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´╗┐Title: A Sketch of the Life of Elizabeth T. Stone and of Her Persecutions - With an Appendix of Her Treatment and Suffereings While - in the Charlestown McLean Assylum, Where She Was Confined - Under the Pretence of Insanity
Author: Stone, Elizabeth T.
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Sketch of the Life of Elizabeth T. Stone and of Her Persecutions - With an Appendix of Her Treatment and Suffereings While - in the Charlestown McLean Assylum, Where She Was Confined - Under the Pretence of Insanity" ***

  [TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES. Unusual and inconsistent spelling, grammar
    and punctuation have been preserved. Obvious typographical errors
    have been silently corrected and the text has been changed
    according to the errata listed at the end of the published text.
    _Underscores_ are used to represent italics. Small capitals have
    been converted to all capitals. The table of contents was added by
    the transcriber.]













  PREFACE.                        3
  REMARKS.                        33
  ERRATA.                         42


Feeling that the public is very much deceived concerning the treatment
and situation of a poor afflicted class of the human family, who are
placed in the McLean Assylum at Charlestown, by their relatives, and
are left in the hands of strangers, subjected to the treatment of those
whose hearts are hardened by being long accustomed to human suffering,
and who are ignorant and unqualified, I will expose this matter to the
public, in behalf of the afflicted, in connection with the _awful,
brutal outrage_ that has been committed upon me in consequence of
indisposition resulting from hard labor and persecution, so the public
may be warned against placing their friends there, especially if they
would not have them ill-treated or suffer unnecessarily.

First, I shall give a short sketch of my life down to the time when I
was carried to the Hospital; then an account of the CRIME in connection
with the treatment I received there, until I was taken out. I feel that
this should particularly interest the christian world; but whether it
is believed or not, I am determined to publish it, that the people of
God may take care of their own people in time of persecution at the
expense of one's life, whether father, mother, brother, or sister step
in between. The unconverted do not understand _spirituality_, therefore
a weak, persecuted christian should not be consigned to their hands. If
others who have suffered this cruelty before me (as Dr. Fox says that
both _male and female christians have been destroyed there before_)
had published and exposed the wicked crime to the world, I might have
been saved from suffering here and hereafter. It is covered up under
the garb of "derangement," but I am willing to let the world know it,
that others may be saved from these awful outrages of the wicked at
the present day. I know that the world in general is ignorant of this
crime--of the fact that Doctors do possess knowledge of giving medicine
to take away from a person the spirit of Christ,--but I have suffered

I was born in Westford, Mass. My father was a mechanic, and poor; my
mother being often sick, with a family of 7 boys and 3 girls, we were
all sent out young upon the world, to get our own living. I being the
youngest girl, was left at home alone. The peculiar situation which
I sustained in the family, being early disowned by my father as his
lawful child, he being intemperate at the time, may be imagined. I was
often the object of his wrath, though in his sober hours I was kindly
treated by him, as he was a man of tender feelings. But my mother's
affections were always alienated from me, and I always felt the want of
a mother's love, and consequently became very unhappy. I determined to
seek my own living and share the same fate of the rest of the family by
buffeting a cold unfeeling world.

At the age of fifteen I resorted to the factories in Lowell, where I
found employment and became expert at the business. Knowing that I
had myself to take care of and no one to depend upon, I was ambitious
and often asked my overseer for the privilege of tending double work,
which was often granted; and as I had the means of providing for my
own wants and some to spare, I became restless and often wished I
had the means to go to school, as my mother often told her children
to get learning--it was what the world could not take from us; (but
O, alas! mine has been taken from me by medicine, being given to me
in an artful manner to harden my brains, and the brain is the seat
of the mind and the mind is the store-house of knowledge) and I felt
the want of it as I became advanced in years and went into society.
I soon began to make arrangments to place myself at some school. I
went home at the age of eighteen and went to the Academy in Westford
three or four months, and then, in the year 1834, the first of May,
I started for New Hampton in company with a young lady from Boston,
she being my only acquaintance. I found the school very pleasant, and
the teachers were ardently pious. It was now that I felt that God had
often called after me and I had refused to obey him for my teacher said
without the mind was enlightened by the Spirit of Christ it was not
prepared for knowledge. This increased the carnal state of my heart
against religion, for it appeared to me like foolishness, for there
was nothing but the simple religion of Jesus Christ, no disputing, no
sectarian spirit, and I was surrounded by the prayers of my teachers
and the pious scholars. But I withstood all the entreaties through
the summer term. I was determined not to get religion when there was
much said about it, for I looked upon it as excitement, as many others
foolishly call it. There were about one hundred and five scholars,
and at the end of the term all but three of us professed to have an
interest in Christ. During the vacation I could not throw off the
conviction that had seized hold of my mind, that God in his mercy had
spared my life, and permitted me to enjoy this last privilege. At the
commencement of the Fall term as usual, we all assembled on Sunday
morning--the professors in the Hall above, while the unconverted were
in the Hall below--to hear the Scriptures explained. Miss. Sleeper,
one of the teachers, that assembled with us, came directly to me after
the exercises were over and asked me if I felt as I did during the
last term. I told her no. She said she was very glad of it and hoped
I should not leave off seeking until I found the Savior. I felt that
I had committed myself, that I now could not draw back, that I must
persevere on and let the world know that I needed a Saviour to save me
from acting out the wicked state of my heart. I could not throw it
off. On Monday evening all the unconverted were invited by our much
loved teacher, Miss. Haseltine, to meet her at the Hall. Accordingly
I went in company with several other young ladies. After reading the
Scriptures and addressing us very affectionately, she asked us to kneel
down and join her in prayer. Accordingly I did so, but I thought I
was more hardened than ever; and felt ashamed that I was on my bended
knees; but wishing to act from principle and to prove whether there was
any reality in what my teacher said about religion, I was determined
to persevere on, although it was contrary to my carnal state of heart.
Accordingly I told every one that I meant to know the real religion
of Jesus Christ and live up to it, if it was what they said it was.
I attended all the meetings and was willing to do any thing that I
thought I ought to do; but I began to think that I had grieved the
Holy Spirit and was about giving up seeking any longer until I should
feel, as very often I did before in meetings and then I should have
religion. This was on Saturday, a fortnight after I was willing to own
that I felt the need of an interest in Christ. On my way home from
school, a young lady overtook me and inquired what was the state of my
feelings, I frankly told her what was my conclusion. She then told me
how she found the Saviour--how she sought three years; but all that
time she said she was seeking conviction when she ought to have sought
forgiveness and told me that I must seek for immediate forgiveness, and
asked me if I was willing to. I told her that I would, for I found that
I had been seeking conviction and was already convicted. Accordingly I
went home, and after dinner took my Bible and retired alone to a grove
not far distant, where I spent the afternoon in reading and praying,
but did not find any change in my feelings. I was summonds to tea by
the ringing of the bell. I went in and took my seat at the table, but
while sitting there I thought I was acting foolishly, that I ought
not to eat, drink, or sleep, until I found forgivness. I rose from
the table and retired to my room and knelt down and asked God what I
should do in order to be forgiven; then rose up and was sitting down
by the table with my head upon my hand wondering what I should do,
when something seemed to say to me, "open the door of your heart and
admit me." I immediately thought I could not without I was better, but
something said "_no, now_." I thought the next day being Sunday, I
would, after I had been to church; _but no_, the voice said _now_--that
I said I would. If _Christ_ would but receive me, I would _him_ just as
I was. I thought _I would_. I rose and walked across the room, and was
frightened to think what I had said; that I had entered into a covenant
with God. At that time a young lady, Mary Ann Burbank, entered the room
and asked me if I was going to meeting, as it was customary to have a
female prayer meeting at the hall on Saturday evening. I told her yes.
She said it was too late. I told her I was going, (I thought if they
were just coming out I would go.) I put on my things, and she said she
would go with me. Accordingly we went out of the house together and
said nothing to each other. I thought of nothing in particular; but
as we were walking and had got a rod or two from the house, I thought
how fast I was walking, and how earnest I was to get there. I spoke
to Miss Burbank and said that I never went to a place with so much
eagerness in my life. She asked me if I felt better. I told her that
I never was so happy in my life. She said she was glad; she had been
recently baptized. I had before not liked her very well, but now I
loved her with all my heart, because she had owned the Savior before
the world. I immediately thought of the balls and parties that I had
been to, and it seemed nothing to what it would be to get into a prayer
meeting. It seemed that the Bible I had never read and that I knew
nothing about it and when I tried to think of it the passages flowed
into my mind faster than I could repeat; the first passage I thought
of was the Greeks foolishness to the Jews, but to them that believe
Christ the power of God unto salvation, and many others. It seemed
that I stepped out of one world into another. I went into the hall
and they were singing, and then they knelt down and prayed. A young
lady prayed for me, seeing me on my knees. I longed to have her close
her prayer to tell them what God had done for me. As we rose I opened
my mouth and words flowed faster than I could speak, I blessed and
praised God and asked them all to forgive me for the opposition that I
had manifested towards them for their entreating me to be reconciled
to God. There was great rejoicing over me. Some wept, some prayed,
and some sang. It was a happy time. Some that were seeking seeing me
so happy said they were determined to find the Savior that night and
two young ladies that boarded with me did, to the joy of their souls.
I felt that I had a new life to live and was determined to live it. I
loved all the people of God, and my feelings soon began to be tried by
seeing the divisions that were among them; but I was determined not to
have any thing to do with it, but meant to keep the faith as it was
once delivered to the Saints, that is, to keep the love previous to my
conversion. I had always thought that immersion was right, and still
thought so; but still I loved to hear sinners called to repentance,
and to join in prayer with any one that told how Christ saved them
daily from sinning. I felt that I must own the Savior in all my ways
and words, for it was what I loved, and I hated the sin that was in
my heart and often cried out, O wretched person that I am, who shall
deliver me from this body of sin and death. I longed to be freed from
sin. I soon began to think of becoming a missionary, that is, to go
to the far distant heathen who had never heard of the Gospel. I asked
God what I should do. I was determined to do what God gave me to do
at the expense of my life, for I counted not my life dear unto me,
and soon the spirit led me in prayer for my parents, but how could
they be converted without the way of salvation was explained to them?
They did not attend public worship; they believed that they should be
saved when they should die; but I had found a Saviour that saved me
here from sinning, for the love of God constrained me to lay down all
earthly enjoyments when they came in contact with any thing that I must
do for Christ. I thought I would go to them and tell them, thinking
they would believe me. Accordingly on my return from school I visited
my parents, but not until the Spring, on fast day, with my youngest
brother. We passed the day very agreeably. I told them that I had met
with a change, but said but little, as I did not wish to argue the
point, for they were both against me and said they thought I had got my
brain _turned_ by studying too much. But I knew I must bear this and
greater things if I wished to do my heavenly Father's will, which was
my meat and drink. I left home without praying for them, which I felt
condemned for. I resolved if God would spare my life to go home again
I would bear the cross of Christ. During the winter my mind had been
much tried about the two ordinances; and what to do, I did not know,
for I wished to give a reasonable answer why I went with one class of
God's people more than another. I boarded with a Mr Washburn, a very
pious man belonging to the First Congregational church in Lowell.--I
said nothing to him about forms and ceremonies, nor he to me; but I
came to the conclusion to be an immersed Congregationalist, because
they admitted all to the communion that had professed the Savior before
the world. I concluded to return to school, and called upon Mrs Tilton,
one of my acquiantance that belonged to the Baptist Church. She asked
me why I had not been in to see her, and she thought my mind had been
tried about baptism. I told her not in the least, for I always thought
immersion was right but my mind was tried about the communion--why
all the people of God could not come together. She said that she had
a little book she would lend me to read. I took it and went home and
read it; it was upon Church and Christian fellowship. I thought it
explained it to my mind and told her I was thankful for it; but as I
was to start for New Hampton the next day could not be baptized there.
I arrived at New Hampton the second week in May, 1835, and met once
more my much loved teachers. During the Summer term my mind was much
taken up with my studies, and the religious state of feeling was very
low. There were no conversions during this term. At the commencement of
the Fall term our teacher addressed us upon the subject and hoped that
each one would do something to win sinners to Christ. All felt it, and
again God poured out his Holy Spirit and sinners were slain; my health
was poor and I was about leaving school on account of my limited means.
My teacher asked me if I was not going to be baptized before I left
school, together with some other young ladies. I had always thought I
was willing, should the opportunity be presented. Here I had a trial,
but went forward with some others, determined never to disobey God of
keeping his commandments or doing whatever the love of God constrained
me to do, however crossing it was to my carnal feelings. I returned to
Lowell and resumed my labor, still feeling determined to procure an
education to go to the poor heathen to carry the news of salvation; but
my means became limited and I was obliged to use prudence in reference
to my dress and spending my time. My oldest sister proposed to have
me come and work with her at the tailoress business in Boston, and
this sister I had ardently loved and looked up to for advice. But I
was making very good wages at that time and thought it not best for
me to go then; although I wanted a trade to help me along in case I
should go among the poor and destitute. But as my sister Nancy's health
was not good at that time I proposed for her to go to Boston and I
would come in the Fall or early in the Winter, which was agreed to.
I concluded to go to work with my sister until the slack time should
come on in the Winter, and then I thought I should go to Charlestown
Seminary to finish my education, as we were all to board ourselves.
Accordingly I left the mill again and when I got to my sister's they
were just on the point of separating. I stepped in between and proposed
to reconcile matters for we all belonged to the Baptist Church, and
for own character and the cause of Christ I thought it best to keep
together. But it was not possible, we could not agree, though sister
Mary and I had never before disagreed, and probably never should had
it not been for sister Nancy. It was a sore trial to me and I often
thought that my last earthly friend was taken from me. I had loved
sister Mary until it had become a sin in the sight of a holy God, that
I had been governed about my spiritual life by her in part, and that
He saw fit to seperate us. Through the invitation of my brother Eben's
wife I went to stay with her and had regular pay lest there should
be any room for unpleasant feelings, I spent the winter with her at
Jamaica Plain very happy, but I began to think that I was not living
as I ought to; that I could be the means of doing more good by working
in the mill and getting more money for the cause of Christ and come in
contact with more minds to pursuade them to become reconciled to God.
But again I was tried about pursuing an education, not having means to
do with. What to do I did not know, and at times was almost tempted to
ask assistance of my brothers, but for fear of being refused I dared
not, for they never seemed to take any interest in the welfare of their
sisters. My oldest sister was often sick and was not helped by them:
therefore I was determined to do what I could without asking help. I
left my brother's in June 1836, not decided what to do. Aware that in
some branches I was not qualified sufficiently to take a young ladies'
school, I went home not decided what to do, but thought I would go
with a young lady that I was acquainted with in Westford under private
instruction, and accordingly went and stayed with her till Fall. A new
Precepter was about opening the Academy in Westford, and I resolved to
go the Winter term, and accordingly provided myself with a boarding
place at Mr Niehols, where I found it very pleasant. They were both
pious and I became very much attached to Mrs N. and found the school
very pleasant for the branches that I wished to pursue; but on account
of a change in this family I was under the necessity of getting another
boarding place; then I went to a Mr George Davis' where I had always
been acquainted, and found every thing pleasant and was happy. But my
health began to fail me, being troubled with the Ticdoloreux.

