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and the ontlay therefor judicious. The title to one of the parcels of land, the purchase of which was contemplated, was found to be imperfect, and the purchase has not yet been effected. For the parcels purchased, deeds have been taken in proper form and duly recorded.

In our last biennial report, we called attention to the fact, that, at no distant day, additional accommodations would be needed for the insane of the State; and we urged the necessity of immediate measures for supplying what seemed to be a rapidly approaching want, suggesting what appeared to us to be advisable in the premises. The pressure upon the capacities of this institution, then anticipated, has been fully realized, and the want far transcends existing accommodations.

At the risk of being thought importunate in this matter, we beg to call attention to some of the facts stated in the superintendent's report.

Taking as a basis the fact, that within the past two years, seventysix applications for admission to the hospital have been refused, on the ground of want of room; and that for the same reason, and within the same time, forty-five patients, who were fit subjects for continued hospital care, have been discharged therefrom, to make room for recent cases, we conclude there must now be in the State, not less than one hundred and twenty of this unfortunate class, who are suffering, many of them in jails, poorhouses, and other unsuitable places, mnch greater privations and hardships, than it they were in such an institution as this.

In addition to the above, we note another fact, a fact which much surprises ns, as it must also surprise others, that within a period of little more than two years, nearly two hundred persons, resident within the State, have committed, or attempted to commit suicide; and that in behalf of only three of these have applications for admission to the hospital been made.

It will scarcely be questioned that nearly all, if not all, of those who have thus taken, or attempted to take, their own lives, were disordered in mind, and that many of them, under wise hospital treatment, might have been saved to themselves and their friends. We are sure that many, in like condition of mind, have been so saved, some of whom have come under our own observation.

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The startling fact, that so many cases of this character have come to light within this State, in so brief a space of time, indicates clearly to our minds, that there is far more danger, that persons afflicted with mental disorders from which they might be relieved by skillful treatment in an institution of this kind, shall be kept out of it from want of information, or from other considerations in the minds of their immediate friends, than that those who are sane, shall be subjected to improper confinement on the plea of insanity.

If provision had been made at the last legislature, for the enlargement of this institution, in accordance with our recommendation, the additional accommodations it would have afforded would doubtless now be in readiness. In the present situatiou, besides the large number of insane in the State, who cannot be admitted to its advantages, the hospital in our care has in it from fifty to one hundred more than it can accommodate to advantage. We therefore most respectfully urge that the needed accommodations be provided in the briefest possible time.

Our experience and observation lead us to suggest the propriety of the revision and amendment of the Statutes of the State in regard to the care and treatment of the insane, and their legal rights and status, both in and out of hospitals provided for them.

As the matter stands, the law upon the subject is embraced in several acts, passed at different times, and thought to be more or less defective. Some portions of which acts are regarded as of doubtful force, leaving it uncertain, in some cases, what the rights and duties of parties may be. It is deemed advisable that one act, comprising all of the provisions of existing acts on the subject, thought to be suitable, with such other provisions as experience has shown to be wise and proper, shall take the place of statutes now in force relating thereto.

In this connection, we would call attention to the consideration, that during the present century, and especially within the past few years, as mental science has been improved, and the laws of the human mind are better understood, and as the benevolent tendencies of the age bave swept within their curements this most upfortunate class of the human family, demanding in their behalf a humane consideration and care commensurate, ic some degree, with the weight of their misfortune. What was once deemed a proper method of treatment in their case, and what were once thought suitable provisions of laws in regard to them, are now, in many respects, seen to be either wanting in humanity, or otherwise imperfectly adapted to their condition, or inconsistent with the rights and obligations, respectively, of the sane and the insane.

This subject bas especially engaged the attention of a body known as the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, which has been in existence, and held annual sessions for over twenty years.

This association, from the position of its individual member, being painfully conscious of the imperfection of existing laws in many of the States, and regarding it as eminently proper that they should indicate, for the benefit of all intrusted in a matter of such importance, the results of their extensive experience and observation, at their session in 1863, appointed a committee to inquire and report as to the legislation requisite in the case.

As the result of such action, and after the subject had been before the association for several years, at its annual meeting held in Boston, in June, 1868, after careful consideration, and protracted and thorough discussion, a project for a law of such character, was unanimously agreed upon, and recommended for adoption in the States whose existing laws do not satisfactorily provide for the important ends contemplated.

We are happy to say, that to a considerable extent, our own laws are in accordance with the proposed plan, which, however, embraces numerous provisions not found in the statutes, some or all of wbich may well find a place therein.

As the project referred to embodies, on this subject, the wisdom of a class of our citizens of high culture and a wide range of experience and observation, in the line of their specialty, we deem it advisable to append the same to our report.

In this connection, the board would express the hope, that in any modification of our laws in regard to the treatment of the insane, there will be no material change in the provisions now existing, touching the supply of funds for defraying the current expenses of the hospital. These operate most satifactorily, and we should deprecate any change that may result in embarrassment or delay in procuring the needed funds.

We take pleasure, as heretofore, in acknowledging the indebtedness of this institution to the auditor and treasurer of State, for their promptness and special pains in furnishing and forwarding funds on our call therefor. In

pursuance of former practice, deemed advantageous, by appointment of the board, one of their number-A. W. McClure, M. D., in connection with the superintendent attended the annual meeting of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, held in the city of Boston, in June, 1868; and in going and returning, visited several such institutions, with a view of obtaining valuable information touching the advantages and disadvantages, and the management and practical workings of different institutions of the kind, and of making available, as opportunity may offer, any improvements that may have been ascertained and tested, in the provisions for and treatment of the insane. On his return, Doctor McClure made to the board, for their entire satisfaction and information, a very interesting and valuable report of his visit and observations.

The board, substantially concurring with the superintendent, in his views of the needs of this institution, would respectfully ask that appropriations be made in its behalf as follows:

For barn.......
For chimney....
For improvement of boiler-house......
For settling reservoir and filter.....
For steam boilers.......
For fencing and improving grounds .....
For contingencies......

$ 5,000.00 10,000.00 3,000.00 6,500.00 4,500.00 2,500.00 2,500.00

As in former periods, so in the one just closed, the deliberations of the board and their intercourse with the resident officers of the institution, have been conducted with uniform harmony. The plans adopted and carried into effect, have tended in a high degree, we trust, to promote its prosperity, and render it subservient to the beneficent purposes of its establishment.

Claiming nothing in its behalf that we believe undeserved, and asking nothing for its support that we deem unnecessary, we commend it to the confidence of all who are interested in its success and prosperity.


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