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Reports of the Board of Directors and Superintendent
of the Asylum for the Insane of North-Carolina:

Electronic Edition.

Insane Asylum of North Carolina

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Source Description:
(title page) Reports of the Board of Directors and Superintendent of the Asylum for the Insane of North-Carolina
(Running title) Document no. 11. (Session 1856-'7.)
Insane Asylum of North Carolina
26, [2] p.

Call number C362.2 N87s 1851-1888 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

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[Title Page Image]

Of North-Carolina.


Page [i]

Officers of the Asylum:

Page 1

DOC. NO. 11.] [SES. 1856'-7.

Ordered to be Printed.

Holden & Wilson, Printers to the State.



To the Honorable, the General Assembly,
of the State of North-Carolina:

        The undersigned, acting as directors of the Insane Asylum of North-Carolina, under a resolution of the last Legislature, submit the following report:

        As soon as the necessary buildings were so far completed as to accommodate as many as forty patients, the directors thought it proper to appoint a superintendent of the institution, pursuant to the provisions of the act establishing the asylum, and believing Dr. Edward C. Fisher (who had been entrusted with the completion of the buildicgs) every way qualified for the discharge of the duties of that office, conferred it upon him; and he has since had charge of the institution. To his report herewith submitted, they refer for all the particulars and details of the management of the institution, and would call particular attention to the suggestions and recommendations of the superintendent, as to what is yet necessary to render the asylum complete in all its parts, especially so much thereof as refers to the means of procuring an adequate supply of water, the lighting the institution with gas, and the putting up a permanent enclosure around the grounds, or a portion of them.

        The directors beg leave to make one or two suggestions, in addition to those contained in the superintendent's report.

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        The construction placed by them upon the 29th section of the act establishing the asylum, taken in connection with the 20th section of the same act, has prevented their receiving a larger number than five patients from any one county. They have been informed by one of the compilers of the revised code, that such was not the intention and is not the true construction of the act; but that while it was not designed to restrict the admission of any number of patients from any one county, it was at the same time intended that no county should be required or compelled to provide for more than five, but that all above that number should be provided for out of the general fund for the support of the asylum. The directors would recommend that the meaning of the law on this subject, should be more explicitly declared.

        The directors also call the attention of the Legislature to the 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th sections of the act, and submit to their consideration whether the provisions contained therein should not be modified, if not repealed.

        Some difficulty has arisen among the directors as to the propriety of receiving into the asylum those who are strictly idiots, and not lunatics. One or two cases of this kind have been presented and received by the directors, but in the absence of any direct, positive authority to that effect. They would therefore, recommend a clear and decided expression of the intention of the Legislature as regards this unfortunate class of persons.

        The directors having, as far as their time and ability enabled them to do, discharged the very onerous and responsible duties confided to them in connection with the asylum, and having put the same, as they hope, in successful operation, beg leave to tender their resignation, and to recommend that the appointment of the new directors provided for in the act establishing the asylum should be made as speedily as possible.

All of which is respectfully submitted,





Raleigh, Nov. 1, 1856.

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        GENTLEMEN:--In our report, submitted in November, 1854, detailing the work upon the buildings of the Asylum at that time, the conjecture was hazarded that "a space of twelve months would be sufficiently long for the completion of so much of the remainder as to justify the directors in putting the institution into operation."

        Although our anticipations were not literally realized (from causes not necessary to detail at present in this report,) sufficient progress had been made for that purpose in the following February.

        The various items of work, such as brick and carpenter's work, plastering, stuccoing, painting, &c., were all completed by the respective contractors during the past and present years, and we are pleased to say, with some unimportant exceptions, have been executed in a satisfactory and acceptable manner.

        During the progress of these, the tedious and somewhat intricate task of arranging and locating the entire heating, ventilating, cooking, washing and drying, with much of the cold and warm water apparatus, was being carried on by the contractors, Messrs. Nason & Dodge, who have faithfully and skilfully performed their contract; which have thus far been found to answer their respective ends and purposes in a satisfactory manner to the institution, and to reflect credit upon themselves.

        So complete are all the arrangements of piping connected with these several fixtures, as to justify the hope that under the control and direction of a skilful engineer, they will be found to be as complete in arrangement, and permanent in kind, as could have been executed at the contract cost, and will aid very materially in contributing to the general convenience and comfort of the establishment. To secure an abundant supply of warm air in the stories above, it was found necessary to reduce the size of the original chamber below very considerably, by the erection of two additional walls the entire length of the building; thus opening two warm air

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chambers from which the flues opening on the respective stories, and passing on either side of the halls, distribute the air at the requisite points.

        For the erection of these walls, with other items of expenditure, such as excavations, levelling and paving, foundation, &c., a much heavier amount of expenditure had to be encountered than was at first anticipated, and for which no separate provision had been made; the brick work thus needed, with additional work of the same kind in other parts of the building, connected with the warming and water apparatus, was performed by Mr. C. W. Palmer.

        Upon a close examination of the several items of work thus briefly detailed, the opinion is hazarded that the Asylum buildings will be found to have been as substantially and neatly executed, as deemed desirable in an institution of its kind; its external appearance presenting a degree of symmetry and beauty rarely combined in one of its extensive dimensions; while the interior possesses an air of cheerfulness, and an amount of ventilation rarely met with; both important requisites in the successful treatment of the mental and physical health of its inmates, all of which have been effected without any material additional cost.

