Once again I was rummaging around in things that I had no business rummaging around in.
And once again I was pleasantly surprised. I did not find it pleasant because of the subject matter but pleasant because I met another one of those interesting people.
I opened the digital doors of Cornell University; the “Making of America” to be specific.
There I found the July 1869 issue of Atlantic Monthly.
Ten pages of this issue were devoted to an article on inebriates.
But that is not the most surprising thing.
The amazing part of all this is that those ten pages were written by an inebriate.
This was not a run of the mill inebriate. This man was an artist with words and obviously well educated. He was incarcerated, voluntary or otherwise I do not know, in the Inebriate Asylum of New York State.
In this blog, I usually name the people of who I speak.
However, I have no idea about his identity.
The only thing I will accomplish if I keep on writing is to delay your opportunity to meet this man and his writing. So I end my words here and allow his to take over.
Oh, one more thing. Before I depart I should tell you I will be posting a few images here and there.
An old woodcut print of the New York State Inebriate Asylum.
JULY 1869 Our Inebriates: Harbored and Helped Page 109
By an Inmate of the New York State Asylum
I AWAKE to the music of the rising, a bell, on which an Ethiopian minstrel, naturally corked, is ringing cheerful changes in the halls; and my first conscious sensation is a pleasant one. As, turning over for a fresh thrill, and applauding my pillow with a sensuous pat, I cast a complacent glance and thought around my room. Not bad for an ” Inebriate Asylum,” — for a refuge and a rest to the wretch which hath seven devils, each more thirsty than the other, — for a biding and safe thinking place to him who hath called, in his distraction and dismay, on the mountains to fall on him, and the rocks to cover him up !