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City Document. — No. 15.
HON. JOHN S. SLEEPER,
MAYOR OF ROXBUEY,
DELIVEEED BEFORE THE
BOARD OF ALDERMEN,
MONDAY EVENING, DEC. 28, 1857.
PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN.
L. B. & O. E. WESTON, PRINTERS, GUILD ROW.
18 5 7.
CITY OF ROXBURY.
In Board of Aldermen, Dec. 28, 1857.
Ordered, That one thousand copies of the Address of His Honor
the Mayor, be printed for the use of the City Council.
JOSEPH W. TUCKEE, City Clerk.
Cits of llo^htii.
In Board of Aldermen, December 28, 1857.
Alderman Willis offered the following Resolution, which
was passed unanimously :
Resolved, That the thanks of this Board be presented to His Honor the
Mayor, for the judicious and dignified manner in which he has presided
over our deliberations during the present year, and for the fidelity and
ability with which he has fulfilled the other arduous duties of Chief Mag-
istrate of this City.
His Honor the Mayor responded to the Resolve as fol-
I sincerely thank you for the kind manner, in which you
are pleased to allude to my official proceedings and rela-
tions with this Board during the present year.
The sentiments expressed in the vote just passed are
truly grateful to my feelings. You, gentlemen, have had
opportunity to know my opinions, to appreciate my mo-
tives and to judge of my conduct, while acting in behalf of
the interest and honor of our good City.
The office which I have held for two successive years, is
one of importance, and of great responsibility. Indeed,
the successful and satisfactory performance of all the du-
ties connected with it, demands qualifications seldom found
united in one individual. And I most heartily wish that
an abler and a better man — and we can boast of many such
— ^had been placed at the head of the Government.
During the year wliicli is now rapidly drawing to a close,
while some suggestions for expensive changes or improve-
ments have met with no favor from the government, vari-
ous measures of much public importance have been sugges-
ted, planned, and in whole or in part executed, or adopted.
Some of these measures have been devised by the City
authorities : some by the County, and others by the State
legislature ; but constituting in the gross an amount of ex-
penditure, beyond what was contemplated at the beginning
of the year, and causing a heavy and unexpected draft on
the City Treasury.
It may not be unprofitable nor uninteresting to review
briefly the acts of the present administration, which will at
least prove that it has not been altogether indifferent to
the demands for improvements, which have been pressed
from every quarter.
Measures have been adopted for the prospective widen-
ing of Tremont street, making it of an uniform width of
eighty feet; and the work, by taking parcels of land and
setting back buildings, has already been commenced.
That portion of Brush Hill Turnpike which is in the City
of Roxbury, has been laid out by the County Commission-
ers as a public highway, its bounds established, and given
to the city with all its imperfections. It has been found
necessary to grade and repair it at a considerable expense.
Two new School-houses have been constructed, and large
additions made to a third to meet the pressing wants of
an increasing population.
The improvements of Eustis Street Burial Grround have
been completed, the grounds graded, gravel walks con-
structed, and forest trees planted.
Three new reservoirs have been constructed in different
parts of the city for the supply of water in cases of fire.
Also, five hydrants have been inserted in the main pipe of
the Jamaica Pond Aqueduct, which, by the enterprise of
individuals, has been carried through our streets. Two
hydrants, by permission of the Boston Water Commission-
ers, have also been inserted in the Cochituate pipe on
Plymouth Street, which for years has been in very bad
condition, has been raised, graded and put in excellent re-
pair. The same may be said of Yeoman Street, an im-
portant portion of Warren Street, Highland Street, and of
various other streets in the city.
Orders have been adopted for the grading and widening
of the northern portion of Parker Street: the land has
been taken and the work began. An order has also been
adopted, which will, it is trusted, lead to a very important
and desirable improvement on the southern extremity of
the same street.
Parcels of land have been taken on Eustis, Washington
and Walnut Streets, with a view to promote the public
convenience by widening those streets.
Townsend Street has been raised and graded, and a sub-
stantial bank wall constructed along the north side for a
distance of several hundred feet.
The important subject of sewerage has forced itself on
the attention of the government, and means have been
proposed, and considered, with a view to adopt the most
practicable and economical mode of providing suitable
drainage for different portions of the city.
The suit in relation to the removal of the Chemical
Works, an insufferable nuisance, which has existed for
many years in the heart of our city, has been brought to
trial, with a result, although not decidedly successful, yet
of a character to give assurance of ultimate success.
