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GEORGE S. ROBINSON Sycamore, Iii.
F. B. SANBORN * . . . . Concord, Mass.
A. G. BYERS Columbus, 0.
Randt Avery, <5r» Companyt
iif Franklin Street,
The Fifth Annual Conference of Charities—an organization consisting of delegates from States, representatives of municipal, local, and private charities, and members of the American Social Science Association, interested in charitable work — met, in 1878, at Cincinnati. The place of meeting was determined, as it has been since the Conference first organized in 1874, at New York, by the fact that the Social Science Association was to hold its General Meeting at the same place and time. The several Conferences have met therefore, at New York in May, 1874; at Detroit in May, 1875; at Saratoga twice, in September, 1876 and 1877; and in May, 1878, at Cincinnati. By virtue of the authority given by the Conference of 1878, the meeting for 1879 has been called at Chicago, commencing on the second Tuesday of June. As it is not probable that the American Social Science Association will meet at that time and place, the next sessions of the Conference will naturally be held by themselves, and will continue for a day or two longer than usual. The Standing Committees mentioned on pages 7, 8, will then report, to delegates sent not only from various parts of the United States, but as we hope from Canada; the public and private charities of that Dominion having been invited by the Cincinnati Conference, on motion of Mr. H. W. Lord of Michigan, to participate in the next Conference.
In the following report of the Proceedings at Cincinnati, several omissions occur. The most important of these is the omission of Mr. Lord's Report on "The Work of the Year 1877-8," which, by an oversight of the stenographer, was not taken down from his lips, and could not therefore be written out. Many of the facts stated by him, however, now appear in the reports from the several States. No accurate report was made of the remarks of Dr. Hoyt concerning the lamented death of Mr. J. V. L. Pruyn of Albany, and Mr. Theodore Roosevelt of New York, — two prominent and honored members of the Conference in past years. To supply this omission the Secretaries have ventured to include here the remarks made in the General Meeting of the Social Science Association on Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Pruyn by the Secretary, Mr. Sanborn.
"I cannot leave this topic without pausing for a moment to pay the tribute of our Association to one of its Life Members, lately deceased, who was also for years connected, in many ways, with the public and private charities of the great State of New York and its metropolitan city. Theodore Roosevelt, who took so active a part in our last two meetings at Saratoga, and who was then one of the most energetic members of the New York State Board of Charities, died in February last, in the midst of his labors for the good of mankind, and especially of those less favored than himself with the gifts of fortune and the opportunities of culture. He was borne to his grave amid the tears of companions and kindred, and followed from far and near by the mourning and the blessing of thousands whose hard lot in life he had sought to cheer and console. 'The Incas of Peru/ said Dryden, * above all their other titles, esteemed that the highest which called them Lovers of the Poor, a name more glorious than the Felix, Pius, and Augustus of the Roman emperors.' For an intrepid courage, he adds, though a princely quality, 'is at best but a holiday kind of virtue, to be seldom exercised, and never but in cases of necessity; but affability, mildness, tenderness, and a word which I would fain bring back to its original signification of virtue, — I mean good-nature, — are of daily use; they are the bread of mankind, and the staff of life.' Courage and good-nature were both conspicuous in Theodore Roosevelt, and along with them another excellent quality,— rare good sense. 'He seems to me,' says George William Curtis, * to have had the convictions of a reformer, with the courtesy, courage, and omnipresent tact of the gentleman. He was neither spoiled by good fortune, nor soured by zeal, and his death therefore diminishes the actual moral force of the community. Mr. Roosevelt was one of those men who are always in the minds of statesmen when great public trusts are created, to be administered by the best citizens upon the highest principles.' May his example inspire us to lives as unselfish as his own!
4'Another member of this Association, among those who have died since our last Meeting, deserves a passing tribute, — Mr. Pruyn of Albany, who was with us at Saratoga in 1877. Mr. Pruyn's memory will be recalled in the Conference of Charities over which he last year presided, in the absence of the governor of New York. He had been for years the president of the New York State Board of Charities, and in that capacity presided at the opening session of the first Conference, in May, 1874. His interest in such work was sincere; his prudence and his experience were great.''
The Conference voted that notice of the death of these gentlemen should be entered on its records. It also passed, on May 21, the following vote in regard to an absent member of the Conference:
"Whereas, The Reverend Fred. H. Wines, secretary of the State Commissioners of Public Charities of the State of Illinois, has been appointed by the Governor, under a joint resolution of the General Assembly, a Commissioner to represent the State at the International Prison Congress to be held at Stockholm in August next; and
"Whereas, He desires to make the construction, organization, and management of hospitals for the insane a special study while abroad; therefore
"Resolved, That the Conference of Charities of the United States cordially recommend Mr. Wines to the favorable consideration of superintendents of hospitals in Europe (and others interested), and respectfully ask that every facility be afforded him for a thorough examination and inspection of the European hospitals, and of their organization and management."
After the withdrawal of Gov. Bishop on the first day of the Conference, Hon. Moses Kimball of the Massachusetts Board of Charities was called to the chair, and presided during the afternoon of Tuesday, May 21. Dr. Hoyt of the New York Board presided on Tuesday evening, and Dr. Kenyon of Rhode Island on Wednesday, until Mr. G. S. Robinson of the Illinois Board was made permanent chairman.
The papers and reports prepared for the Cincinnati Conference, are here printed in full, with the exception of Mr. Lord's report already mentioned. The order of printing is not the same as that of reading, in all cases, and of the discussion on some subjects, only abstracts could be given. The reports and debates on "Tramp Legislation," and on "Co-operation between Public and Private Charity," having taken place after the adjournment of the Conference, are not here reported.
Copies of these Conference Proceedings may be ordered of any member of the Publication Committee, and particularly of F. B. Sanborn, at the office of the American Social Science Association, No. 5 Pemberton Square, Boston. A copy will be sent to each member of that Association, and will take the place of a number of the "Journal of Social Science," the publication of which is unavoidably delayed. No copies remain of the Proceedings of the Conference of 1876 or 1877. The price of the Proceedings of the Conference of 1878 is, for single copies, $1; ten copies, $7.50; 25 copies, $12; 50 copies, $20; and any greater number at that rate.