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EXPLANATION OF THE PLATE.
In the accompanying plate, all portions of the Institution represented in shaded lines, are already built, ith the exception of the "Infirmary for males," and the chapel and kitchen. The portions represented in outline constitute collectively the north wing.
"Hall No. 1" constitutes the portion known as the first longitudinal division. Adjoining it at the left, is the first transverse division, which is connected with the second transverse division by the second longitudinal, designated as "Hall No. 3." "Hall No. 5," and the wards beyond it, are collectively known as the extreme wing. The transverse divisions are three, and all other portions of the wing, two stories high. The divisions of the north wing are the same.
REFERENCES.-A, trustee's room; B, general office; C, matron's room; D, steward's office; E, E, reception rooms; F, dining room; G, medical office; H, safe on the left and water closet on the right; K, associated dormitories; M, recesses; N, day-rooms; O, ward dining rooms; U, chapel and kitchen; 1, boiler room; 2, engine-room; 3, laundry; 4, drying room; 5 and 6, ironing and distributing rooms; 8, fan room.
To His Excellency Hon. Henry H. Crapo, Governor of the State
of Michigan :
The manner in which the Michigan Asylum for the Insane has been erected is, in many respects, peculiar and unusual. Its establishment dates back many years, and each report presents only the history of the work of construction for the biennial period immediately preceding. It is, therefore, very difficult for one to possess himself of a satisfactory and complete history of the Institution, without reference to each of the reports presented; and even then, the information, thus somewhat laboriously secured, is not in a form to be made availableat least, to a member of the Legislature, during the few crowded and busy weeks of the session. This circumstance has suggested the propriety of preparing a brief retrospect, in a form to show, at a glance, the history of each stage of the work, with the specified purpose and the mode of expenditure of each appropriation in detail.
The history of the Asylum naturally divides itself into three distinct periods:
I. From its establishment until the dissolution of its connection with the Asylum at Flint.
II. From its commitment to a Distinct Board of Trustees until its organization.
III. From its organization to the present time.
1. The Michigan Asylums for the Insane, and the Deaf and Dumb, and Blind, were established in 1848. The reasons assigned for associating,ounder a single Board, two institutions, having nothing in common, either in their general object, construction, organization or management, do not appear in any document to which we have had access, and was probably entirely accidental,
In the Inaugural Message of his Excellency, the Governor, to the Legislature of that year, we find no mention of the necessity of an institution for the insane, nor other reference to the subject. The attention of members, however, seems to have been strongly directed thereto early in the session, by petitions of citizens from various portions of the State. The superintendents of the poor of Kent county also represented the want of an asylum, and asked for its erection; a similar report was also presented from Saginaw county, and still another from Wayne.
1848. In a special message, dated February 28th, 1848, Gov. Ransom recommended that “provision should be made for the establishment of a hospital for the insane, and an asylum for the deaf and dumb, at the earliest period consistent with the existing obligations of the State.” “We are invoked,” he says, " by every principle of humanity to provide for the alleviation of the condition of these unfortunate classes of our citizens with the least possible delay.” This was soon followed by an enactment establishing the institutions, providing for the appointment, by the Governor, of a Board of Trustees, empowered to select guitable sites and erect buildings, and appropriating eight sections of salt spring lands for these purposes.
It would seem that the Legislature at this time proposed simply to establish the Asylums and to determine the troublesome question of location. In his message to the Legislature of
1849, Governor Ransom referring to the action of the preceding session, remarks: “An act was passed at the last session to establish an Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, and the Blind, and also an Asylum for the Insane of the State of Michigan, and eight sections of the salt spring lands were appropriated for the erection of buildings for the use of those several institutions, the lands to be selected by trustees, to be appointed by the Executive, for the goverment of the Asylums.
“The lands could not be made available for the erection of the buildings, as contemplated by the act, and there being no other funds applicable to that object, and none appropriated other than the lands to pay for the services or expenses of the trustees, I deemed it expedient to defer their appointment, and I recommend that the law be so amended as to authorize the Commissioner of the State Land Office, or an agent to be appointed for that purpose, to select the land thus appropriated, and that nothing further be done under the act until the land can be sold or funds drawn from some source, to enable the trustees when appointed, to carry out the humane and important objects of the trust.
“I cannot dismiss the subject without reiterating the recommendation communicated in a special message to the last Legislature, that provision should be made for the establishment of these benevolent institutions at the earliest period practicable, and that suitable grounds be selected and set apart for their use."
1850. At the next meeting of the Legislature, Messrs. Hascall, Stuart, Cook, Taylor and Farnsworth, as Trustees, presented their first report. In accordance with the provisions of the act authorizing their appointment, they had held several meetings for the purpose of receiving proposals and donations of lands, money and materials for the location and building of the institutions. They had visited the several places from which proposals had been received, and after due examination and deliberation, had located the Asylum for the Insane at Kalamazoo, and selected Flint as the site of the Asylum for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, and Blind. They had received from the citizens of Kalamazoo the sum of fifteen hundred dollars, secured by conditional notes payable in six, twelve and eighteen months, in addition to a site for the Asylum containing ten acres of land, a description of which was filed with the Secre