Those who read The Journal yesterday noticed that a movement is on foot for the erection of a hospital that will be a credit to Knoxville and show to the world that our Christians practice what they preach. In a community of forty thousand people, there always will be some who are so situated, that when overtaken by disease, have no place where they can be nursed, made comfortable and receive proper treatment. When men and women are in health, they can sleep in crowded rooms, on scant and filthy beds, and dine on coarse unpalatable fare; but when sickness comes it is different. If a list of the men and women, and little children, who every year die from neglect throughout the country, some of them in Knoxville, were published it would raise serious doubts concerning the claim that this is a Christian country.
The time has come when Knoxville should do a good many things in order that the unfortunate of our community may be cared for, and one of them is the erection of a hospital in which the sick may find a home and treatment. No argument is necessary to prove this. Those of our people who have clean, comfortable homes, wholesome diet, and beds in which to rest when they are in health, and kind friends to care for them when sick, probably do not realize how many there are within the sound of our church bells who are deprived of these comforts; but if they will take the time and trouble to briefly investigate, they may easily ascertain the facts. There is hardly one of our many prominent practicing physicians who has not been called upon to minister to the wants of suffering humanity, where they could a tale unfold that would excite the sympathies of every human.
That those who have a full share of the world’s comforts owe something to the less fortunate will be denied by only the hardest hearted ____ ____ [original illegible] destitute of every trace of the milk of human kindness. It is a part of every real man’s nature to sympathize with the suffering. Most people, if they see even a dog in distress have a natural inclination to give succor. This is natural and the teachings of Christian parents and Christian teachers and ministers strengthen and build up in the heart of men and women this humanly sympathy.
It is time for Knoxville to manifest it in a practical manner. It will not answer to say: “Be ye fed and clothed and healed,” something more is necessary. Those who are willing to engage in the erection of a hospital in Knoxville, where the unfortunate sick may receive the care and treatment that is necessary, should meet with the most liberal encouragement, and will, no doubt. It is only necessary to get the people to think and understand; then they will act promptly.
Source: Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, April 27, 1891, page 2