Not having the means to continue any longer at school, so poor was my
health at that time, I began to think of returning to Lowell; but about
this time a book was circulating, relative to the day of Judgment being
near at hand. I obtained it and read it, and found that it was nothing
but explaining the Scriptures according to my view in a historical
manner, or the preaching the Gospel in its purity. I felt prepared to
meet Christ, but was often asked what I thought of it? I told them it
was a sweet subject to me, for I longed to be with him who had loved
me and given himself for me and was willing to do all for Him while I
stayed upon the earth and did not know how I could alter my life if
it was true, for if I was not prepared I should prepare myself. But I
had already given my heart to the Lord and was trying to live to his
honor and glory. The subject was very much agitated in Westford. I soon
left and went to Lowell, and tried to obtain a book, but could not,
and no one seemed to know any thing about it. I went into the factory
to work, but soon an old acquaintance, Nancy Sanborn, come to see me.
She had always anticipated going off to teach. We proposed opening a
school in Lowell for young ladies, but my health was not good and I
had nothing to do with, and something seemed to say to me, what you
do, do quickly, for the end of all things is just at hand. I went to
God in prayer to ask Him what to do. I listened to the Saviour's voice
which constrained me to win souls to Christ by living out my religion
around me by the way of the spirit and not of learning; but at that
time God had suffered me to be carried away into Babylon and become a
worshipper of the God of learning. My friend, Nancy Sanborn left me
and returned home and I concluded to live in the factory for every
plan that I laid seemed to be thwarted. I often had something given
to me to do by God which I found was contrary to my carnal feelings.
I boarded at this time with a Mrs King, on the Boot corporation.--My
sister Nancy wanted to come and board with me. We never had agreed from
little children, and twice I had left the mill on her account and my
boarding house, and as I always thought if it had not been for her I
and my sister M. never would have disagreed. But I thought if it was
in me I would conquer it at the expense of the last feeling I had in
me; but here was another firey trial of my faith. I ever carried all my
actions before the judgment seat of Christ. I felt I was not my own, I
was bought with a price--the precious blood of the Lamb. My object was
to get money to go to the West as a teacher to win souls to Christ.
My sister was taken sick and I staid out of the mill to take care of
her. I was at this time tending double work. When the physician called
upon her we were drawn in conversation about people in general taking
too much medicine. I was innocent about giving any offence. I took the
directions about my sister's medicine, and after the Doctor had left
the house spoke about her taking it. She said she should not take it
and did not wish me to do any thing for her; but would say no more.
I told her that it was foolish for me to stay out of the mill if she
would not let me take care of her, and began to reason the case; but
could not prevail upon her and feared that we should again fall out. I
endeavored to keep my feelings under and try to do for her whether she
would let me or not; but it did no good. My acquaintance was a circle
of young ladies of respectability and we had prayer meetings and I had
been very forward in them--I had had an evening school and opened it
with prayer. To have a falling out with my sister would hurt the casuse
of Christ, which was dearer to me than my life. I keep it to myself and
tried to get along, for when there is difficulty there is blame on both
sides; but it kindled to a flame, yet I said but little about it. But
I counted it all joy, for it humbled me, for my earthly character was
like the apple of my eye to me, and I came to the conclusion that it
was better to board apart. I therefore determined to change my boarding
place, and say nothing about it to any one. I went to Boston on a
visit and engaged my boarding place before I went, at Mrs Lufkin's, a
member of the first Baptist Church in Lowell. On my visit to Boston I
met with a young lady at my brother's by the name of Caroline Dammers,
that was out of employment, and had been for some time. I was informed
that she was in a destitute situation and professed to be a follower
of the Lamb. I proposed for her to come up to Lowell, and she would
find employment there of some kind, thinking it was not right for any
one to live so, for it was not setting a good example; and as she had
no one to do for her, my religion led me to do all that I could for
the friendless, feeling myself a stranger and a pilgrim here below.
Accordingly on my return she came and I soon found her a situation,
and she being an orphan I thought I could help her, for pure religion
is doing good for the widow and the orphan. I boarded at Mrs Lufkin's
until warm weather and Caroline Dammers boarded with me and worked
on the Suffolk. It being too far for her to walk in warm weather I
proposed to change my boarding place to make it nearer for her.

Mr Lufkin's sister was about opening a boarding house on the Boot
corporation. I had become somewhat acquainted with her at her brother's
and liked her very much while her brother's folks went on a visit to
their friends. Here was the only time that ever I was sick or needed
any medical assistance. My stomach was a little nauseated and I sent
for Dr Wheelock Graves and he gave me an emetic: afterwards I called
upon him once and got a receipe for a cough and paid him; this was
in the summer of 1840. My health was always delicate, but I was very
careful what I did; very seldom went out evenings, not so much as to
an evening meeting or to expose myself to the evening air in any way,
hoping that at some future period I should be so situated as to be able
to live more devoted to the blessed cause of Christ; but I endeavored
to show piety at home. I had embraced the views that the day of
judgment was near at hand and I felt to double my diligence to obtain
the means to spread the Gospel. I loved God and the people of God, for
where sin abounded grace much more abounded, I felt a desire that God
would pour out his holy spirit and that sinners might be converted,
and began to call upon the Lord and to my surprise I found myself in a
back-slidden state; that I had lost the liberty whereby Christ had made
me free.

