Tag Archives: commissioner of Indian affairs

More Odd Decisions

After being accused of horse theft, Peter Thompson Good Boy met an Insanity Commission in South Dakota and was adjudged insane. Oddly, he was sent to the government hospital in Washington, DC instead of the much closer Canton Asylum in … Continue reading

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Importance of Asylum Gardens

m4s0n501 Asylum gardens provided occupational therapy of a sort for patients who were physically able to work in them. Some patients truly enjoyed working in a small flower garden perhaps, or even an hour or two in a vegetable garden. … Continue reading

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Fear of Dancing

Though the federal government wanted to suppress anything that kept Native Americans from assimilating into white culture, dancing seemed to be of special concern. Dances were central to many traditional rituals and ceremonies, and therefore, suspect. Even worse, Native American … Continue reading

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A Run for Freedom

Patients were often brought to insane asylums against their wills, and then stayed in them against their wills. Many were heartbroken to think that relatives or spouses would commit them to treatment in such places, and some patients discovered to … Continue reading

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Agency Report

It is fascinating to read period reports from agents of the federal government (see last post) for insight into conditions and attitudes of the time. In a 1904 report to the commissioner of Indian Affairs, R. J. Taylor, United States … Continue reading

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Reports on Many Subjects

Many people involved with “Indian Affairs” made reports to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, who then consolidated them into a report to the Secretary of the Interior. These people might be inspectors, superintendents of schools, reservation superintendents, Indian agents, and … Continue reading

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Agriculture at the Asylum

The Canton Asylum for Insane Indians did not depend on its gardens and livestock for survival, but the dairy products, fresh meat, and fresh produce they produced made meals more bountiful and nourishing. Dr. Harry Hummer depended upon them to … Continue reading

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Another Patient’s Fate

Susan Wishecoby was sent to the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians probably because of her epilepsy. She apparently did not know exactly what was wrong with her, and erroneously thought she was going to a hospital. She wrote many letters … Continue reading

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Released for Convenience

Dr. Harry Hummer did not release patients from the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians very often. Though he was willingly to release a few people to their families over the years, Hummer often refused to do so on the grounds … Continue reading

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Who Stayed at Canton Asylum?

Admissions to the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians were routed through reservation Indian agents (later superintendents), who performed much of the administrative and supervisory functions concerned with running these population centers. The asylum usually had several dozen applications on file, … Continue reading

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