Page images


To His Excellency Silas H. Jenison,

Governor of the State of Vermont :

SIR: The Auditor in the Treasury Department, appointed by the House of Representatives at their session holden in October, 1837, has examined and audited the accounts of Allen Wardner, Esq. late Treasurer of said State, from September 20, 1838, the date of the Auditor's former report, transmitted to your Excellency, to Octocer 12, 1838, wheu be ceased to act as Treasurer, and reports the following to be a correct statement thereof on said last mentioned day :


DR. October, 12, 1838. To cash paid Supreme and County Court ordere,

$3,175 90 cash paid Auditor's orders,

381 75 cash paid Fox certificates,

204 75 cash paid Beardo. cash paid Crow do.

2 00 cash paid Cocoop do.

23 99 cash paid Military orders,

1924 21 cash paid several State's Attornies,

374 04 cash paid Assis. Clerk of the House, half year's salary,

75 00 cash paid Sec. of State, half year's salary,

150 00 cash paid Eng. Clerk, .do. do. do.

87 50 cash paid Judges Sup. Court,

921 71 Deduct fees in civil suits,

332 78 568 93 cash paid H. F. Japes, Treasurer,

12,853 36 $19,874 43

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

By balance in Treasury Sept. 20, 1838,

cash received for Taxes,
cash received for interest on 'Taxes,
cash received on note of S. & R. M. Boach,
cash received of several State's Attornies,
cash received for Pedlar's licences,

8100 00
cash received as interest on School Fund notes, 175 98
cash received dividend on Bank of Orleans, 180 00
cash received do. Bank of St. Albans, 240 00
cash received do. Bank of Bennington, 240 00
cash received for Safety Fund,

[ocr errors]

Respectfully submitted,

$19,874 43 CHARLES DAVIS.

To His Excellency, Silas H. Jenison :

The following statement will show the condition of the Safety Fund.

Amount received from each bank, viz: Bank of Middlebury,

2300 00 of Woodstock, .

2036 46 of Bellows' Falls, .

2035 42 of Orleans, . . . . . 947 50 of Newbury, . . . .

1648 96 of Manchester, . . .

1940 21

. of Essex, . . . .

675 21

. of Brattleboro', .

450 21 Farmers' Bank,

1305 05 Farmers' and Mechanicks' Bank, .

1418 75-14,757 35 Interest received on notes previous to 30th Sept. 1837,. .

429 29 Interest received on notes past year, :

192 40

192 Interest charged the State 30th Sept. 1837,

521 76 Interest charged the State 30th Sept. 1838,

575 67-1719 12

16,476 47 The charges upon this Fund up to 30th Sept. 1837, amount to

..'.'.'.' *76_50—948 50 Amount of Safety Fund exclusive of interest due from individuals,

15,527 97 of which sum there is on loan to individuals,' 3754 84 *** On loan to State, .

11,773 13

$15,527 97

A. WARDNER, Treasurer. September 30, 1838

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

To His Excellency Silas H. Jenison,

Governor of the State of Vermont : In presenting, at this time, the annual report of the situation of the Vermont State Prison, the Superintendent has the satisfaction to announce to your Excellency, that the unfortunate persons confined therein, during the past year, by their good conduct, industry and obedience, have very generally merited the approbation of the officers of the insti. tution, and the favorable consideration of the Chief Magistrate of the State.

An uncommon degree of health bas prevailed among them. Notwithstanding the extreme heat of the season, there has been no case of severe or dangerous sickness, and the hospital apartments have been wholly unoccupied for several months. But one death has occurred during the year past.

In relation to the moral and religious improvement of the convicts, the Superintendent has the gratification to say, that so far as he has been enabled to judge from strict personal attention, as well as from information derived from other sources, he is of opinion that much good has been effected by the labors of the Chaplain, and by the course of instruction and religious exercises adopted at the prison. From enquiry and examination it is found that a large number of those committed to prison are wholly unable to read or write. This circumstance renders it necessary to devote some time to their improvement in reading and spelling, without which, all other instructions seem to be of little use :-hence a portion of time which ought to be consecrated to religious services by the chaplain, has been devoted to this class of convicts: This task, irksome and laborious as it necessarily is, has been performed by the chaplain, and, with a degree of success altogether beyond what could have reasonably been expected. Many now read the Bible intelligibly, who, eight months since, could not read in two syllables. The superintendent however regrets to say that the means afforded for the reformation of the convicts, always the primary object of prison discipline, are, by no means what they should be. The want of a suitable room in which to seat the convicts comfortably, during the hours of religious exercise, is found to be a great inconvenience. The area of the prison, in which the convicts are confined is the only place our present means allow us to occupy. Although this affords room sufficient for all to assemble, yet it is found liable to many serious inconveniences. By the protracted confinement of the convicts in their cells, and the impossibility of opening and cleansing them as on other days, the air is rendered exceedingly impure and unwholsome. The mind natnrally revolts at the idea of connecting the social worship of our Creator, with the place of solitary confinement for crime :-its natural tendency is to harden the heart and render it still more inaccessible to the truths of the Gospel or the admonitions and instructions of its teacher, thus counteracting much of the good, which might otherwise be derived from these necessarily limited advantages. The duties of the chaplain are arduous and unpleasant, and require a portion of each day to be devoted to

them; this arrangement seems to be indispensable, if any permanont benefit is to be derived from his labors.

