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To the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane:
The undersigned respectfully report that they have this day, in company with J. P. Bradlee, Esq., President of the Board of Directors for Public Institutions of Boston, visited and carefully inspected the farm of one hundred and eighty (180) acres situated in the town of Winthrop, on which it is proposed to place the Boston Hospital for the Insane; and that, in our opinion, the farm in question affords a good site for such a hospital as it is proposed to erect upon it. It commands a great variety of beautiful views, and the air of the place must be fresh and pure, while the extremes of heat and cold are probably less than they would be on any inland site of sufficient elevation.
The immediate site upon which it is proposed to erect the hospital buildings, can be easily, thoroughly, and economically drained. Much of the land is already in a fertile condition, and the whole of it, in view of the character of the soil and the abundance and cheapness of fertilizers at that point, can readily be made highly productive, and will afford a fine field for the sanitary and economical employment of the inmates of the Institution. Building material and heavy supplies can be conveyed to a point about three-fourths of a mile from the building site (perhaps to a nearer point), and it is easily accessible from Boston, from which it can be reached in from one-half to threefourths of an hour, according to the mode of conveyance adopted. And lastly, a Hospital for the Insane, built on the site in question, is not likely, on account of the peculiar situation of the farm, either to be encroached upon by the increase of population, or to interfere with any industrial or commercial developments of the neighborhood.
In view of the above considerations, and others that might be mentioned, we approve of the use of the farm in the town of
Winthrop, which has been selected and purchased by the municipal authorities of Boston, as a site for a city Hospital for the Insane.
C. H. NICHOLS,
Supt. of Gov't Hospital for the Insane, Washington, D. C.
JUNE 5, 1868.
JOHN S. BUTLER,
Supt. of the Retreat, at Hartford, Conn.
Supt. of State Hospital, Nashville, Tenn.
TAUNTON LUNATIC HOSPITAL,
TAUNTON, MASS., Nov. 23, 1869.
MY DEAR DOCTOR, Your note of the 20th inst. reached me yesterday; and in reply I would say, that having visited and carefully examined both the Winthrop Farm and the Codman Estate, I very decidedly prefer the former as a location for a Public Hospital for the Insane.
Both sites are very remarkable for beauty and extent and variety of scenery; but for this particular purpose the Winthrop Farm has undeniable and very essential advantages.
It contains the desirable amount of land, which the Codman Estate does not; and it combines, not only far better than the latter site, but better than almost any location I have ever seen, ease of access, with that retirement and security against intrusion, which are so important to the welfare of the insane, and to the satisfactory management of a hospital. In this essential particular the Codman Estate is even now fatally deficient, and will inevitably become even more so; while the Winthrop Farm from the peculiarity of its position, must be permanently free from publicity and intrusion.
Looking at the difference strictly from a medical point of
view, I believe that at Winthrop your patients could, from the size of the farm and the character of its surroundings, enjoy so much greater liberty out of doors, that not only their happiness would be increased, but your percentage of cures would be greater.
DR. C. A. WALKER.
(Signed,) GEORGE C. S. CHOATE.
MAJOR-GENERAL JNO. G. FOSTER,
OFFICE OF THE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS,
U. S. Engineer Corps, Boston, Mass.
DEAR SIR,You have been represented as stating that "Winthrop Farm is as much exposed as the most prominent headland of the outer harbor; and that it will become necessary in case hospital buildings are erected upon it to protect the bluff by costly sea-walls."
BOSTON, MASS., November 29, 1869.
Will you please inform me, if, in this statement, you have reference to Grover's Cliff, called Winthrop Farm, or to the headland known as "Winthrop Head."
(Signed,) J. P. BRADLEE.
J. P. BRADLEE, Esq.,
President Board of Directors for Public Institutions, Boston. SIR, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 26th inst., informing me that I "have been repre
sented as stating that Winthrop Farm is as much exposed as the most prominent headland of the outer harbor, and that it will become necessary in case hospital buildings are erected upon it to protect the bluff by costly sea-walls."
In reply I beg leave to state that the only opinion I have ever given on the subject is contained in my reply to a letter of inquiry dated December 13, 1867, from Hon. Otis Norcross, then Mayor of this city, a copy of which I herewith enclose as well of my answer, dated the same day, by both of which you will perceive that "Winthrop Head" or the "Bluff" are the only situations referred to.
I remain, sir, very respectfully,
Your ob❜t servt.,
(Signed,) J. G. FOSTER,
Bvt. Maj.-Gen'l U. S. A.
MAYOR'S OFFICE, CITY HALL,
BOSTON, December 13, 1867.
MAJOR-GENERAL J. G. FOSTER.
DEAR SIR, Can you give me any information upon the following points. Have the United States Government decided to build a sea-wall at Winthrop Head? If so, when will they build it?
If the Government of the United States does not build such a wall, and the City of Boston erect a hospital building upon the Bluff, will they be obliged to erect a wall before many years to protect their building?
What will be the cost of a wall proper for that place?
You have had considerable experience in our harbor, summer and winter - what is your opinion of the exposure of a building upon this head of land, at an elevation of eighty feet above
HON. OTIS NORCROSS,
the water and nine hundred feet long, as compared with other points or headlands in the Harbor or Bay?
Your answer at your earliest convenience will oblige,
(Signed,) OTIS NORCROSS,
BOSTON, MASS., December 13, 1867.
Mayor of the City of Boston.
SIR, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date, making inquiries upon certain points in relation to Winthrop Head, and to reply as follows, viz:
1st. The United States Government have not decided to build a sea-wall at Winthrop Head, although application has been made for that purpose by the Harbor Commissioners of Massachusetts. The U. S. Chief of Engineers does not regard it of such necessity in a national point of view, as to demand the expenditure on the part of the Government, at least at present.
In his report to the Secretary of War of February 11, 1867, he says: * "Respecting * * * and Winthrop Head, I am not prepared to report. Their preservation would prevent the deterioration of subordinate channels, convenient to local and perhaps other trade, but the closure or material shoaling of these channels would aid the defence, and if that shoaling, or the process causing it, should not in any way impair the main channels, I am not satisfied that the deterioration should be arrested. The question is one that will require careful investigation.
2d. As the bluff is being gradually worn away by the winds and waves, it will become necessary, in case the City of Boston