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to read the Bible, we cannot but see the propriety of devoting a portion of our time to this kind of instruction; and I am confident, that the ser: vices of your chaplain could not be more profitably applied, than in promoting so desirable an object. Several, who were ignorant of letters when they joined this school, car now read well in the New Testament, and have joined the Sabbath school. The present number of scholars is forty-three. Iihink the interests of this school should be promoted in every possible way.
I cannot forbear again to express my ardent desire, that some provision should be made for the erection of a chapel, which will be more suitable and comfortable than the place we now occupy.
I take great pleasure in saying that the conduct of the prisoners, during the past year, has been uniformly good on the Sabbath, and dur. ing other religious exercises.' And I trust, confidently, that the moral * and religious instructions which have been imparted, will be of lasting benefit to many of them. The mild, prompt and equitable measures of the government of the prison, in entorcing our excellent police regula. tions, have kept in check the refractory and mischievous, while at the same time, it has afforded the most laudable inducements to others, to submit with cheerfulness to the laws and regulations of the prison. I am happy to say that i here has been but little necessity of solitary punishment during the past year, and this necessity is constantly diminishing. Although our disadvantages are great, and inevitably retard the progress of the convicts, in iheir efforts to acquire knowledge; yet I think we have every inducement to continue our efforts for the improvement and reformation of this unfortunate class of men. For this pur. pose, I would recommend the procurement of a greater supply of reliyious books and tracts, which are eagerly read by the prisoners. A small sum, appropriated from the prison lund to this object, would do a great amount of good.
In conclusion, permit me to assure you, that no labor nor pains, on the part of your Chaplain, shall be spaied, so far as his ability, and small compensation will admit, to carry out the primary objects of prison discipline, and effectually aid in the ultimale and thorough reformation of the unfortunate convicts.
RUFUS L. HARVEY, CHAPLAIN. Windsor, (ct. 1, 1839.
VERMONT STATE PRISON.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE STATE PRISON.
To the General Assembly of the State of Vermont ;
The Committee appointed by a resolution of the General Assembly, passed November 8, 1838, to examine the situation of the State Prison, &c. and sctile with the Superintendent of the State Prison, having at. tended to the duties enjoined upon them by the resolution, and paid the account of the Superintendent, as follows:
DR. Reported balance in the hands of the Superintendent last year, $310 58 Cash received by the Superintendent this year: From State Treasury
CR. Payments made by the Superintendent since the auditing of
his accounts last year, and for which he has presented
96,562 36 Balance in the hands of Supperintendent, It appeared by statement of Superintendent that the unsaified claims against the Institution, amount to
$2,920 47 The demands yet due the Institution, and considered by the
Superintendent as available, and applicable to the payment of debts against the prison, amount to
$1,297 52 The debt against what is called the Engine Company, Mr. I. W. Hubbard who is joint partner with the State in thai concern, and has charge of closing up its unsettled affairs, represented to the committee that it would probably be paid, but could not state with certainty, when. The amount of this claim is
3479 34 The claim against L. Damon & Co., originating in a transfer on the books of the prison by the late Superintendent, from Forbush & Co. to said L. Damon & Co. was last year considered good, but from the probable insolvency of the estate of Colton, who was one of the part. ners of said L. Damon & Co. (since deceased,) the debt is rendered
doubtful, Damon declining to acknowledge that he gave his consent to the transfer.
(The two last items are not included in the available debts.) The remaining personal property belonging to the prison consists: Ist. In furniture, &c. loaned Mr. Hubbard,
$1,900 00 2d. A quantity of old rubbish, such as antiquated looms, and various other kinds of machinery, old tools, refuse lumber, &c. costing the state originally large sums of money and in former years, swelling the annual inventory of prison property very considerably. This property, if it may be so called, is now in a great measure worthless, and the coinmittee did not deem it necessary or proper, as it would consume several days time, to go into a specification and valuation of the almost numberless items of which this mass of cast off stoff consists.
In the opinion of the committee, justice to the creditors of the institution requires that an appropriation should be made, sufficient to enable the superintendent to pay off their claims without further delay.
The old stone prison is now nearly useless, no portion of it being occupied for any valuable purpose, except the hospital, and this, in the opinion of the committee, very poorly answers the purposes intended. The walls of the old prison, exterior and interior, as well as the flooring of the several stories, consisting wholly of granite, partly hewn, and being very thick, will afford a great quantity of valuable building stone.
The committee have come to the conclusion to recommend that this building be taken down, and that there be erected out of the materials, a house for the superintendent, a chapel and hospital. The chapel and hospital under one roof, on the site of the old prison, with kitchen for the keeper's house and store rooms in the basement. The superintendent's house to be built east of the prison yard on ground belonging to the State or on a lot to be purchased by the state on the opposite side of the street, as may be thought best.
The committee would also recommend that the gallery or guard walks upon the walls of the prison yard, be rebuilt the coming spring, and that all repairs be made which are necessary for the preservation of state property, as well as for convenience and comfort.
