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To His Excellency, Silas H. Jenison, Governor of the Stale of Vermont:
By an act passed November 17th, 1825. for the benefit of Common Schools, creating a school fund, and making the treasurer commissioner thereof, the Auditor in the Treasury Department is directed to audit the doings of the Treasurer in this behalf and make annual report of all matters appertaining thereto, and especially the amount of increase and securities of said school fund. In compliance with the provisions of said act, the Auditor has examined the doings of the Treasurer in that behalf, and reports the following to be a correct staterneat thereof on this 30th day of September, 1839 :
The school tund is wholly vested in loans to individuals and cash loaned to the State, the former in the form of'notes to the commissioner, in part secured by mortgages on real estate, and in part by co-signers, and so far as the Auditor is informed or can judge, the securities are satisfactory and the notes considered good. The amount thus loaned to individuals, was, in September, 1838,
844,884 45 of this sum, there has been paid within the time since my report of the 20th day of September 1838, the sum of 1,750 05 of the principal, leaving the amount now on loan to individu. als, exclusive of interest,
43,134 40 The amount on loan to the State, was on the 20th of September 1838, exclusive of interest due from the State, 64,020 43 To this is to be added, the sum of. .
935 98 cash received of A. Warduer, late Treasurer, between the 20th of September and the 12th of October, 1838, applicable to this fund, as appears by my additional report made on the last mentioned day; and the sum of
11,557 40 received by the Treasurer, applicable to said fund, since the said 12th day of October last, as appears by my report in the Treasury Department of this date, making logetier 14,493 38 Thus making altogether, the sum of
76,513 81 now on loan to the State, exclusive of interest. Amount of the school lund, exclusive of interest due, On individuals notes,
43,134 40 Loans to the State from 1834 to 1839, inclusive, 76,513 81
$119,648 21 Respectfully submitted.
September 30, 1899.
OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE STATE PRISON.
To His Excellency, Silas H. JENISON, Governor of the State of Ver.
mont : The Superintendent of the Vermont State Prison, in accordance with The duty devolving on him by the laws of the State, presents the sollowing report, showing the situation of that institution for the year ending Sept. 30, 1839. 1. OF THE FINANCIAL CONCERNS OF THE PRISON.
Vermont State Prison,
received of Slale Treasurer, 5,000 00
By amount paid on outstanding notes, $4,918 94
accounts, 1,500 85 contingent and repairs ac's 90 14 expeuse account,
52 43 oo hand, Oct. 1, 1889, 14 15
2. DEBTS OF THE PRISON. There is stili renaining due on ou'standing
Noles, inoluding interest, $2,726 50
S. AVAILABLE RESOURCES. Notes in the hands of Superintenderit, decmed good and collectable, ..
$123 56 Accounis, estimated at
834 81 Due from CH, Cotton's estate, (a dividend estimated at )
325 00 Debt of Engine Co. estimated as available, 479 34
Cash on hand, October 1, 1839,
Deficit, $1,1-43 61 A very considerable part of the above cannot be realized for some time to come.
4. RESOURCES NOT AVAILABLE. These consist of the property which has, heretofore, for a long time, been on hand, and is of but little actual value; and of nominal balances of unsettled accounts and bad debts, which have all been reported to the Legislature so often that it can no longer be necessary. There may also be something more obtained on account of the Engine Co. but it cannot be ascertained at present. There is an account against Damon & Cotton the payment of which (except the above mentioned,) is resisted by L. Damon. This account has been heretofore relied on as available for the payment of debts; but is now likely to be suspended for some time to come, if not entirely lost. The facts are briefly as follows:
The late Superintendent by direction of Charles H. Cotton, (and as he understood, with the consent of L. Damon, who was a partner in business with said C. H. Colton,) transferred upon the books of the prison, to the account of said Damon & Cotton, the amount of a claim in favor of the prison, then due from J. Forbush & Co. Boston, charging to said Damon & Cotton the sum of $1,395 28, being the balance due from said J. Forbush & Co.; and raid J. Forbush & Co.'s account was balanced by credit to them of the above sum, as paid by said Damon & Cotton. A few months subsequent lo this, the said C. H. Cotton des ceased, without having paid this debt. On in testigation it turned out that his estate was insufficient to pay his debts ; and his partner, deny. ing his liability on the ground that the transfer war unauihorized by him, refuses to pay or settle any part of said claim. I will be put in suit, unless the Legislature should otherwise direct.
The settlement of ontstanding claiins against the prison has necessarily been delayed for want of sufficient funds. It will be seen from the foregoing statements, that the creditors of this institution must rely on the General Assembly to furnish the means of prompliy liquidating their just claims. The amount stated as available may be collected and applied; but beyond that, there is no probability of making the resources of the prison available for the payment of debts, in season to meet the wishes and expectations of the few remainlog creditors.
Considering the long series of years in which these demands have been accumulating, and the fact that the accounts never have been fully brought :0 a close, it is not at all surprising that the debt of the prison was larger than was anticipated. Some have been, inevitably, omitted, and others imperfectly stated. And in many cases, reported balances would be materially varied by actual settlements. Il is gral. ifying, however, to state, that with the exception of the case of the Damon & Cotton debt above described, no difficulty or misunderstanding lias existed in the adjustment of ihe prison accounts, and there does not appear to be the least reason to infer an intentional a song, on the part of the late Superintendent in regard to that. It would no doubt have been promptly paid but for the sudden death of Mr. Cuttun.
