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November, 1st, 1869. 5


SIR:-In compliance with my duty to report the condition of the hospital department of this institution, I have the honor to submit the following:

The fire which consumed the hospital building, May 19th, 1868, destroyed with it all the instruments, medicines, and books belonging to 'he hospital, to the steward, and to myself.

The unsettled state of the hospital and hospital affairs prevented a regular record until June, 1868; therefore my report will embrace only the term of sixteen months, from July 1st, 1868, to November 1st, 1869. But the favorable result would not have been impaired by the additional reports of the eight missing months; on the contrary it would have been more favorable.

The summer of 1868 was severe on our sick, who had no other place for shelter than a temporary shed built for a dining-room; also the occupation of the newly built cells, which are not perfectly dry yet, is very trying on the health of their occupants. The accompanying tabular statements will explain themselves.

By there you will see that the average number of our sick during sixteen months has not been more than a little over 1) per cent.

Only through the continued vigilance and care of the officers of this institution to the welfare and wants of the prisoners in furnishing them with healthful and well selected provisions, prepared in a very proper manner, for food, and keeping a strict cleanliness everywhere, could such a favorable result be accomplished.


While there are prisoners in this institutiou who will not be sick for years, there is a class that is habitually sick, either real or feigned; some come here with a broken down constitution through dissipation and vice; others depressed in spirits and mind, which re-acts also on the health of the body. Such are almost constantly on the sick list, and with the next class, (those sick by wounds and injuries,) run it up to a great extent, higher than diseases, proper or acute, would do.

The above mentioned, in hospital on account of wounds and inju. ries, are those so injured by the machinery of the workshops, which injuries are not only frequent, (in my report almost seven per cent.) but sometimes of such a nature that they require treatment for weeks and even months.

There remain now in the hospital five incurable cases :

1st. Harry Love, aged 35 years; had, in 1862, ophthalmia syphilitica, by which he lost his left eye. He entered the Penitentiary in 1865; was treated frequently for purulent ophthalmia. Recovering for a time he soon would come back with an aggravated attack.

21. Dennis Shane : enlargement of heart.
3d. Benj. Franklin Graham : coxalgia.
4th. Joseph McMullen, aged 64 years : debility.
5th. Cyrus Bruce, aged 66 years : debility.

A sixth case is that of Herm. Ed. Walbeck. He suffers from disease of the heart, epilepsy, and attacks of insanity. If I am rightly informed he has already been in the insane asylums of this state and the State of Ohio. I would respectfully recommend this case to your consideration.

Since my last report two deaths have occurred in this institution. Both were negroes.

1st. Voice, a weakly subject, took sick with the measles, March 6th, 1869, a cold, windy day. In bringing him from the hospital to his cell in the evening he must have taken cold. The measles disappeared externally, and gave way to pneumonia and enterites, resulting in death March 31st, 1869.

2d. John Wilson, until a short time before his death a very robust and healthy individual, died May 26th, 1869, of an abscess of his right lung, which broke and discharged through his mouth.

There should be a separate guard for the hospital, so that the sick would not have to be removed to their cells by night. It is always a dangerous operation to the patient, and in case of contagious disease might infect all the convicts.

I beg to acknowledge, in conclusion, that you have done, and have caused to be done, everything in your power and means to promote the welfare and comfort of the sick, in furnishing them proper diet and room; but you are aware of the insufficiency of your power and means, and I hope that our legislature, or the proper authority, will grant to you such power as to enable you to remedy the above mentioned evils.

Thanking you for the encouragement and aid rendered to me in performing my duty, I remain

Very respectfully yours,

AUG. W. HOFFMEISTER. Physician and Surgeon Iowa Penitentiary.


Sick Report at the Iowa Penitentiury. TimeJuly 1st, 1868, to October 31st, 1869. TABLE II. Showing the Diseases occurring at the Iorda Penitentiary from July 1st, 1868, to


No. of days labor lost by these sick.

Average no. of

hospital daily.
Average no. of

prisoners dur-
ing the month.

Daily percentage

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July ...

July ....
Sixteen months.......
Average per month.....


No, taken sick

sick treated in

of sick.

33 34 24 22 20 24

77 2.50 192 1.30 84 2.71 191 1.42 59 1.97 196 1.00 85 2.74 203 1.35 48 1.60 208 0.77 139| 4.481 215 2.09

26 123 3.97 219 1.81 34 129 4.48 221 2.03 21 162 5.23 222 2.36 24 94 3.13 222 1.41 20 79 2.55 221 1.15 22 92 3.06 222 1.38 46 144 4.65 223 2.08 28 114 3.68 220 1.68 31 95 3.19 216 1.47

20 104 3.36 214 1.57 .: 4.29 1628153.28/ 3405 24.87 .126.81101.75 3.33 213 1.55

October 31st, 1869.

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3 2.. 3 3 4 3 2 2 Indur. of spleen 1

1 1 Fellon ...

2 1 1 1 Boil.....

1 2 1 3

1 2 1 2 3 17 Carbuncle.

Abscess ...

3 1 1
11 1

1 2 10 Debility

1 1 Crampus..

1 Insanity.

11 Tapeworm Diseases of an undefined charac

ter, generally of very short duration ....

6 4 1 3 1 4 5 7 6 8 5 4 3 4 2 63

33 34 24 22 20 24 26 34 21 24 20 22 46 28 31 20429 AUG. W. HOFFMEISTER, M. D., Physician and Surgeon to Iowa Penitentiary.

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