How I got back there I did not know, but the way I found the Savior was
by owning him before the world and I knew the only way was to go and
sow to the spirit. I began to ask the Lord what he would have me to do,
and thing after thing was given me, but was accused of believing in
Miller's doctrine, as it is called. I found that it was about to bring
upon me reproach and I denied it and then I was troubled. I could not
rest day nor night, and I felt that I was not prepared to meet Him,
and I bowed myself before the Lord and asked the Lord what He would
have me to do; and soon I was sent with message after message to the
people of God where it was my usual custom to assemble, as it was the
privilege of the females to give a word of exhortation. Said nothing
to any one, but was determined to do what the Lord bid me, and to
walk in the Lord. My mind was unbiased by the errors in theology, or
any creeds or doctrine of men. All I knew was the simple religion of
Jesus Christ, and the Bible was my guide. I must obey God and keep his
commandments. At this time the subject of the union of christians was
much agitated; the divisions of them had been a source of grief to me
ever since I was converted, and the union of them was something sweet
if there was any ground on which they could be united. Elder Holly
was lecturing at this time upon it and showed by the Bible the ground
on which they could be united. I asked the Lord what he would have me
to do, and went to the Bible for instruction. In Revelations it says
that whoever takes from the sayings of the prophecy of that book his
part shall be taken out of the holy city, &c. Rev. 12 chap. 18th, 19th
verses, I found that articles of faith both took from and added there
unto and already I felt the plagues upon me. I cried unto the Lord,
for I could say with David, the pangs of hell got hold of me and death
encompassed me round about. I called upon the Lord and he heard me out
of His Holy habitation. I told no one of my situation for I thought
it was the Lord that was dealing with me and had got to have a trial
of my faith, I felt that I was willing to die a martyr rather than to
deny Jesus Christ before the world. It was the last Idol I held in my
heart I must give up. It was my earthly character; I must go without
the camp and bear reproach for Christ. I went to see my minister, and
told him how the Lord was dealing with me. I told him how the Lord had
shown me that articles of faith were a sin by the Bible and that I
did not want any thing to do with pursuasions. I wanted to keep God's
commandments, for I hated the very garment that was spotted with the
flesh; I would have my name taken off the church books, but not off his
heart, for I loved the people of God. I wanted to go to the communion
table and still held to the ordinance of baptism; but I wanted to get
out of sin. He said if I did not walk with the church in peace, he
must excommunicate me. I asked her forgivness if I had said anything
that had injured his feelings, for I only wanted to get out of sin
and I must work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. He then
told me if I did not come back into the bosom of the true church he
would excommunicate me and that would ruin my reputation. I told him
that I was willing to die if I could but win souls to Christ; but I
hated sin, and therefore he must do as he thought best, as it was not
flesh and blood that I had any thing to do with, neither were weapons
carnal. This was at his house, I think in the month of June. I bid
him a good morning and on my way home I felt to bless and praise God.
On the next Sabbath I attended church at Elder Cole's, the Christian
denomination. The word of the Lord was sweet to me, as it was now I
wanted the word of the Lord to support me and to comfort me. I wanted
to hear nothing but the sweets of redeeming love. In three weeks I
went to see Mr Porter, he being my minister. I was excommunicated; but
it brought me out in a happy state. I continued my labor, which was
tending three looms; but often spoke of what the Lord had done for me
and how plain the Bible was to me. I attended a meeting held at Groton
on the union of christians, to hear what was to be said. It was there
where I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, as previous to this I
had been baptized with fire in coming out of the Baptist church: for as
I received Christ so I walked in him, which was walking in the love;
for cursed is he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully, after
the manner they called heresy. So worship I the God of my Fathers. I
often spoke of my spiritual life, and many observed that they never saw
any one enjoy so much. I continued my labor and attended the appointed
meetings with my own people that worshipped God according to my views,
and I was received by them and went with no others, for the people
of God should be peace makers and let every one worship God after
their own way. There arose violent persecutions against me, but as my
forerunner had suffered before me, so must I suffer. I often thought
that I would give up my business and labor entirely for the Lord; and
then I thought what should I do for a home? I felt the want of one, and
my youngest brother had been sick and I thought he might be embarrassed
in his circumstances, and if I helped him in temporal things he would
hear me in spiritual; and I was very anxious to help him, as he had
done much for our parents when he was quite young, while my older
brothers who were quite wealthy, did not help them, comparatively
speaking. I had done much for this brother, feeling anxious to see him
get along in the world, and therefore I was diligent to my labors.
But I began to feel that I could not work any longer at present. The
week before I was carried to the hospital I thought I would go to my
minister and tell him my situation. I went to his house, but he was not
at home. I then went and conversed with brother Fiske who was knowing
to my persecutions, and he advised me to go and see Elder Cole. I told
him he was not at home, and I knew not what to do. I still continued my
work and did not go home; it was not the place for me, as my parents
were not spiritual minded, and in my weak state I felt I could not
bear opposition, and I hated sin so I could not contend, for a child
of contention is a child of hell. On Sunday morning, Nov. 22d, 1840,
while I was conversing with a very pious lady that slept with me about
how God had dealt with me, and how I had disobeyed the spirit, being
often called upon to speak, how awful it would be to be cast off from
the Lord, I told her that I was bound in the spirit, and asked her if
I kept the commandments of God if he would cast me off? She said no.
But here was the first of my weakness that gave place for satan to
arrange his host to take me. Why I gave up to such weakness I know not,
nor can I account for it, except I had overdone myself. There was no
distress of mind, and if there was, it was no reason why I should not
have been treated with common humanity, for I offered no insult to any
one, or treated any one ill. I only spoke of my own situation and asked
them to do for me and not let me do wickedly. Miss Elza Lufkin came
into the room, the lady whom I boarded with, and asked me what was the
matter. I began to talk to her about my situation and to tell her how
good religion was, and asked her to have it. Upon that she said many
unkind things to me. I saw that she was angry with me. Why she should
treat me so I did not know, for I had been very careful to observe all
regulations and rules of her house, and never spoke about temporal
things, to find fault. She had opposed me in attending my appointed
meetings, and thought that I might go to a meeting that was nearer; but
I thought it was not right to go to any other than where I was received
by relating my experience, and that I ought to be my own judge. But the
way of the Lord is contrary to the natural state of the heart. Since I
came out of the hospital Miss Lufkin has told me that she was never so
angry in her life as she was with me. If my religion had displeased her
she ought to have told me so when I was well, and I would have found
another place, and not waited until I was in a weak state and then take
the advantage of my weakness. My sister Nancy came in to see me and
began to scold me. I told her it was very wicked, she was not where
she ought to be, or she could not do so. I arose and dressed myself
and asked not to have any one of the unconverted come into my room. I
sent for Elder Cole, but he not knowing my situation, sent word that it
was not convenient. Brother James came in to see me and asked me to go
home. I thought it was not best in my weak state, for I felt that I had
no home, as I was violently opposed by my parents. I felt unwilling to
leave my work, as I was tending three looms, and had calculated to make
out a certain sum of money by the first of February, for my brother
James. I asked my sister to go and get me some assafoetida pills, I
took three of them and went to bed and slept sound all night. In the
morning I told my sister, who slept with me, I should not go in to
work. She then began to scold, and shook me with anger, because I did
not wish to rise. Then I asked her to let me alone, and told her it was
very wicked. At that time Miss Lufkin came into the room and told her
to let me alone, upon that she did, and began to prepare to go to her
work. I asked her not to come back, for I did not want her with me.
I thought she was not a proper person to be with me, as she did not
understand my spiritual life. I went down and took my breakfast and
returned up stairs to avoid my sister's saying anything.

Soon my sister returned and I asked her to send for my minister. She
said I should not see him nor any one of those people. I began to
reason with her, and asked her why I could not see my own minister,
and if I had not a right to choose my own people to worship God with;
but I could not prevail upon her. I asked to see my brother James, but
this request was not granted. I perceived my weakness was increasing
and I thought the people of God ought to do for me. This was on Monday.
About 4 o'clock in the afternoon Dr. Wheelock Graves came in to see
me, and sat about ten minutes and conversed mostly with my sister
about Mr. Miller, saying that he ought to be horsewhipped or put in
prison. I concluded that my brother and sister had been telling him
that I was one of his converts, although my sister professes to be
washed by the blood of the Lamb. The Doctor felt of my pulse. I told
him he did not understand my situation. He prescribed nothing for me
and left the room, my sister sat sewing and did nothing for me. At
night after the girls came out of the mill there was a great rush into
my room, which increased my excitement. My room was full, some saying
one thing, some another, while others were laughing. I asked Esther
Richer, who stood laughing, to go out, as she had opposed me much about
attending meeting among the Christian denomination. Upon that a good
sister in Christ by the name of Townsend, said she thought there were
too many in my room, and then they all left me alone with my sister. I
thought I had hindered her some by her taking her work home from the
shop, and I offered to sew for her. She took the work out of my hand
and told me to go to bed. My sister slept with me. I spoke to her in
the night, and she scolded me for it. As soon as I heard Miss Lufkin
up in the morning I went to the door and asked her to take care of me
and not let me do wickedly for my sister was unkind to me. I felt the
want of a kind friend. She said she would, and made a fire in my room.
I thought that I would give the world for a kind friend to take me
and do for me. Again I plead to see Elder Cole, my minister, or some
one of the church. She said it was all in vain for me to say anything
about it. About noon Elder Cole came down to see me, hearing of my
situation. He talked kindly to me; thought I had worked too hard and
over exerted myself, and told me to take some valerian tea, said he
would send Dr. Sprague to see me. Miss Lufkin said she thought Dr.
Graves would tend me. I told them I did not wish Dr. Graves, for he
knew nothing about me nor spirituality. I wanted Dr. Sprague, as he was
knowing to my persecutions, and his wife was a dear sister to me in
Christ Jesus. He had been down to see me, but was not admitted. I told
Elder Cole I would do just as he told me. My sister had asked me if she
should send for brother Stephen? I told her no, for I did not wish him
to know any thing about me, for he had so cruelly treated me, which
before this I had kept to myself. Likewise his wife had manifested the
greatest hatred towards the present day reform of preparing to meet
Christ, and warning others to be also ready, although she belongs to
a congregational church. But I had endeavored to keep the faith with
her as with every one that professes to be a follower of the Lamb. My
sister took the advantage of my weakness, and unknown to me, sent for
brother Stephen to come and get me. This brother resides in Boston.
This was the third day from leaving my work; there had been nothing
done for me, although I have since learned that many of my associates
called and offered to do for me, but were not permitted. What kind
of treatment is this in this Gospel land of light and liberty? The
spirit of the vilest persecutions began to be raised against me in that
house, and now was a favorable opportunity for it to be completed.
About 4 o'clock brother Stephen came in and asked me to go down and
spend Thanksgiving with them, as he was up on business, and asked Nancy
and brother James likewise. We all concluded to go; but I hesitated
some, for I never had gone any where after I had met with a change of
heart, without going to do God service, for I felt that I was not my
own; I was bought with a price, the precious blood of the Lamb. Brother
Stephen said he would be there in half an hour. I went and prepared
myself; took what work I thought I should want on a visit, and was
sitting in my room when my brother Stephen and Dr. Graves came in.--The
Doctor asked me if I was going on a visit with my brother?--I told him
yes. They both went down stairs together into the front room, and I
went down and took my leave of the family.--Little did I think that Dr.
Graves was called in to give a line to have me carried into an Insane
Hospital--a poor girl that he knew nothing about, nor the peculiar
circumstances of the family, that had always raised a report against me
that I was deranged ever since I went to New Hampton to school, because
it was there that I met with a change.

I have been particular in speaking of the manner of my life after I
met with a change, but to describe all that I lived up under, would
be more than I can write at this time. But truly I felt I had come up
out of great tribulation, and was washed in the blood of the Lamb. I
had attained unto the power of Christ's resurrection, my mind being
unbiassed by any creed or doctrine of men. When I was converted I knew
nothing but Jesus and him Crucified.

