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City Document — No. 1. 






January 9, 1860. 



(i^iti[ nf EDititirt(» 

In Common Council, January 9, 1860. 
Ordered, That one thousand copies of the Address of His Honor the 
Mayor be printed for the use of the City Council, and for distribution 
among the citizens. 

Sent down for concurrence. 


In Board of Aldermen, Jan. 9, 1860. 

JOSEPH W. TUCKER, City Clerk. 


Gentlemen of the City Council : 

The swiftly gliding weeks of the old, have ngain 
brought us to the threshold of the new year, and we are 
assembled in accordance with the provisions of our char- 
ter to organize the Government for 1860. 

I desire to express my grateful acknowledgments to 
my fellow-citizens for their gratifying approval of my 
past services, by a reelection to this responsible and hon- 
orable ofiice. Hoping that the last year's experience of 
its varied duties may render my endeavors more beneficial 
to the interests of the Cityi, I shall cheerfully devote my 
time and whatever ability I possess, to an impartial, con- 
scientious and faithful effort, for the common good. 
Having taken upon ourselves the oaths of ofiice, our con- 
stituents have a right to demand that the important trusts 
committed to us shall be honestly, diligently, and (to the 
measure of our ability,) wisely performed. 

Coming from different sections of the City, of various 
parties, sects and callings, we meet here to exhibit an 
impartiality, disinterestedness and liberality of sentiment 
and action, that shall be wholly above and unbiased by 
either. And when I see before me so many whose tried 
fidelity and devotion to the best interests of the City, I 


have with the greatest satisfaction witnessed, and others 
who I doubt not will be animated with the same zeal, 
the future is full of confidence and hope. 

The general character and scope of policy in municipal 
administration for any one year, must be somewhat lim- 
ited, and in a manner determined by that of the previous 
year. Unfinished undertakings, plans and beginnings, 
are to be carried forward to completion or abandoned. 
Thus our predecessors of 1858 finding Tremont Street, 
in Boston, 100 feet in width, and in Eoxbury but sixty, 
determined to make the street of the full width to the 
junction of Cabot Street, to avoid any appearance of a 
projection, and from thence eighty feet. 

A plan was made by the Engineer, and a prospective 
line run from Boston to Wait's Mill, Washington Street, 
a number of estates upon the street purchased, and 
the buildings moved back. Here was a policy just en- 
tered upon, and one fifth of the expense incurred. The 
bill had been drawn, and must either be endorsed or 
allowed to go to protest. The Government of 1859, I 
believe without a dissenting voice, endorsed the measure. 
The important question then was. Shall it be widened at 
once, or gradually, during ten years, more or less ? Here 
was a strip of front land three-quarters of a mile long 
and twenty feet wide, containing nearly two acres, to be 
added to the street. Fifty-four buildings, of different 
kinds and of different value, — dwelling-houses, brick 
stores, manufactories, shops, i&c, were to be moved back 
or cut off ; two stone bridges were to be built, and a 
large part of the distance to be filled up a depth of from 
two to eight feet. The grade of the street had not been 
fixed and established, and constant claims were made 
upon the City for damage, by reason of frequent changes 

I860.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 5 

in the grade, rendering it necessary to raise or lower tlie 
buildings. This being a main avenne, all public and 
private streets leading into it must conform to its grade, 
and it became vastly important that that grade should be 

It was obvious that the price of land would immedi- 
ately increase, and equally so that to cut off one estate 
and allow an adjoining one to project twenty feet, would 
be no advantage to the estate cut off, but if all were cut 
off, or moved back at the same time, all would be bene- 
fited. An immediate widening of the street would ac- 
commodate the public travel, increase the value of prop- 
erty, induce owners of estates to improve them with a 
better class of buildings, and offer to others tempting 
opportunities for investment. 

