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An undertaking which eventually proves of extraordinary value to a community almost always experiences great early difficulties and an almost hopeless struggle for continued existence. This was particularly true of the City Hospital. Most of the first forty years of its life were marked by an administration honeycombed with graft, dishonesty and incompetence, which terminated only with the downfall of the Tweed ring in 1874.
A notable exception occurred in 1845, when on a temporary wave of reform Dr. W. W. Sanger was placed in charge. Sanger was the author of that classic work "A History of Prostitution," and most of the material forming the basis of this book originated at the City Hospital. How temporary was this reform was proved by the election of the warden of the penitentiaryas Sanger's successor.
The squalor and misery of the following years can best be illustrated by an experience related by Dr.
BECHET PE. THE CITY HOSPITALA HISTORY OF ITS DERMATOLOGIC DIVISION. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1939;39(4):672–678. doi:10.1001/archderm.1939.01480220057004