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was ordered to be paid annually, until 1857.
The ground, on which the Hospital stands, is bounded in front by Broadway, in the rear by Church-st., on the north by Anthony-st., and on the south by Duane-st. The approach to the Hospital from Broadway, is by an avenue, 90 ft. wide, planted with a double row of trees.
The principal building, called "The Hospital," is on a high ground, in one of the most open situations in the city. It is built of gray stone, is 124 ft. long, including its two wings, by 50 ft. deep. The basement-story, which is about 10 ft. high, contains the kitchens and store-rooms, with two wards for the accommodation of patients, infected with contagious diseases. The principal story is about 14 ft. high. In the centre is a hall and staircase, the library, a parlor and bed-room for the Superintendent, and an apothecary's shop. In each story of each wing, are two wards, 31 ft. by 24, opposite each other, and opening into passages which extend
from one end of the house to the other. On the second and third floors of the centre are rooms, for the accommodation of the officers and servants, besides the theatre for surgical operations in the third story, which can accommodate about 200 persons. The building contains also 20 other rooms, 15 wards for the sick, most of them 30 ft. by 24, and capable of holding 150 patients. The edifice is crowned with a cupola. There is an excellent kitchengarden, and the grounds are laid out in walks, planted with fruit and shade trees, for the benefit of convalescent patients.
South of the Hospital is the Marine Hospital, which is also built of gray stone. It is 90 ft. long, by 40 ft. deep in the centre, and 65 ft. deep in the wings. It has three stories, including the basement, and contains 29 rooms, in which 150 patients can be accommodated.
This Hospital is intended for the reception of seamen of the port of New-York, who have paid Hospital money to the United States. By an arrangement, enter
ed into between the Treasury Department of the United States, and the Hospital in 1799, three dollars a week are paid for each seaman received, provided the number admitted does not exceed at any time a hundred. By a recent application to the Secretary of the Treasury, an allowance has been obtained for the care and support of 200 sick seamen; this, it is hoped, will meet the demands of seamen for the coming year.
From the last Report of the Governor of the New-York Hospital, to the Legislature of the State, we gather that 3,877 persons have been under the medical treatment in the Institution during 1852, of whom 2,862 were cured, 353 have died, and the remainder were dismissed or relieved, with the exception of 291 patients, yet in the buildings. Among the deaths are included 110 cases of sudden death from accidents upon which Coroner's inquests were held; deducting these, we have but 243 deaths for the whole number of patients—or about 7 per cent.
The receipts of the Hospital during 1852 have been $42,459; the expenditures, $51,997.
This excess has been paid for, by the excess of receipts over expenses in the Bloomingdale Lunatic Asylum, so that the Society has only the debt of $40,000 incurred in 1851, for the valuable improvements made in the Hospital, during that and the previous year.
From 1792, when the Hospital was opened, until 1853, 96,434 patients have been received, of whom, 70,235 have been discharged cured, and 59,000 as relieved! 9,824 have died, among which are included more than 100 a year brought to the Hospital in a dying condition. The number of patients admitted, has kept pace with the growth of the City; increasing from 566 in 1794, to 1,670 in 1831, and 3,576 in 1852.
Bloomingdale Lunatic Asylum.—This Asylum is a branch of the New-York Hospital, and is under the management of the same Board of Governors. It is situated near 118th-st. between Tenth and Eleventh avenues, at about a quarter of a mile from the Hudson. Previous to 1821, insane persons were admitted as patients into the New-York Hospital in what is now the Marine Hospital. But when the progress of medical science had opened the eyes of the Governors, to the necessity of moral treatment for Lunatics, and after many efforts from a philanthropic man, Thomas Eddy, they determined to purchase a farm in the neighborhood of New-York, and build there an edifice, suitable to the wants of the insane.
Accordingly the piece of ground, now
occupied by the Asylum-containing about 55 acres-was bought by the Governors for $500 an acre, and on the 17th of May, 1818, the corner stone of the principal edifice was laid. This building is of freestone smoothly-hewn, and consists of a centre and two wings, 211 feet long. The centre contains the offices: the wings are occupied by the patients; the eastern wing by women, and the western by men. On each floor of either wing, a hall 10 feet wide extends the whole length through the centre. One large room on every story is used as a sitting-room; the rest as bed-rooms. The house is well supplied with baths and water-closets.