In view of all these circumstances, there seemed no 
doubt of the wisdom of completing the undertaking at 
once, and the Committee on Streets, having the matter 
in charge, were of opinion that each case of damage 
should be carefully examined, the value of land ascer- 
tained, the price at Avhich the buildings could be moved, 
and these facts being obtained, that it would then be 
best to see if the owner would consent to take a fair 
price for his damage, rather than exercise the strong 
hand of the law, and cut the buildings off. The City in 
widening a street has no power to move a man's build- 
ings back. This must be done by negociation, if at all, 
and, in many cases, it was a saving to the City to adopt 
this course. At Tremont Place, for instance, a saving- 
was made to the City of at least from $3,000 to $5,000, 
by purchasing an estate in the rear, and then moving 
eight buildings to prevent the cutting off and almost des- 
truction of the five fronting on Tremont Street. This 


mode of conducting the business required the constant 
occupation of some intelligent;, firm, honest man, well 
informed as to the value of property on the street, and 
the practicability and expense of doing the work, and 
whose judgment would not be likely to vary with the 
pressure of interested parties. The right man for the 
service being on the Committee, the rest of its members 
employed him to take charge of the details in connection 
with the Mayor and another member, as a sub-committee, 
and thus the best mode to be adopted, and all the de- 
tails as to value of each lot of land, expense of moving 
buildings, &c., were as faithfully and patiently investi- 
gated as in a private transaction. 

One hundred and twenty-six contracts were entered 
into by the City, seventy-seven thousand seven hundred 
and three square feet of land have been added to the 
stre-et, at an average cost of forty-eight cents per square 
foot, amounting to ^37,000. Fifty-four buildings have 
been moved back, two stone bridges built, damage to 
particular estates paid, street filled up, regraded, and 
buildings raised or lowered to conform to grade, all 
amounting to $28,000 more, making the total expense 
$65,000. This, although a large sum, is believed to be 
much less than the aggregate expense would have been 
had it been done yearly during a number of years. 

It gives me pleasure to bear testimony to the fair and 
honorable dealing of the abutters and parties connected 
with the various transactions, and to state that not a 
case of litigation has arisen during the year. 

I feel that great credit is due the different members of 
the Government, for their steady and persistent efforts in 
carrying out the measure, and particularly to the gentle- 

I860.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 7 

men of the Committee who were connected with its 

I have thus, Gentlemen, with some fear of wearying 
your patience, given the reasons and manner of conduct- 
ing an improvement of greater magnitude, all things 
considered, and carried forward with more economy, des- 
patch and satisfaction to the abutters and the public gen- 
erally, than usually falls to the opportunity of any City 
Government to accomplish. 


The important subject of sewarage has received much 
and constant attention, theoretically, for a number of 
years. Repeated surveys have been made, and valuable 
information accumulated on the subject. It seemed, 
therefore, the last year, that the time had come for put- 
ting some well digested plan into operation in that part 
of the City calling most loudly for relief. 

The pestilential accumulations of filth and stagnant, 
indictable water in the vicinity of Plymouth and Fel- 
lowes Streets, left no doubt on the minds of the authori- 
ties of Boston and Roxbury that a joint and imperative 
labor and duty devolved upon them. The Committees 
having the business in charge at once agreed to recom- 
mend to their respective Cities the raising of the grade 
of Plymouth Street to that of Northampton and Eustis 
Streets, and the construction of a substantial brick sewer 
of sufficient capacity its whole length, and to be contin- 
ued down Harrison Avenue and off into the channel 
through Dedham Street, each City doing all the work on 
its own territory. This recommendation was confirmed 
and immediE^tely put in execution on both sides. Thus 


securing to Roxbury, through the honorable and liberal 
policy of Boston, an outlet for the drainage of about 
thirty acres of our territory at much less trouble and ex- 
pense than we could have obtained in any other manner. 

