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Central State Hospital

aka State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum.

Milledgeville, Georgia

Established 1837, first patient admitted in 1842, still in use.

"One of the most important places in Milledgeville is Central State Hospital. Many people from central Georgia work in one of its many buildings. Central State Hospital, or Central State as it is often called, is a haven for the mentally ill and a home for war veterans. It sprawls over many acres and provides help for the many people who live and work there. The history of Central State Hospital is not only about Central State. It is about the state of Georgia caring enough to help the mentally ill.

Central State Hospital started out as a humanitarian gesture to provide a place for mentally ill people to live so they would not have to reside in a jail or a prison. The early attendants were slaves. The history of Central State Hospital began in 1834 when Governor Wilson Lumpkin asked the Georgia State Legislature to care for the "idiots, lunatics, and the insane." Governor Lumpkin was quoted as saying, "Every government possessing the means should without hesitancy provide suitable asylums for these most distressed and unfortunate of human beings" in his opening address to the Georgia State Legislature on November 4, 1834. Because of Governor Lumpkin's speeches, on December 28, 1837, the Georgia State Legislature passed a bill that created a "State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum." In 1842, the first patient was admitted. He had come from Macon, Georgia, chained to the back of a wagon. This was the modest beginning of what has now become one of the largest employers in the state of Georgia."

by Alexia Knox and Talecia Warren, with permission.

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