5. OF THE CONTRACT. This subject, perhaps the must important one, perlaining to the management of the prison, will again be brought before the General Assembly, at its present session; the time being about to expire, when the present contract must cease by its own limitation. The present con: tract went into operation on the 22d day of March, 1837. The old business of the prison (weaving,] had for some time been laid aside, as incapable of sustaining itself, and some experiment in manufacturing various articles from iron, had not succeeded so well as had been anii: cipated. A variety of machinery had, from time to time, been purchased or erected; and alterations of the workshops, to conform to the new arrangements of business, were necessarily made. It becane indispensably necessary, in order to give proper direction and effict to the business of the prison, hat experienced mechanics should be incroduced as overseers of the work. My predecessor, fearing what night be the result of so great a change in the business of the prison, thought it most advisable tha! the labor of the prisoners should be disposed of to such persons as might be disposed to hire thein at a per diem allowance. 'I'his method of coutracting the labor of the convicts had been practised for a considerable time previous to the coinmencement of the present contract. The sum received for their labor was" necessarily small, owing to the unsettled state of the business and the extremely doubtful success of some branches of it, as well as to the fact, that the men to le employed were nearly all raw hands. But notwithstanding all these apparent disadvantages, the interior arrangements of the prison were rapidly iinproving, and actually had assumed an aspect, approaching much nearer to a systematic and well regulated business estabiishment, than it had done for several years previous tn that time. This state of things, was, therefore, highly advantageous to the present contractor and his associates in business. They commenced now on a large scale, a profit able branch of manulacturing, which had been fully tested, and of which the convicts employed, had obtained a good degree of knowledge under the old system. With these advantages, together with the important one of having overseeers, who are personally interested in the labor performed, the contractor has succeeded in making ihe conļract adyantageous to himself aod his partners; while, at the same time, the State has probably suffered no loss in consequence of it,
Qi the propriety of continuing the present system, or indeed any sys1em, by which the labor of the inmaies of our prisons is placed under the direction and control of interested contracters, many highly intelligent and experienced gentlemen entertain serious doubts. Certain it is that too much care and caution cannot be exercised by those whose duty it is to provide proper and suitable means to restrain the vicious, nor by those who may from time to time, be called upon to carry these means into execution. While it is exceedingly desirable that our prison should be conducted in such a manner as not to be a burden upon the public treasury, it is no less so, hat it should not fail to secure as far as possible, tha' more precious and lasting benefit—the ultimate reformation of the unfortunate convict.
At be expiration of this contract, which will take place on the 21st of March next, unless otherwise disposed of, the State must, of course, resude the business of the prison, and prosecute it on their own account. If the General Assembly should deem that course most advisable, an appropriation will be necessary, in order to enable the superintendent 10 procure the means with which to commence operations.
On the other hand, should an extension of the present contract be applied for, or if the General Assembly should deem it most advisable to continue the contract system, in any form, some modifications are deemed necessary, in order more effectually to secure the permanent interests of the institution and the just rights of the State.
6. GOVERNMENT OF THE PRISON. The government of the prison consists of the superintendent, keeper, (there was formerly a deputy keeper and clerk, but ihese officers have been dispensed with for the last tivo years,) four assistants or shop keepers, chaplain, and four guards.
There is also a physician who devote: a portion of his time to the medical department of the prison, but this does not materially effect his regular practice with the citizens.
À code of by-laws has been established, by which the police of the prison is regulated, and the duties of the respective officers and attendants carefully prescribed.
7. OF THE CONVICTS.
The convicts on entering the prison, and before they are set to work, are required to bathe and cleanse their bodies, have their beards and hair trimmed, and are divested of the filthy clothing usually worn in the county jails, and clad in a clean and decent prison dress, composed of wuollen flannel or sattinetts; they are furnished with a change of linen, footings, and such other articles as may be necessary. A separ. ate cell is assigned to each, which is furnished with a bed stead, straw bed, pillow and blankets, a wash dish and towel, and such other articles as are necessary for the convenience of taking their meals, (which they all do in their cells,) also a bible or testament, tracts, and a temperance periodical. We have also a few religious books, which are read in ro. tation, and are anxiously sought after.
Their diet is plain and wholesome, and is furnished in quantities sufficient to supply the reasonable wants of laboring men. li consists of a meat breakfast, usually hashed with potatoes, good rye or indian bread and domestic coffee. Dinner-boiled meat or fish, with potatoes; and occasionally other vegetables. Beans stewed with fork once a week at least, and occasionally soups. Bread as before. Supper-bread and coffee, or indian pudding and molassos. Thirty minutes are allowed to each meal.
Their application to labor is close and constant, but not intense. The number of hours in which they labor varies according to the season of the year. No conversation is allowed, nor are they permitted to leave their work, except with the consent of The overseer.
When discharged from the prison, they are furnished with a decent suit of clothes, a small sum of money, generally sufficient to enable them to reach their former residence, or that of their friends; and auch other encouragement as their good conduet, faithfulness or length of service, may have fairly entitled them to.