        Of the numerous visitors who have already had access to its internal arrangements, there are but few who leave it without an expression of their admiration, both of its completeness and elegance of structure.

        To that body (the Legislature) from whom was derived both the authority and means for its construction, much thankfulness is due for the charity thus created, and the heart of every humane and benevolent citizen will rejoice to feel that here a home has been prepared for those afflicted and helpless ones for whose safe keeping it is designed. To yourselves, the early and steadfast friends as well as active directors of the enterprize, there could be presented no truer cause of gratification in return for the bestowal of your labors than to witness the results thereof, by a completion of the work entrusted to your care, and of opening its doors to many who have been knocking for admittance perhaps for a series of years, who

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have spent the same in sorrow and gloom while kept as the tenants of jails in the State.

        In noticing the efforts made by those who have labored in behalf of the erection and completion of the asylum, it surely will not apper invidious towards others to refer at the present time to the active efforts in its behalf, on the part of one who was its earliest champion and successful pleader, and has continued to exhibit and feel the same hearty zeal in its erection.

        Unwilling as we know she is to receive a public recognition of thanks for services in the cause of benevolence, (however important or signal in their consequences,) and enjoying, as she already does, (and so well deserved,) at this moment a world-wide reputation for her active and philanthropic efforts towards relieving the sorrows of the distressed, we deem the present a suitable occasion in which to present this humble but not less sincerely felt tribute of thanks for her acceptance, for the heroic and untiring efforts on the part of Miss Dix in originating and prosecuting with success the law establishing and building the Insane Asylum of North-Carolina.

        The allotted period of appointment as superintendent of construction having expired by act of limitation on the 31st September, 1855, it was your pleasure to appoint the undersigned physician and superintendent, to take effect from the first day of October succeeding.

        As soon as the apartments designed for the superintendent and family could be made ready for occupancy, he moved into them. These apartments have been found to realize to the fullest extent, the hopes entertained, respecting their comfort and suitableness of furnishing spacious and convenient accommodation for a family.

        Active measures were then taken, and preparations made by hiring servants, purchasing supplies and furniture for the reception of patients, and by order of your board, public notice was given through the columns of the Standard and Register, that apartments were then ready for the accommodation of forty patients.

        Even before this notice was circulated, we were compelled

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to yield to the urgent applications, made in behalf of an individual laboring under a violent form of mania, and to admit the same on the 22d of February. This individual, we are happy to say, was the first to be discharged some months afterwards, entirely restored.

        From the date of the first admission, to this time, a period of eight months and nine days, there have been received into the asylum fifty-one males and thirty-nine females, making a total of ninety during that period. Of these a large number have been laboring under insanity for periods varying from one to thirty years; some of them during that time have, it is feared, been confined in most unsuitable places of security, but such as the exigencies of their cases in the opinion of friends, and with the limited means at command, enabled them to provide, for the security of both; others have been tenants of poor houses, where they have been either chained to the floor of their apartments, or confined to the dark and damp room of a cellar; while the much larger portion have been kept in the cells of the county prisons.

        The effect upon the physical condition of many, as might be inferred under such protracted confinement and sedentary life, has been highly deleterious by impairing the vital energies of the constitution, attended with loss of strength and flesh; and at the same time to fasten in a hopeless form upon the mind their several delusions. One of these unfortunate individuals, who was more noisy than "dangerous," and had been confined to a small space encased in what was described as a "cage," under the fear of personal violence to her friends, and who, from long disease of her lower extremities, came reeling into the house under the weight of even her attenuated form, has now after a few months residence so far regained her flesh and strength, as to be with difficulty recognized as the same individual, and has been sufficiently calmed to justify us in giving her free access daily to the halls upon which her apartment opens, and to enjoy other privileges in common with those of the same class, not inconsistent with their and her own comfort.

        Other instances, were they necessary, might be furnished

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of the amelioration made by a removal from such places to a residence of a short period only within the asylum.

        The medical history of the institution during its short career thus far presents but few subjects of interest worthy of being detailed. With much thankfulness we are called on to acknowledge the good health, with a slight exception, which has been vouchsafed to its occupants during that time.

        During the hot weather experienced in the months of July and August there occurred some thirty cases of an endemic form of dysentery, which yielded readily, however, to treatment.

        By reference to table 1st it will be seen that up to this date but two deaths have occurred among the inmates, in one the result of exhaustion induced by long continued abstinence from food; and in the other from epilepsy, which had existed from infancy.

        The first case was that of an unfortunate individual, who, previous to and up to the day of his admission, labored under a suicidal form of mania for more than twelve months, during which time he had made more than one attempt at self-destruction, first by throwing himself into a well, and subsequently by means of a sharp instrument; the effects of which last attempt were plainly visible upon his person when brought to us. Having failed in both, he finally resorted to the expedient of effecting his purpose, by abstaining from food and nourishment of all kind; and notwithstanding the continued and persevering efforts made to induce him to take nourishment, and the repeated efforts to administer it to him, by artificial means consistent with his enfeebled condition and emaciated frame, he finally sank a victim to this long cherished delusion.

        By reference to table 2d, it will be seen as before remarked, that a very large proportion of the admissions are those of what are usually termed chronic cases, and as such precluding any hope of ultimate recovery from hospital treatment.