Parallel with the extremities of the building and nearly 150 feet in its rear, there are two other buildings, built of brick, and of about one-third the size. One is occupied by male, and the other by female patients.
Attached to the three buildings, is a farm of 55 acres. Half of it is under high cultivation; the remainder was laid out 25 years ago, with great taste after the fashion of English gardening, and is now a spot of rare beauty.
The plan adopted by the Governors of the Asylum in their treatment of the patients, is, to regard them, so far as their condition will possibly admit, as if sound and unimpaired in mental faculties. The Asylum is made as nearly like a Home to them as can be, with no more restraint than is absolutely necessary; and within certain limits, they are permitted to play, walk or ride, pretty much as they choose. The patients perform some manual labor; but a large proportion either unaccustomed to work, or used to only one kind of work, refuse to do any thing. No compulsory means are attempted, so that naturally but little labor is done.
The women however accomplish much more than the men, partly because better trained to industrious habits, and partly because their chief work (sewing) can be done in their own rooms.
In connection with the Hospital, may be mentioned the "New-York Dispensary," an association for giving medicine and medical advice to the poor. It originated in 1790, and was incorporated in 1795. In 1847 it relieved 28,227 patients, at an expense of $3,476.
It has two branches, the "Northern Dispensary," at the corner of Waverley Place and Christopher-st., founded in 1829; and the "Eastern Dispensary," corner of Ludlow-st. and Essex Market Place, founded in 1834.
In the "Northern Dispensary," there have been treated, since its origin in 1827,
240,976 patients. During 1852, 17,831 have been treated, of whom 15,864 have been cured or relieved. Of these, 11,914 were foreigners. The receipts for the last year are $3,788. Expenditures, $3,644.
The Demilt Dispensary is a fine building at the corner of Second avenue and 23d-st, which with the lot has cost $30,000. Up to this time, $20,389 have been received towards defraying the debt.
The number of persons treated for the year up to March 27, 1853, is 2,197, of whom 1,376 are foreigners.
The New-York Institution for the Blind owes its origin especially to the efforts of Dr. Samuel Akerly and Samuel
Wood, in company afterwards with Dr. John D. Russ. It was incorporated in 1831. The school was opened on March 15, 1832, with three blind children who had lost their sight by ophthalmia, which prevailed to an alarming extent in the New-York Alms House in 1831-32. On the 19th of May, 1832, three other blind children were added to the number from the same place, and, with these six, the school was opened at No. 47 Mercerstreet, under the direction of Dr. John D. Russ. In 1834, the Legislature passed an act providing for the support of 32 indigent blind pupils. The Institution succeeded; and, in Dec., 1837, the corner
stone was laid to its beautiful building in Ninth avenue. The grounds of the building reach from the Eighth to the Ninth avenue on one side, and between Thirtythird and Thirty-fourth streets on the other. It is of three stories, built of limestone, in the castellated Gothic, and is 175 feet in length.
It contains a chapel, library, dormitories, and the usual school and work rooms, and kitchens.
We have before us an unpublished Report of the Superintendent of this Institution, a gentleman favorably known to many in the city for his talents, and one well adapted to inspire energy into a settled institution.
It appears from this report that the number of blind in the different depart ments is 153; of whom 42 are operatives, and 103 pupils. Of these last, 95 are from New-York, 4 from New Jersey, 1 from Connecticut, 1 from Michigan, 1
from Alabama, and 1 from Tennessee. The operatives are engaged-the male on mattress and mat making and willow-work; the female on bandbox-making, fancyknitting, and sewing. But few of these live with their families, out of the buildings; the most are boarders of the Institution.
Besides these regular paid workmen, the pupils are trained in the workshop, each, three hours a day.
