Tag Archives: Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island

Undercover Visitors

Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly

Though Lunacy Commissions and other visitors who provided oversight to asylums could be misled (see last post), word of actual conditions in an asylum nonetheless leaked out. Sometimes attendants talked, but more often, former patients spoke out against any abusive or inhumane conditions they had endured during their stays. Though these accounts were often dismissed, the public did become curious about conditions in insane asylums and at times speculated wildly about what might actually be happening to patients. At times, newspapers provided on-the-spot reporting by sending someone into an asylum undercover. Continue reading

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