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To the Legislature of the State of Michigan:
The Trustees of the Michigan Asylum for the Insane, in compliance with the requirements of the act of organization, respectfully submit the following report:
On no previous occasion has this been a more pleasant oz grateful duty. The professional efforts of the Medical officers have met with the usual degree of success. We have every reason to feel assured that the intelligent bounty of the Legislature, and the funds received from counties and individuals, have been applied with the strictest integrity, and in such manner as to secure the best possible return; and although with an increased number of patients and continued embarrassment from want of room in every department, no epidemic or unusual disease has visited the establishment, and no accident has occurred to render the retrospect of the two years otherwise than highly satisfactory.
Since the date of our last report, three hundred patients have been under treatment; one hundred and thirty-six have been discharged, and one hundred and sixty-four remain in the Asylum. The results of treatment compare very favorably with those reported at similar institutions.
The Steward's orders upon the Treasurer on account of “general expenses,” amount to $62,635 63, which sum repre sents the cost of maintaining the Institution during the period covered by the report. With a daily average under treatment of one hundred and seventy-four, it will be perceived that the actual cost per wech, for each individual, is $3 46, which we find on examination to be considerably below the average of other American Asylums for the same period. The receipts from counties and private individuals for the support of patients, amounts to $52,465 64. The expenditures on this account during the two years, have consequently exceeded the receipte by about $10,000.*
At the short period in the history of the Asylum during which we were enabled to receive all private patients for whom application was made, the average weekly income was $3 67. Had this been the case during the last two years, it will be seen that the Institution would still have been self-supporting. The logs of this increased income from patients supported at private expense, would in itself be a very poor reason for urging the completion of the building, and its diversion into the treas uries of Asylums of other States is no source of regret to us, inasmuch as it is all well expended in promoting the welfare and comfort of the same class whose interests we have at heart; nevertheless, had we the necessary room, it could be as well used here, and at the same time relieve the Asylum from unmerited censure and afford inexpressible satisfaction to those who feel themselves wronged in being excluded from their own Institution.
The policy adopted by the Board in reference to the main tenance of the Asylum will appear by reference to the subjoined extract from our last report:
“The number of private patients seeking admission is large, and while able to provide for them, the revenue of the Institution was adequate to its support, although less than one-half of the building was in use. During the fall of 1861, applications for the admission of patients of the poor and indigent classes multiplied to such an extent as to require the refusal of private patients; this demand increasing, the subsequent re moval of selected individuals supported by friends, became necessory, whereby the income of the Institution was materially lessened without any corresponding decrease in its expenditures.
There is now duo the Institution from Counties and Individuals, about $2.500.
" The matter was presented to the Trustees at one of their meetings and duly considered. It was evident that patients of the poor and indigent classes for whom application was made by county officers should continue invariably to have the preference, and that the claims of individuals in such straitened circumstances as to render removal and treatment in the Institations of other States impossible, should be next considered. An increase in the rates of charge would have obviated the difficulty so far as the deficiency in revenue was concerned, but it would have placed the benefits of the Institution beyond the reach of those able and willing to meet the usual charge to persons
limited means and thus force them to retain their friends at home, or to throw them upon the counties, to the serious prejudice both of public and private interests. Although empowered by the act of organization to make such modifications in charge as might from time to time be demanded, the Trustees were of the opinion that the increased expenses of the Institution incident in part to the effects of the war upon the prices of labor and provisions, but more particularly to the enhanced cost of maintenance, growing out of the unfinished condition of the building and the inadequacy of its accommodations, should be distributed as equally as possible. To this end they decided to make no change in the rates charged either to private individuals or counties, and to carry the deficit to the close of the biennial period and ask of the Legislature an appropriation sufficient to meet it. Without such provision the burden must principally fall upon those not well able to bear it.”
This course, having received the sanction and approval of the last Legislature, has not been changed, and although the deficit now reported and for which an appropriation will be necessary, is large, ($3,800 for each year,) it is believed that the views of tho members of the present Legislature will fully coincide with those of their predecessors.
The amount expended during the past two years for the purposo of “construction,” is $17,396 61. Tho items of expandituro aro presented in the Treasurer's report.
The centro building (a portion of the basement, ono room and tho entrance porch cxcepted,) has been finished and is now in use.
The portion of tho south wing formerly occupied by the officers and for domestic purposes, has been prepared for patients and is now used as a ward for convalescent males.
A wooden structure, 26 by 30 feet, designed for the use of the cows, has been built on the west side of the barn. It has an upper room for fodder, is fitted with feeding racks, &c
A carriage and implement house, 24 by 30 feet, with an attio for hay, and an open shed, has been added to the north side of the barn. These buildings were much needed, and are found to answer admirably the purposes for which they were intended.
A lumber shed, 70 by 24 feet, has been built in the rear of the shops. It is now filled with lumber for the North wing, purchased on very advantageous terms, by our Steward, previous to the recent great advance in that material; it will afterwards be used for the storage of seasoned wood.
The portion of the Asylum farm lying east of the road has been cleared for cultivation. The highway in front of the Institution has been straitened and graded, and a substantial fence built upon either side. The other fences upon the farm, , those of the yards and garden excepted, are nearly worthless, and should be renewed.
A brick reservoir with a capacity of four hundred and twentyeight barrels, has been constructed in the rear of the building and connected with tho other tanks and with the engine room pump.
Mr. Turnbull, our engineer, has been obliged to remove fram a builéing a jacent to our grounds, which he has occupied since his connection with the Institution, the owner requiring it for his own use. No other building could be procured susiciently near the Asylum, and as his duties require that he should