I arrived at my brother's that night about 7 o'clock. I met his wife as
usual. After tea I retired to a room with my brother's wife, telling
her of my persecutions, and how God had revealed himself to me. She
said she thought it was wisdom in God not to reveal his glory to us
while here in the body. She had felt so much the glory of God in her
own soul that she had been almost overpowered. She thought that God
had nothing more for me to do. What does such language imply? Is there
a person this side of the grave for whom God has nothing more to do?
But I did not know then that man had the knowledge to take the holy
spirit from a person by giving them medicine; but she had already
conceived the wicked deed in her heart, and knew where the _awful
crime_ could be done, and her very language expressed what she knew
was about to be done to me, although I did not then suspect any evil.
Had it been said to me in any other place but a brother's house, and
by a female, I should have suspected I was about to be murdered, or
some other brutal outrage committed upon me. If I had been among
the rude barbarians I should not have been so easily deceived; but I
looked up to a sister to do for me, and asked her to let me stay with
her, and I would sew or do any thing for her; but she appeared to be
very angry with me every time that I spoke about what God had done
for me. I said but little to any one when I retired, for sister Nancy
and Sophia, brother Stephen's wife, went with me into my room. In my
usual manner before I laid my head upon my pillow, I knelt by my bed
and silently offered my prayer to God. My sister Nancy said "_see
that_," and Sophia answered "_I am sorry to see it_." I said nothing,
but thought it very strange that in this christian land any one should
be sorry to see another on their bended knees before an holy God, and
especially one that knew me so well as a sister. I slept sound all
knight, and felt much refreshed in the morning, and happy that I had
got away from a house where I had been so persecuted. How little did
I know where I was to be carried, and what was about to be done to
HOUR, for what I have suffered here is beyond the power of language
to describe. And then every source of happiness is taken from me here
and hereafter, to be forever tormented in fire. It may be looked upon
as derangement or delusion, but as true as there is a God that sitteth
upon his eternal throne, so true this awful crime has been done to me;
and let any one reasonably look upon the treatment that I received,
it will show it was nothing but a spirit of the vilest persecution.
But my wicked relations that hated me without a cause are screened
from the law of our country, and in part from public censure, together
with the Doctors; and it may be thrown back upon me that I am a poor
deranged person; but God only knows the distress that my body is every
moment in, and then that I never can be relieved. Wednesday, the
24th, I passed as I usually did while on a visit to my brother's, not
suspecting that they were looking upon me as a deranged person, and
above all, knowing that horrid crime could be done to me and plunge me
into everlasting misery, a poor innocent, unprotected sister, that had
toiled late and early to get along. Thursday, 25th Nov., Thanksgiving
day of 1840, I arose, took breakfast, and found brother Stephen's wife
in bed with the sick head-ache. The girls all seemed to be engaged,
and I, of course, in my way to do for the sick wherever I was, waited
upon her. Brother Eben, wife and children had come in to pass the day,
from Jamaica Plain. I began to play with them, as I always did; but I
observed they did not greet me with that affectionate liveliness they
were accustomed to. I took no notice of it to let them know it. About
10 o'clock, while I sat at my work in the parlour, my brother Stephen
came in and asked me to go to a ride with him. This surprised me, as
our brothers were never very attentive to their sisters; but I thought
he pitied me on account of my troubles, knowing the life that I had
tried to live. I told him I did not care about going to ride, as it
was not my health, but my spiritual life which he did not understand,
and asked him to let me stay with Sophia, and I would sew or do any
thing for them; he said he wanted me to go and see a physician. I told
him it was not a physician that I wished to see, I should rather see
some minister, who would better understand my situation. He said I
should not see any one. I then asked him to let me see Mr. Winslow,
his own minister, as I always liked him very much, as he is a very
spiritual minded man. He said no, I should not see him. He said the
Doctor was a pious man. I asked what church he belonged to; he answered
Mr. Winslow's. I then said, well, I will go and see him, thinking it
would do no harm. Upon that, he said with a great degree of triumphant
feeling, _that's the place for such ones as you are_. Could a brother
embue his hands in the blood of a sister's eternal life, to take the
advantage of her weakness, put her under locks and keys, and hire men
to do the awful crime; and is there such a house where this crime can
be done and tolerated, by the public upholding men that are willing
to be hired to do the greatest of all crimes, and poor beings cannot
help themselves, nor any kind friend get to them to protect them? Is
this done in this free and happy land? Because I differed from some
of my family in my religious opinion must I be taken and imprisoned?
But if that was all, I would not notice it any more than I ever did
all their previous unkind treatment.--I had always done for myself
from the time that I was in my 15th year, and received no assistance
from any one of the family, and had endeavored to support a good
character, although I was called to walk in the humble walks of life,
and had often met with the cold neglect of the rich and popular class
of the world because I was a poor factory girl. My brothers had never
offered to do for me or to help me along. Each one of us had to do for
ourselves; but they might have treated me with common humanity. I never
thought labor dishonored any one, but while I was on a visit to see my
brother Stephen, his wife requested me not to let any one know that I
worked in a factory, which made me very unhappy; and because I went to
Great Falls to work in the factory, brother Stephen sent my things in
a fictitious name, not wishing any one to know that he had a sister
that worked in the factory, which caused me to be suspected of being a
loose character. I was only in my 19th year, and a stranger to every
one in the place.--God only knows what I had to live up under. But I
said nothing to any one about it, only to my oldest sister, Mary, as
all my troubles I confided in her; but to return to my subject. Soon
as my brother left the room, I went into Sophia's room and told her
what my brother had said. She again said she thought _God had nothing
more for me to do_; but what she meant I did not know.--After dinner,
brother Stephen came into the room and said, now Elizabeth we will have
that ride that we spoke of. I went and prepared myself, but again I
went and talked with Sophia, I told her it would do no good to go and
see a physician, for they knew nothing about spirituality, and it would
injure the cause of God. She said, _O no, God has nothing more for you
to do; get your health and I will come and see you in two or three
days_. I was not expecting to stop, but would go and see the Doctor
because I could not contend any more. After I got into the chaise with
my brother, I began to reason with him upon the foolishness of going
to see a physician. He said it was a young ladies' boarding place and
the Doctor was a pious man, and I could have any thing that I wanted.
I told him I thought it very foolish to throw away so much money, as
our parents were poor. Better do good with it, for I knew what the
world was; they cared for nothing if they could but get money, and
I did not wish to be among strangers. He would not harken to what I
said, but said he was willing to pay my board three or six months, or
longer, and that's the place for such ones as I was. If I had been a
disturber of the peace of any community or family, well he might have
said so; but then we have laws in this country, by which a person may
be tried, and made to suffer the penalty of the law they break. I was
non-resistant. I said every thing that I could say. After we arrived
there I was introduced to Dr. Bell, in his parlour. He asked me to
relate my christian experience. (I wish the reader to mark the manner
in which the doctor addressed me, for what has a physician to do with
a person's christian experience?) In my usual manner I asked him if
he had a change of heart? He said yes, to avoid an argument, I told
him I never argued or disputed about religion. He said then he had
not what the world called a change. I told him then he must excuse me
from saying any thing about my christian experience, as he would not
understand it. My brother began to urge me together with the Doctor. I
did not know why I must relate my christian experience to a Doctor and
an unconverted man at such a time, for it seemed to me like mockery. I
refused again and again, but, _no_, I must relate it. Being no longer
able to withstand these entreaties I told what God had done for me to
that time. Spoke of being bound in the spirit and I felt a bondage of
soul. He said he could give me something to relieve that bondage of
soul and being bound in the spirit. I told him I should rather be with
my own folks and I should rather not stop. Upon that my brother and the
Doctor both began to urge me vehemently and said I had no respect to
any one's judgment. I had always provided for myself, and why I should
be so urged to stay at a boarding place when I did not wish to, I did
not know; and I told the Doctor I did not know what he had to do with
my soul. But they both said so much I told them I would stay, as every
thing in the room indicated respectability. They went out of the room,
and while they were gone I thought it was no place for me, thinking it
was a ladies' boarding place among the popular class, and was not the
place for a christian in such a weak state. I went out and asked my
brother to take me back with him. He seemed to be so angry with me he
could hardly control his feeling. He put his hand upon my shoulder and
gave me a push, and said he could not carry me back, but would come
and see me the next day; I then returned into the parlor and began to
take off my things when a tall, black eyed, masculine looking female
came and took me by the arm and asked me if she should wait upon me
up stairs. I thanked her and walked up stairs with her, thinking she
was going to show me my sleeping room. She waited upon me into a long
painted gallery with sleeping rooms on both sides, and she left the
room. There were a number of ladies sitting around in the gallery. I
went to the window to take a view of the prospect, and the iron grate
met my eye. I turned to a lady and asked her if she would inform me
what those iron grates were at the window for. She made me no reply. I
turned to another and asked her, and she made no reply, but rose and
went into her room. I asked her pardon, I did not intend any offence,
I was a stranger there. I then went to the door to go down into the
parlor where I came out; but I found the door locked. Upon that I made
the expression "_grated windows, and locked door_, where am I?" Upon
that, a female stepped out of her room. I perceived she was not such a
person as I had ought to be with at that time. She took me by waist and
said they were kind folks there. I asked her where I was, and wished to
see the lady of the house, and asked her to let me alone; but no one
would give me any answer. About dark the bell rung to call the ladies
down to tea. A very modest young lady came out of her room and asked me
if she should walk with me down to tea. I thanked her, and I was waited
upon down into a large room where there was a large table set with all
kinds of refreshments. The company presented a strange appearance,
the peculiarity of their dress, and many things did not look right. I
wondered how my brother came to place me among such creatures, in my
weak state. I drank a cup of tea and left the room, thinking it was no
place for me, for I had longsince left balls and parties, and scenes
of mirthfulness. Miss Barber, the same one that had waited upon me up
into the gallery, asked me where I was going. I told her I wished to
retire to my room. She waited on me up into the same gallery. I went
into one of the rooms and knelt down and asked God to deliver me from
that place, and to return me to the people of God. Soon Mary Brigham,
the attendant, came into the gallery, I asked her many questions to
find out where I was, and what kind of boarders they kept there; but
she would make me no reply. I asked her if the hourly went into Boston
from there, but she made me no reply: she had the marks of a methodist.
I thought if she loved God, if I talked of the love of God, I should
draw her towards me. I told her how I loved God, and said many things
about sanctification, but she made me no reply. I thought this was very
strange treatment. I then asked her for something to take. She said the
Doctor never gave anything under two days. I told her it was necessary,
and that I wanted some valerian tea; but she said I could not have any
thing that night, and when the bell rang nine, she said it was the hour
for the ladies to retire. I went to my room and asked Miss Brigham if
my door fastened; she said yes. I asked her for the key; she said she
locked the door and kept the key. After I had retired she came into
my room and took my clothes out. I asked her what that was for; she
said it was the rule of the house, and she locked me in alone. I did
not sleep any all night, from the excitement of the day, and wondering
what my brother should place me with such characters for. I came to the
conclusion that it was a place where females of ill-fame boarded, with
physicians to get help in time of trouble. In the morning when Mary
Brigham came and unlocked my door, I told her I had not slept any all
night.--She said, well, _that's nothing_. I asked her to let me see
the Doctor as soon as possible, for I wished to return in the first
hourly. She made me no reply. I rose and went to the upper end of the
gallery and asked Miss Brigham to excuse me from going to the table, as
my dress was not adjusted, and had not brought my combs and hair brush
with me, and asked her to let me have a cup of coffee there. She threw
a hair comb into my lap and commanded me to come to the table; upon
which I adjusted my dress as soon as possible and went to the table.
Every thing presented a strange appearance. Great tin lid pots and a
wooden waiter and broken dishes. A plate of crackers set on the end of
the table where I sat; I went to take one, and one of the ladies spoke
and said they were hers, but I might have one; I asked her to excuse
me, and took a piece of bread. After breakfast I went to go into my
room, as I had not slept any all night, and found my door locked; I
went and sat down and asked if there was any christians there, when
one lady said she was a baptist, and she knew a Mary Stone in Boston.
I told her it was my sister. I asked her to be my friend, and she said
she would, and that I might lay down in her room. Accordingly she went
into her room with me and covered me up in her bed and shut the door;
just as I had got into a sweet sleep, Mary Brigham came in and ordered
me up. I rose and asked her to let me lay down in my room, as I had
not slept any all night.--She said the ladies were not allowed to lay
down in the day time. One of the ladies told me to ask the supervisor
to let me have my room door open. What it meant to have a supervisor in
a ladies' boarding house I knew not; but when she came in I found it
was the same one that had waited upon me into the gallery. I asked her
to be my friend, and told her she did not know how I did love God; she
said she would be my friend, but she did not want any silly fancies.
What she meant I did not know, for I did not know there was any fancy
about christianity. I asked her if I could have a bowl of valerian tea
and have my door open to lay down. She said yes, and told Mary Brigham
to open my door; just as I had got into a sleep again, Mary Brigham and
Miss Barber came and threw off the clothes. I being weak and excited
got up and asked if my brother had come, for he said he would come and
see me the next day. I wanted to get with some one that knew me, for
such treatment as this I did not know what to make of. Miss Barber
immediately left the room and they would give me no answer. I went to
my room to lay down, but found my door locked and I could not have the
privilege of laying down again that day. About 11 o'clock Dr. Fox, the
assistant physician, came in and began to converse with me; I told
him it was not my reason that was effected, or any distress of mind,
but I had undergone a cleansing or purifying by being washed in the
blood of the Lamb; that I had tasted of the good word, and the powers
of the world to come, and that I was weak and wanted some valerian
tea, or something to calm me; he said that I must not think I was so
filled with the spirit; any minister would laugh at me. I repeated some
passages of the Scriptures to him; one was that St. Paul says, "Be ye
filled with the fullness of God." He said it was because St. Paul saw
the Lord Jesus. I told him that made no difference, all had got to
go the same way to heaven; that I stood upon the Gospel, but I never
disputed about religion. He said he would give me something to calm
and strengthen me; but nothing was brought me until night, nor did my
brother come to see me. After I had retired, Mary Brigham came into my
room and said she had got some medicine for me. _I_ rose up and took
it, thinking it was something to do me good. It was a pill and a little
mug of mixture, and Mary Brigham went out and locked the door; but O,
alas how little did I know where I was and what I was put into that
house for. Such a crime I never read of, and it is covered up under
the garb of derangement, and I am the poor sufferer. As soon as I took
it I was thrown into most violent pain and distress, beyond the power
of language to describe, neither can I give any one an adequate idea.
The medicine effected my brain, the back part of my head, hardened or
petrified it, and the brain is the seat of the nerves, and any one can
conceive of the distress that I must be thrown into all over in my
body, every nerve in me drawing and straining convulsively. Sometimes I
was almost drawn back double and then forward, rolling in the bed from
one side to the other in the greatest agony. When my door was unlocked
in the morning I rose. I had wept bitterly all night. The thoughts
of my situation, and for so strange a thing as it may appear, that
medicine can be given to destroy the work of Grace in a person, even so
it can be done, and Dr. Bell and Dr. Fox both possess that knowledge of
giving medicine to accomplish this awful outrage upon Christianity; and
it is done under the garb of derangement, and they are screened from
public censure, and it is a greater crime than that they had tortured
me to death any way that I ever read of. As I come out of my room a
young lady asked me what made me weep; so I took her hand and asked
her to tell me where I was, and what kind of people I was with. She
asked me if I did not know, and I told her no. She then told me that
I was in the Insane Assylum. I then knew that I was betrayed into the
hands of the wicked to be destroyed. I told her that the medicine that
they had given me was killing the spirit of Christ in me; and that I
was lost. I began to lose all idea of holiness. But I knew it would be
covered up under the garb of derangement, and then I recollected what
my brother Stephen's wife said, "that God had nothing more for me to
do." Of course, if any one has not the spirit of Christ, they cannot
serve God. It is not only a belief, but they must have the spirit.
Dr. Fox came in about 10 o'clock; while I was laying on the bed he
stood looking at me, with Miss Barber. My jaws were unlocked. He made
the remark to Miss Barber that he did not know whether it was the
fulfillment of the prophecy, "there shall be knashing of the teeth," or
whether it was hallooing "glory to God," so much. Oh, how little they
knew of the reason of my losing my ballance. It was my exerting myself
so much after I had become a spiritual being, having no kind friend to
do for me. But I said nothing; I asked for the privilege of writing,
which was granted. I wrote to brother Stephen's wife, and asked her
to come and see me that afternoon, as soon as she got the letter, for
I could not believe that a female could be accessory to such a crime,
although I well recollect how angry she appeared to be every time I
spoke of what God had done for me. The Doctor said he would send it.
That day, Saturday, passed away without bringing any one to see me. I
thought of my kind christian friends, my loved friend Nancy Sanborn;
but now forever separated from her, no more could we fondly anticipate
going to the far West together, to be the instruments, in the hands of
God, of expanding the immortal mind in knowledge, and teach the way of
salvation to poor sinners. But now taken by the cunning craftiness of
my relations, I was enclosed within bolted doors and grated windows,
where I could not make my escape, nor my friends prevent the brutal
outrage that they were committing upon me.--Reader, for a moment
imagine yourself in my situation. If you are not a christian you do not
wish to undergo pain, neither do you desire to be miserable, nor to
be separated from your friends, with entire strangers that you never
saw before, for it is contrary to the laws that God has written in
your nature. But I was a poor factory girl, without any rich father
to protect me, or pious mother to plead my cause, and I could say
with David, I was an alien from my mother's womb, to my mother's
children, and in my weakness they sprang upon me. They would not let my
christian friends do for me, neither would they do for me themselves.
I had friends that would have gladly done for me; long and dear
acquaintances, both christians and unconverted, who would have opened
their doors to me before they would have seen me the third day of my
illness turned out of doors by Miss Lufkin, in my weakness, because I
wished to serve God in spirit and in truth, according to my profession,
and carried off into a hospital or a devil's den here upon earth, for I
call these Insane Assylums nothing less. But it is not the imprisonment
or the cruel treatment that I received there that I speak of, for I
would have borne that without a murmur. But it is the medicine they
gave me that racked and tortured and killed the spirit of Christ within
me. It is that spirit that gives a person a hatred to sin, supports
them up under any torture. Christian reader, whatever name you may
bear, it is you and you only that can truly feel for my distressed
situation, deceived into that house in such an unlawful manner, even if
I had been deranged. I had property, and I ought to have had a guardian
appointed, and kind steps taken with me. But to return to my subject:
a table was spread, and a party, the Doctor being one of the number,
sat down to play cards. The most unqualified language came out of their
mouths. I could hear the groans of the distressed all around me, some
weeping to see their friends, some for one thing, and some for another;
and I in the most awful distress, without one kind friend to speak to
me; an involuntary groan came with my breath. Again the medicine was
brought to me; I told the attendant it was destroying me, hardening my
brain, and taking the spirit of Christ from me; she said I must take
it. I did not know what to do, I could not help myself; to resist I
knew would not do, and yet having partly the spirit of Christ, which
is non-resistant, I took it, which increased my distress. I was again
locked into my room and left to weep and roll in my bed all knight,
thinking of my dear friends, _not relations_.--But oh, they would not
have dared to have done the crime out of that house, under the pretence
of insanity, to screen my wicked relations, that have been incensed
against me ever since I met with a change of heart. Sunday morning
came, and thus, in one short week, was I brought to my sad fate, for
the want of a kind christian friend to step in between me and my cruel
persecutors, and wicked tyranical relations. This day passed away; the
medicine was brought me to take twice a day, pills and a little mug
of mixture; what it was I do not know, but I think I could tell the
different kinds that I took if I could see them. Monday, 29th, passed
away without any one coming to see me. Tuesday came, and I again asked
the privilege of writing, which was granted. I wrote to my brother S.
asked him to come and see me immediately, as he promised. The Doctor
said he would send it, but the day passed away without any one coming.
My distress became more violent. I told the Doctors they were taking
from me my eternal happiness, by taking from me the spirit of Christ.
I was informed by one of the patients that they did not send the
letters they gave me liberty to write. I conversed with Dr. Fox about
my situation, and of the knowledge of this medicine, and why the world
did not know it. He said that my brother knew all about it before I
was brought there, and what I had got to suffer, and what my situation
would be. Reader, can you imagine what my sufferings were? No, you
cannot. If you had witnessed them you might have then conceived of my
dreadful agony. Telling of my distress and lost condition, I was mocked
and ridiculed. This week passed away.

