Nellie Bly, whose given name was Elizabeth Jane Cochran, was a pio-neer of investigative journalism. She died in 1922. Of her many exposé assignments for Joseph Pulitzer’s NEW YORK WORLD, her voluntary (and undercover) journey into the “lunatic asylum” on Blackwell’s (now Roosevelt) Island is perhaps the most well known. In previous chapters of the series, she has (without much difficulty) fooled various doctors and authorities into deeming her insane and admitting her tothe asylum, which is located on an island just east of Manhattan.
"SINCE my experiences in Blackwell's Island Insane Asylum were published in the World I have received hundreds of letters in regard to it. The edition containing my story long since ran out, and I have been prevailed upon to allow it to be published in book form, to satisfy the hundreds who are yet asking for copies."