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THE Sixth 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 1879, at Chicago, apart from the above-named Association. The place of meeting had been previously determined, ever 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 was called at Chicago, and the next year's Conference is called at Cleveland. As it is not probable that the Social Science Association will meet at the same time and place, the next sessions of the Conference will naturally be held by themselves; and this will generally be the practice in future years, no doubt.
The Chicago Conference was the most important of these gatherings that have been held. Not only were the various State Boards of Charities represented, but a considerable number of States having no such boards were represented by delegates appointed by their respective Governors. Officials from a large number of Institutions and Charity Organization Societies of cities were in attendance, as were also the Governors of the States of Ohio, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Valuable papers were read, and the subjects of Insanity, Pauperism, and Crime were discussed with reference to the application of preventive measures. The next census, and its importance as bearing upon these subjects, were discussed, and practical suggestions considered as to the kind of information most needed. Gen. Walker, the Superintendent of the Census, was present, for the express purpose, as he stated, of consultation and counsel in regard to the best means of gathering statistics. It was decided that in the future the scope of the Conference should be enlarged so as to embrace prison management, and bring the officers engaged in that work more
fully into accord with the organization, which is hereafter to be known as the Conference of Charities and Correction.
The next meeting will be held in June, 1880, and preparations are already making for a large and notable gathering. In August, Gen. R. Brinkerhoff, the President of the Conference of 1880, met by previous appointment at Glen Iris, near Portage, Dr. Charles S. Hoyt, Chairman of the Conference Secretaries, Hon. William P. Letchworth, President of the New York State Board of Charities, Dr. A. G. Byers, Secretary of the Ohio State Board, and others, with the purpose of perfecting plans for the next meeting. Gen Brinkerhoff and Dr Byers had just returned from a consultation with Mr. F. B. Sanborn of Boston, the Acting Secretary of the American Social Science Association, and others in New England, Canada, and elsewhere, who are interested in the work of the Conference. The result has been a more systematic action than ever before to promote this work.
The Seventh Annual Conference, as announced above, will be held at Cleveland, commencing Tuesday evening, June 1, 1880, and will be continued Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. It is expected that the Tuesday evening proceedings will be opened with an address of welcome by the Governor of Ohio, and will be closed with a review of the work of the year by the retiring President, Gen. Brinkerhoff of Ohio.
Some idea of the character and scope of the discussions to follow during the three succeeding days may be formed from a perusal of the Reports and Papers in this volume. The debates of 1880 will be reported by a stenographer (which was not done at Chicago), and thus a very important part of the Proceedings will be preserved. The names of the Standing Committees who have in charge comprehensive reports and special papers upon the topics submitted to their consideration will be found on page 143-4 of this volume.
Members of Boards of State Charities and Prison Commissions are exofficio members of the Conference, and so also are all persons officially connected with the management of charitable, reformatory, or penal institutions. In addition, all persons interested in such institutions are cordially invited to be present. It has been customary heretofore for Governors of States to appoint such representatives as they specially desire to have in attendance, and it is expected that next year every State will have such representation. It is expected. also, that the Dominion of Canada will be fully represented.
The Papers and Reports prepared for the Chicago Conference are here printed in full, except a few not received in time. The order of printing is not the same as that of reading in all cases, and of the discussion only abstracts could be given. Copies of these Conference Proceedings may be ordered of any member of the Publication Committee, and particularly of F. B. Sanborn, Secretary of the American Social Science Association, Concord, Mass. 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 has been unavoidably delayed until December, 1879. No copies remain of the Proceedings of the Conference of 1876 or 1877. The price of the Proceedings of the Conference of 1879 is, for single copies, $1; ten copies, $7.50; 25 copies, $12; 50 copies, $20; and any greater number at that rate.
NOTE. The statistics of Reformatories in Mrs. Wardner's Paper were collected in various years from 1875 to 1879, and are not uniform. More recent and exact statistics concerning American Reformatories will appear in the report of the National Bureau of Education for 1878, now in press. The subject of both European and American Reformatories will also be treated fully in the great work of Dr. E. C. Wines, now in press, on Reformatory, Penal, and Preventive Institutions.
In Gen. Brinkerhoff's Paper, page 111, by a mistake in "Plan No. 3," the hospitals are brought back so far as to close the entrance to the hall in the main building. They should come only to the centre of the hall (which is eight feet wide), so as to give room for an outside door as an exit from the hall, and also a door from the hall to the hospital. On the same page, line 11 from bottom, for " a rear building" read "this rear building."