BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 3 9999 06660 790 2 ?. fc * 5 \ . e. * u/u* d/u^>-^ & MS^ CityDbcument — JYo. 1 ADDRESS Hon. H. A. S. DEARBORN, Mayor, CITY COUNCIL OF ROXBUIIY : DELIVERED BEFORE THE TWO BRANCHES IN CONVENTION, APRIL 5, 1847. PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE CITY COUNCIL. ROXBURY: JOSEPH G. TORREY, CITY PRINTER 1847. mo CITY OF ROXBURY In Common Council, April 5, 1847. Ordered, That a Joint Committee, consisting of one member from each Board, be appointed to cause the Address of the Mayor to be printed ; and to take charge of any matter relating to printing until otherwise ordered. Passed, and sent up for concurrence. JOSHUA SEAVER, Clerk. In Board of Aldermen, April 5, 1847. Concurred. JOSEPH W. TUCKER, City Clerk. Committee appointed under the above order — Mr. BREWER of Ward 4, on the part of the Council ; and Alderman KINGSBURY on the part of the Board of Aldermen. ADDRESS. Fellow Citizens of the Board of Aldermen and Common Council: I am fully aware of the responsibilities of the of- fice to which I have been elected ; and however anxious may be my disposition, or zealous my ef- forts, to discharge its duties in an acceptable man- ner, I have neither that definite information, in re- lation to the diversified affairs of the city, or that practical experience in their administration, which are so indispensably requisite for the satisfactory ac- complishment of that desirable object, and must, therefore, rely upon your indulgent guidance and generous support, in the novel and difficult position in which I am placed. While the whole power of deciding upon the measures which it may be considered expedient to adopt, and of providing and appropriating the funds for carrying them into effect, has been vested in the Council, " the Chief Executive Officer " is restrict- ed to " the enforcement of the laws and regulations of the city, and the communication of such informa- tion, and the recommendation of such measures, as in his opinion, the interests of the city may require." It, therefore, will not be inappropriate to allude to 4 MAYOR'S ADDRESS. [April, some of the most important subjects, which must claim our unceasing attention. There is not any expenditure made, which is more directly and universally beneficial to the whole people, than that for the construction and repair of the highways ; for it is not merely the inhabitants of the city whose convenience is subserved, by well formed lines of communication with all parts of their municipal territory, but those of an extensive region of country, whose routes of intercourse with the cap- ital, and other portions of the State, are connected with them ; and although, from the large area of Roxbury, and the rapid increase of the population, the number and length of the roads and streets have been, and must long continue to be, extended, and thus require a proportional augmentation of the ap- propriations; still, as these indispensable avenues are equally the cause, as well as the effect, of our pros- perous condition, it is as much for the interest of the proprietors of land, as it is beneficial to every in- habitant, that they should receive that grave consid- eration, which the people have a right to claim of the government, not only for the immediate advantage of the present, but the prospective demand of all fu- ture generations. The condition of the public roads of all countries, is a more conclusive illustration of their advancement in the arts of civilization, afflu- ence and grandeur, than the most majestic monu- ments which have been reared by the ostentatious ambition of their sovereigns. Sidewalks having become as necessary for the 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 5 convenience of the inhabitants, in several sections of the city, as are the main portions of the streets for the accommodation of all kinds of vehicles, it is de- sirable that some plan should be devised for their gradual construction, — if it possibly can be done, without involving such a large expense as to render it inexpedient, until sufficient means can be better forded. As the security of the lives and property of the citizens against the appalling ravages of conflagra- tion, is almost entirely dependent upon a well es- tablished fire department, it is of the utmost conse- quence, that such measures should be adopted, as will enable the engineers and members of the engine companies to discharge their laborious duties, in such a manner, as shall be creditable to their fidelity and enterprise, and most beneficial to the community. To accomplish those objects, not only sufficient means must be furnished, but such a system of organization matured, as will secure the services of men for offi- cers and members who are the best qualified for sta- tions involving such high responsibilities. For the maintenance of order, an efficient police has been deemed of the utmost importance, and the offices of marshals, constables and watchmen have been established for that purpose. The incumbents now constitute the civil guard of the city, and on their ability, vigilance and integrity, are the people dependent for their safety and quietude, during the day and night, and for the prompt and certain execu- 6 MAYOR'S ADDRESS. [April, tion of the public laws and municipal ordinances ; but to enable those officers to act with confidence and energy, their authority must be respected, and such assistance promptly afforded, as may be at any time required, on those extraordinary emergencies, which have been fully provided for, by the statutes of the Commonwealth. It is, therefore, to be seriously considered, by ev- ery citizen, that one of the chief objects of all forms of government, is the preservation of peace and se- curity of society, by the protection of the person, rights, and property of each individual, against inter- nal outrage and foreign aggression. For these pur- poses laws are established to define and prevent the commission of crimes, and power conferred upon ex- ecutive and judicial officers, for the apprehension and punishment of offenders. But to render any system of jurisprudence effectual, there must be an unhesitating deference for its rightful authority, and a patriotic disposition to aid in a rigid enforcement of its decrees. In the United States, there are