As the Report sensibly remarks, the great object of such an Institution is not a charity. It is not to take in the helpless members of society, and provide for them. It is to enable them to help themselves. And, we say, that any institution which houses suffering men and women, only to weaken their capacity of taking care of themselves, is a curse rather than a blessing to society. It is not the first thing for a man to be comfortable. The blind had better drift
around in society, exposed to every abuse and hardship, at once, than be made drones. It is very evident, from the Report, and from the facts, that this system with the operatives does not work well. The plan professed is, if the blind laborer does not support himself, to turn him away. But, in practice, when once a blind man is living in the buildings, it is very difficult for any kindly-disposed officer to send him out in the world. The consequence is, that each one is sure of his support, and has no especial stimulus to exertion. The greatest wrong which can be done to a man is inflicted-independence is weakened. It is found in this Asylum, that the most industrious are those who are able to lay by something from their earnings, and the idle are invariably those who do not quite pay for their board. Assured of their support, they have neither the fear of want, nor the hope of gain before them. The only remedy, evidently, is to put the manufacturing branch on the same footing with ordinary establishments of the kind, to pay the laborer for what he does, and to make his comforts depend on his exertions. This can be done, with every allowance to the defect of the blind, by making the wages a certain fixed rate higher than is paid other workmen, and by compelling them to seek homes else
The same difficulty occurred to the celebrated philanthropist, Dr. Howe, of Boston, as mentioned in his Report of 1850 to the Trustees of the "Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind." If we have heard correctly, he has since made a change similar to the one suggested here.
For the proper training of the blind, it is plain that three hours a day of manual labor cannot be sufficient. No man can be a hard-working man on such slender preparation. Labor will always be a burden, and will not be persevered in, except by those of great force of character. The habit of continuous muscular toil is the hardest possible to acquire by people of sedentary habits, and needs great previous practice.
In the teaching of the blind, it is probable that the oral mode must always be the most generally used. It is a slow work with the quickest―gaining ideas by the touch of the fingers. There are so many crude conceptions to remove in the darkened intellect-so much, familiar to the youngest seeing child, which, with the blind, must be laid first as a foundation, before a step can be taken; that "word of mouth" must be the great and efficient method of reaching their minds. It is much to be desired, however, judging from the meagre list of books for the
blind, that more were prepared for this class.
A singular fact developed in the treatment of the blind, is, that the purblind, that is, those seeing dimly, are always inferior in the classes and school-learning to the blind, though with vastly more knowledge of the external world. Dr. Howe, if we are informed correctly, explains this, by supposing the disease which injured their sight, has likewise softened the brain. Mr. Cooper, more philosophically, as it seems to us, supposes that they have just sight enough to weaken the power of concentration, which so remarkably distinguishes the blind, and not enough to give them the usual perceptions, which form the basis of the thoughts of the seeing.
The system of study in the Institution includes the higher philosophical studies, along with the common English branches. Music is especially made much of. The Library, though the variety is small, contains 700 volumes in raised type.
The New-York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb was incorporated by the Legislature of the State in April, 1817, and went into operation during the spring of the next year. For eight or nine years, the School of the Institution was kept in the Alms House, better known now as the new City Hall, and the pupils lived with their teachers in different parts of the city. In 1828, several lots of ground, bounded by the Fourth and Fifth avenues. and 48th and 50th streets, were leased of the city Corporation for a trifling rent by the Society, and the edifice which now constitutes the main building of the Asylum, was erected thereon at the cost of $31,000.
As it stood originally, it was 110 feet long and 60 feet deep, and four stories high. It became necessary, however, in 1824, to add a fifth story, and in 1838 two wings were built on the northern side of the Asylum, at right angles to it. In 1846 two wings more were added, each 85 feet long and 35 feet deep. These were provided with spacious sitting-rooms and dormitories, which had long been needed.
The Asylum has now a front of 210 feet on 50th-street-the extreme depth of the wings being 90 feet. The arrange ment within is very convenient: the building, also, being thoroughly ventilated and neatly kept. It is lighted with gas, manufactured on the premises, and is warmed in winter by means of hot-air furnaces. A handsome lawn surrounds the Asylum, in which the pupils take their exercise. There is a vegetable garden besides, where the table is supplied.