In consequence of this arrangement, each City has since 
made Plymouth Street sixty feet in width, it formerly 
being but fifty. Here was a street belonging to the City 
built on the marsh level, and valuable buildings located 
on it, where high tides would ebb and flow, and the ex- 
pense of raising the street nine feet, and the buildings 
also, to be borne by the City ; all the result of not having 
had the grades of the streets established long since. It 
has proved an expensive caution for the present and 
future Governments not to allow streets or buildings to be 
built too low. This street will now serve as a sample or 
pattern street for that locality, and none should be built 
of less height. A better class of buildings will be 
erected now than would have been had the street not 
been raised. A good brick sewer, three feet by two feet 
and four inches, has been built in this street to Eustis 
Street, and one up Mall Street, eighteen inches in diam- 
eter, and one up Short to Sumner Street, two feet in 
diameter, all by contract, and, at the same time, it is 
believed, thoroughly and at a satisfactory price. The 
buildings on Plymouth Street have been raised, for the 
most part, others moved back, and a large part of the 
filling put in. The finishing up and completing of these 
various undertakings will require your consideration and 

Four hundred feet of the outlet of the main sewer, five 
by three and a half feet, of brick and cement, has been 
constructed from the dock of the City Wharf up Davis 
Street, which will receive all the scweras^e of the eastern 

I860.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. ' 9 

part of the City. This was a very difficult and expen- 
sive work, it being at a depth of fifteen feet, and most 
of it in a bed of quicksand, with a great flow of water, 
and the work to be done during low tide. 

One other sewer in Fellowes Street has been con- 
structed, through Northampton Street and leading into 
the main sewer above described, two feet by eighteen 
inches, of timber and plank. The expediency of extend- 
ing the main sewer up Davis Street to the foot of Mount 
Pleasant, will be a matter for your consideration. 

The proportion of the expense of the construction of 
sewers to be borne by abutters and parties immediately and 
remotely interested, and the proportion to be borne by the 
City, will require your careful investigation and deliber- 
ation. The amount thus far expended in the construc- 
tion of sewers is about ten thousand dollars, a part of 
which will be paid back by abutters and those using them. 

The subject of drainage for the west part of the City 
will demand your early and best efforts, as one of much 
pressing importance to the health and prosperity of that 
section of the City, now rapidly increasing in population 
and business. 


The expenditures the last year upon the streets have 
been large, larger probably than in any other year, but 
many of them have been of a permanent character. 
Many streets have been brought to the grade established 
by the Engineer, and will not need changing again 5 
such are a portion of Warren Street, Sumner Street, 
Short Street, Eliot Square, Parker, south of Washington 
Street, and a portion north. Centre Street was thor- 
oughly McAdamized, also East Street. Washington 


Street was gravelled for nearly half a mile. The whole 
length of Tremont Street has been graded, paved from 
Kuggles Street nearly to the Boston line, on the east side 
of the Horse Railroad track, edge-stone set, large amount 
of brick sidewalk laid, and projections removed. 



The amount of brick paving, 4,562 yds. 

Block stone, for crossings and 

driveways, . . . 2,613 «« 


Round stone paving, for gut- 

ters, &c., on Tremont St., 8,000 *« 


Curb stone set, . . 21,515 feet. 


Whole amount of expenditures are about $37,000. 

The gravel bank that was purchased on Shawm ut 
Avenue, containing three acres, at $12,000, proves to 
contain excellent road material, and enables the Commis- 
sioner to select his material so as to build and repair the 
streets of the very best material. And he is entitled to 
the full credit of having done his work in the most sub- 
stantial and thorough manner. 

Short Street, from Dudley to Sumner Street, has been 
opened and nearly built the past season, affording a much 
needed local accommodation to that part of the City, and 
affording a safeguard against the spread of fire. The 
expense will be about $10,000. 

For a number of years petitions have been before the 
Government to have Heath Street laid out across the low 
land, from corner of Parker Street, to meet Highland 
Street. The subject was taken into consideration early 
this spring, and as it was believed the interest of the 
City would be better promoted and most of the petition- 
ers be better suited, the direction of the continuance was 

I860.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 11 

changed so as to give the residents of Heath Street the 
most direct route to the City Hall, schools, and churches, 
&c., where they had most occasion to travel. The wis- 
dom of this route has been sanctioned by the County 
Commissioners approving the route and authorising its 
construction, and it is now under contract to be finished 
next June. That it will greatly increase the value of 
property in Heath Street, which is now almost cut off 
from the City by its unfavorable approaches, is confi- 
dently anticipated. 

