Text © by J. Michael Moore, from his book
The Life and Death of Northampton State Hospital,
published in 1993 by Historic Northampton.
[cont'd.] experience and an international reputation. His
work at Northampton influenced the profession far
beyond the gates of Northampton State Hospital. The
major proponent of the therapeutic value of physical
labor for mental patients, he convinced most of his
patients to go to work through a combination of
personal influence and incentives such as better food.
Their exertions contributed significantly to the
functioning of the hospital. Reduced needs for staff
combined with the value of produce sold off the large
hospital farm made it possible for the hospital to operate
without any state appropriations during most of Earle's
tenure. This fiscal success led other superintendents,
who had been skeptical of the practice, to put their
patients to work.
    An early advocate of the principles of moral
treatment, by the time Earle arrived in Northampton he
had become pessimistic about the prospects for cure for
patients in the state hospital superintendents, claims
which had been crucial to legimitmizing these ...
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