        In forming this prognosis of the cases of long standing, we are not without hope, however, that a sensible improvement will be attained in the condition of many; and that some give

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unmistakeable evidences of increased comfort and mental quietude, as well as improvement in the general state of bodily health. Some, who have been the solitary tenants of their prison rooms for years, have, since their removal, already to some degree learned to appreciate the privileges of companionship and intercourse with others, and of enjoying the freedom of exercise in the open air: while others gladly embrace the opportunity afforded them of performing manual labor at certain periods of the day, around the building, under the supervision of an attendant, or some other responsible person. For many of those who comprise the class of chronic cases (always a large proportion) much has already been done for their comfort, and at the same time valuable assistance in several departments of labor has been rendered by them to the institution.

        In the management of the multiplied affairs of the Asylum, no greater amount of difficulties have been encountered than were to be apprehended from the novel character of many of the duties devolving upon the subordinate officers associated with us, and from their entire want of familiarity with them.

        Most of them, we are pleased to be able to say, have exhibited much zeal in the discharge of their trust; while others, we regret to say, either from a repugnance to, or from a want of capacity for the performance of them, have come very far short of realizing the expectations excited in their favor.

        In this connection we refer especially to those who have filled the delicate and important offices of attendants upon the patients; a position, which, though of inferior grade to others, is hardly second to any position in the asylum in its importance and responsibility.

        The same difficulties which others have experienced in procuring suitable persons to act as attendants in similar institutions, (particularly at the South,) we have most signally encountered, and are, we greatly fear, likely to continue. Located as the institution is, in a strictly agricultural region of country, affording a comparatively sparse population, and necessarily few of those, who would be qualified for, and willing to fill the post, it is greatly feared that the same difficulty will

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continue to exist. It is deeply to be regretted that such is the case, as the successful treatment of our inmates, as well as their comfort and happiness, must depend in a great measure upon a competent and faithful corps of assistants in this department of the institution.

        It is known to your board that the health of the undersigned became much enfeebled during the early portion of the present year, resulting in an illness of several weeks confinement to his room, during the months of April and May. Under the urgent advice of his medical friend, and with the consent of your board kindly granted him for that purpose, he was induced to absent himself (although very reluctantly) for some weeks from his post.

        During this period the duties of superintending the institution devolved upon Dr. Charles E. Johnson, of Raleigh, whose services were engaged for that purpose by your board. The confident assurance entertained in his ability to discharge the important trust, was most satisfactorily demonstrated by the skill and energy displayed while in its discharge; and it is a source of much gratification to the undersigned, that he is privileged to assure the directors that the entire interests of the institution were most faithfully cared for, and to express our sincere obligations to him for the valuable assistance rendered to us, as also to the inmates of the institution by the bestowal of his valuable services.

        Through the agency of Dr. Johnson, the services of Dr. Francis Fuller, of Granville county, as resident assistant physician, were secured during the same period of our absence, who has continued to devote his entire time and services to the institution to the present time. In preparing and administering medicines, as well as closely supervising the inmates in conjunction with the other officers, during the whole of that period he has rendered most valuable services, and from the representations of others as well as from our own personal observation, we feel assured that much has been done by him for the general good of the inmates.

        It is, therefore, not less our duty than pleasure to bear testimony to the constant devotion of his time an efforts to his

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duties, and for the faithful manner in which he has exerted himself to carry out the wishes of his superior; as also for his uniformly correct deportment at all times to his associates in duty, and attentions to the visitors at the Asylum.

        Mr. William E. Anderson, of Raleigh, was appointed to the office of treasurer of the Asylum, on the first of March, 1856, and has discharged the duties of the same in a satisfactory manner, besides rendering important services as correspondent for the undersigned, for which we feel under many acknowledgments.

        Mr. R. K. Ferrell, who had received from you by appointment the office of steward, on the 13th of September, 1855, at once entered upon the discharge of his duties, and by his attention and devotion to the same deserves our sincere and cordial thanks, and commands our entire satisfaction for the faithful manner in which he has performed the same.

        Much to our own regret, as we doubt not equally to yours, Mrs. E. C. Alexander, for reasons satisfactory to herself, declined accepting the appointment of matron, so cheerfully and gladly tendered her by your board, with the earnest hope of her acceptance.

        Failing to secure her services, and there being a present and urgent necessity that the office should be filled at as early a day as possible, it was your pleasure to appoint Mrs. L. A. Fisher to the same, who has discharged the duties in an acceptable manner.

        Other but subordinate positions, devolving more especially upon the superintendent, remain yet to be filled, which will be done, so soon as suitable individuals can be found as incumbents.

        Inexperienced and incomplete as our corps of assistants were when entering upon their respective positions, we have experienced in the management of the institution no greater amount of difficulties than were reasonably to be apprehended in the efforts to carry it on, "ab initio," and with proper system, its internal management. Justice to them, however, demands at our hands the candid acknowledgment of an ever ready willingness to heed the counsel and instructions

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which we could best give, and, at the same time to exhibit an earnest desire to adhere, to the best of their ability, to the rules and regulations of the establishment.

        The same degree of fidelity, accompanied with a faithful compliance on their part, with the prescribed duties of each, with the lights of past experience will, we doubt not, abundantly testify to their greater proficiency and the enhanced value of their services for the future.

