cause of constant fear and distress to the other inmates.  The experienced officers of these institutions generally admit these facts, but owing to local influences, and the frequent changes of administration, these classes of insane are liable, from time to time, to accumulate.  In no way, it is believed, can the county asylums and poor-houses be kept clear of violent and disturbed insane, except by frequent visitations of these institutions, and recommendations for their removal.

5. The removals of feeble-minded girls and young women from the poor-houses, to the Custodial Branch Asylum at Newark during the year, have filled all the spare room of that institution, and no further action in this direction is practicable, until the State shall extend its accommodations for this class.

Respectfully submitted, Charles S. Hoyt, Secretary, Dated Albany, N.Y., January 10, 1884.”

SOURCE: Reprinted from State of New York, Seventeenth Annual Report of the State Board of Charities, Transmitted to the Legislature January 24, 1884, Albany: Weed, Parson & Company, Printers, Pages 187-246.   <http://books.google.com/&gt;