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HISTORY

McLean Hospital: A Brief History from Charlestown to Belmont, Mass.

John McLean
The Gilbert Stuart portrait of John McLean, a wealthy Boston merchant who was nearly bankrupt when a long lost ship carrying his merchandise arrived Boston Harbor, surprisingly intact. His fortunes reversed, McLean paid off his creditors, and at his death in 1823 he bequeathed $25,000 to the new asylum. The reasons for his gift are unknown. In 1826 the asylum was renamed in his honor. Upon the death of McLean's widow in 1834, the McLean Asylum received the original gift plus a residual legacy, bringing the total to nearly $120,000, an amount that would have purchased eight such asylums at the 1818 price.
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