        At the time our last report was submitted to you, the operatives were engaged in digging a well of considerable diameter near the boiler house, from which we hoped to obtain a large supply of water, and which would answer the purpose of a reservoir, sufficiently large to yield, at all hours, the necessary quantity for the institution, at least for a few years to come; notwithstanding the serious difficulties and obstacles presented by a continuous mass of rock, which has been penetrated to the depth of some fifty-five feet, we are deeply concerned to state that our efforts have proven well nigh abortive, and the hopes then expressed and reasonably indulged in of procuring the needful quantity, (even for our present wants) have been most sadly disappointed.

        Having reached the greatest depth to which the pump could be made available in elevating it, the maximum amount of water we have been able to obtain (by accurate measurement) per day, does not exceed 1500 gallons; a quantity insufficient for the steam works alone, while that for the cooking and washing departments, and the large quantity daily needed over the buildings, is unprovided for.

        This deficiency, so sensibly felt at all times, but especially since the warm weather began, and our numbers have increased, has been measurably supplied, though at the cost of considerable labor on the part of such domestics as could be spared for that purpose, aided by some of the more robust and quiet patients, by drawing the contents of another well situated some distance from the one at the boiler house, and discharging the contents into the same, by means of pipe, &c. This expedient, laborious and troublesome as it is, and attended with so many difficulties towards its regular execution, on

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account of the imperfect aparatus employed, and the uncertainty attending its operations, must necessarily be abandoned, and prompt measures taken for procuring a supply of this indispensable ingredient of health and comfort from some other source.

        In a previous report, having dwelt somewhat at large upon the importance and necessity of being provided with a constant and abundant supply of water in the institution, it is unnecessary to dwell upon the same at this time. Suffice it to say that the experience of those who have been long connected with the management of such institutions, has established the conclusion that no asylum is adequately supplied with less than "50 gallons per day for each inmate;" certainly not less than that quantity will be required here, from the fact that all the cooking, washing, bathing, and drying apparatus, with what will be needed by the two steam boilers, are all to be supplied from the one source.

        If we look, too, to the contingency of fire, (and what building is exempt entirely, though every effort has been employed in the construction of this that the most cautious prudence could suggest to avoid its occurrence, and remember the necessity there is for such a large number of lights to be used in it,) a proper degree of caution requires that it should be provided at all times, with such a supply as will, at any moment, be sufficient to arrest the destruction of the property, and perhaps that still greater calamity, the loss of life.

        It may be proper to state, that in order to secure a uniform and general distribution of water over the whole building, accessible at all times, as also for its ready application at any moment to any portion of it in the event of fire, there have been located in the attic of the centre building sheet iron tanks, capable of containing more than five thousand gallons of water, which can be used at the several points referred to at any moment. In order to fill the same, and to replenish them when necessary, an efficient and reliable pump, manufacture by Mr. H. R. Worthington, of New-York, operated by steam, has been placed in the large well, near the boiler house, which has been found to answer, in an admirable manner,

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the purpose of elevating the water from its source to a height of one hundred and twenty feet. We feel it due to the manufacturer of this valuable apparatus, to express our entire satisfaction with its sufficiency, and with the complete fulfilment of the promises made in its behalf.

        Looking, then, to the indispensable necessity there exists, as well to the comfort and health of the institution as to its actual continuance and preservation, and having ascertained by satisfactory experience the utter hopelessness of obtaining such supply from our present resources, there is left but one from which it can likely be obtained.

        From a conjectural estimate of the probable cost of the machinery requisite for forcing the water from the stream flowing at the foot of the hill, known as "Rocky Branch," there is good reason to believe that the same can be accomplished by an expenditure of about four thousand dollars; this sum we respectfully suggest that you will apply for to the next General Assembly, to be expended for that purpose.

        Owing to an increased expenditure of the funds appropriated by the last General Assembly, in arranging and completing various fixtures connected with the warming, ventilating, and other apparatus, besides the expense incident to the construction of various appendages connected with the whole establishment over and above the amount called for by their respective items, it has been found impracticable, from the want of funds, to go on with the construction of the gas works during the present year. The delay thus occasioned is a source of much regret and inconvenience, as it involves the necessity of resorting to such substitutes for light as are more expensive and hazardous to the safety of the buildings, and are fruitful causes of soiling the flooring, and of otherwise defacing the buildings. It is presumed that no difficulty will be encountered in procuring such amount of means as may be necessary to have this desirable work put under way very early in the coming Spring, and completed according to the original design.

        To meet the necessities existing for several buildings, there have been erected at convenient and suitable distances, a

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smokehouse capable of curing a large quantity of pork, a framed stable which furnishes shelter for six horses and four cows, with space in the roof sufficient for the storage of a large quantity of provender, and a framed corn house large enough to contain a hundred barrels of corn.

        Near the end of the north wing of the building, the excavation for an ice house, believed to be sufficiently large for the wants of the Asylum, has been made, and will be made ready for the reception of ice as soon as practicable. Other buildings absolutely needed, and intended for important purposes, will be erected as soon as the funds of the institution will permit of it.

        By the statement annexed and marked D., as furnished by the steward, it appears that the gross product of the garden and farm amounts to the sum of --, as well as exhibiting a list of the various articles of subsistence, which have been furnished to, and consumed in the institution. The aggregate value of these articles is, perhaps, as great as could have been expected, when the impoverished condition of the entire premises and the excessive drought of the past season, are considered.

        Before an adequate return can be looked for, from cultivating the land, with the cost of labor employed in same; a series of years, with the free and generous application of manures to the soil, will be required to give a remunerative amount of fertility to both garden and farm. It may be proper to remark that the cultivation of both, performed chiefly by the domestics, hired at the Asylum, has received valuable and important aid from many of the inmates. From an inspection of the grounds, it will be seen that but little has been done for their improvement, or for their enclosure, except the construction of a temporary fence on the line east and south of the buildings.