The suit in relation to the claim of the Commonwealth,
to a very considerable portion of our soil and territory in
the Back Bay, has also been prosecuted and acted on, and
the result thus far gives reasonable prospect of belief that
our right of possession will be confirmed by the decision
of our highest tribunal.
Several suits against the city, some of which have been
pending for years, have been brought to a close, by com-
promise, or in due course of law, and no claims for dama-
ges from accidents arising from neglect of repairs of high-
ways or similar causes, are now known to exist.
Resolves have been adopted, and other measures taken,
which must lead to the extension of Water Street to "Wash-
ington Street, and to the grading and construction of that
important avenue, without any unnecessary delay.
By order of the County Commissioners, the Dedham
Turnpike has been laid out as a public highway, and the
city is bound to put the same in good condition, according
to a new and proper grade. This highway has also been
continued through the city to the boundary line at Shaw-
mut Avenue in Boston, and the work of constructing cul-
verts, and grading portions of this Avenue, and filling in
over the marshes with a view to the immediate completion
of the same, has already been commenced, and is vigorous-
The street, known as Elm or Pilgrim Street, leading
from the Punch Bowl Avenue, through Oakland Place to
the Longwood Depot in Brookline, has, by order of the
County Commissioners, been widened to the extent of fifty
feet, — graded and completed at the expense of the city, —
and a substantial wooden bridge, thirty-six feet in width,
and two hundred and twenty feet in length, exclusive of
abutments, and supported on piles, has been constructed
across Longwood Creek, at the joint expense of Brookline
and Roxbury, which must prove of great advantage to the
The Metropolitan and West Roxbury Railroad Com-
panies, having laid their tracks from the West Roxbury
line to the boundary line on Tremont Street in Boston, an
enterprise of incalculable benefit to Roxbury and West
Roxbury, it has been not only expedient but necessary to
newly grade the streets, and make extensive repairs along
the "whole route, leading through Centre, Lowell and Tre-
mont Streets. It was also necessary to construct new cul-
verts, bank walls, railings, &c., requiring for the whole no
small amount of labor and money.
Stone crossings, edgestones, and sidewalks, for the con-
venience of foot passengers, have also been greatly multi-
plied in accordance with the increasing wants of the com-
These, gentlemen, are among the labors of the year;
and while it may be a subject of regret that so many im-
portant and expensive undertakings were considered ne-
cessary in a single year, yet it must be generally acknowl-
edged that they will be eminently conducive to the public
good, and will contribute largely towards making the good
city of Roxbury, already so highly favored in many re-
spects, a still more desirable and attractive residence, for
good and exemplary citizens.
To you. Gentlemen, and also to the members of the
Council, to the heads of the different departments of the
Government, and the officers generally, I desire to express
my acknowledgments for the support and assistance I
have uniformly received, while engaged in the performance
of my duties, and to which may be attributed the quiet and
prosperity of our city, which in these respects holds a proud
and elevated place among the cities of the Republic.
Your counsels, gentlemen, have lightened my labors, and
your approbation has cheered me while engaged in devi-
sing means for the public good, and in carrying into execu-
tion the expressed wishes of the City Council.
Gentlemen, the year is passing away. In a few short
days its knell will be tolled, and with it expires the pres-
ent municipal administration. We have passed together
many busy but pleasant hours, to which it will be grateful
to recur, perhaps in years to come. Differences of opin-
ion, of course, have existed in relation to various subjects,
such differences as are calculated to produce discussion,
always desirable for ascertaining the true merits of a ques-
tion. And you now leave tins Board with the conscious-
ness that you have responded to the confidence which your
fellow citizens have reposed in you, by laboring honestly,
conscientiously and faithfully, for the interests of the great
body of the people, actuated by no selfish feelings, or per-
sonal or political prejudices. While such is the case, you
may well regard with indifference the misinterpretations
which those who are ignorant of your motives or of facts,
may have placed upon your acts, and the wilful misrepre-
sentations of the envious and malignant, to which every
man chosen to a public office, humble or elevated, in this
" free and enlightened country," is inevitably exposed.
And now, Gentlemen, allow me again to thank you for
the kind and favorable view you have been pleased to take
of my official course, and to express my earnest wish that
unalloyed prosperity and happiness may attend you through