"In and About the City: A Mysterious Waif" - Unsigned - New York Times

"In and About the City: A Mysterious Waif" - Unsigned - New York Times

Bellevue Shelters a Girl of Whom Nothing Is Known

by: Unsigned | publication date: September 26, 1887 | Publication: The New York Times | pages: 8:3

"An unknown girl, Nellie Mareno, or Brown -- she gave both names -- was sent to Bellevue Hospital Saturday for examination with regard to her sanity. Yesterday afternoon she lay shivering on a cot in the pavillion, and drew the bed clothing tightly about her neck as she turned to look at a visitor. She does not appear to be over 19 years old, the age entered on the hospital record and gives evidence both in speech and manner of good breeding. Her features are regular and comely, the eyes being large and dark, the forehead broad and low, the nose straight, the moth and chin well shaped and the hair dark brown. As far as could be judged under the circumstances she is below the medium height and decidedly slight. Her face was almost haggard in its paleness, and there was a wild, hunted look in her eyes. . . . "

The New York World's competitors cover the story of the unknown waif -- actually the World's reporter Nellie Bly -- about to be committed to the women's insane asylum on Blackwell's Island.

Public domain.