        We need hardly advert to the grievous annoyances to the institution and occupants, continually occurring, from the entire exposure of its grounds, and the consequent liability to hourly intrusions of those who are drawn hither by curiosity, or, as it is believed in some instances, by some worse motive.

        For the want of suitable enclosures, (within which all such

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patients as would otherwise make their escape,) could exercise at pleasure, and at the same time be free from observation; such are now from necessity compelled to be kept within doors much larger portions of each day than is agreeable to our own feelings or consistent with the preservation of their health; we therefore respectfully suggest, in view of the value and benefits to be derived from them, that you will adopt such measures as you may deem advisable to obtain their construction at the earliest practicable period, and also for the erection of a general enclosure of the grounds.

        For the present use of the patients the enclosure of one or more acres contiguous to the wings, to be used by each sex separately, and laid out with suitable walks, trees and shrubbery, would seem to be desirable, while the construction of the entire enclosure could be postponed to some future time, if thought advisable.

        A subject intimately connected with the management of the insane by those who occupy the important position of their superintendence, as well as by those who are charged with their safe keeping and removal to the Asylum, demands a passing notice.

        We refer especially to the modes of deception practised by false representations and promises on the part of friends and others, and of concealing, not only the purpose in view, but also the place of their destination. Apprehending violent opposition to their being brought here, representations of a grossly false character are sometimes made, or the objects and place in view are carefully withheld from the patients, and the first intimation which is often given them is the disclosure from the officer of the house, where and for what purpose they have been brought. The consequence in all such cases is, that a total want of trust towards those who had accompanied them, is at once excited in their minds; while it not unfrequently happens that a strong feeling of suspicion towards the resident officers is often engendered as being a party to the deception, which may continue for a longer or shorter time, according to their mental condition, and the time of their continuance in the institution. As there are a number

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of the insane now scattered over the State, who will probably be brought here, and to avoid the repetition of any such contingency in future, as the one alluded to, or any other of a graver character, we feel it our duty to call public attention to the errors, (arising, as we are assured they often do, from kind feeling,) already committed, for the purpose of inducing others who may hereafter be called upon to act in this capacity to avoid the same.

        To all such, would we say, that as soon as the arrangements for the journey are made, a frank and kind statement of the proposed journey, the place in view, with the object sought, should be made; if, upon this representation, there should, (as may sometimes) occur, an unwillingness on the part of the patient to accompany them, and subsequent efforts to bring about a compliance with their wishes be alike unsuccessful, resort must then be had to such coercive measures as will be found necessary.

        Far better will it be to resort, if necessity compels it, to personal restraint, than any expedient or false representation by which "truth will be compromised," to secure a compliance.

        A striking evidence of the evil consequences resulting from fictitious representations is furnished by one of the inmates of the Asylvm at this time, who, under the belief that by the presentation to the Governor of the State of a spurious memorial which had been manufactured for the occasion, he would receive immense sums of money due him, and which were then in the custody of the Executive, was committed to the institution. As might be supposed, there was no difficulty in bringing him to this place; but the disappointment of the poor deluded man can be more easily imagined than described, when he was told the true purpose for which he had been brought. The effects upon him were also of a serious nature, in causing him to refuse taking his food for weeks after his admission, and thereby seriously impairing his health; while he has not yet ceased upbraiding us with the charge of illegally detaining him in the house, and preventing him from obtaining his just rights. We trust that a statement of this case, with the ill consequences resulting to the

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victim of the deception, will be sufficient warning against the repetition of a like deception by others hereafter.

        We beg leave to call your attention to that section of the law regulating the support and maintenance of the indigent insane, in order that such change or modification of it may be made at the next meeting of the Legislature as will relieve it of the serious objections now existing, and of doing away with the many inconveniences arising from its execution.

        The present mode of providing for the support of this class of the insane as required to be made by the counties should be entirely abolished, as well as the restriction as to the maximum number from each county, and substitute some other more general rule by which the institution can be supported, and its doors opened to all, from every county and town in the State, be their respective numbers what they may.

        Having now, after a lapse of nearly six years of devotion on your part to the work of constructing the asylum to the present time, permit us to congratulate you upon having brought your labors of supervision so far to a close as to be permitted to see the institution opened and dedicated to the benevolent purpose for which it was designed, and of testing by several months occupancy, its adaptation to its purposed ends. While the experience of the same period has developed the fact that there are defects of arrangement in some particulars of the plan (and what of man's designs are exempt from such?) yet it is satisfactorily demonstrated that the general arrangements combine many, if not all, the advantages looked for in its adoption.

        It could hardly have been expected in planning and arranging so large a building, that defects in one or more particulars would not occur, since such perfection would be the offspring and exercise of more than mortal wisdom. The future, with its attendant instructions, will enable you to repair many of the present defects, by additions and alterations which experience and your own wisdom will alike suggest.

        It gives us much pleasure to state that the institution has been kindly remembered by some during the past year in bestowing

Page 18

various articles of utility, and some which have proved sources of entertainment to its inmates. To the respective editors of the Raleigh Standard and Register we return our sincere thanks for files of newspapers furnished us during the last few months. There are quite a number of our inmates, who from the lively interest manifested in them, have no doubt derived much pleasure from their perusal; and we feel well assured if the different editors in the State were aware of the satisfaction and pleasure which would be afforded to many from seeing their weekly issues, they would most gladly send them to us.

