On February 5, 1817, the General Assembly passed a bill "to establish a Hospital in the town of Louisville." The hospital was considered essential because "many persons owing to the fatigue and exposure incident to long voyages, become sick and languish at the town of Louisville, where the commerce in which they are engaged sustains a pause occasioned by the falls of the Ohio river." Also, the extent of the need had overwhelmed the ability of the city to adequately care for the afflicted. These considerations led the legislature to establish the Louisville Hospital (later known as the Louisville Marine Hospital). A board of managers was incorporated and empowered to acquire three acres as the hospital site and to spend up to $50,000 to do so.
The Marine Hospital, Louisville, from Ballou's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion, October 18, 1856. Martin F. Schmidt Collection, Kentucky Historical Society Collections.