reasons and motives for a more respectful and un- doubting submission to the requirements of the civil and military codes, than in any other nation which has ever existed ; for they are formed by the repre- sentatives of freemen, in conformity to constitutions which they have deliberately instituted, as citizens of the State and National governments ; and it should ever be recollected that they are based on that fun- damental principle of all republics, which requires a 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 7 cheerful acquiescence in the decisions of the major- ity. So long, therefore, as these principles are acknowl- edged, and the laws universally regarded with pro- found deference, tranquillity will be maintained, and the morals of the people preserved. But whenever individual insubordination, or combinations of the vicious and reckless can violate them with impunity, and assert an unrestrained liberty of action, as a right, freedom degenerates into licentiousness, and the worst form of despotism, is inevitably and speedily developed, in the unjust, vindictive, and barbarous decretals of an ungoverned and ungovernable multi- tude. If any measure of the government is considered, by any portion of the people, as either unnecessary, impolitic or impressive, the means of correction and for obtaining redress for alleged wrongs, are period- ically presented in the Halls of Legislation ; and it is there alone, that efforts can be properly made for their modification or repeal ; while all attempts to impede their enforcement is as dishonorable as it is culpable ; for they excite that dangerous insurrec- tionary spirit, which madly denounces and furiously opposes every legal effort for the restoration of tran- quillity, and ultimately triumphs, in the utter pros- tration of all the venerated institutions of govern- ment, piety and learning. As a military force may be required, on occasions of excitement and violence, in aid of the civil author- 8 MAYOR'S ADDRESS. [April, ity, " to execute the laws and suppress insurrection," it is proper that such attention should be extended to the two volunteer companies, which have been organized in this city for many years, and have ever sustained a high character for their discipline and martial appearance, as will best tend to render their services available, should they unfortunately become necessary. By the Constitution and laws of the United States, and of this Commonwealth, they bear the sword of justice; and if, from the culpable neglect of the general government, this important and chief reliable arm of our protection, in rebellion and war, has gradually been reduced in vigor and consequence, it becomes much more necessary, that the municipal authority should do what may be deemed most expedient and possible, for perpetu- ating its undiminished efficiency, as a very essential auxiliary portion of the police department. Official duty, as well as the dictates of religion and humanity, demand that the necessities of the poor should be regarded with that real compassion, which is emphatically evinced by the tender of relief, and that those which are received into the Alms-house should not only be provided with suitable clothing, beds, and food, but that there should be apartments for the sick and lame, sufficiently spacious, and so far removed from those of the other inmates, as to render the condition of both more comfortable, and the recovery of the former more certain and speedy, besides precluding the danger of disease being ex- tended among the healthy. 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 9 Having recently visited that establishment, it was apparent, from the great number of persons which it now contains, and has during the winter, and the unusual proportion of patients, that a convenient hospital had become necessary, and must soon be erected, as has been recommended by the Overseers of the Poor and the City Physician ; especially, if the operation of the causes which have occasioned such an unprecedented augmentation of paupers, during the past year, should unfortunately be continued in undiminished activity. Some additional expenditures may also be found necessary, for finishing portions of the edifice, which have not, hitherto, been required for the use of the establishment, and for such other purposes as will enable the Superintendent to do all that is practica- ble for the comfortable accommodation of the desti- tute, who find a home in that charitable institution ; and for the management of its industrial, school, po- lice, and other departments, in the most convenient, useful, and creditable manner. As the health of the city does not more depend upon its cleanliness than a free circulation of pure air, it has been the enlightened and sanitory policy of all governments to reserve areas of land, in the midst of their populous capitals, commercial emporiums, and interior cities, as spacious reservoirs of that vital el- ement, for the perpetual replenishment of the nu- merous streets which diverge from them, as well as appropriate places of exercise and innocent recrea- tion, for all classes of people. ^ 10 MAYOR'S ADDRESS. [April, If the prospective destinies of Roxbury may be conjectured, from the rapid increase of population during the past fifteen years, the number must be augmented to at least one hundred thousand, before the close of the present century. Does it not then merit inquiry, whether sufficient land should not be obtained in each of the parochial divisions of the city, for the purpose of being gradually formed into public squares, by the erection of enclosures, the construction of avenues, and the planting of trees ? It may be alleged, that even the expense of the pur- chase of the land will be too onerous upon the exist- ing generation ; but could not such an arrangement be made, as that most of it can be transferred to those of after ages for liquidation, since they cannot but be grateful for the precious advantages which will thus be secured to them by the prescience and benificent exertions of their ancestors ; while, on the other hand, would they not have just cause of complaint, should the most favorable opportunity of extending to them, such an important benefit, be utterly neglected. Among all the various trusts which have been con- fided to the municipal