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Nellie Bly

Could I pass a week in the insane ward at Blackwell's Island? I said I could and I would. And I did.

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It is only after one is in trouble that one realizes how little sympathy and kindness there are in the world.

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I had never been near insane persons before in my life, and had not the faintest idea of what their actions were like.

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On the wagon sped, and I, as well as my comrades, gave a despairing farewell glance at freedom as we came in sight of the long stone buildings.

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I took upon myself to enact the part of a poor, unfortunate crazy girl, and felt it my duty not to shirk any of the disagreeable results that should follow.

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I always made a point of telling the doctors I was sane, and asking to be released, but the more I endeavored to assure them of my sanity, the more they doubted it.

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I always had a desire to know asylum life more thoroughly - a desire to be convinced that the most helpless of God's creatures, the insane, were cared for kindly and properly.

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I shuddered to think how completely the insane were in the power of their keepers, and how one could weep and plead for release, and all of no avail, if the keepers were so minded.

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I had looked forward so eagerly to leaving the horrible place, yet when my release came and I knew that God's sunlight was to be free for me again, there was a certain pain in leaving.

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People in the world can never imagine the length of days to those in asylums. They seemed never ending, and we welcomed any event that might give us something to think about as well as talk of.

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