Pennsylvania Hospital

(Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Established 1844

From Valley Spirit, March 1, 1865, p. 2, c. 4:

"Since the opening of this institution in 1844, no less than 4,323 patients have been admitted within its walls. Of this number, 4,044 have been discharged, leaving 279 patients still in the hospital at the beginning of the present year. The annual report of Dr. Kirkbride, who has control of this asylum, contains some singular and interesting figures. Of the 4,323 patients admitted into the institution since its opening, 727 appear to have become insane from ill-health of various kinds; 286 from intemperance; 149 loss of property; 5 dread of poverty; 64 disappointed affections; 45 intense study; 94 domestic difficulties; 35 fright; 227 grief, loss of friends, etc.; 35 intense application to business; 146 religious excitement; 12 political excitement; 1 metaphysical speculations; 8 want of exercise; 1 engagement in a duel; 17 disappointed expectations; 6 nostalgia; 2 stock speculations; 37 want of employment; 3 mortified pride; 1 celebacy [sic]; 2 anxiety for wealth; 15 uss [sic] of opium; 6 use of tobacco; 3 use of quack medicines; 169 puerpal state; 12 uncontrolled passion; 1 tight lacing; 54 injuries of the head; 278 mental anxiety; 4 exposure to cold; 38 exposure to direct rays of the sun; 1 exposure to intense heat; 4 exposure in the army.

Of the whole number of patients admitted from the beginning, 323 were farmers; 217 merchants; 176 laborers; 174 clerks. The other occupations are not so heavily represented. For instance, there are 45 physicians; 41 lawyers; 25 clergymen; 36 teachers; 78 carpenters; 36 machinists; 26 weavers; 29 blacksmiths; 30 hotel keepers; 38 tailors; 75 shoemakers. Of the females admitted, 205 were seamstresses or mantuamakers; 229 domestics; 99 daughters of farmers, and 180 widows of farmers; 107 daughters of merchants; 40 widows of merchants, and 128 wives of merchants."

Other Images:

  • Photographic portrait of Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride
  • Historic drawing of hospital
  • Side portrait of Dr Kirkbride
  • Historic plan of hospital
    Visit RootsWeb