Sunday came again, Dec. 5. No one had come to see me. I was left mostly
alone in the gallery. The attendant and some of the patients had gone
to meeting. One of the attendants came in and talked with me; she spoke
more kind to me than any one had since I come into the house. I told
her my situation, and how I was a poor girl, and had from the age of
15 done for myself, and had never been sick, or any expense to the
family or any other one. She seemed to express a deal of sympathy for
me. She said it was a house of distress. I asked her how long she had
been there; she said, I think, from six to eight years. She said she
wished she had seen me when I first had been brought into that house.
I then asked her if she knew that christians could be destroyed there.
She seemed not inclined to express her mind freely to me, but said that
she had been tried much in her feelings, to see poor christians so
troubled about their religion in that house, and if their friends knew
what was best for them they would not bring them there. She desired me
to control my feelings as much as possible. If I did not, I should be
showered. I then enquired what that meant; she then described it to me,
that I should be stripped of all my clothes, and cold water poured upon
me, and I should be carried on to another gallery, where the society
would not be so pleasant, neither the accommodations so good. I told
her that my distress was so great that it was impossible. I then asked
her how she could be knowing to such a crime and not to make it known
to the world, for it was worse than murdering a person in this life.
She said she supposed my folks knew all about it before I was brought
there, but they would not be likely to tell me, and she bid me good
bye. It seemed good to have any one speak kind to me, although I had
then nearly lost all idea of holiness. When she left me, I laid myself
down upon the floor, and wept bitterly; I then thought I would make
way with myself, for I was betrayed; my relations had at last vented
their revenge upon me, and now I was an outcast forever, and never more
could be happy. I was now separated forever from my loved friends. I
thought of a much loved friend, Phebe Weir, who knew me before I was
converted, one that I used to talk much with about my spiritual life.
O, that she could but behold me.--Soon they returned from meeting, but
to cease from weeping and groaning, was impossible, for every nerve
in me was drawing and twinging as though they would break. Christian
reader, keep in mind that the spirit of Christ was killed in me, or I
could have blessed and praised God, amidst all this suffering. But this
distress of body was caused by the medicine given to me, to take away
the spirit of Christ. It may appear like derangement, but what I tell
you is the truth. Monday, I had endeavored to keep in my room as much
as possible, and to keep from groaning, though it come voluntary, for
I dreaded to be carried on to another gallery, exposed and showered
with cold water. But my sufferings would not cease in this world. I
could not look forward to never ending eternity of happiness, for the
idea of love had gone from me. I neither loved God, nor this world.
My body was now, as it were, dead; my brain was becoming a mineral
substance, all but my intellectual faculties. In the afternoon, Miss
Barber came in, in her masculine manner, to all appearance to exult in
human misery, and asked me to take her arm. I knew I was going on to
another gallery. I said nothing, for it would be of no use; hearts that
are so hardened in cruelty as they must be to do such crimes, would
not listen to entreaty. Accordingly I was led on to another gallery.
Here I found perfectly deranged people, and some appeared to be in a
great deal of distress. Esther Benton, the attendant, at first, was
quite kind to me, but soon she began to show her power. She knew well
my situation, for she had seen others suffer similarly about their
religion in that house, and I was regarded as a vagabond, as truly I
am. But would I have willingly thrown myself away? Is it not a law in
nature that every body desires happiness? But alas, for the want of a
kind friend, I am lost to all happiness here and hereafter. I cannot
enjoy carnal nor spiritual things. I stayed in this gallery about a
week, when Miss Barber came in one morning and said I must go down in
the other gallery if I cried so. I told her to carry me, for it was
the place of the greatest cruelty that I ever knew. How they could
witness a poor female suffer as I did, and to be accessory to it, I
thought of all the cruelty I ever read of I never read of any equal to
this. She led me down among perfect maniacs, in a cold, dark, cheerless
room, with no seat to sit on. Again I talked with Dr. Fox, and told
him that my brother told me it was a young ladies' boarding house, and
the Doctor was a pious man, and I expected to be taken under a Godly
influence, instead of being torn to pieces in this manner, by medicine.
I thought eternal life was of more importance than this life, and we
ought to seek the soul's salvation of each other. He said, _they did
not do such things there_, it was a place to get health, and he laughed
at me for coming there. I told him he might try to keep it covered up
under the garb of derangement, but I believed it would yet be exposed,
although I was the poor sufferer. He said both male and female had
suffered it before me, and would not publish it because it would be
looked upon as derangement, and no one would believe it. I then asked
him if holiness was liable to become a disease and medical men knew
it, ought they not to publish it to the world that every thing should
be done for a person first by the people of God, before the medicine
was given to them, and had such a crime ought to go under the garb of
derangement, and poor creatures suffer forever in consequence of it. He
seemed to think it was a very light thing, and laughed at me and said
I had prayed too much. This is Dr. Fox, a member of the congregational
church. Is this not worse than any crime that ever was practised upon
a poor helpless creature in any place of wickedness upon the face
of the earth. I found the attendant, Mrs. Emerson, very kind to me
uniformly, in this gallery, and she often spoke of the cruel treatment
of that house.--I stayed in this gallery until about the 26th of Dec.,
when Miss Barber came in and said that I must go to the cottage, or
it might more properly be called a stone dungeon, where there are six
cells, and some of them have a straw bed. The cell that I occupied had
one; but oh, they might have shut me up in a stone dungeon and made me
fast in the strap and buckle, and I would have praised God; but no, I
could not pray to God, my brain was like a mineral substance. I was
now enclosed in a stone dungeon, but I had a kind attendant by the
name of Sarah Brown. If I spoke of my situation and of the sweets of
redeeming love, I was mocked and laughed at by the Doctors, and Miss
Barber seemed to exult in my misery. I often plead to see some of my
relations, especially brother Stephen, who carried me there, but my
request they refused. I often spoke to the Trustees about my situation
and the manner of my life, and how cruelly I was deceived into that
house; but say what you will, it is regarded as derangement by them.
I had been in this stone dungeon about three or four days, I come to
the conclusion that I had nothing to live for; I was in distress of
body, from the crown of my head to the sole of my foot. I was guilty
of the blood of the covenant. I now did not love God or this world. My
learning was now taken from me, that I had labored hard to acquire.
My good name, which is better than precious ointment, was now gone. I
had become an outcast of earth and heaven. My food tasteless; I had
no longer any object to pursue. I accordingly made up my mind to take
my life that night. For that purpose I tore a piece of the sheet off.
I then thought of my hard labors and striving to get along, and my
desire to set a bright example, and what had it profited me, that in
my weakness I should be taken and shut up where no kind friend could
approach to save me from the brutal outrage of man. I expected never
again to see any one that I knew upon earth, and that while here I must
be among the worst of characters. The attendant came in and bid me good
night. I thought she was the last human being I should ever see; I had
got to go into hell's torment if I lived; and to live any longer I
thought there was no use. I laid down thinking I would wait until all
was still. About 12 o'clock, I judge, I rose and walked up and down my
cell, thinking that my life had become a burden to me. I thought of my
loved companions, my loved New Hampton teachers, and that happy circle
of acquaintances, and then how cruelly the cry had been raised about
me of being insane, in order to get me shut up, where this awful crime
could be done; how cruelly Caroline Dammers had incensed my brother
Stephen aguinst me, a young lady that I had done so much for; she had
been down in the summer and talked to my brother's folks about my being
so engaged in behalf of poor sinners, which was my meat and drink. If
it was looked upon as derangement, it was something that made me happy
and it did not lead me to do evil, but now I could not commit myself to
God, neither did I think by putting an end to my life, that I should
cease from one state of suffering and cruel tyranny. I put the string
round my neck, and attached it to a hinge of the door. I gave my weight
to the string, and began to lose all sense of feeling, the last I knew;
the first thing I knew again, I found myself laying on the floor, in
violent agony, hardly knowing anything. How long I had laid there I
know not. The sweat was pouring out of me profusely. At first I could
not move, but gradually come to. I recollected what I had attempted
to do, and felt for the string and found it had broken, and that was
the cause of my laying on the floor. I thought I would try the second
time, and made the attempt, but was so weak that I could not manage.
I began to feel a violent pain in my face, found my chin was badly
cut, and thought probably my jaw was broken, for it hurt me to move
it. I layed down and thought if it was broken it would be less painful
to have it attended to, than to wait until morning. I called to the
attendant, whose room was in the corner of the building. She came in
and asked me what was the matter. I feigned ignorance. She said their
was a great deal of blood upon the floor, and that my chin was badly
hurt. She called Miss Barber, they examined and found it not broken;
went out and left me alone again for the night, but I was so weak that
I could not attempt my life again. The next day the mark was observed
upon my neck, and it was suspected that I had attempted to make way
with myself, and then I had the leather muff put on. But what they
could wish to keep such a miserable suffering creature alive for, I did
not know, but several of the attendants advised me not to take my life,
but try to get out and publish it to the world.--I told them I would,
for if others had published it before me, I might have been saved from
suffering here and hereafter. Although my account was sealed with God,
yet I remembered the sweets of redeeming love, and how good it was to
pray to God; but now through the instrumentality of the wicked, in my
weakness, I must suffer forever. But the poor sons of God that have
suffered this before me, probably have taken their lives, for Dr. Fox
says that he has examined the bodies of those that have had the holy
spirit taken away from them, as I have, and says the organs are the
same, only they are contracted. I stayed in the dungeon until the month
of March, weeping and groaning my hours away. About the last of March I
was carried back from the dungeon to the gallery I left. Miss Emerson
was my attendant. The day I was carried back was very cold, and Miss
Barber ordered me to be locked up in my room, to exercise her authority
over me. Miss Emerson was a good nurse. She said it was too cold for
me to be there, coming out of such a warm room as the dungeon was. She
went and asked Miss Barber to let me come out; but no, she must keep
me locked up. Miss Emerson came in and told me I had better lay down,
for she knew the change of air was too much for me, even if I sat out
in the gallery, by the furnace, for this gallery is a cold comfortless
place. Towards night my distress increased, till it seemed as though
every bone in me would fall apart. It seemed as though my breath would
leave my body. Miss Emerson said she has told Miss Barber how cold I
was, but she did not regard it. But I was not the only sufferer on
account of their cruel treatment. Others were suffering the like in
different ways. I stayed in this gallery till about the last of July,
weeping and rolling on the floor, in pain, not allowed to lay on my
bed, and often stripped and showered, as I was told I should be, as a
punishment for weeping, because I was in distress, and lost to eternal
happiness, and deprived of my liberty, in the hands of tyrants. One
day, while I was laying on the floor in agony, Dr. Bell came in and
said that brother James had been there. I asked him what was the reason
he did not let me see him, and he said he did not wish to see me; he
was glad I was there, and wished I had been two years before. This
added double grief, and Dr. Bell seemed delighted to tell me of it, to
tantalize me, and that he was so completely held up in his cruelty. I
told him that this brother did not know the agony that I was in, for I
did not think he could have the heart to rejoice in my misery, and to
wish I had this brutal act done to me two years before. This brother I
had done for more or less from a child; he being the youngest, I had
helped pay his board, his tuition, bought him books and clothes, and
all the money that I had, I let him have to help him along; and could
this be the way he was rewarding me for it? In this land of liberty
where every one has a right to worship God as they please, must he rise
against me and worse than murder me, because I worshipped God contrary
to his views. He believes all will go to heaven whether they have in
them the hope of glory or not. But he has a right to his belief. My
religion would not have led me to be accessory to his imprisonment, and
more especially to have medicine given him to rack and torture him.
One day when the trustees were there, I addressed Mr Lowell about my
situation; he gave a listening ear, when Dr. Bell stepped forward and
said my physician said that I was a fit subject for the house. I told
him I had no physician, for I never was sick but once in my life, and
that was two years ago. He said he had a line from Wheelock Graves,
and one from Elder Cole, my minister. This surprised me, that a leader
of God's people, to lead them out of sin, should give a line for a
poor girl to be carried into an Insane Assylum. He knew my case, and
had heard me tell how God had dealt with me. But I told Dr. Bell I did
not believe it, although it gave him the lie. I believed Elder Cole to
be too good a man and friend to humanity to wish to destroy a young
girl's character so much as to give a line for me to be carried into
an Insane Assylum, the third day of my leaving my work. I asked Mr.
Lowell to go and see my brother Stephen; but it availed nothing, for
they all understood the iniquity of that house. I had not seen any one
since I had been there that I ever saw before, excepting a Miss Dutton,
that I met at Elder Hime's meeting in Boston, who was there a private
attendant to a lady for a short time. In the month of May, Catharine,
brother Eben's wife, came to see me, I told her as much as possible
what I had suffered, and how destroyed I was, and asked her why she
did not tell me where I was going, and what was to be done to me. She
said she did not know it till I was just going out of the house, but
I did not believe it, for her husband was one of the bondsmen. This
brother's wife I had loved much for her strong virtuous principles and
piety. How she could have been accessory to this treatment towards me,
to screen them from public censure, I did not know; but the deed was
done. She stopped about ten minutes, and said she would come and see
me again. But the summer passed away without one coming to see me. I
often plead with Dr. Bell to let me see some one, but I was told that
they did not wish to see me. I of course thought they did not, for I
always was despised by the whole family, for what I did not know. But I
buried it all in my own heart, looking forward when I should be forced
from this world of trouble and sorrow, for my forerunner was a man of
sorrow, and acquainted with grief; and I must bear all things even as
he bore it. I had friends that were dear to me, and I thought I should
like to see them once more upon earth. The cruel mockery and ridicule
that I had heaped upon me there was enough to cause any female to be
sick of her life. They seemed to take delight in saying things to try
me.--Miss Barber and Dr. Fox were in the gallery together, the Doctor
stood laughing at me, for I was in violent distress and crying. He
said he thought I grew fat on it. Miss Barber said sneeringly, do you
not expect to enter the pearly gates and walk the golden streets of
the city of the New Jerusalem? I had lost all idea of holiness, and I
am utterly incapable of using good language. I thought of what I once
was, and to be brought to this low degraded state, to suffer thus in a
gospel land, grieved me.