During the last year, there were 260 pupils within the Institution. Most of these are supported by the City and State of New-York and the State of New Jersey. The income of the Society for the same period, was little more than $42,000. Its expenditures were $5,200 more than its receipts. In addition to this deficiency, it is in debt about $40,000.
Five hours a day are devoted to school exercises. The pupils are taught to read and write, and the higher branches of history, geography and grammar. Three or four hours are spent in some mechanical employment. The males are taught cabinet-making, book-binding, tailoring, shoemaking or gardening. The females, dress-making, and the folding or stitching of books. The school-division is in 13 classes, each having its own schoolroom and teacher. Religious exercises are carefully observed. In the morning, a passage of Scripture, written upon slates, is explained in signs by the President or one of the Professors; and then prayer is offered in the same language. In the evening, they are questioned on the explanation of the morning.
The course of instruction is carried out as thoroughly as the means of teaching yet discovered will allow. Most of the peculiar excellences of this Institution may be ascribed, without doubt, to the constant and laborious efforts of its President, the REV. MR. PEET.
The Prison Association of New-York was established December 6th, 1844; and incorporated May 9th, 1846. Its general office is at No. 15 Centre-street. The objects of this Society are the melioration of the condition of prisoners, the improvement of prison discipline, and the encouragement of released convicts, by supplying them with honest work. Since its organization, it has relieved 977 prisoners, of whom 225 are reckoned as "doing well;" 470 as hopeful; 126 as doubtful; 19 as returned to prison; and 137 as unknown.
The class of Charitable Institutions with which we shall close our article, is one of which little is known by the public, and yet one which is as generous and pitiful in its purpose, and as solidly successful in its results, as any other of the city. We speak of the various Institutions to raise up the fallen and degraded woman; to give her hope and character again before the world. A difficult task, from which the refined shrink, the otherwise benevolent turn away in skepticism, and which the world in general regard as a romantic effort of philanthropy. The Asylums devoted to this object are the “Home” for female convicts, in Tenth
avenue; the Female Magdalen Asylum, in Yorkville, between 88th and 89th streets, and the House of Industry, in the Five Points, conducted by the REV. MR. PEASE.
The Home was formed in 1845, by private subscription, by the Female Department of the Prison Association, as a place of refuge to the female prisoner, when her time at Blackwell's Island was expired. Hitherto the released woman, whatever her better resolutions might be, was at once, on leaving the prison-boat, dragged away to her old haunts. She had no home, no friends who would shelter the convict, no money,—and, with the harpies always on the watch, the end was inevitable.
It was hoped, in this Asylum, to provide for a short time a home, where the woman could be busied in steady labor, and be brought under calm religious influences, until a place was found for her at a distance.
There have been, on an average, about 100 members of this Institution, annually; during 1852, 166 were received. The inmates, at any one time, average about 30. The only condition of admission is a sorrow for what has been, and a desire to do better hereafter. From the statements of the Report, it would appear that about fifty per cent. of all inmates received,
have started on a better course of life.
The Magdalen Female Asylum has a similar object with the above Institution. Among its seventy inmates, during the last year, it reports six dismissed at their own request, and only six expelled. Eight have been sent to the hospital, and all the others, so far as is known, are doing well. In the labor performed by the women, it acknowledges $100, as accruing from needle-work alone.
Mr. Pease's Institution, at the Five Points, dates only from 1848; but, thus far, is incomparably the most successful of any of these. It was opened by his discovering, in mission-labors through that district, that preaching and tracts were of little use to these women, unless some home, and some chance for honest work could be given them. He accordingly hired and cleaned a notorious brothel, and received a few women as regular inmates, giving them shirt-making as an employment. The Missionary Society, which had engaged him, considered this as unsuitable occupation for a minister of the Gospel, and abandoned him. The work done, though in no case ever stolen or designedly injured, was too poorly done to be sold. Mr. Pease was not discouraged, but through these and a thousand obstacles, worked patiently and good