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McLean+Hospital++1997+ - Am J Psychiatry 154:1 January 1997...

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Am J Psychiatry 154:1, January 1997 Images in Psychiatry McLean Hospital N o hospitals—only almshouses and prisons—existed in New England prior to the Legislature’s granting of a charter to the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in 1811. From the outset this hospital would provide care not only for the physically ill but also for the mentally ill. The Asylum, as it was then called, was initially located in Charlestown but was moved to Belmont, eventually occu- pying 42 buildings on 240 beautiful acres of land and renamed McLean Hospital. The first two superintendents, Rufus Wyman (1818–1837) and Luther Bell (1837–1855), were pioneers in the “moral treatment” of the “insane.” They eschewed the “purging, bleeding and low diet” popular at the time and emphasized “riding, walking, sewing, em- broidery, bowling, gardening, arts, reading, writing, conversation the whole to be performed with order and regularity” (address by Wy- man in 1830 to the Massachusetts Medical Society).
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