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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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abuses, demonstrated that in numerous cases mental alienation,
like many physical infirmities, strictly so considered, was often
remediable; that to pronounce a condemnation of the insane to
total incapability of medical relief in all after life, was a decision
at variance with the strongest evidence of a contrary character,
deduced from the results of the practice, not only at the Retreat
at York, but of the Asylums at Nottingham, Glasgow, and other
places ; in short, that individuals who had lost health and reason,
might be restored to both, by the judicious use of medicine, and
a mild moral management.

Fortified with such testimony, Mr. Eddy's zeal was quickened;
he united with several eminent citizens among us, of whom I
may particularly notice the late Mr. John Murray, jun., the late
General Clarkson, and the late Thomas Franklin, in an applica-
tion to our legislature for efficient means to enable the gover-
nors of the New York Hospital, to erect a suitable establishment
for the insane, on a scite appropriate to such an object. The
result, was the ample grant by the state of New York, and the
delightful grounds and improvements connected therewith. The
whole is a proud trophy of Mr. Eddy's laudable perseverance;
while the act by which it was secured, will ever remain conspi-
cuous among the many which characterized the administration
of Governor De Witt Clinton.

Mr. Eddy, in common with many other benevolent individuals,
was at first disposed to place a more entire reliance on the moral
management of insanity, to the exclusion of all medical treat-
ment, than, I think, the facts in the case warrant. This belief I
know, he for some time cherished; but the enlarged experience
and personal observation which for many years he afterwards
enjoyed at the noble institution which his own efforts so power-
fully contributed to organize, led him to qualify his views on the
curative means in lunacy. Having, while in Europe, at the time
when the management and treatment of the insane constituted a
prominent subject of discussion, visited most of the lunatic insti-
tutions of Great Britain, France, and Holland, I became fully
convinced that those asylums in which a prompt and judicious
medical practice was adopted, afforded the largest favourable
results of the tractable nature of many forms of diseased mani-
festations of mind: that such indeed was the case even at the