From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

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 lived for quite a few years at 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 ; and Eastern State Hospital at

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Woodford County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Versailles, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: History of Lexington, Kentucky: its early annals and recent progress, including biographical sketches and personal reminiscences of the pioneer settlers, notices of prominent citizens, etc., etc.

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Charity (Negro Woman),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed October 20, 2020,

Last modified: 2020-09-21 17:08:46