The collection is composed of material, chiefly 1862-1868, relating to Eastern Lunatic Asylum (now Eastern State Hospital), Williamsburg, Va. Includes correspondence, a list of female patients and "coloured" female patients, patient reports, and requisition orders of Dr. Peter Wager, director of the hospital during the Union occupation of Williamsburg. There are also replies, 1956-1957, to inquiries for information about Dr. John de Sequeyera [or Sequeyra], a physician at the hospital from 1773 to 1793, and the hospital during the Civil War.
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.
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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.
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