Burial Ledger of St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, D. C., July 5, 1917-August 30, 1983


The "Government Hospital for the Insane" was founded in Washington, D. C., on March 3, 1855. According to Dorothy Dix, who wrote the bill establishing the institution, its purpose was to provide "the most humane care and enlightened curative treatment of the insane of the Army and Navy and of the United States and of the District of Columbia." In 1916, the hospital's name was officially changed to St. Elizabeths. The hospital burial ledger, dating from 1917 to 1983, contains over 2,900 entries regarding burials of the general patient population. A brief history of the hospital and an examination of the burial areas precedes the alphabetically arranged entries. Column headings include: Last Name, First Name, Middle Name or Initial, Died, Interred, Section, Row, Grave Number, Gender, Race, and Remarks. In addition to providing the name, date of death, and grave location, there are occasional notations that provide important details about the deceased. Sometimes corrections to an entry are included that provide important details, such as an alias or nickname. References to heritage also may be entered, such as "Indian," "colored man," "Japanese," or "Chinese." Occasionally, the word Exhumed appears, which indicates the remains were removed to another location. Enlightening facts also surface, such as the reference to William Powell Jenkins, who died on February 27, 1931 and was buried "between graves."


Paul E. Sluby, Sr.


2008, 8½x11, paper, alphabetical, 90 pp.

ISBN: 9780788449031