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Inmates Play Base Ball at Worcester MA "Lunatic Hospital"

Salience Noteworthy
Location New England
Game Base Ball
Age of Players Adult


At the Worcester Lunatic Hospital, "[O]utdoor amusements consist in the game of quoits, base ball, walking in parties . . . "






Sixteenth Annual Report of the Trustees of the State Lunatic Hospital at Worcester, reported in "State Lunatic Hospital at Worcester," The Christian Register, Volume 28, Issue 6 [February 10, 1849], page 6.

Submitted by Bill Wagner 6/4/2006 and David Ball, 6/4/2006. Bill notes that the same article appears in Massachusetts Ploughman and New England Journal of Agriculture, Volume 8 Issue 20 (February 17, 1849), page 4. See also item #146.16 above.

A fuller transcript, submitted 4/2/2020 by Joanne Hulbert, is seen in Supplemental Text below.  She found it in the Boston Evening Transcript for January 25, 1849.

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Supplemental Text

STATE LUNATIC HOSPITAL. We have received the Sixteenth Annual Report of the Trustees of the State Lunatic Hospital at Worcester; from which we are gratified to learn that this well-conducted institution continues prosperously to exert its benign influence on the unfortunate portion of the human family, whose maladies take the form of insanity. The financial condition of the Hospital is quite satisfactory. . . . . . .

            ……Amusements of various kinds have been introduced into all the galleries, to keep active the minds and invigorate the physical system of the patients. Some, who feel as though they cannot labor, may be induced to take exercise in this way. The in-door plays are chess, cards, backgammon, rolling of a soft ball over our long hall floors, which is much like nine-pins, graces, jumping the rope, &c., and out-door amusements consist in the game of quoits, base ball, walking. The Matron’s sewing parties have been continued every two weeks. These gatherings are made pleasant by the social meeting together of about sixty patients with their attendants. After sewing for about two ours a treat is served around. Sometime the pianoforte helps to enliven the assembly. The greatest degree of decorum is here observed. . . . .

Boston Evening Transcript, January 25, 1849:2.

Submitted by Joanne Hulbert, email of April 2, 2020.