Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 51
This book is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries .
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latter being a stream supposedly visited by Norsemen after furs.
Hidden in this sylvan area, on top of a high and bosky hill,
were several extremely solid and handsome brick buildings,
with limestone trim, which had only recently been opened for
use in 1894. These buildings were uneasily regarded by local
inhabitants, for they belonged to the McLean Hospital, or
simply the "insane asylum," as people referred to it.
The McLean Hospital was, and still is, an integral part of
what might be called the great Harvard medical complex mag-
nificently developed, during the nineteenth century, by public
benefactors, doctors, and men of science of Puritan Boston. Since
before Revolutionary days certain Boston families had been
famous for their medical interest, notably the Warrens, Jacksons,
Bigelows, Shattucks, Homans, Minots, Storers, Cheevers, Mix-
ters, and so on. With the help of the merchants and industrial
members of their class, they built the Harvard Medical School
and the Massachusetts General Hospital. From this nucleus
other schools and hospitals fissioned off.
McLean Hospital, originally located in Somerville, and des-
tined to gain an international reputation under the famous Dr.
Edward Cowles, was one of these offshoots of Harvard. Founded
as a semi-private institution to house the psychiatric casualties
of which the Brahminist mode of existence is so richly produc-
tive, and others who could also afford to pay the tariff, in my
youth McLean was the most humane and advanced hospital of
its kind in the United States. Even now it is equaled, I should
think, by only a few of its restricted kind, such as the Menninger
Clinic, the Hartford Retreat, the Austen Riggs Center, the Na-
tional Institute of Mental Health, and the like.
Fairly often I had to deliver packages to staff members or
patients tucked away in this ultima Thule on a breezy hill. I
soon learned the names of the different buildings-Bowditch,
Proctor, Belknap, Appleton, Upham-each set well apart amid
lawns and trees and, most remarkable of all, a golf course. Often,
from my wagon perch, I watched men in knickers and ladies in
Here’s what’s next.
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/63/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.