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A HISTORY OF THE ASYLUMS FOR THE INSANE IN MICHIGAN

BY HENRY M. HURD, M. D.

It provided that fifteen sections of the State salt spring lands should be appropriated for the erection of suitable buildings for these asylums, and that the government of these institutions should be vested in a board of trustees consisting of five members to be elected annually by the legislature of the State in joint convention. They were authorized to receive proposals for donations of lands, money or other materials for the location and building of such asylums, and to select and designate a suitable location for the site of said asylums, and to file a description of it in the office of the Secretary of State. It was also made the duty of the Commissioner of the State Land Office to make immediate selection of the lands appropriated by this bill and to sell them to the best advantage and to place their proceeds to the credit of an asylum fund. It was further provided that when the proceeds of these lands should be deemed sufficient by the governor and trustees to justify the erection of a building, they should proceed to erect suitable buildings, after appointing one of their number an acting or building commissioner.
The public interest which had prompted the establishment of the asylums and the appropriation of the lands seems to have been fully satisfied by this ¦step, for nothing was done under the act, and in 1849, Governor Ransom, in his annual message, used the following language: "An act was passed at the last session to establish an asylum for the deaf and dumb, and the into the expediency of appropriating a portion of State salt spring lands for the purpose of establishing a State lunatic asylum, and that they report by bill or otherwise. " Upon the 15th day of February, 1848, Senator Balch presented the petition of Lucius L. Clark, Alexis Ransom and 115 other citizens of Kalamazoo, praying the Legislature "to provide for and estaBlish an asylum for the insane in such place and manner as may best conduce to the alleviation of that unfortunate portion of our citizens from the miseries they now suffer, " which was referred to the committee on State affairs.

MICHIGAN ASYLUMS


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