It is the practice for physicians from other Assylums to visit there,
and see all the patients. One day there was a Dr. Ray, with others
from the Maine Assylum; Dr. Bell began to mock me about being married,
knowing that all my affections were dead, to see what effect it would
have upon me, holding my pulse at the time, and laughing at each other.
To be made a subject of mockery before men in this obscene manner was
too much, I appealed to his benevolence to spare me this cruel mockery;
spoke of female character, and that I had done much to save females
from the stream of pollution. My feelings were overcome, and I seized
hold of a chair to save me from falling, but I was too far gone and
fell upon the floor, and then a roar of laughter was set up by all.
I went into my room and layed myself upon the bed. I thought of the
poor slave, but oh, they do not know their happiness; gladly would
I exchange situations with any one that ever suffered from the rude
barbarian; and yet it is thrown back upon me that it is derangement,
and my cruel torturers are held up and applauded. I sent a letter to
brother Eben's wife, to come; but I received no visit from her on
account of her peculiar circumstances. I saw no one until the 22d of
Dec. I had been there then thirteen months, and had seen only brother
Eben's wife. I plead with my brother to let me go home; he said he
was not willing, but I might come out to his house after his wife's
health was better. I felt that I was such an outcast that I had no
people to go to; but that a mother must have a mother's feelings, and
I knew not who to look to in the world in my lost, ruined condition,
but a parent. My brother seemed to feel for my ruined condition, and
asked me why I did not tell what my situation was, for he knew nothing
about it only what they told him. This brother had never opposed me in
my religion, and I had always taken a very active part in his family
devotion, as his wife is a member of a congregational church. I told
him I plead with Stephen not to leave me, not knowing that it was an
Insane Assylum, or what was to be done to me. I told him how I was
deprived the privilege of writing. He said he did not wish me treated
ill, and wished me to come out to his house. I told him I wanted to
go home. He stopped about an hour with me, and bid me good bye, and
said he would come again. This was about the 24th of Dec. I asked Dr.
Bell to let me write to my brother, stating that I would go out to his
house, for I wanted to get out of that place; he gave me a very short
answer; he said he was not willing that I should write to my brother,
or any other one. I then told him that my brother told me I could write
to him anything that I wished. He said if my brother told me so, he
was not willing; I did not rest at this, but constantly plead with him
to grant me the privilege, but could not prevail upon him, for he said
that my brother was glad I had not accepted his invitation. Then I
took the liberty of writing without his consent, and handed it to Mr.
Appleton, one of the Trustees, requesting him to prevail on Dr. Bell to
let him take that letter to my brother, and wrote one to Mr. Appleton
at the same time, stating the reason of taking that liberty. He told
me he would talk with Dr. Bell about it. The next day I asked Dr. Bell
if he had sent my letter; he said no; I asked him the reason; he said
it was because he thought my brother would not grant my request. In my
letter I requested my brother to let me have a change; if he thought it
not proper to come to his house, to let me go any where else. I saw no
one again until March, when my mother come to see me with brother E.
I had written to have him come and see me, and what my situation was.
Little did I think but what my parent knew of my situation when I was
first put in there. But I had been there about a year before they knew
any thing about it. She stopped about an hour. At first she appeared
to be quite affected; but my mother does not profess spirituality,
and always opposed me about my religion, and often said, after I met
with a change, that she thought I was deranged. Of course she regarded
me as a deranged person. I plead her to stay all night with me, but
she returned with my brother that night, and said she would come on
Saturday. On Saturday she came on the gallery to see me, about two
o'clock, and returned with my brother at six; I wished her to stay all
night with me, but she was not willing. I wanted my mother to tell my
brother to take me out and let me go home with her. But I always was
regarded with a great deal of coldness, and now I was looked upon as
a poor deranged person, and therefore found but little sympathy. My
mother left me without bidding me good bye, saying that she should see
me again. Brother Eben came to see me, about four weeks after. Still I
plead with him to let me go home; but he wanted me to come out to his
house. I felt that I did not want to go there, after he had said he
was glad I did not accept his invitation. But he has since told me he
never said so, and has shewn me a letter he wrote to me, saying that
he wished me to write to him, and to come out to his house; but Dr.
Bell advised him not to let me have the letter. On the 15th of April,
brother William came to see me, from New York. This brother I had not
seen but once for about twelve years. He was much affected to hear of
my suffering; he said it had always been represented to him that I was
a perfect deranged person. He come again the next day and took me out.
I went to brother Eben's that night, and the next day William carried
me home.


