"I left the insane ward with pleasure and regret," she wrote in her account for the World. "Pleasure that I was once more able to enjoy the free breath of heaven; regret that I could not have brought with me some of the unfortunate women who lived and suffered with me, and who I am convinced are just as sane as I was and am now myself."From her Wikipedia article:
While embarrassed physicians and staff fumbled to explain how so many professionals had been fooled, a grand jury launched its own investigation into conditions at the asylum, inviting Bly to assist. The jury's report recommended the changes she had proposed, and its call for increased funds for care of the insane prompted an $850,000 increase in the budget of the Department of Public Charities and Corrections. They also made sure that future examinations were more thorough so that only the seriously ill actually went to the asylum.She wrote for the New York World, becoming famous for what was derisively called "stunt journalism" -- going undercover to expose corrupt government officials, telling the stories of the downtrodden, of the poor, of women and children, of those who were neglected and ignored. All in her 20s.
The article admonished women for even attempting to have an education or career, suggesting they should stray no further than the home. This infuriated Elizabeth to the point of writing a scathing reply that she signed "Little Orphan Girl." Dispatch editor George Madden was so impressed by the reply, he placed an ad for the Little Orphan Girl to visit the newspaper. When Elizabeth introduced herself to Madden, the editor offered her the opportunity to write a rebuttal piece to be published. Elizabeth went home and wrote her first newspaper article "The Girl Puzzle." Impressed again, Madden offered Elizabeth a full-time job.
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