government, that of providing for the establishment, support, and supervision of the Public Schools is decidedly of the most immediate and future consequence. So liberal, thus far, has been the appropriation for these purposes, and so ably have the School Committee performed their du- ties in its expenditure, and in the organization and management of all the schools, that they can be favor- 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 11 ably compared, with those of the highest reputation, in any other part of our country ; while the mem- bers of that committee are deservedly entitled to the grateful acknowledgements of the government and the people, for their gratuitous, yet very respon- sible and laborious services. It is not merely the literary and scientific instruc- tions which is obtained in these juvenile seminaries, that render them so necessary and valuable ; but the moral principles which are there inculcated, the rec- titude of conduct which is superinduced, and the el- evation of character which is attained, that places them at the head of all the other institutions, which have been devised by man, for the early development and lasting establishment of those exalted qualities of the mind and heart, on which individual happiness and prosperity, the stability of governments and the glory of nations depend. There is no problem in ethics or political science, which has been so difficult to solve, as that of the manner by which crime may be prevented. Legis- lation and jurisprudence have in vain attempted to restrain the vicious, by the terrors of corporeal chas- tisement, incarceration, deportation and death. From the establishment of the laws of Judea, to those of modern times, the experiments to eradicate crime have uniformly been made upon the assump- tion, that it was to be accomplished by penal ex- actions, whose triple object was prevention, retribu- tion and reformation ; but all dependent in their re- 12 MAYOR'S ADDRESS. [April, suits, upon the fear or the infliction of punishment. All those systems, however specious in theory, or diversified in form, have utterly failed in practice, and ever will, for they are founded upon false con- ceptions of the intimidating and reformatory influ- ence of punishment upon the human character. The history of past ages, and the annual statistics of criminal jurisprudence in Europe and this coun- try, but too conclusively confirm the deplorable fact, that when adults, and even minors, have pursued an uninterrupted course of vice, there is no hope of cor- rection ; and all that can be done for the safety of society, is to devise the most humane mode of pre- venting them from doing injury to their fellow-men ; for atonement cannot be exacted on earth, since the infliction of expiatory punishment belongs to God alone. The only system by which the moral and religious character of a people can be secured, is that which is based on juvenile instruction. Paley said, that " to send an uneducated child into the world, is little bet- ter than to turn a wild beast into the streets ; " and one of our most eminent philosophers and philan- thropists has declared, that " mothers and school- masters planted the seeds of nearly all the good which exists in the world, and therefore, its reforma- tion must be begun under the parental roof and in the school-house." Whenever and wherever proper at- tention is paid to the mind, heart, conduct and man- ners of children, by fathers, mothers, and school in- 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 13 structers, their future lives become admirable illus- trations of the glorious influence of such early incul- cations of virtue and piety. So mighty is the influ- ence of such tuition, that exemplary men have rarely been vile children, while uneducated, corrupt, and base children, seldom become meritorious men. To reform the character of nations, the process must be commenced at the fountain head ; for if that is preserved undefiled the whole current of life will glide on in sparkling purity and majestic grandeur. We must then rely upon correct parental guidance, and the salutary influence of well managed public schools, for the extinguishment of immortality and crime, and the extension of virtue and religion, throughout all ranks and conditions of the people ; for they, with the teachers of the Christian religion, have done more to civilize, refine, enlighten, and elevate the character of man and of nations, than the combined efforts of all the sovereigns, legislators, statesmen, and judicial tribunals, which have ever existed. It is in this manner that the ranks of crime are to be diminished; for the young, instead of going forth from the parental fireside as contaminated recruits, for filling the perpetually increasing vacancies in the infamous legions of licentiousness and depravity, they will bear aloft the unstained banner of intelligence, righteousness and honor, in their triumphal march, to the highest earthly position to which man can as- pire, — that of honest, faithful, patriotic, aud vene- rated citizens. 14 MAYOR'S ADDRESS. [April. The funds of the city being almost exclusively de- rived from the taxes which are annually imposed up- on the people, the expenditures should be confined to such objects only, as are considered of primary consequence ; which requires such a wise and pru- dential circumspection in the management of the legislative and executive departments of the govern- ment, as shall unite a due regard to the ability of the people to furnish adequate means, with an entire confidence in the real importance of the purposes to which they are to be applied. As the promotion of the best interests of our fel- low-citizens entirely depends upon a harmonious discharge of our several trusts, I sincerely assure you that I shall cheerfully co-operate in the prosecution of all such measures, as you may determine upon, as being the most effectual for the accomplishment of that desirable object ; and with profound gratitude to the Almighty for the numerous blessings which he has so liberally conferred upon our whole county, it is my ardent prayer that they may be continued through all succeeding ages, and that we may be wor- thy of his merciful direction, in the execution of the duties which have devolved upon us. H. A. S. DEARBORN. Roxbury, April 5, 1847.