        To Mr. G. W. Mordecai we are under obligations, for a package of religious tracts containing a thousand pages, for distribution among our inmates.

        To the Rev. N. F. Reid, of Raleigh, we are indebted for a religious service, held in one of the public rooms, (the chapel not being finished) which was highly valued, and enjoyed by our household.

        To Mr. Jos. Nason, of New-York, we are indebted for a beautifully engraved and elegantly finished steam guage, designed for the public office.

        To Mrs. T. P. Devereux, we are indebted for an extensive collection of rare flowers and plants.

        In conclusion--to the same liberal spirit which has uniformly characterized the dealings of the General Assembly, as well as to the kind sympathy and aid of all its citizens, do we now commend the Asylum, with its several interests for support and countenance, feeling well assured that if the responsible duties devolving upon those directly charged with its control and management are faithfully performed, it will, in reliance upon the aid of Divine Providence, be blessed to the good of many.


Page 19


Shows the number of Discharges, Elopements and Deaths,
and the condition of those who have left the asylum, from
22d February to 31st October, 1856.

Patients discharged, eloped and died, 7 3 10
Patients Recovered, 3 1 4
Patients Much improved, 2 1 3
Patients Improved,   1 1
Patients Died 2   2


Shows the number of admissions, and the state of the Asylum,
from 22d February to 31st October, 1856.

Patients admitted since the opening of the Institution, Males, 59  
  Females, 31  
  Total, 90  
More than 12 months' duration before admission,   72  
Less than 12 months' duration before admission,   12  
Duration unascertained,   6  
Remaining 31st October, 1856,      
  Males, 52  
  Females, 28  

Page 20


Showing the probable causes of insanity, as far as could be

Ill health, 4 7 11
Domestic trouble, 2 3 5
Blow on the head, 2   2
Masturbation, 3   3
Religious excitement, 1 1 2
Intemperance, 3   3
Disappointed love, 2 1 3
Loss of property, 1   1
Loss of Parents,   1 1
Pecuniary embarrassment, 1   1
Spinal disease,   1 1
Exposure to heat, 1   1
Epilepsy, 7 1 8
Convulsions, 1   1
Unknown, 31 16 47
  59 31 90

October 31st, 1856.