  _Upon the treatment of my brothers and sisters during my
    imprisonment, and the steps taken with me by them._

  _Secondly, remarks in general concerning the Hospital and the
    Officers of the Institution._

Firstly.--If my brothers and sisters desired my good by placing me in
the Insane Assylum, and the Doctors have taken the advantage of my
weakness and my brother's ignorance of my true state at that time,
and it has proved to be my everlasting ruin, by the Doctors giving me
that medicine which racked and tortured me and destroyed my phisical
health and ease of body and mental happiness. Their motive can be
determined by their treatment and attention while there, and the manner
of the treatment that I have received in hearing of my sufferings.
For good motives always lead to good and kind actions. I have given
in general a detail of the steps that were taken with me from the
time of my leaving my labour on Saturday, before I was carried to the
Hospital, on the Thursday following, and after I was there, their
attention to me. I appeal to the public mind if this was good, kind
and just treatment; if it was only my earthly happiness destroyed I
should rejoice amidst it all. I was taken out by my brother William,
from New York; but now I have no society, I cannot resort to God and
to God's people for comfort, and take happiness in the service of God,
for I have not happiness within myself, as it is the spirit of Christ
that makes us happy, and enables us to look forward to never ending
eternity of bliss. Now that spirit is taken from me by medicine, and
it leaves my body in distress, from the crown of my head to the sole
of my foot, without carnal love of this world, or the love of God. Of
course without the spirit of Christ we cannot love God. I am thrown out
upon the world without any thing to help myself with. My money that I
labored hard for, late and early, confined to a factory life, is taken
by my brothers. They are not willing to give me my own, or to help me.
I am unable to work, my body is in such distress; and I have no spirit
to support me under any thing, and am dependant upon the kindness of
friends who have been deceived about me, by the false report that I
was deranged, while all the time I was suffering the greatest cruelty
that could be practised upon an immortal being. They feel distress for
me, although it is a crime they never heard of before, and many of
them wonder that I have a particle of reason left, and do not wonder
at my altered looks and language, and feel that such a crime should be
exposed to the world. It is not the popular clergy that will be seized
upon and carried into that house and have this medicine forced down
them, but the poor honest hearted christian that is despised and cast
out, and trodden under foot like the despised Nazarine. This havoc
among the saints of God, by infidels, has been going on for years,
undoubtedly, and when they have told of it on getting out of their
power, it has been looked upon as derangement, and their account being
sealed with God, they have not undertaken to publish it; but I will,
whether it is or not; and if my brothers wilfully hired those Doctors
to give me that medicine, to take from me my eternal life, because I
differed from them in my religion, may God bring it to light, and the
guilty not go unpunished. Females are engaged in this horrid crime, and
do know that it can be done. Relief Barber, Mary Brigham and Esther
Benton, who are engaged in the service of that house, and my brother's
wife, were knowing to it before I was carried there. Brothers Eben,
Stephen, and James, are the ones that were concerned about my being
carried there, and they are the ones that had ought to investigate my
suffering. But, instead of that, they have not interested themselves
in my sufferings or wants, and brother Stephen and his wife came to
brother Eben's, where I was, and did not even send a request to my room
to see me. I speak of this to show that my brothers do not feel for
me as brothers should feel for a sister. So far as the natural heart
is concerned, had my brothers regarded my character and my feelings,
and the feelings of our aged parents, they would not have put me into
an Insane Hospital without something being done for me first. I might
mention about my clothes that I had sent me.--I was taken and shut up
from them, and from the means to obtain things to make me comfortable,
or hardly decent; but if my brothers and sisters thought my health was
poor, and they desired my good, kind actions would have followed kind
feelings. I have before remarked, would they not have sent me little
nourishments, such as they do not have there, as friends generally do
when they have a friend that is out of health. But I received nothing
to remind me that I was not forgotten by them. Kind reader, have you a
wife, sister, or an unprotected daughter in this wide world, (however
you may be situated, the same laws govern nature thro'ought the world,)
would you see her deceived into a hospital the third day of leaving
her work, having nothing done for her first, and then not permit her
to see one of her kind friends? Because God saw fit not to give me the
abundance of this world was I any the less incapable of happiness here
and hereafter? Because I was a poor factory girl must I be treated in
this brutal manner, in this boasted land of liberty? I always had done
for myself, and was happy. I envied not the Queen upon her throne. I
sought enjoyment in expanding my immortal mind in knowledge, looking
through nature up to nature's God, and cultivating the love of God
richly in my heart. I was kept in the Assylum sixteen long and weary
months. My brothers say they come to the house; but they might as well
have stayed away as to come, for all the good it did me, for I never
saw them. They say Dr. Bell would not let them see me. What right had
they to put me in such a place? The very face of it shows that there
was some cruelty being practised upon me, that Dr. Bell did not want
any one to know out of that house. It may be said that I had no home,
and the woman that I boarded with would not have me in her house.
Could it be that Eliza Lufkin would turn me out of her house on the
third day of my illness? Had it been done openly, I should have had
friends that would have done for me, for I feel that I could say with
the Apostle Paul, that I had friends that would have plucked out their
eyes to do for me. But not only was I taken in such an unlawful manner
and imprisoned, but away from all my things, and no care taken of
them; some entirely ruined for want of care, and some ruined by being
worn almost out. Who has worn them I cannot say; but my trunks were
at my brother Stephen's. If my brothers desired my good they would
investigate my sufferings. I have proposed to them to have the Doctors
taken before a justice of the peace, produce the kind of medicine they
gave me, and apply a chemical test and see what effect it would have
upon the human system. If my brothers are innocent about my being
ruined, I think they would do it, although it would not bring back to
me my happy state; but it would expose the wickedness of the Doctors
in the Charlestown Hospital, and save others from suffering the same.
I was far from being deranged; but I grant that I was in a weak state.
But because I was weak, from over exertion, was that any reason why I
should be imprisoned, and medicine given me to harden my brain, to rack
and torture me? To give a person an idea of the distress of my body
every moment, would be impossible; but well I might quote the language
of Chillian:

    My limbs are bowed, though not with toil,
    But rusted with a vile repose,
    For they have been a dungeon's spoil.

_Remarks upon the Institution._--There is no dispute but what there
should be such an institution as an Insane Assylum, but let it come
under the jurisdiction of the Legislature, and not have all the power
consigned into the hands of a few individuals, over a distressed class
of beings, a money-making system, at the expense of happiness, in a
great measure. If it was thought best to have all power put into the
hands of one individual, then we should have a King in this country,
but it is not thought best. As that house is now, if any family
difficulty breaks out between the members, the stronger can take the
weaker, raise a cry that they are insane, deceive them in there, or
take them by force, and deprive them of their liberty; and the poor
individual is disarmed of the protection of the strong arm of our
country's laws. It gives power to children over their parents, parents
over children, brothers and sisters over each other, and neighbour
over neighbour. A case of children rising against a parent took place
while I was there. A poor widow woman having a family difficulty about
property, her sons rose against her, got an officer and brought her to
the Assylum, and she worked for them all the time she was there. In my
own case, I had property and ought to have a guardian appointed if I
was incapable of taking care of myself. Would it not be well to have it
a law that no person should be carried into an Insane Hospital without
the advice of a council of physicians, and not have it left to the
judgment of one person, for it is not an uncommon thing for persons to
be put in there who are not insane, and they cannot help themselves.
The public is completely deceived about the situation of their friends
after they are there. On visiting the building every thing presents a
fair appearance; but in order to know the evil of any place you must
first be in it. In the first place, I shall speak of what the poor
patients have to suffer on account of the neatness of the interior of
the building, as that is so often spoke of by visitors. A great deal of
pains is taken in every thing of an outward appearance, while things
that are not seen by visiters, are not regarded. The floors are, as it
were, the God that they worship; they must be washed every day, and
the poor patients suffer in being neglected during the time, which is
very frequently the case, and if a poor patient steps upon the floor
for sometime after, they have to take a severe reprimand, and are
locked up in their room all day as a punishment, because the attendant
is afraid the floor will have a mark upon it. It is all well enough
to keep clean; but the happiness of the poor patient is not regarded.
It is very tiresome to be confined to one room and not be permitted
to walk in it. Secondly, in cold weather the uncomfortableness of the
gallery is very trying. Some days not any fire, and deprived of every
privilege but that of breathing, and if in violent pain and suffering
the patients weep and make any complaint, they must be shut up in their
room, or stripped of all their clothes and showered with cold water,
and then carried to a stone dungeon. People are very much deceived
when they call to see their friends; and the poor distressed patients
are weeping their hours away to see them, and are shut out from all
religious influence.


Christian reader, whatever name you may bear, I address you, you who
have got the spirit of Christ witnessing with your spirit that you
are born of God. You have read what I have stated and you may be
ready to say you don't believe it; but lend me a listening ear with
an enlightened understanding, both by the spirit and knowledge, for I
have put forth this effort to make known this knowledge to the world,
to save you from the awful outrage of the wicked at the present day,
for you are liable yet to have the cry raised about you that you are
insane and to be taken and imprisoned as I have been, where violence
is used to force medicine down your throat which kills or destroys the
spirit of Christ in you. You are ignorant, I know, that this knowledge
is upon the earth, and the Bible does not give any account of it,
excepting in Heb. Chapt. vi. verse 4, 6; and St. Paul does not say how
it can be done. Christian reader it is you that ought to be interested
in what I say, and before you say that it is derangment, and give
strength to the wicked in the greatest crime that can be committed
upon an immortal being, condsider well what a crime you hold up. Why
should I wish to start such a thing before the world if it was not so?
for gladly would I kneel and lift up my voice in prayer to God and
leave behind the things that are behind and press on towards the mark
for the prize. Persecution to a christian is like water to a plant;
what is called derangement by some, or delirious about religion, can
be removed by medicine by the Dr.'s at the Charlestown Hospital. The
pains and distress of the operation cannot be found upon the annals
of cruelty of any nation, and then the distressed situation it leaves
one in,--neither love to God nor fellow beings. Dear christian reader,
what I tell you is the truth. Ask yourself the question, what did Dr.
Bell urge me to relate my christian experience for? why did he ask me
how much I read the Bible, more than any other book? What if one of our
missionaries were taken and imprisoned, and when they should be taken
out and come to tell of their sufferings and what was said to them
before the medicine was given to them, would it not show that the crime
was in accordance with the whole drift of their conversation. Why did
Dr. Fox say that I "must not think I was so filled with the spirit; any
minister would laugh at me." I had not told him I was. Why was I shut
up and no one allowed to see me?

