« ZurückWeiter »
discipline and management it is inferior to some others. Some improvement in both respects can be made by a thorough revision of all the Statutes relating to the prisons, which I earnestly commend to your attention during your present session.
It may become necessary to enlarge some of the present structures, and further appropriations for insane convicts, are believed to be necessary.
The asylum erected at Auburn for insane convicts, is nearly ready for use, and is creditable to christian civilization and humanity.
But before our prison system will be a "model for the imitation of others," as it ought to be, it will require such a change in the organic law as will confer upon one person the power and authority now given to the present inspectors, thus putting one general in command instead of three. He should be appointed by the Governor and Senate, and be removable for cause, at the discretion of the former.
Our criminal law, except in a few isolated cases, where considerable communities have sympathized with the perpetration of offences springing out of alleged popular evils, local in their character, has been adequate to the arrest and punishment of offenders, with the promptitude and certainty which the Constitution and laws enjoin. In the cases referred to, which led to the commission of a great public offence, and a wanton destruction of the property of the State, the local magistracy, and the Grand Inquest of the people failed to arrest and present the offenders for trial and punishment.
If, when reflection and reason shall have taken the place of excitement and passion, these functionaries do not render that obedience to the law without which no citizen is safe in his person and property, nor any community respectable, it will remain for you to enact, within the limits of the Constitution, some adequate remedy for this unlooked for evil.
Immediately after the burning of all the Quarantine buildings at the Marine Hospital, which took place on the 1st and 2nd of September, my predecessor, on the 7th of September, acting from a high sense of public duty, issued his proclamation, declaring the Island in a state of insurrection, and ordering the property and sick to be protected by the military arm of the State. For a statement of these unfortunate occurrences, I refer the Legislature to a communication made to me by Governor King, which will be laid before you, together with other documents connected therewith.
The question of another and more suitable site for a Quarantine establishment for the port of New-York, than that which, since 1798, has been occupied for such purposes, has engaged the attention of the people and the government; but no effective measures for a change of location have thus far been adopted.
Efforts were made through Commissioners appointed for that purpose, to obtain the consent of the State of New Jersey for the
occupation of a portion of Sandy Hook, designed, apparently, by nature for this sanitary purpose. These efforts, strenuously opposed by some of our own citizens, and resisted, upon what I must regard as unfounded apprehensions, by the Legislature of New Jersey, proved abortive. I am, however, unwilling to relinquish the hope that, with a better understanding of the duties and interests of both States, a location in all respects so advantageous and appropriate, may yet, with the consent of New Jersey, be obtained.
I transmit to the Legislature a report of the Commissioners for the removal of the Quarantine station; and a report to them from Capt. H. W. Benham, of the United States Engineer Corps, together with a report of the action had thereon by the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor and Comptroller, under date of 28th December, ult., referring to the Legislature a plan for creating five acres of land upon Old Orchard Shoals, between the Narrows and Sandy Hook, for a Quarantine establishment.
But whether Sandy Hook, or Old Orchard Shoals, or some other eligible point within the Bay of New York be finally designated, I deem it of paramount and enduring importance to the health and welfare of Staten Island, of New York and Brooklyn, and of that portion of New Jersey contiguous to Staten Island, that a permanent location for the entire Quarantine establishment should be obtained, and its removal from Staten Island carried into effect at the earliest possible day, and to the accomplishment of that object my efforts will be directed. With these views, I recommend the Legislature to provide for the appointment of a new commission, to consist of three persons of eminent character and qualifications, familiar with the subject and with the requirements of the State, to whom the whole question shall be committed, to report a plan to the Legislature, that, if approved, may be adopted early in the session.
In establishing for all time Quarantine grounds for the commerce of our own country, and that also of the maritime world, I deem it right and proper to ask the concurrence and co-operation of the Federal Government. With common duties and interests, in the preservation of the public health, and in the execution of the revenue laws, it is manifestly proper that, in determining a site for Quarantine and Revenue purposes, the State of New York should consult the General Government. Nor is it to be doubted that that government will participate with this State in the responsibility and expense of providing ample hospital and revenue facilities for the commerce of the world.
As immediately connected with this subject, I call your attention to the numerous health laws, and to the manner in which they are administered at the port of New York, fully believing that there is an excess of machinery and of officials around Quarantine, greatly inconvenient and oppressive to commerce, which should no longer be required to bear the manifold taxes that for the last few years have been imposed upon it. According to
existing arrangements, when a ship enters Sandy Hook," she is boarded and taxed by a licensed pilot; next stopped and taxed by a licensed physician; next hailed by a licensed steam-tug, then boarded by a licensed warden; next by a licensed fumigator, then taken possession of by licensed stevedores, her cargo handed over to licensed lightermen, again subject to an inroad of fumigators, and then towed to New York by a licensed Quarantine tug, and guarded on her way by licensed policemen; then she falls into. the hands of a licensed harbor master, till finally the owner is glad to shake off this swarm of officials" at any cost; and all this in the name of the State, and for the preservation of the public health. It would be difficult to adopt a system more inconvenient and more expensive.
The expenditures for the public schools of the State for the year 1857, are:
For teachers' wages,
libraries and school apparatus.
school houses, sites and repairs,
Amount remaining unexpended,.
The above amount expended fer school purposes was raised as follows:
Balance unexpended from the previous year,
From school district tax,..
