They had been chained day and night to their bedsteads, and kept in a state so ﬁlthy that it was sickening to go near them. — They were usually restrained by the strait‐waistcoat, and with collars round their necks, the collars being fastened with chains or straps to the upper part of the bedstead, to prevent, it was said their tearing their clothes. The feet were fastened with iron leg‐locks and chains.
The men patients were chieﬂy employed in cultivating the farm, working the garden, improving the grounds constructing fences, cutting wood. and attending to stock. The women were engaged in sewing, knitting, spinning, and assisting in various departments of house‐work, and other occupations and recreations suited to their sex.
(Indentation) Dix Lynde Dorothea "Memorial Soliciting a State Hospital for the
Protection and Cure of the Insane" University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Novermber 1848. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist‐newnation/4748. (December 23rd, 2013)
Dorothea Dix's purpose in producing this article was to improve the conditions for the mentally insane in the prisons they were being thrown into. Dix was appalled at the treatment of the mentally insane and sought to change it. This source is very believable because it comes straight from Dix herself and you know that what's in the source are things Dix actually said.
During this time period, the mentally insane were thrown into prisons just like they were criminals. They were also given horrible living conditions just like regular criminals. This document helps to paint the picture about just how bad life was for these mentally ill people. The brutal details provided by Dix really make the reader pity the people that went through this. This document does help to paint a full picture because Dix was a firsthand witness to the mistreatment of these people.
Dix's position in this article is clear, she wants better conditions for the mentally ill people she feels are being mistreated. Dix uses details that are scary and vivid to try and convince the reader that they should be behind some sort of prison reform. You can tell by the serious tone she uses that she feels strongly about her opinion and wants others to see what she sees and feel how she feels.