Imágenes de páginas

abolished twenty years ago, and has, therefore, always had, for one of its chief functions, the supervision of immigration into Massachusetts. Since the last Conference met at Madison, the Massachusetts Board has been authorized under a contract between the State and the national government made in December last, to supervise the execution of the Act of Congress concerning immigration which was passed in August, 1882, mainly at the instance of the State Boards and of the New York Immigration Commissioners. Under this act the supervision exercised is much the same, in our State, that it was before, but the United States now reimburses to Massachusetts the cost of this work, and of supporting certain poor immigrants — the whole amounting to perhaps $5,000 a year. The arrangement has thus far worked well, and we hear no complaint respecting it.

The powers of a Lunacy Commission, which were given in full to our State Board four years ago last July, have been judiciously exercised during that time, and the opposition to this part of the Board's work, which was at one time considerable, has now almost wholly disappeared. Insanity is increasing, and must increase in our state, as elsewhere, but the complaints of illegal imprisonment and improper treatment of insane persons, which are so frequent in some States, are but seldom heard now in Massachusetts. These complaints will always be made, to some extent, and no amount of vigilance can prevent their being sometimes wellfounded; but we believe our laws and their administration in Massachusetts are now such as to reduce such complaints to a minimum, notwithstanding the crowded condition of our asylums. The condition of the chronic insane is steadily improving, but the care of the curable insane cannot be so good as it should be in our large and mixed hospitals. We hope for a classification somewhat better during the coming year. The number of the insane in our State hospitals and asylums is now more than 3,200, and in all our asylums at least 3,500, besides some 500 of the chronic insane and imbecile ii* the local almshouses, of which we have about 215 in the whole State. * The insane make now the largest class of our public dependants.

By the Massachusetts laws, the State 'Board exercises a certain supervision over the alms-house support and outdoor relief given by over 350 cities and towns, each in its own independent jurisdiction. We take the census of the poor in these municipalities twice a year, in January and July, and I have taken some pains to make up these figures to the latest date, July 1,1883, for the conference. Exclusive of the state poor fully supported, who at that date were less than 2,000, the following statistics will give approximately, the number of f>aupers receiving indoor or outdoor relief, in our popu-* ation of 1,900,000 persons, three months ago:

Paupers of all classes 21,500

Fully supported 9,000

Partially supported (outdoor relief) 12,370

Vagrants . 130

These figures differ but little from those of a year previous— the indoor poor having increased nearly 300, and the outdoor poor having fallen off almost as much. The average number for the year ending April 1,1883, show's a larger increase over the year preceding, amounting in all to about 1,600, in a total of nearly 25,000, the latter being about the average number of the Massachusetts paupers in a given year at present. This is about one pauper to every seventy-six inhabitants, which is about a third part as great as the pauperism of England. The cost of supporting and relieving all Massachusetts poor was in 1881, about $1,700,000, and in 1882, not less than $1,800,000, of which something like two-thirds was for indoor relief, and a little more than one-third for outdoor relief.

Some time was then given to closing remarks as follows:

Mr. Letchworth, of New York, briefly thanked the Conference for the distinguished honor conferred upon him, in electing him President of the next Conference, which he looked upon as intended for the State he represented rather than himself. He expressed his determination to carry out the wishes of the Conference to the best of his ability, and to further the philanthropic aims of those whom, he had for years had the pleasure of meeting in these gatherings.

Gen. Brinkerhoff, of Ohio, offered a resolution of thanks.

Mr. Garrett, of Pennsylvania: I second this resolution. I wish to express some appreciation for the happy time we have had in the city of Louisville. It seems to me providential that we met here on this occasion. There has never been a more pleasant meeting, or one fraught with more beneficent results to suffering humanity, than ♦the one we are now closing. This meeting has brought many of us of the north in contact with the people of the south, and afforded us an opportunity of seeing them in their true light and knowing them for what they. are. I will always be glad that I have been here.

