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hospital. The correctional institutions, including the penitentiary, the workhouse, the city prison, and the five district prisons, have been formed into a Department of Correction. The public hospitals, the almshouse, and the infants' and children's hospitals under city control have been formed into a Department of Public Charities. By the terms of the charter for the Greater New York, this line of division has been perpetuated, and extended to all the Greater New York. A special committee of the Association devoted a great deal of time last year to the revision of the chapters on the Department of Public Charities and the Department of Correction in the Greater New York charter, and many suggestions made by this committee were adopted by the Greater New York Commission and by the legislature, and now form part of the charter for the Greater New York, which will take effect Jan. 1, 1898.
A special committee of the Association maintains in New York City an agency for providing situations in the country for homeless mothers with babies.
The committee for the city of Newburgh have for three years maintained an agency for placing the destitute children of that city in families, and for their subsequent visitation.
The Richmond County Committee assists in boarding the destitute children of that county in families.
During every winter the officers of the Association secure copies of all bills introduced in the legislature, and examine carefully all those that relate in any way to the administration of public or private charities. Such action as seems advisable is then taken for securing their passage, amendment, or defeat.
When the Constitutional Convention of 1894 was held, the Association brought to its attention the results of a special study of the system of granting public money to private institutions for the care of children; and, largely as a result of this, important constitutional amendments were adopted by the Convention, authorizing the State Board of Charities to make rules and regulations concerning the payment of public funds to private institutions. Under the admirable rules which this board has adopted, the number of juvenile dependents in the State is now decreasing at the rate of a thousand per year, but is still far above a proper number.
The Association has always maintained its entire independence of partisan considerations as well as of the public treasury. Its mem
bers, however, have, as individuals, occasionally recommended the appointment of competent and disinterested men to positions of responsibility in connection with State and municipal institutions. They have never asked for the appointment of any man for any reason other than that he was believed to be fitted for the duties of the proposed position.
The opportunities for effective work on the part of the Association vary from day to day, from month to month, and from year to year. It has never tied itself down to any specified and limited lines of activity, but aims at all times and under all circumstances to do whatever can be done in behalf of public dependents.
NOTE. The foregoing is the substance of an address which was given extempore, and accompanied by some fifty illustrations showing various phases of the work of the Association, the improved county poorhouses and hospital buildings erected upon plans furnished by the Association, the wretched homes in which children placed out by public officers without supervision had been found by the visitors of the Association, the excellent homes that have been provided for children by the agent of the Newburgh Committee of the Association, the former condition of the public institutions of New York City, when prisoners, paupers, and patients were cared for in the same institutions and under a common administration, and the condition in those institutions as they now exist. We regret our inability to reproduce the pictures.
THE NATIVITIES OF THE INMATES OF THE PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF NEW YORK CITY.
BY BYRON C. MATHEWS, OF NEWARK, N.J.
I once heard a long sermon from this short text, "Past Feeling." Our subject is the nativities of the inmates of the public charitable and penal institutions of New York City for a period of ten years. If my paper were as many times the length of the sermon as my subject is of the text, you would all be "past feeling" before I get through.
Our study of these institutions was undertaken for the sole purpose of finding facts. This paper is a bare statement of some of the facts we found, with almost no attempt at explanation or at theorizing. The first step in scientific reform is a thorough understanding of existing conditions.
By public institutions we mean such as are wholly supported by public tax, and are wholly controlled by the municipal government. According to the police census taken in 1895, New York City had 1,851,000 inhabitants. The public charitable institutions of this great municipality herein considered are the Almshouse, the six adult hospitals, and the insane asylums. The penal institutions to be considered are the Penitentiary and the Workhouse. The number of admissions to the charitable institutions from 1885 to 1895 was 328,000. The number admitted to the penal institutions for the same period was 242,000. Total, 570,000. The only question now under consideration concerning these half a million souls is, Where were they born? It is a question of nativity, not of nationality.
We have made some comparisons between the nativities of the inmates of the institutions and the nativities of the inhabitants of New York City. The source of information concerning the nativities in the city is the census of 1890, which year, fortunately for comparison, is in the middle of the period for which we have collated our figures.