The expenses of the contemplated improvements, the committee have estimated at three thousand dollars, and would recommend an appropriation to meet the same.
DEAF, DUMB AND BLIND.
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS.
To His Excellency the Governor of Vermont :
The Commissioners appointed by the State, to superinterfd the education of the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind, respectfully report;
That the duties imposed upon the Board have received that attention which is required by law, and by the character of the trust.
For the current year, there has been drawn from the Treasury as follows: For the benefit of the Deal and Dumb,
$2344 23 For the benefit of the Blind,
Making the whole amount for both purposes,
$3416 37 The number of pupils in the Asylum at Hartford, Conn. for the Deaf and Dumb, at present, is nineteen, whose terms of residence will expire at different periods. It will be recollected, by persons familiar with these affairs, that the expense of education at the Asylun for a pupil is one hundred dollars, each year, merely for board and tuition. In a majority of the cases, at this time, a considerable additional amount is annually expended, by the State, for clothing, and oiher charges, on account of the extreme indigence of some of our beneficiaries. The expense at the Institution for the Blind, in Boston, for board and tuition is one hundred and sixty dollars, each year, for a pupil. Something, in addition, is also there expended for necessary clothing and incidentals. 'The Commissioners have, frequently, found it a painful task to make proper discriinination, as to allowance for the support of pupils, reckon. ing from the common expenditure for bcard and tuition to that of full support. It has been rendered obviously more advantageous both for parents and children to draw something, as contribution, from those nearly connected by ties of blood and sympathy, where that something can possibly be advanced, than for the State to incur the whole expense. It creates and keeps alive, an interest which is salutary to all concerned.
The Asylumn for the Deaf' and Dumb, and the Institution for the Blind have been visited, during the current year, by one of the Commissioners. The examination has resulted in deepening the conviction, not only that these schools are of a high and improving character, but, also, that the State of Vermont has engaged in a work of immense impor. tance, in her care and education of those whom Providence has visited with such great privations.
In point of political economy, the youth, wbether Deaf and Dumb, or
Blind, who acquires a full education, returns to his native State prepared for the duties of a citizen; and able to provide for himself and others. Instead of passing thro' a long life, a burden to friends, and eventually dependaot on the public, he becomes the rightful guardian of his own resources, and happiness. In both these Institutions, the pupils are trained to some employment which will enable them to obtain a respectable livelihood. The school-room and the work-shop alıernately engage the time of the pupils, so that a course of study and healthful labor go hand in hand. In this mavner the youth is not only instructed in book-learn. ing, but in some useful and profitable trade. His mind is moulded and fashioned and cultivated, and rendered susceptible of great and increasing enjoyments. The mute astonishment, the vacant wonder, with which he gazes on all surrounding objects is exchanged for intellectual contemplation and philosophic thought. And the poor blind boy, whose eye was never delighted with the touching scenes of Nature, or the gladened face of her who bore him, is made, by the plastic hand of Education, comparatively cheerful, useful and happy, tho' his little mind is imprisoned in its dark cell, for life. And last, but not leas', at these Institutions, the duries, the obligations, and animating hopes of an iminortal being are taught and understood. Great and unceasing care is taken of the moral character at these schools of benevolence, and while the mind is strengthened and enlightenend, the heart is impressed with lessons of duty. To the political economist, to the philosopher, and 10 the Christian philanı hropist, the physical, intellectual, and moral education of the Deaf and Dumb, and Blind addresses itself with irresistible argument and power. In every view of it, the advantages are beyond human estimate. Sympathy and duly, utility and enjvyment are most barmoniously blended in all that relates to the education of these classes of our fellow beings. And, if the whole appropriation of a year, in this Stale, were necessary to the successful training and education or one unfortunate Deaf and Dumb, or Blind youth, it would be rationally expended. While thousands are frequently lavished, by an indulgent father, on a reprobate son to raise hin 10 common respectability, a few hundreds are here most successfully emploved in advancing the intelli. gence, the virtue and ceaseless happiness of as brilliant minds and tender hearts, as were ever bestowed on man. Nor is it to be overlooked that, among the mysteries of Providence, to the distresses of poverty, the deprivations of speech, and sight are strangely superudded. And, besides not unfrequently in the same family will be found one, two, three and four, mute from birth. Such facis admonish, those, who enjoy health and affluence and the delights of sight and speech, to assist the distressed, with a bountiful hand and cheerful heart. Public charity does, indeed, in such cases, tall like the gentle dew of heaven-'it blesseth him that gives, and him that takes."
It is not presumed, by the Commissioners, that any additional appro. priations will be, at present, needed. But, while the Siate of Vermont ihus takes hind care of her unfortunate and destitute children, it cannot be an idle task to remind her of those high obligations which should not be suffered to lose strength by lapse of time. · Respectfully submitted. CHARLES HOPKINS,
Commissioners of JOHN DEWEY,
the Deaf & Dumb, ALBERT G. WHITTEMORE,I & Blind, cf Vt. October 10th, A. D. 1899.