Mr. Wright, of Wisconsin: I wish to say that very much of the success of this Conference is due to the President. He has done a great deal of work which should have fallen on others. I am sure that the next Conference will be a like grand success, as I know that the President whom we have just chosen has great ability and willingness to promote the welfare of these meetings. I am glad that we came to Louisville, as we have learned to know the southern people.

Dr. Hoyt, of New York: I wish to express my great pleasure at having been here on this occasion and my gratitude for the attention shown to us. It has been a great benefit to the Conference, in that it has thrown us with a large number of able men who are ready and willing to enter into this noble battle with us. I have been struck with the good order of this city. Here, at the threshold of the jail almost, I have yet to see a drunken man or any arrest whatever. There is another thing that has added to our enjoyment, and that is the adaptability of this hall for the purposes of this meeting. It is so quiet and roomy, and so easy of access.

Mr. Sanborn, of Massachusetts: I desire, on the part of the state of Massachusetts, to thank the people of Kentucky and of the city of Louisville, for the many kindnesses and courtesies which they have extended to us. I have always said, and say now sincerely, that the southern people are the warmest hearted and most hospitable people in the land. I shall always remember tha southern people. I am glad that we came here. I know that it has been good for us to be here. I know that we have ideas of the southern people thg,t we never before entertained.

Mr. Wilson, of Missouri: I have been more than pleased with the glorious work of this Convention; many things that have occurred lead me to think that this meeting will be prolific of good in many directions. Our Missouri delegation will make a report to the Governor and most urgently request him to have a State Board of Charities organized.

Mr. Moore, of South Carolina: I just want to say a word or two. It is the first time that South Carolina has ever been represented in a conference of charities. And I want to express my gratification, as well as the gratification of the South Carolina delegation, that we have met with this body. We feel in coming here that we have met a band of brothers. When we go home, we will take many pleasant recollections of our stay in this city and our deliberations in this body.

Dr. Putnam, of Massachusetts: I want to add a word of thanks to the citizens of Louisville for the kind reception they have given us here. This is the first time that I have been farther West than the middle of Pennsylvania, and I think, if every person East could take the trip out here, they would Qntertain far different ideas on some subjects: I know that we are all glad that we have been here and seen the Beargrass of which the Governor spoke this morning.

Mr. Giles, of Wisconsin: I want to say that I am glad that I came to the City of Louisville. I have always heard the Kentucky people are the most hospitable people on earth, and now I can add my testimony to that effect. Last year, when tKe question was up as to the place of meeting, I told you the Kentucky people

[ocr errors]

are a hospitable people, and now my brethren know the truth of what I then stated.

Mrs. Fairbanks, of Wisconsin: On behalf of the ladies of this Convention, I wish to thank the City of Louisville for their, kind and considerate attentions shown us during our stay here.

Mr. Fairbank, of Vermont: In behalf of the State of Vermont I wish to indorse all that has been said, in sincere appreciation.of the hearty welcome we have received at the hands of the City of Louisville and the State of Kentucky.

Hon. Albert S. Willis, member of Congress from the Louisville district, was then called upon, and spoke as follows:

Mr. Willis, of Kentucky: Mr. Chairman, and Ladies and Gentlemen of the Conference: After the very complimentary allusion that has been made to my city and state, I would not remain silent. We cordially reciprocate the kindly sentiments expressed in the resolution which has just been passed. And alluding to the statement made by a gentlemen who preceded me, that since your arrival you have seen no drunkenness on the streets of Louisville, in that statement you show the charity that is in the members of this meeting, that good feeling which will not see our faults. I would that I could say something that would be of service to you, but I feel that after all the wisdom that has been uttered it is not in me to add anything. I would be glad to contribute a mite to the grand contribution of profoundest wisdom that has been emanated by this Conference. I woulcf be glad to add but one drop to that great stream of practical philanthropy, which I trust will widen and deepen and broaden, until the people of every state in this Union shall partake of its refreshing and health-giving waters*

There are one or two things connected with this Conference that impress me, and the first of these., as has

« AnteriorContinuar »