The continuation of Plymouth Street to the corner of 
Dudley and Warren Streets, which has been recom- 
mended twice or three times, will call for your careful 
consideration. Should the owners of property on the 
route appreciate its advantages sufficiently, and manifest 
a commendable liberality, I doubt not it will meet your 
favorable regard. 

The Brookline Horse Railroad has been put in opera- 
tion during the past year, and the extension of the War- 
ren Street track to Grove Hall determined upon. When 
this last is completed, there will be very little of our ter- 
ritory more than half a mile from Horse Railroad facilities. 
a mode of travelling more safe, comfortable, cheap and 
convenient than any other for public accommodation. 

Roxbury, from the unfavorable location of the Boston 
and Providence Railroad, has heretofore derived very 
little advantage from railroads. It is now, by the Metro- 
politan Horse Railroad, as well, if not better accommo- 
dated, than any place in this vicinity, and it is matter 
of congratulation that that road is in the management of 
gentlemen so deserving our confidence. 



The necessity of establishing suitable grades to our 
Streets without longer delay, was so fully brought home 
to the mind of the Government the past year, that it left 
no doubt what ought to be done. Many streets were 
known to be several feet below their proper grade, so 
much so that to drain them with suitable descent, would 
make it necessary to build the drains on top of the 
streets. To allow buildings to be erected on such 
streets at their present grades, would involve the City in 
heavy damages in future. Plymouth Street, already re- 
ferred to, was one of this class. The old maxim, that 
*' an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure," 
seemed as true here as in morals. It was determined, 
therefore, to employ Wm. L. Dearborn, Esq., as Chief 
Engineer, to establish the grades of the several streets, 
and also for the sewers. That work has been nearly 
completed. A part of this work has been passed upon 
by the last Government, and the balance will be laid be- 
fore you in a short time for your consideration. 


By the Report of the School Committee which has 
just been distributed, it will appear that the Schools are 
represented in their usual flourishing condition. Two 
substantial brick additions have been made to both the 
Dearborn and Comins, nearly doubling their capacities. 
Some slight change has been made in the mode of classi- 
fying and arranging these schools, which it is hoped will 
give increased satisfaction to their patrons. 

One marked improvement in school accommodations 
has taken place in collecting all the pupils within the 

I860.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 13 

buildings owned by the City and suited for school-rooms. 
Previously there were three or four divisions poorly pro- 
vided for, in hired rooms. There is no pressing want of 
further school accommodation at this time. 

The number of teachers in all our schools is 77 

Number of pupils, .... 3,581 

Cost of education, exclusive of buildings, $35,137 
Average per scholar, . . . . $9.80 
It has long seemed to me, Grentlemen, and I desire to 
call yonr attention as well as the attention of the School 
Committee to the matter, that we need in this City a 
school, where the simple branches only are taught, viz : 
Beading, Spelling, Writing, and the four first rules of 
Arithmetic on the slate. It is well known that many 
of our backward scholars leave the grammar school not 
able to write, and not as well prepared for the duties of 
life, as they would have been had their time been devo- 
ted to more simple studies wdiile there. Their parents 
are too dependent on their labor to allow them to remain 
long enough in the grammar school to be benefitted by 
it. Mental arithmetic, grammar, or even geography is 
not what is best suited to them ; — they are not interest- 
ed in either, and they make little or no progress and 
soon leave the school ignorant. Could not 50 or 100 
such pupils be taught in half the time and at half the 
expense than they are now, and advanced further to- 
wards the end sought — a useful education ? 

The scattered divisions and departments also of our 
High School need consolidating into one harmonious 
whole, under one principal, where the classification will 
be more perfect, the standard of scholarship advanced, 
and the expense of instruction lessened from $3000 to 
$2000 per annum. 