M. D.
1 28 Male, Single, Mania, Exposure to heat, 4 months, 3 16     Cured,
2 30 Male, Married, Epilepsy,   5 years, 8 2 Stationary, Unfavorable, Remains,
3 37 Female, Widow, Melancholy, Domestic affliction, 14 years, 8   Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
4 31 Female, Married, Mania, Unknown,   7 26 Improved, Unfavorable, Remains,
5 34 Female, Single, Mania, Unknown, 11 years, 7 26 Improved, Unfavorable, Remains,
6 26 Male, Single, Epilepsy,   7 years, 7 21 Stationary, Unfavorable, Remains,
7 36 Male, Single, Dementia, Unknown, 15 years, 7 21 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
8 48 Female, Single, Mania, Unknown, 2½ years, 7 19 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
9 40 Female, Single, Mania,   6 years, 7 19 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
10 27 Male, Single, Mania, Unknown, 6 months,   18     Cured,
11 38 Male, Single, Imbecile, Unknown, 20 years, 7 16 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
12 32 Female, Single, Unknown, Mania, 5 years, 7 10 Improved, Unfavorable, Remains,
13 30 Female, Married, Melancholy, Domestic affliction, 2 years, 7 4 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
14 47 Male, Single, Epilepsy,   15 years, 7 2 Stationary, Unfavorable, Remains,
15 35 Female, Single, Mania, Unknown, 7 years, 6 26 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
16 23 Male, Single, Mania, Blow on the head, 6 years, 6 26 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
17 38 Male, Single, Mania, Religious excitement, 6 years, 6 23 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
18 24 Male, Single, Mania, Masturbation, 6 22 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
19 30 Male, Married, Mania, Intemperance, 2 years, 6 22 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
20 19 Female, Single, Epilepsy,   9 years, 6 21 Stationary, Unfavorable, Remains,
21 30 Female, Single, Mania, Bad health, 11 years, 6 21 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
22 33 Female, Single, Mania, Unknown, 15 years, 6 16 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
23 50 Female, Married, Mania, Domestic trouble, 6 years, 6 16 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
24 50 Male, Single, Mania, Intemperance, 9 years, 6 15 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
25 35 Male, Married, Mania, Unknown, 1 years, 6 15 Improved,   Remains,
26 26 Male, Single, Mania, Masturbation, 2 years, 6 15 Improved,   Remains,
27 40 Male, Single, Mania, Unknown, 6 15 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
28 18 Female, Single, Mania, Bad health, 2 months,         Cured,
29 30 Female, Single, Mania, Religious excitement, 4 years, 6 8 Improved,   Remains,
30 38 Female, Single, Mania, Unknown, 18 years, 6 6 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
31 37 Female, Widow, Imbecile, Unrequited love, 13 years, 6 3 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
32 27 Male, Single, Epilepsy,   8 years, 5 29 Stationary, Unfavorable, Remains,
33 28 Male, Single, Mania, Bad health, 4 years, 5 29 Improved,   Remains,
34 32 Male, Single, Snicidal, Unknown, 2 years, 4 4 Much Improved.   Removed,
35 46 Male, Single, Imbecile, Unknown, 25 years, 5 22 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
36 35 Male, Single, Imbecile, Bad health, 30 years, 5 18 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
37 56 Male, Single, Mania, Unknown, 34 years, 5 15 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
38 31 Male, Married, Imbecile, Unknown, 6 years, 5 11 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
39 30 Male, Single, Mania, Unknown, 4 years, 5 7 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
40 61 Male, Single, Mania, Disappointed love, 20 years, 5 2 Improved,   Remains,
41 45 Female, Single, Mania, Loss of parents, 6 years, 5 1 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
42 18 Male, Single, Mania, Unknown, 2 years, 5   Much improved, Favorable, Remains,
43 39 Male, Single, Idiotic, Convulsions, 30 years, 4 29 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
44 26 Male, Single, Imbecile, Unknown, 6 years, 4 29 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
45 60 Male, Married, Mania, Unknown, 1 years, 4 4 Much Improved,   Removed,
46 19 Male, Single, Idiotic, Epilepsy, 3 years, 4 28 Stationary,   Died,
47 52 Male,   Mania, Unknown, 7 years, 4 27 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
48 40 Male, Married, Mania, Unknown, 5 years, 4 27 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
49 47 Male, Married, Mania, Unknown, 8 years, 4 27 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
50 40 Male, Single, Maniacal, Unknown, 18 years, 4 26 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
51 20 Male, Single, Mania, Masturbation, 2 months, 4 25     Cured,
52 28 Male, Single, Mania, Unknown, 5 years, 4 22 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
53 41 Male, Married, Mania, Domestic trouble, 1 month, 4 21 Improved,   Remains,
54 56 Male, Single, Melancholy, Bad health, 4 years, 4 21 Much improved, Favorable, Remains,
55   Male, Single, Dementia, Disappointed love, 4 19 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
56 45 Male, Married, Melancholy, Loss of property, 6 months, 4 7 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
57 48 Male, Married, Mania, Domestic trouble, 16 years, 4 5 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
58 49 Male, Married, Melancholy, Pecuniary embarrassment, 1 years,   27     Died,
59 28 Female, Married, Mania, Unknown, 10 years, 4 7 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
60 27 Male, Single, Maniacal, Bad health, 2 years, 3 27 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
61   Male, Single, Monomania, Unknown,     28     Cured,
62 39 Female, Married, Mania, Bad health, 2 months, 1 14 Improved, Favorable, Removed,
63 50 Male, Widower, Maniacal, Unknown, 5 years, 3 4 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
64 25 Female, Single, Mania, Unknown, 2 months, 3 1 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
65 45 Female, Married, Mania, Bad health, 15 years, 2 26 Much improved, Favorable, Remains,
66   Male, Married, Mania, Unknown, 6 years, 2 24 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
67 38 Male, Married, Mania, Unknown, 14 years, 2 20 Much improved,   Remains,
68   Female, Married, Mania, Unknown,     7 Improved,   Removed,
69   Male, Single, Mania, Unknown, 6 months, 2 19 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
70 22 Male, Single, Mania, Unknown, 1 month, 2 18 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
71 45 Female, Single, Maniacal, Spinal Disease, 6 years, 2 16 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
72 54 Female, Married, Mania, Unknown, 2 16 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
73 50 Female, Married, Mania, Unknown, 25 years, 2 16 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
74 28 Male, Single, Dementia, Unknown, 1 years, 2 15 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
75 22 Male, Single, Mania, Kick of Horse, 2 years, 2 11 Improved, Favorable, Remains,
76 32 Male, Married, Mania, Epilepsy, 7 years, 2 7 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
77 30 Male, Single, Dementia, Unknown, 29 years, 2 7 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
78   Male, Single, Dementia, Unknown,   2   Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
79 35 Male, Single, Mania, Unknown, 4 years, 1 15 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
80   Female, Single, Mania,   1 14 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
81 25 Female, Married, Mania, Unknown, 8 years, 1 14 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
82   Male, Married, Maniacal, Intemperance, 3 years, 1 11 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
83 28 Female, Single, Mania, Bad health, 4 years, 1 10 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
84 28 Female, Single, Dementia, Bad health, 6 years, 1 10 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
85 21 Male, Single, Dementia, Epilepsy, 17 years, 1 1     Died,
86 60 Female, Widow, Imbecile, Unknown, 5 years, 1   Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
87   Male,   Dementia, Unknown, 30 years, 1   Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
88 21 Female, Single, Mania, Bad health, 1 years,   24 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
89 32 Male, Single, Mania, Unknown, 6 years,   16 Unimproved, Unfavorable, Remains,
90 36 Male, Single, Mania, Unknown, 1 years,   10   Unfavorable, Remains,

Page 21


Shows the Number of Patients and from what Counties they were brought.

Alamance, 2 Iredell, 1
Anson, 5 Johnston, 2
Bertie, 3 Mecklenburg, 2
Beaufort, 2 Montgomery, 1
Burke, 3 Moore, 1
Chatham, 2 Nash, 1
Cumberland, 1 New Hanover, 3
Cleveland, 1 Northampton, 1
Chowan, 1 Orange, 3
Craven, 4 Perquimons, 1
Catawba, 1 Rockingham, 2
Caswell, 2 Randolph, 2
Davidson, 1 Robeson, 1
Davie, 1 Richmond, 1
Franklin, 5 Surry, 1
Forsyth, 2 Sampson, 1
Granville, 5 Wake, 9
Guilford, 4 Washington, 1
Gaston, 2 Warren, 1
Gates, 1 Yancey, 1
Hyde, 1    
Halifax, 2   --
Harnett, 1   88



North-Carolina, 88
South-Carolina, 1
Germany, 1
  Total, 90

October 31st, 1856.

