“Let Me See Some Insane People”: Progressive-Era Development of the State Hospital at Morganton, 1883-1907

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Carrie Anne Streeter (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Lucinda McCray

Abstract: When the State Hospital at Morganton opened its doors in 1883, state leaders called it the “Pearl of the Mountains.” The Hospital was built during a time when many other states were also expanding their asylum developments. Asylums did not operate in isolation from cultural, political, or economic influences. In the context of Progressive-Era public health developments and regional industrialization, asylum operations were influenced by the decisions of both those in charge and those who sought admission. Within the first years of operation, the demand for the Hospital’s services exceeded its capacity and local leaders navigated the challenging realities of determining whom to admit. Through close examination of individuals involved with the development and use of the State Hospital at Morganton, this thesis positions rural families, hospital staff, local politicians, county boards of health, and local North Carolina physicians as effective participants in shaping psychiatric care from the 1880s through the 1910s. The thesis focuses on the stories of people who sought asylum care from three rural western North Carolina counties: Buncombe County, Burke County, and Watauga County.

Additional Information

Streeter, C.A. (2012). “Let Me See Some Insane People”: Progressive-Era Development of the State Hospital at Morganton, 1883-1907. Unpublished master's thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2012
Asylums in western North Carolina, 19th century asylum development, State Hospital at Morganton, Broughton Hospital, Psychiatric history

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