I am happy in believing, Gentlemen, that our Fire 
Department is in a most efficient and reliable condition. 
Composed of a body of strong, active, ambitious young 
men, its services are prompt and reliable on all occasions. 
The Chief Engineer and his assistants are entitled to 
warm praise for infusing a high degree of order and de- 
corum among the members, and they should not fail to 
receive our encouragement and support, for the cordial 
manner in which they have seconded the efforts of their 

The amount of property destroyed the past year is so 
small as to excite enquiry for some adequate cause. 

Alarms. Loss. Insurance. 

In 1856 there were 82 $36,710 $18,346 

" 1857 " " 53 27,675 16,835 

" 1858 " " 120 45,900 30,060 

" 1859 " " 66 13,250 23,570 

This amount of loss, you perceive, is less than one third 
of the previous year, and less than half of the year pre- 
vious to that, and while in all the previous years named, 
the insurance is but one half the loss, last year the insu- 
rance was double the loss. These facts are somewhat 
accidental, but much may fairly be ascribed to the im- 
proved condition and efficiency of the Department, in- 
crease of reservoirs and hydrants, and partly no doubt, 
to the energy, vigilance and success of the Police and 
Night Watch. 

A substantial brick Engine House has been erected on 
Eustis Street, in a style similar to the one previously 
erected at the corner of Dudley and Warren Streets, 
alike creditable to the architect and the city. 

I860.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 15 

Three spacious brick reservoirs have been constructed 
at points most needing them, and eight hundred feet of 
leading hose have been furnished. 

The ordinary expenses of the Department are $13,600 

New Engine House, 2,700 

Reservoirs, 2,000 

This expenditure although large, much of it being ex- 
traordinary, may be considered judiciously made, if it is, 
to a great extent, the cause of the gratifying result of 
the small loss of property during the year. The policy 
of making any reasonable expenditure to keep the De- 
partment thoroughly furnished and equipped, has been 
the one adopted ; and then relying on the generosity, 
ambition, and sense of duty of its members, to win the 
esteem and approbation of their fellow citizens. 

There is now a petition before the Government, asking 
some encouragement to stationary steam power for ex- 
tinguishing fire by providing hose. I recommend this 
subject to your careful attention. 

Steam Fire Engines are winning favor in most places, 
particularly where the buildings are high and thickly 
crowded together. From the hilly nature of our territo- 
ry and the moderate supply of water at many points, it 
has not heretofore seemed advisable to introduce one 
here. The quantity of water they are able to pour upon 
a fire at any height, in the hottest or coldest weather, 
gives them great advantage over hand power. One 
Steam Engine in place of one of our hand engines, would 
probably give us double the service, at the same ex- 
pense ; and whenever it is expedient to incur this 
expense, I would recommend the change. The reputa- 


tion that the present Department enjoys, will preclude 
the idea of any want of confidence in them, but only 
show a desire to keep pace with improvement and pro- 
vide for an increasing population in the cheapest and 
best manner. 

The subject of extending a Cochituate water pipe 
from the Boston line through Plymouth to Eustis Street, 
to be used only to extinguish fire, came before the last 
Council, and, I am happy to say, received a favorable 
hearing both here and by the authorities of Boston. It 
is believed to be much the cheapest mode of supplying 
that locality, underlaid as it is with quicksand at a depth 
of six or eight feet, making it very expensive to con- 
struct reservoirs. 


The present mode of organizing, paying and managing 
our Police and Watch, is probably as good as can be 
adopted for a city of this size. This Department of the 
public service is one of very great importance and its 
proper organization and efficient action have an intimate 
relation with the good order and welfare of the commu- 
nity. I believe this City has never had in this depart- 
ment of its service, a keener-sighted, more vigilant, 
honorable and humane set of men. Being entitled to 
the respect and confidence of the community, who are 
well disposed towards law and good order, they neces- 
sarily carry fear and terror to the vicious and lawless. 
Their arrest of the offenders in the few cases of burglary, 
some of them almost as soon as the act was committed, 
is evidence of their promptness. But their distinguished 
success early in the spring, in arresting that wanton, 
secret, fiendish class of offenders, whose appalling offence 