Page 22


To the Board of Directors of the Insane Asylum of North-Carolina:

        GENTLEMEN:--The Treasurer of the Asylum respectfully reports, that since his appointment on the 1st March, 1856, he has,



From Public Treasurer of North-Carolina, $ 22,000 00
From Public Treasurer Am't paid by Pay Patients, 1,667 39
From Public Treasurer Am't paid by County Patients, 1,161 00
From Overpaid Bowers, Snyder & Carter: Refunded, 1 25
From A. H. Van Bokkelin, acc't., Water Tanks, 100 00
  $ 24,929 64


On Furniture account, $ 318 50    
On Building account, 9,498 36    
On Support, account, 5.236 52    
On Warming Apparatus, 4,162 00    
On Salary Account, 2,358 33    
On Account of wages of attendants, 842 23    
On General Expenditure Account, 1,722 59    
On Sundries, as clothing and articles      
for Pay Patients, 131 03    
Returned to Restored Patients, 54 00    
    $ 24,323 56
Leaving a balance on hand on 31st October, of   $ 600 08

        I have examined the above account, and find it correct.

Com. of Board of Directors.

Page 23

        The following Statement will show a more particular classification of the foregoing amount expended.

Stone Work, $ 47 30
Tin and Tinning, 580 17
Bricks and Brickwork, 209 00
Carpenter's Work, 2,254 70
Painting, 80 00
Stuccoing and Plastering, Lathing and    
Whitewashing, 3,300 00
Hardware, 196 89
Glass, 177 26
Window Sash, 299 45
Furniture, 318 50
Lumber, 1,122 83
Steam Engine, expended on 100 00
Heating Apparatus, 4,499 06
Hauling, 38 70
Miscellaneous, 35 00
Support Account for provisions, &c., 5,236 52
Salaries, 2,358 33
Wages of Attendants, 842 23
Restoring Fugitive Patients, 21 37
Returned to Patients cured, 54 00
Articles for Patients, 109 66
Miscellaneous or General Expendit., 1,722 59
  $ 24,323 56

        The accompanying Books, with vouchers to correspond, will show how each item was expended.

Respectfully submitted,

Treas. Lunatic Asylum.

31st Oct., 1856.

Page 24

Showing amount expended on Asylum from its foundation
to 31st October, 1856.

Architecture,       $ 552 25
Advertising Proposals,       66 72
Land,       2,544 63
Stone Work, A $ 11,013 64    
  B 47 30    
        11,060 94
Tin and Tinning, A 6,366 43    
  B 580 17    
        6,946 60
Bricks and Brickwork, A 57,405 42    
  B 209 00    
        57,614 42
Carpenter's Work, A 61,120 42    
  B 2,254 70    
        63,375 12
Lime, A     12,021 76
Paints, Oils and Drugs, A     2,397 45
Painting, A 1,910 00    
  B 800 00    
        2,710 00
Wells, A     624 00
Stuccoing, Plastering, &c., A 15,753 50    
  B 3,300 00    
        19,053 50
Water Tanks, A     1,890 24
Hardware, A 1,515 24    
  B 196 89    
        1,712 13
Glass, A 1,591 45    
  B 177 26    
        1,768 71
Window Sash, A 2,568 01    
  B 299 45    
        2,867 46
Furniture, A 6,370 84    
  B 318 50    
        6,689 34

Page 25

Lumber, A $ 1,234 24    
  B 1,122 83    
        $ 2,357 08
Steam Engine, A 725 68    
  B 100 00    
        825 68
Steam Fixtures, &c., A 18,771 21    
  B 4,499 06 23,270 27
Traveling Expenses, A     923 00
Slave Labor, A     961 12
Freight, A     2,505 31
Hauling, A 1,071 70    
  B 38 70    
        1,110 40
Miscellaneous or Gen. Expendit., A 2,240 87    
  B 35 00    
  B 1,722 59    
        3,998 46
Support, A 2,713 99    
  B 5,236 52    
        7,950 51
Sundries, A     1,062 78
Salaries, A 3,300 00    
  B 2,358 33    
        5,658 33
Wages of Attendants, B     842 23
Restoring Fugitive Patients, B     21 37
Returned to cured Patients, B     54 00
Sundry articles for Patients., B     109 66
        245,545 46
Deduct incidental expenditure,       60,606 88
Which shows amount actually ex-          
pended on building alone,       $ 184,938 58

Page 26


Of produce raised on Asylum farm and garden, 1856.

15 barrels of corn at $4, $ 60 00
800 lbs. of fodder at 1, 8 00
100 bushels of oats, at 75 cts., 75 00
75 bushels of peas, at 75 cts., 56 25
25 bushels of Irish potatoes, at $1, 25 00
100 bushels of snaps, at 50 cts., 50 00
milk, 28 80
2500 lbs. of pork, at 8½ cts., 212 50
Amount in garden, 217 50
  $ 733 05

R. K. FERRELL, Steward.

October 31st., 1856.