It would seem that the compensation now allowed this officer is not an equivalent tor the services required: I would therefore respectfully suggest the propriety of some legislative action upon this subject, as well as that of a prison chapel or place of worship. From a report of the chaplain, made to me a few days since, which I herewith transmit to your Excellency, many interesting facts and circumstances, in relation to the former life, character and habits of the convicts in prison are exhibited, whieh it may be desirable to publish for the gratification of the public, and the benefit of those engaged in the very laudable and interesting design of perfecting a system of prison discipline.

As the state has disposed of the labor of the convicts by contract, which, in its terms, obliges the contractor to disburse and pay all the current expenses of the prison, it would be very uninteresting to detail the various branches carried on in its different departments. It may be proper, however, to remark that the business of the prison is in successful uperation, and a ready market found for the articles manufactured therein.

The contractors have promptly complied with the obligations they were under to the state, to furnish the necessary supplies for the prison, &c. and every facility, consistent with duty to the state, has been affordod them by the government of the prison for the successful prosecution of their business operations.

of the debts due the Prison, and now remaining uncollected, a very large proportion are of little value; and the property on hand, though nominally of considerable amount, is found, on examination, to be of very little actual value, and almost wholly unsaleable. But as there was a committee appointed at the last session to examine and report on the situation of the prison property, who have attended to the examination, I deem it unnecessary to go into a particular description of it in this report. Which is respectfully submitted.

MILTON BROWN, Superintendont Vermont State Prison. Montpelier, October 16, 1838.

To Hor. Milton Brown, Superintendent of Vermont State Prison:

SIR, -The period has again arrived, at which the duty devolves upon me of reporting to you the moral condition of the prison over which you have the charge ; and I beg leave to submit the following:

The punishment of the transgressor of our wholesome laws is not only an act of strict justice, but is also disciplinary; the former awards to the offender his deserts, and the latter respects the principal end of punishment, the reformation of the culprit; while, therefore, the strong hand of the proper authority inflicts the punishment of the law, nothing can be more desirable to every philanthropic and philosophic mindthan to learn that the great end of punishment is accomplished in the reformation of the punished.

Influenced, undoubtedly, by these just and beneficent considerations, our rulers have seen fit to adopt the method of confinement to hard labor in the State Prison, as the most humane and yet effectual modo of punishment--to retard the progress of evil in society, and at the Barne time reform the culprit. The actual utility of this mode of pun

ishment, and its superiority over all others ever instituted, is in every point of view apparent to all those States which have adopted it, and similar systems of prison discipline, from its practical results.

The annual reports of other prisons exhibit many interesting facts which go to show the advantages of this inode of punishment, and at the same time suggest new ideas and methods, growing out of actual experiments ia relation to prison discipline, wbich we are allowed to incorporate into our own, to rerder it more perfect in the attainment of the objects for which punishments are instituted. In relation to our own prison, I am fully sensible, from the experience and observation of a number of years, that our police regulations, if carried into effect, would not fail to produce a vast amount of good, in the reformation of the convicts. Our excellent by-laws, also, if faithfully executed, have a salutary effect in checking the evil babits and propensities of the prisoners, and hold them in a favorable condition to be acted upon by the commanding and renovating influences of that gospel, which, when once received, renews the heart, and reforms the life; while, at the same time, those laws are calculated to promote health and cleanliness among the prisoners.

As the reformation of the punished is the acknowledged object in the infliction of punishment, I take the liberty to suggest that, of which I know you are sensible, that every officer and hand employed in and about the prison, should be strictly moral in his deportment, and particularly exemplary in his life, before the prisoners, and thus lead them to understand that all feel deeply interested in their reformation. The principle of solitary and separate confineinent, upon which our prison system is based, I confidently believe is admirably adapted to promote the reformation of the prisoners; for a number of depraved minds associated together mutually add corruption to each other; and as in our prison they are kept in solitude, alone by night, they reflect upon their present situation, take a retrospective view of the past, and form purposes of amendment for the future; so should the strictest vigilance and attention be kept up by day, while the prisoners are at labor, to keep them from associating together in conversation, corrupt. ing each other and contriving mischief.

I think it my duty to give it as my opinion that the change which has recently taken place in the business of the prison, has not bad so good an effect upon the moral condition of the prisoners as would have been desirable, nor as we should probably have witnessed, had they been, as formerly, under the immediate control and direction of the superintendent ; nor is it probable, that these difficulties will be wholly removed, wbile the convicts are under the direction of the contractors, however well disposed towards them the contractors may be.

But notwithstanding all our embarrassments, I am happy to be able to report to you, a decided improvement in the morals of the prisoners. The confidence in, and attachment which they feel towards their guperintendent, (which they all express,) and their kind feelings towards the other officers of the prison, evidently have a favorable effect upon their moral and religious feelings.

Every effort has been used the past year by your chaplain, which his experience and the wants of the prisoners did suggest, for their moral improvement. The labors of the chaplain among the prisoners are arduous, confined and unhealthy, yet he has endeavored to discharge chose duties with fidelity and faithfulness. I have bestowed all the at

« PreviousContinue »