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Eastern Lunatic Asylum Ledgers

Identifier: Mss. Acc. 2009.244

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  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

12 Ledgers from the Eastern Lunatic Asylum in Williamsburg, Virginia recording purchases of food items, kitchen items, tools, clothing and other items for the hospital.

Classified Receipts: August 31, 1892 to February 28, 1899.

Ledger book listing 3 months of daily receipts on each page, 9 pages of items per quarter ranging from bacon to furniture sets.

Consolidated Morning Report Book: March 1, 1876 to May 7, 1877.

Daily record of the condition of the hospital by ward, listing available beds, number of patients, officers, special employees, ward attendants, servants and laborers. Each ward attendant's name is listed followed by the status of his or her ward. A section of each page lists "remarks" which notes arrivals, transfers, furloughs, deaths and discharges.

Farm Book: October 3, 1876 to September 30, 1903.

Farm Accounts from 1877-1881. Includes "Products of the Farm and Garden" and fiscal year 1882-1903 itemized by produce.

Order book: 1916 and undated.

Mostly orders for food items. Includes loose invoices.

Invoices Ledger: January 1, 1876 to July 18, 1882. Complete records of accounts by supplier, itemized list of items with prices charged for each. A major supplier was E.M. Lee who is also listed in other records as the "Steward" of the hospital.

Requisital: April 23, 1878 to March 11, 1881.

Official record of acquisitions as opposed to the "Day Books" which were more or less a note pad. Penned by clerk of the hospital. Each entry is signed by the official who received and/or requested the supplies. Some items were taken by some officials - gifts or payment?

Ledger: March 2, 1880 to July 1, 1882.

Ledger book showing supplies received/used by ward and official who received the supplies, such as the Supervisor, Chief Cook, Steward, Matron and Housekeeper.

Ledger: March 12, 1881 to February 28, 1883.

Ledger: December 17, 1887 to August 30, 1890.

Ledger book showing supplies received/used by ward and official who received the supplies, such as the Supervisor, Chief Cook, Steward, Matron and Housekeeper. Interesting note: entry under "Drug Room" was "464 gal. whiskey."

Ledger: September 1, 1890 to November 1890.

Ledger book showing supplies received/used by ward and official who received the supplies, such as the Supervisor, Chief Cook, Steward, Matron and Housekeeper. Some new departments such as "Sundry Issues" and "Executive."

Ledger: September 1, 1890 to May 28, 1892.



  • Creation: 1876-1916
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1876-1903


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Historical Note:

The Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds, as the facility was first known, was established by act of the Virginia colonial legislature on June 4, 1770. The act, which intended to “Make Provision for the Support and Maintenance of Ideots, Lunaticks, and other Persons of unsound Minds,” authorized the House of Burgesses to appoint a fifteen-man Court Of Directors to oversee the future hospital’s operations and admissions.

In 1841, the hospital was renamed the Eastern Lunatic Asylum and newly-appointed superintendent John Minson Galt II initiated a series of reforms which came to have great effect on the history of mental treatment.

The current name is Eastern State Hospital,

part of the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse Services system. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: .


3.00 Linear Feet

Arrangement of Materials:

Each ledger is in chronological order.

Acquisition Information:

Purchased in late 1990's from the Bookpress.

Related Materials:

Mss. Sm Coll Eastern State Hospital Papers

Mss. Acc. 2006.13 H. Clinton Thompson, M.D. Affidavit on the Eastern Lunatic Asylum

Guide to the Eastern Lunatic Asylum Ledgers
Finding Aid Authors: Anne Johnson.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository