Charity (Negro Woman)(born: 1803 - died: 1824)
Charity, from Versailles, KY, was the first person admitted to the newly opened Kentucky Eastern Lunatic Asylum in Lexington, KY, on May 1, 1824. She was 21 years old and described as a mulatto or Negro who could not walk, talk, or eat solid food. Charity died within a year of being placed in the asylum. She may have been free (not a slave), and it is not known why she was the first patient in the mental facility that was originally named Fayette Hospital. The campaign for erecting the facility began in 1816, led by an early settler named Andrew McCalla. The facility, known today as Eastern State Hospital, was built on the Sinking Spring property and was completed in 1822. When the building committee ran into financial difficulties, the facility was purchased by the state in 1823. Kentucky Eastern Lunatic Asylum was the second state asylum built in the United States; the first was built in Williamsburg, VA, in 1773. For more see History of Lexington, Kentucky: its early annals and recent progress by G. W. Ranck [full view available at Google Book Search]; and Eastern State Hospital at rootsweb.com.