Besides the United States, twelve other countries are considered. If these twelve countries are arranged according to the percentages of the total number of inmates they supply to all the institu
tions under consideration, the highest percentage being placed first and the lowest last, Ireland will stand first, and Switzerland last; and the order will be Ireland, Germany, England, Italy, Scotland, Canada, Russia, France, Sweden, Austria and Hungary, and Switzerland. Austria and Hungary are considered together for the reason that several institutions do not give them separately in their reports.
Having now defined our field, we proceed to a statement of the facts found in it. According to the census of 1890, 57.76 per cent. of the inhabitants of New York City were born in the United States, 41.26 per cent. were born in Europe, and .98 of 1 per cent. in other parts of the world. For convenience, we will say that 58 per cent. are native-born, and 42 per cent. are foreign-born. The foreignborn are distributed as follows: 12.6 per cent. were born in Ireland, 14 per cent. in Germany, 2.4 per cent. in England, 2.6 in Italy, .7 of 1 per cent. in Scotland, .53 of 1 per cent. in Canada, .32 in Russia, 7 in France, .5 in Sweden, 2.6 in Austria and Hungary, .3 in Switzerland, 2.1 in the rest of the foreign world.
In giving the nativities of the inmates of the institutions, for the sake of avoiding too much detail, we shall read only those countries that furnish at least 1 per cent. We will begin with the hospitals, not including the Children's Hospital.
The admissions to the hospitals during the ten years were 282,928. Of these, 36.3 per cent. were native-born, 63.7 were foreign-born. The foreign-born were distributed as follows: 35.5 per cent. were born in Ireland, 11.4 in Germany, 4.2 in England, 2.8 in Italy, 1.2 in Scotland, and 8 per cent. in the rest of the world. Those born in Ireland lack less than 1 per cent. of being as many as the nativeborn. The Ireland-born are more than three times as many as those of any other foreign country, and are about 4 per cent. more than all the other foreign-born. During these ten years the tendency of the percentages for England and Ireland has been to decrease; while those for Russia, Austria, and Hungary, have increased.
At the time of the recent transfer of the New York City inṣane asylums to State control the number of inmates was a little less than 7,000. The total admissions for the ten years were 17,491. Of these, only 25.7 per cent. were born in the United States; while 74.3 per cent. were born out of the United States, 35.5 per cent. being born in Ireland, 20 in Germany, 3.4 in England, 2 in Italy, 2 in Russia, 1.3 in France, 1 in Sweden, 1.9 in Austria and Hungary, and
6.2 in the rest of the world. I in 4 of the insane was nativeborn. I in 3 was born in Ireland. Ireland's percentage among the insane is exactly the same as in the hospitals. 1 in 5 was born in Germany. The German and Ireland born together supply considerably more than half of the total number, while their quota of the inhabitants of the city is about one-fourth. The nativities of the insane that have noticeably increased are those of Italy, Sweden, Russia, and Austria and Hungary. The last three have plainly doubled. Whether there have been corresponding changes in the inhabitants of the city, it is impossible to say with certainty, because of lack of data.
The Almshouse is the distinctively pauper institution. with much propriety be named Pauper-town. Its average population. is about 2,500. In considering the statistics of this institution, it is well to remember that the average moral condition is exceedingly low. The worthy and unfortunate are there, but in greater numbers are those who have spent their physical and mental energies in unworthy living. The total admissions from 1885 to 1895 were 27,743. Of these poor souls, only 14.6 per cent. were born in the United States; while 85.4 per cent. were born somewhere out of the United States, 60.4 per cent. being born in Ireland, 14 in Germany, 4.4 in England, 2.2 in Scotland, and only 3.4 per cent. in all the rest of the foreign world. The most striking fact that appears
here is that 6 out of every 10 of the almshouse paupers were born in Ireland. These are more than four times as many as those born in the United States, and nearly two and a half times as many as were born in all other foreign countries. Germany's percentage in the Almshouse is exactly the same as in the city; namely, 14. England's is twice as large as in the city, while Scotland's is three times as large.
New York has two penal institutions, the Penitentiary and the Workhouse. The Penitentiary is the home of the distinctively criminal classes who for different reasons are not sent to the State prisons. Here the native-born predominate. We found 62 per cent. nativeborn, while only 38 per cent. were foreign-born. It is only due to the native-born to say that in this 62 per cent. is a very large number of young criminals who were born of foreign-born parents. They may have been born within a week after their parents landed on American soil; whereas, if circumstances had detained their parents