I860.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 17 

was a terror to all, the incendiary, entitles them to the 
highest praise, for caution, adroitness and sagacity. Let 
your recollection but call up the frequent alarms one 
year since from the appalling cry of fire at winter's mid- 
night, and then the consoling fact, that no less than 
eight of those godless sons of destruction were caught 
and brought before the court, and you will acknowledge 
the benefit of a vigilant and energetic Police and Watch. 
The quiet and good order since is in very marked 

The appointment of an honest, intelligent, laborious 
and efficent man to the responsible office of Chief Mar- 
shal, conferred respectability upon the Department and 
was an honor to the City. That officer has prepared so 
full and valuable a report of this year's incidents and 
labor, that I bespeak for it an attentive perusal when 
printed, and therefore will detract nothing from its in- 
terest by giving its prominent statistics. 

There are now in the Almshouse thirty inmates, con- 
sisting of old people past work, middle aged, incapacita- 
ted, either bodily or mentally, and children. All need 
kind and indulgent treatment, which they have ; and it 
is creditable to the liberality and humanity of the City, 
that they are better provided for, fed and clothed, than 
a large number of the tax payers. There seems little, 
if any thing, to be done to improve the condition of 
such, except educating and properly guiding the young, 
which is attended to. 

A large part of the building being unoccupied, a 
recommendation was made last year, that it be made 
usefal as a place of confinemer^t for truant children. 


The necessary alterations have been made and ample 
provision of house and yard room secured, from which 
the best results are expected. 

It has been found difficult, dangerous, and expensive, 
to heat the number of apartments necessary, with stoves, 
the mode heretofore adopted. To overcome these obsta- 
cles the Overseers have recently put in operation there, 
the steam heating apparatus of Messrs. Chubbuck & Son. 
The result is most satisfactory and gratifying. The sav- 
ing of fuel is very considerable ; the heat abundant and 
of the most agreeable quality, and the labor of the hoiise 
as well as danger from fire largely diminished. Con- 
nected with the boiler are the wash-tubs in the lower 
room, so that all the water is heated by steam and this is 
made a convenient, comfortable apartment now, in place 
of the opposite, as before. 

The neat, orderly and homelike manner in which Mr. 
and Mrs. Young conduct the establishment, entitle it to 
take rank with those most approved. 

The number of transient lodgers during the year has 
been 303. The number sent to the State Almshouse 
during the same period, 103. 

The expenditures for the year, including the improve- 
ments referred to, are $7,900. 

There is another class of our citizens to whom I wish 
to call your considerate and favorable attention early, 
viz : — Industrious, hard-working men with large fami- 
lies, who absolutely suffer for food and clothing as soon 
as they fail to get employment. They are just able to 
live in summer, and cannot lay up any thing. To turu 
away such, when soliciting employment and stating the 
condition of their families at this season of the year, 

I860.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 19 

without hope, is the most trying necessity of a public 

Last year $2,000 were appropriated to give employ- 
ment to such, in blasting off a stone ledge from a lot of 
Ian d_ adjoining the Almshouse, now valueless, and break- 
ing the stone up for road material. While there are few 
houses in the vicinity, it can be safely done and the land 
made valuable. A like amount appropriated this year, 
would give bread, clothing, comfort and schooling to 
many, and I therefore recommend it. 


The City Debt, as per account of last year, was $280,000 

Increase this year for the following purpo- 

poses, viz :■ — Building and widening Tre- 

mont, Plymouth, Short, Washington and 

Vernon Streets, $87,000 

Construction of Sewers, . . . 10,000 

Building School Houses, . . . 7,000 

Purchase of land for gravel bank, 12,000 


Total, $396,000 


The ever increasing prosperity of this consecrated spot 
must give the highest gratification to its early friends 
and projectors. Appealing as it does to the best feel- 
ings of our nature, the wise and good of the present and 
all coming time cannot fail to appreciate and be grate- 
ful for their services. 