From school district rate bills,
From all other sources,
do attending the public schools, teachers employed within the year,
$140,142 40 1,346,902 56
17,449 02 1,846,542 71 390,515 50 51,396 60
11,617 11,566 1,240,176 842,137
By the law of 1851, which caused the raising of $800,000 annually by general tax, the principle was established that "the property of the State should educate the children of the State." The law of 1856 extended and enlarged the appropriation by a three-fourth mill tax, which has increased the appropriation from that made by the law of 1851, to nearly $1,200,000.
Under the management of the present Superintendent of Public Instruction, the school system of our State is acquiring, steadily but surely, a standing and reputation that will make it a model for others.
For especial information in relation thereto, I refer you to the report of that officer, which, under the law of 1858, changing the close of "the school year" from 31st December to 30th September, will enable him to present the statistics pertaining to this important interest down to a period corresponding with the other departments of the State, and not attainable under previous
I am informed by the Superintendent of the Salt Springs, that the amount of salt inspected at the State salines, during the past season, has been seven million bushels. This amount exceeds the inspection of 1857 by nearly three million of bushels, and is about one million in excess of any previous year, and is a gratifying proof of the local and general benefits flowing from the possession of these remarkable waters. The business has been more remunerative to the manufacturers than for a year or two preceding, and promises favorable results for the future.
The State salines in Onondaga county are among the most important of any in the country east of the Rocky Mountains, whether judged by their productiveness, their location with reference to the main channels of internal commerce, the purity of the article manufactured, or the extent to which it is destined to be carried.
We have no deposits of coal within our limits. It should, therefore, be our object to open channels and avenues of inter-communication with our neighboring State of Pennsylvania, for the easy and rapid transit through our canals and over our railroads, of that necessary article of domestic fuel, the use of which, also, enters so largely into all our industrial occupations.
As far as the great agricultural interest is concerned, I am not aware that it seeks or needs anything from the State. Our agricultural population is happy, contented and intelligent. Should, however, that important interest require any legislation or aid, its wishes should be listened to with the greatest attention.
The total number of emigrants that arrived at the port of New York during the year, from January 1st to December 31st, was 78,589, being only about forty per cent of the arrivals for 1857, and twenty-five per cent of the arrivals of 1854, and less than during any year since 1847. This has caused a large diminution in the fund under the control of the Commissioners, which is created by a per capita commutation of two dollars for each alien passenger; while, under the law giving the emigrant a claim on the fund for five years after arrival, the commission is liable for the support of over 860,000 persons arrived since January 1st, 1854, or for such portion thereof as may, from inability to support themselves, become chargeable in any part of the State.
Owing to the unfortunate occurrences elsewhere referred to, by which all the hospital buildings on Staten Island were set on fire and destroyed, the Commissioners found it necessary, in re-erecting buildings for the sick and destitute emigrants, to use funds that were intended to be applied for their support in the various counties, [SENATE JOURNAL.]
In addition to about $50,000 still due the counties for the support of emigrant poor, the Commissioners owe, on mortgage upon all the real estate held by them, $150,000, contracted for the support of the Marine Hospital, and the Refuge and Hospital on Ward's Island, and for the purchase of lands, and the erection of buildings. The Ward's Island establishment, under the charge of its capable Superintendent, as an eleemosynary institution, is not excelled anywhere, whether in discipline, morals or economy. The annual report of the Commissioners will soon be laid before you, to which I refer for all necessary information, in detail, financially and otherwise.
The Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents in the city of New York, had under its care, at the commencement of the year, boys 577; girls 70; together 647. Since which there has been received 350. Total 997; 470 of whom have been disposed of, either by indenture or placed with respectable families in the country. Four hundred and fifty boys and seventy-seven girls are now employed in the work shops, in schools, and in the labors of the house, according to their several capacities, so regu lated by industrial occupation and mental training as to fit them for resuming in society paths leading to a virtuous and honorable life. Not a single death has occurred among the inmates during the year. Salubrity of location, thorough ventilation of the house, and the sanitary system pursued by the managers and officers of this society, have mainly contributed to produce this happy result.
The Western House of Refuge, at Rochester, had under its care, on the 1st of January last, 345 boys. Since that time 143 boys have been received, and there have been discharged and put to scrvice 113, leaving at present 375. Two deaths have occurred during the year. Under the existing management, this institution is fulfilling all the noble purposes for which it was designed. The State cannot err by an enlightened spirit of appropriations to this class of institutions, it being far wiser to reform and instruct the young than to be compelled to build prisons for them as they advance in crime, later in life.
The State Lunatic Asylum at Utica, commenced the year with four hundred and fifty-one patients, to which were added during the year three hundred and thirty-three. Whole number treated seven hundred and eighty-four. Discharged recovered, one hundred and fourteen; discharged improved, thirty-three; discharged unimproved, ninety-nine; discharged not insane, five; died, thirtyone; remaining November 30, 1858, five hundred and two. Since its opening, January, 1843, the Asylum has treated five thousand three hundred and ninety-eight patients, of whom two thousand two hundred and twenty-six have recovered. On the 14th of July, 1857, the central portion of the pile of buildings was burned down, as was also the Asylum barn, a few days afterwards. The incendiary, who was a patient, was tried and sent to the State Prison at Auburn. The Legislature of 1858, appropriated $68,742 for