Reader, make it your own case to be put in prison in a well state of
health among some of the worst characters, entire strangers, and about
three months in a stone dungeon, a poor unprotected girl.--Would it
not almost make you deranged? Had a poor persecuted christian ought to
be consigned into the hands of unconverted rough men? What criminal
ever was executed in our land but if they made the request to see
some minister or pious friend it was allowed them; but no, I was a
poor persecuted christian; I asked to see some minister, Mr. Winslow
I particularly asked to see; but no, the last and fatal blow must be
struck upon me. If I had violated the laws of our country, why not give
me a lawful trial in a court of justice and let me suffer the penalty
attached to the laws which I had violated? If I was in a weak state
and tryed about my spiritual state, was it right to shut me up away
from all my dear associates and godly influence? At first I thought
I was in a house of ill-fame. O, God only knows what I suffered and
what I afterwards had to go through. Had I been deceived into _such_ a
house it would have been nothing to what my situation is, and what my
sufferings have been.

Dear christian reader, I will show you by the Bible where I was when
I was carried into Charlestown Hospital. When I was converted I had
a strong hope to support me against the wind and tide of this world.
As an anchor is to a ship so is a hope in Christ Jesus to a person in
this world. They are saved from the pollution of the world through the
washing of regeneration; saved from the corruption that is in their own
heart and the temptations around them. There is but one religion that
is good for any thing, or one's religion is as good as another's. But
why is all this contention about religion? it must mean something. One
soul saved from sinning by being washed in the blood of Christ is of
more value than all this world. Dear reader, have patience and I will
soon bring you to the point that I wish you to understand. If holiness
is liable to become a disease, as they pretend to say it does, and man
has found out how to give medicine to take away from a person what
they call derangement and the agony is so great and then it leaves the
person in a state of suffering here of body and without the spirit
of Christ, a person must suffer forever, for out of Christ God is a
consuming fire; but in Christ a person can bless and praise God amidst
the burning flames. When a person is converted they are turned from
persuing the love of this world and seek after that holy love that is
in them which is Christ and let all their actions be constrained by
that love. After a person is converted they commence running after
a prize, which is Christ, and in Christ is all the Godhead bodily,
Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Again, Christ will thoroughly purge his
floor, cast out unclean spirits out of your heart and you enter the
second time without sin unto salvation. Again to all who look for him
he will appear the second time without sin unto salvation, change their
vile bodies and make them like unto his most glorious body, or baptize
them with fire and with the Holy Ghost, or being clothed upon with our
house from heaven, which is eternal, immortal and full of glory.

Christian reader, I had embraced the views that are agitated at the
present day, that the world is soon to be destroyed, or what is called
Miller's doctrine. All I aimed at was to get out of sin, or being
obliged to go with the multitude to commit sin, as I hated wrong and
unholy actions, and to get ready to go up to meet the Lord in the air
as every one that has this hope within himself purifies even as he is
pure; for it is by grace which you are saved and not of yourself, it
is the gift of God. What to me was gain I counted loss and dross; yea,
dung, if I could but win Christ. I so run as to obtain the prize in
six years. The prize is winning Christ, and in Christ Jesus is all the
Godhead bodily, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It is the crown which
is immortal, eternal and full of glory. Truly I was full of the Holy
Ghost, entered into the holy city and had right to the tree of life,
which the leaves thereof are for the healing of the nations. Holiness
belongs to the heart, not to days, months, or years. The people of God
are to be the holy in all their actions and thoughts; they are saved
from following sin by having the spirit of Christ.

Christian reader, I know you must read this with mingled emotions;
and it must wring your heart with grief to think that the Son of God
has been crucified; but it leaves the person that was in possession
of this heavenly treasure of course to be forever in distress, for
there remaineth no more sacrifice, which must add double grief to you
in perusing these pages; or are you ready to throw it back upon me,
saying it is all a delusion; that man cannot destroy the soul; man's
power is not greater than God's. But, christian reader, it is knowledge
that man has obtained of chemistry. By putting two substances together
a third is produced unlike both. What the medicine is I know not,
but I think I could tell it if I saw it.--Christian reader, you have
never thought it to be very strange that a person could be poisoned to
death. In that case it seperates spirit from matter; and in this case
it seperates God's Holy Spirit from matter, for you know it is not
only a belief, for the Devils believe and tremble. But it is having
Jesus in you, the hope of glory, a praying spirit; and I wish you to
understand it is that praying spirit that can be taken from you by
medicine. The medicine hardens or petrifies the brain. In my case it
is the brain that lays in the back part of my head that is destroyed,
where the faculties of affection are located; for the volume of nature
and revelation agree. I refer now to the science of Phrenology, as
there is truth in it whether you believe it or not. The fifth Chapt. of
Gallations tells what you are by nature, and what you must be in order
to enter the kingdom of heaven. By sowing to the spirit, I crucified
my affections and lusts, ceased to do the works of the flesh. You may
think this is not in this world, but it is only winning the prize for
the high calling which is in Christ, or entering in upon the seventh
Sabbath.--As Dr. Bell has given me medicine that has killed that spirit
in me I have no idea of holiness or hatred to sin, and I have no idea
of worship, for we worship what we supremely love and bring all our
actions to bear upon that object on which our affections are set.--But
the idea of love is gone from me, and my body is void of happiness,
both carnal and spiritual.

Let there be a mighty cry made by the public, and search into the
iniquity of Charlestown McLean Assylum. I know it is held up by what
is called the popular class, but it is a combination of men, a system
that is worse than slavery, and any crime can be done there and covered
up under the garb of derangement, and no one interfere. Dear Christian
reader, I have put forth this appeal to let the christian world know
that this knowledge is known upon the earth, and it is in the hands of
the wicked. Why is the public so silent upon the sufferings of a poor
girl? If I had been taken by the uncivilized red man of the woods
and not half so cruelly treated, the papers would have been full of
it. If I had led a low, debasing life, and had been murdered like an
Ellen Jewett, the public would have been roused and the papers would
have been full of it from east to west, and from north to south; but a
more horrid crime has been done. O! THAT A DAGGER _had been plunged_
into my HEART _in the midnight hour_; it would have been but momentary
suffering and then my immortal mind growing and expanding throughout
the countless ages of eternity in the knowledge and wisdom of God.

Reader, you may be ready to throw it back upon me, saying it is
derangement, I expect it; let me once have heard of such a thing
and I don't know but I should have thought it derangement. But,
christian reader, it is you and you only that can understand a part
of my language, speaking about my spiritual life. All who formerly
knew me, who see me now, say that some cruelty has been done to me.
My old neighbors that knew me from a child, say that I am so altered
they hardly know me. My old New Hampton school mates that I have met
with since I was taken out of the Hospital, start back with surprise
and say that they can hardly trace a look in me that I once had, and
not a trait in my deportment that I once possessed. They say "that
countenance that once was lit up with happiness is now marked with deep
sorrow; those eyes that once sparkled with joy are now dead and sunken
with grief, and the language, and the voice are so different that some
destruction has come upon you;" and when I tell them what it is, my
long imprisonment, sixteen months and twenty days, not allowed to see
any one that I ever saw before, only three of my folks during the
time, nor allowed to write; how my happiness is taken from me, my body
racked and tortured, the distressed situation that I am in, they are
bathed in tears. "O tell me not, Elizabeth, that you are lost; you was
once so happy in the love of God," and the deep loud sob bursts from
their full hearts, "Can this be Elizabeth Stone; can this crime be done
and this cruelty practised here in the midst of us and covered up and
nothing said about it?"

Is this the state of our country, that the rights of a poor female are
trampled upon, and the laws of our country, where there has been so
much blood spilt to work out the liberty of every free born son and
daughter of America. And because I endeavor to make known to the world
this crime, I am threatened with a second imprisonment, by my brother
Eben. If it is a crazy story surely it will do no harm, and if it is
not, why had it not ought to come out. Let a council of physicians be
held upon my body and see if I am a person that can enjoy life. I think
that minds that understand the organization of the human body and its
functions will say that some outrage has been commited upon me. If I
had lost my reason is it right to take the advantage of a crazy person
and destroy happiness. Charlestown McLean Assylum is to a weak excited
person as a grog-shop is to an intemperate man, or a house of ill-fame,
to a licentious person; they can be completely ruined. I hope this will
be looked into before another one is destroyed, and that those still
remaining in that awful place of imprisonment, weeping their hours
away, may be relieved by seeing their friends soon. May God awaken the
mind of the public to the sufferings of the helpless.

I am frequently asked the question, by those who hear of my sufferings,
if I don't think I shall be happy after death. I will answer this here
so every one may know what my dreadful situation is.--No! for reasons
before stated.

At the request of many of my friends, I have been examined by a
magnetized somnambulist, and I am requested to state the result of the
examination to the public. I was examined the first time by Mr. Fowler,
the Phrenologist, taking a lock of my hair to Miss Gleason. She stated
that I had great distress in the back part of my head, my spinal marrow
was dry; distress in my limbs, inclined to sit forwards; disagreable
feeling at my stomach; nervous temperament; needed kind treatment, &c.
The 15th of July I was examined again by Miss Gleason, being personally
present. She was magnetized by Mr. Butrick, a stranger to me. I did not
go into the room till after she was asleep. She stated about the same
as she did the first time, but added that my brain looked dark; that I
had been in such distress it was a wonder I had lived through it; and
I still was in distress; my brain was drawn together and she clenched
her hands together in order to convey the idea; she remarked upon
my disposition, being very decided in my opinion; an enquiring mind,
desiring to labor with my head rather than my hands, which had incensed
my relations against me; and it would have been better for me if they
had put me into the grave alive than carried me to the Hospital. If I
had never been carried there I should not have been as I am now; for
the future I could not labor with my head. If I published my sufferings
to the world it would not be believed because I could not now use
language to express myself. She thought it would be investigated.

July 23d, I was examined in public by Mrs. Pease, at the Masonic Hall,
who was with Mr. Shattuck lecturing on Magnetism. I was an entire
stranger to them both. She stated that I was nervous, distressed in
the back part of my head; that some powerful mineral medicine had been
given to me, which had injured me; that I had been cruelly deceived.
She described the medicine to be pills and a liquid, very dark and
some colored resembling saffron; that it had injured my brain, and it
never ought to have been given to me; and I had been injured by unkind
treatment; my ambition led me to go beyond my strength in labor and
reading, and _that_ medicine ought not to be given to any one, &c. Many
were present who had heard of my sufferings and were surprised to hear
her tell it so exactly. May God bring to light this awful crime, for
my sufferings do not end in this world, although the crime was done by

In conclusion, before this work is attributed to insanity why will not
the public demand an examination of the affairs and management of the
Mc'Lean Assylum, and see whether my charges be true or false.


In the 25th line first page, read "It" for "I." Same page 5th line from
the bottom, read "I" for "It." On 4th page, 24th and 25th lines, after
"refused to obey him" read "for my teacher said without the mind was
enlightened by the Spirit of Christ it was not prepared for knowledge."
Page 10th, 33d line, for "Eliza Dammus" read "Caroline Dammers." On
12th page, 4th line, read "David" instead of "Daniel." On page 22d,
18th line, for "him" read "my mother." Same page, 20th line, for "too"
read "to come." Same page, 29th line, for "noon" read "night." On 26th
page, 12th line from bottom, for "non-spiritual" read "nor spiritual."
On the 28th page, 22d line, read "from suffering, for matter cannot
be annihilated; but I should to" &c. On 29th page, 9th line, instead
of "and said they are," &c., read "and says the organs are," &c. Same
page, 16th line from the bottom, for "Dr. Fox," read "Dr. Bell." On
31st page, 8th line, for "Dr. Kay," read "Dr. Ray."

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Sketch of the Life of Elizabeth T. Stone and of Her Persecutions - With an Appendix of Her Treatment and Suffereings While - in the Charlestown McLean Assylum, Where She Was Confined - Under the Pretence of Insanity" ***

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