To this place of great natural beauty, the taste of the 
landscape gardener and the genius of the artist are year- 


ly adding their contributions ; and as one after another 
of our fellow citizens, friends or kindred are deposited in 
this flower garden of the dead, our love and attachment 
for it increases. 

The Commissioners will make their report in February, 
giving a detailed statement of the year's transactions. 


The friends of education in this State, feeling the im- 
portance of the subject, procured in 1851 the passage of 
a law allowing towns and cities to establish Free Public 
Libraries. Since the passage of that law, a number of 
cities have availed themselves of its provisions, and the 
universal testimony as to their success and elevating 
effect leaves no doubt as to the wisdom of establishing 
them. We have in this City an Athenseum, possessed 
of a collection of about 7,000 volumes of valuable books, 
which would aiford a foundation for a free library that 
would soon be an honor, and of priceless value to the 
City. My esteemed predecessor in 1857, feeling the 
great importance of the subject to this City, made a full 
and elaborate report, after conferring with the Trustees 
of the Athenaeum, who in a most liberal manner offered 
to give all their books, worth probably $5,000, and 
recommended the details of a plan, and an ordinance for 
carrying it into operation. Most fully agreeing with 
him in the general features of the plan proposed, I desire 
to call your serious attention to the subject at this time. 
Nothing is truer than that liberality begets liberality, 
and once establish a free public library in this City, and 
the contributions, donations and bequests to it, by all 
classes of our citizens, and those away, who were born 
here and still have a strung attachment to the place. 

I860.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 21 

would soon constitute a valuable library, at trifling ex- 
pense. The increase of the Free Library in Boston, from 
1857 to 1858, was 15,000 volumes ; of this number, 
almost 10,000 volumes were the free gift of individuals. 
It is well known to most, doubtless, that the foundation of 
that library was the munificent bequest of one of its sons 
in a distant land, with a heart warm with love for his 
native city. Is it too much to anticipate, that a similar 
good fortune may be in store for Eoxbury ? In fact one 
such has been made to this city, and in due time its 
advantages will be enjoyed. 

A Free Library is the climax and apex of our great 
system of popular education. When our sons and daugh- 
ters leave the High School, let us be able to refer them, 
for instruction and improvement, to the richly laden 
shelves of a well selected library, where they will find 
not only a teacher but a preacher, liberalizing, elevating 
and Christianizing. If we would keep them from less 
desirable places of resort, let us make such as the library 
room attractive and alluring. We owe the privileges of 
such a library to the large body of devoted public teach- 
ers in charge of our schools, for their own improvement 
and for reference, in teaching their pupils. The ex- 
pense anticipated would be mainly an annual outlay of 
some ^1,200 or $1,500. A sum that we vote, without 
the least hesitation, for widening a street, changing its 
grade, or rounding a corner. 


No subject of more importance to the City will call for 
your attention during the year, than that of obtaining a 
free flow of Stony Brook into the Charles River. This, 
perhaps you are aware, was formerly a very important 


and valuable ship channel, and could be made so now 
■with suitable Legislative assistance. The preliminary 
steps of advertising a petition have been taken for bring- 
ing this matter before the General Court at its present 
session. I recommend it to your earnest and energetic 
attention, as a matter of the highest moment, both in 
its commercial relations and as affecting the health of 
that part of the town, by preventing unhealthy deposits 
throughout the entire length of the brook below Tremont 


Connected with this subject, although in an opposite 
part of the City, is the Report of our excellent Harbor 
Master, Capt. Winchester, just published, showing the 
importance of water communication to our City. Here 
is a business of nearly half a million dollars done by from 
five to six hundred vessels. This channel is about five 
feet deeper on the Boston side than on our own, imper- 
atively demanding deepening on our side. It will be a 
matter for you to determine what action the City shall 
take towards it. I am not aware that any thing of the 
kind has been done previously by the City. How far 
the deposits from drains may make it her duty to deepen 
the channel, is an open question. 

