ULSTER COUNTY HOUSE
This house is
constructed of wood, twenty-two by one hundred and twenty feet, two stories in
height, connected with a farm of one hundred and forty acres, yielding an
annual revenue of $500. The
basements are only occupied for domestic purposes.
In the house are eight rooms or wards, warmed by stoves, but not at all
ventilated. In the largest of
these rooms forty-five paupers are placed in the winter, and twenty in the
summer. This room is mostly
filled with invalids, is in size about twenty by thirty feet, with low
ceilings; the air confined and altogether most unhealthy.
The number of inmates was one hundred and twenty-seventy males and
fifty females; of these forty are foreign and eighty native born; forty-five
are under 16 years of age. The
sexes are kept separate. They are
under the care of a single keeper, by whom is kept the usual system of
registration. The average number
of inmates is one hundred and seventy-five, supported at an average weekly
cost of $1.25, aside from the products of the farm.
As far as able the paupers labor on the farm and about the house. No authorities have inspected or visited the house during the
year. It is supplied with Bibles,
and preaching is enjoyed on Sundays. For
six months of the year a school is taught in the house.
The superintendents of the poor furnish rules to govern the paupers,
regulate their diet, bind out the children, and exercise the power of
discharging lunatics. A physician
is employed by the year. During
the year have occurred twenty births and fifty deaths.
The paupers have suffered considerably from the small pox during that
time. There is no pest house
Of the inmates fifteen
are lunatics--three males and twelve females; all are paupers.
Five have been admitted during the last year.
They receive no special medical attendance, but a male attendant
supplies their ordinary wants. Ten
are confined in cells, and one restrained with chains.
Beside the main building are several small old buildings on the
premises, in one of which--a very poor one--were twelve cells for lunatics,
very open, and where it is barely possible to keep them from perishing.
In the houses are
twelve idiots--four males and eight females; two of the females are under 16
years of age.
Three-fourths of the
paupers are reduced to their present condition by intemperate habits.
(This is about the research of Susan Stessin-Cohn regarding the Ulster
Ulster historian uncovers
field where the 'broken people' lie
NEW PALTZ: A
local historian finds the graves of 1,000 forgotten poor people.
By Jeremiah Horrigan email@example.com
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