Returns of Pauper Lunatics and Idiots
(Edgartown, 1842)

[The following was extracted from the original document stored at the Massachusetts State Archives in Boston.
Scroll your browser to the right to view the entire table.]




White or Colored.

Place of Birth.

Idiot or Lunatic.

Duration of Disease.

Duration of Confinement.

Is the person in your Almshouse, or in a private family?

Is the person confined or in any strong room or cage?

How many others are confined in the same room or cage?

Length and breadth of the room or cage in feet.

Is the person furiously mad, or only occasionally so?

Are chains, straps, or other means of bodily restraint used?

What Hospital has the person been in, and how long?
Is the person a State or town pauper? Cost of support of each person per week.

Abilla Bassett






10 yrs

Never confined

In the house where the poor are kept


Never furiously Mad

Not any

Not in any


About two Dls.


Remarks: Her age and duration of auiari[?] we have stated as nearly as we can ascertain. We have never been able to ascertain whether she is a State or Town pauper.

Henry Bradley
Theodoulps[?] Mayhew } Overseers of the Poor of the town of Edgartown


General Questions

1. What means of ventilation are used for the rooms in which the Lunatics or Idiots are confined?

None Confined.

2. How are the rooms warmed?

[Left blank.]

3. How often are these rooms cleaned?

[Left blank.]

4. How often and how much are the Lunatics and Idiots, who are confined, allowed to exercise in open air?

[Left blank.]

5. Is a physician emplyed to attend upon these Lunatics for the purpose of curing their mental derangement, or only in case of bodily disease?

No Physician employed

6. If any paupers belonging to your town are now in the State Lunatic Hospital, please state their names and ages, and the time when each was sent there.


7. If any lunatic persons or idiots are confined in the alms-house, besides paupers, please state their names and the various circumstances concerning them, according to the questions in the table.


Also see the 1842 returns of Chilmark, Tisbury, the Edgartown Jail,
and the Edgartown House of Corrections, as well as the 1829 return of Edgartown.

Comments? Questions? Corrections? Suggestions? Let me know!
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