There is one subject, G-entlemen, to which I desire to 
call your favorable action — a subject upon which I be- 
lieve the great mass of our intelligent constituents are 
in advance of past governments. Children are not 
allowed to make their school-yards a resort as a play- 
ground, and if found in the streets, the police are likely 
to take them in custody. Young lads from six to four- 

I860.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 23 

teen years of age have a great amount of rare sport 
in them, and they want some suitable, sizeable place, 
where they can work it off joyously, healthfully, and 
prepare themselves to become men. I am often asked 
by parents where they shall direct their children to play. 

Physical education has been too much neglected, and 
it is to be more and more attended to. Let us have. 
Gentlemen, one or more places — I will not dignify them 
with the high-sounding title of squares or parks, but 
play-grounds, — where all, old and young, who have any 
play in them — and who will acknowledge that he has 
not ? — have a right to resort for a game of foot-ball, 
cricket, base-ball, or any other out-door, healthy, ex- 
citing, manly sport ; where a military or fire company 
can go for a parade, or to exhibit their skill, or to invite 
their friends from other towns, and not be obliged to 
pay tribute to a railroad to take them into Boston or to 
Jamaica Plains. How much better to give, as far as we 
may, a direction of their playful energies to out-door, 
fresh air, cold water exercises, than allow them from 
necessity to seek the confined, poisonous, unhealthy air, 
of the billiard-room or bowling-alley ! The golden time 
w^hen such places could have been purchased at $100 
per acre, has passed. But this is a golden time to se- 
cure such, as compared with the price of land fifty or 
one hundred years hence. When are these places to be 
had any cheaper or where are they to be had at all, if 
not now ? 

Let us provide for our necessities, purchasing on a 
long credit, and taxing ourselves yearly to pay the in- 
terest and a fixed sum of the principal, till the whole is 
paid, and I have no fear of the complaints of posterity ; 


but we shall deserve their censure if we do nothing but 
blame our ancestors. 

When we reflect that thirty-four years ago the only 
public conveyance between this place and Boston was a 
two horse stage coach, starting once in two hours, blow- 
ing a post horn to notify the passengers to be ready, and 
that the whole number of passengers for a day was only 
forty-five, and that now there are on some days 20,000 
in the same time, we may rest assured that the prosper- 
ity of this goodly City is onward, " right onward." 

Having for this year the management of the affairs of 
this growing City, Gentlemen, let us study a wise but 
liberal and progressive policy, and as far as in us lies, 
let us encourage " paying as we go." 

Called by the suffrages of our beloved City to her 
different posts of duty and honor, much of her growing 
prosperity will depend upon our conduct. In accepting 
the trusts thus delegated to us, we have done so with an 
implied pledge, that neither from self-interest or want of 
fidelity will we suffer these trusts to be neglected or im- 
paired. Nay, more, we have here severally and collect- 
ively, taken a solemn oath that we will " faithfully and 
impartially," to the best of our " ability," discharge 
the several duties which have been assigned to us. 
These are not unmeaning words. The solemnities of the 
oath of this hour should be seriously pondered and reli- 
giously considered. That member of the Government 
who neglects to devote the requisite time and attention 
to the performance of the duties devolving on him, will 
not "faithfully" comply with the obligations of his 

I860.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. 25 

oath. Can he be said to be impartial, who makes use 
of his official station for private ends or party purposes, 
to the detriment of the public service ? Hasty and ill- 
considered action on important measures, whether for or 
against them, is not according to his " best judgment." 
Let us, therefore, Gentlemen, keep constantly before 
us, during the year, in the discharge of all our duties, 
their magnitude and responsibility, viewed in reference 
to the oath just taken. Let us ever bear in mind, that 
absence from our post of duty, Avhen others are in attend- 
ance, even if it be but a Committee of three, is unfaith- 
fulness to the trust we have assumed, and detrimental to 
the public service. To a conscientious discharge of even 
minor duties, therefore, let me solicit your cooperation, 
with the full hope that by Divine favor, our united 
counsel and action may be for the prosperity and honor 
of our most cherished City.