City Document.^ No. 1. ADDRESS OF THE HON. GEORGE LEWIS, MAYOR, \ \ r I; CITY COUNCIL or ROXBURY, DELIVERED TO THE TWO BRANCHES IN CONVENTION, JANUARY 5, 1863. PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE CITY COUNCIL. ROXBURY: L. B. & O. E. WESTON, PRINTERS, GUILD ROW. 1863. Citg of llo^Hrij. In Boakd of Aldeemen, January 5, 1863. Ordered, That five hundred copies of the Address of His Honor the Mayor, be printed for the use of the City Council. Sent down for concurrence. JOSEPH W. TUCKEE, City Clerk. In Common Council, January 5, 1863. Concurred. JOSHUA SEAVER, Clerk. ADDRESS. Gentlemen of the City Council: Through the favor of our fellow citizens, we are assem- bled to organize the government of this city, for the present year; a year which opens with our country still involved in civil war, the result of which is only known to the Supreme Ruler of <the Universe. May He, in his infi- nite wisdom, vindicate the justice of our cause, through the success of our arms; allow the scourge of war to cease its inhuman work ; reunite our whole country under one gov- ernment ; and grant us again the blessings of peace. The patriotism of our community has been fully tested, and I have faith to believe, that the sacrifices, trials and sorrows, they have thus far borne, are slight, in compari- son with those they would gladly bear, to sustain the gov- ernment in its efforts to restore the Union to its former grandeur; thus enabling the nation to resume its rank as one of the great powers of the world : its people respected for their love of country, and their adhesion to the princi- ples of self-government, as well as for their industry, intelligence and self-reliance. During the past year it has been our lot to mourn the loss of a larger proportion of our soldiers than may have 4 CITt DOCUMENT.— No. 1. been the fortune of any otKer city. The lives of these were valuable to the general community, and precious to the immediate circle of family connections and friends from whom they were taken. The military funerals passing through our streets to the " place of graves ;" the maimed and emaciated forms of those who have sought their homes to recuperate, afford ample evidence that the spirit of patriotism which inspired our Fathers is not extinct. Let us not, while so many of our relatives and friends are in the ranks of the army, cheerfally submitting to the privations of the camp and the dangers of the battle-field, omit any opportunity of acknowledging their claims to our sympathy, gratitude and aid. While the community gladly recognize this duty, there is a responsibility of a far higher nature, which they have assumed, in the charge of the wives and children of those who have died in the defence of our country. I am confi- dent that our people will render thoee all necessary assist- ance and protection. Gentlemen, — You will expect from me at this time but a cursory glance at the affairs of the city. I shall in as brief a manner as possible ask your attention to but a few topics, and those of prominent public interest. As the demands on the city treasury for military pur- poses during the past year were not only large in them- selves, but were in addition to the usual expenses, the government refrained from outlays which they considered could be postponed without prejudice to the interests of the city. This course I consider to have been judicious ; and as there is no immediate prospect of a reduction in our military expenditures, I think that we should adopt the same policy. MAYOR'S ADDRESS. 5 MILITARY MATTERS. The labors of the Military Committee the past year were more arduous than those of any other ; during the present, as the business is systematized, I hope less time will be re- quired of its members. The number of soldiers sent into the service of the Uni- ted States from Roxbury since the commencement of the war is fifteen hundred and ten, that being eighteen in ad- vance of our quota. Of this number thirteen hundred and thirty-one are enlisted for three years, and the balance for nine months' service. All these soldiers have been obtain- ed by voluntary enlistment, and, as I am informed, at an expense less than in most other places in the Common- wealth, and none have been borrowed from other cities and towns. It is to be hoped we shall not be called upon for more soldiers ; but should such an event occur, I doubt not that the patriotism of our people will be equal to the occasion, and that a forced levy may be avoided. A lot has been purchased by the city, at Forest Hills, for the last resting place of our soldiers who have fViUen in de- fence of the country, and nine interments have been made therein. It will be your duty so to enclose and ornament this lot, as to render it an attractive spot for all, and also a lesson for our youth, that one of the greatest virtues is the love of country; and that a grateful people will ever hold in reverence the memory of those who die in its de- fence. Through authority of the State, and in common with other cities and towns, liberal provision has been made for the assistance of the families of those soldiers who are de- pendent on them for support. This aid I trust will be con- tinued. There has been paid as bounty to volunteers the past year, the sum of $51,945.17. 6 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. There has been paid as aid to the relatives of volunteers the past year the sum of $55,924.15. It is expected that two-thirds of the amount paid as aid to the families of volunteers, will be repaid by the State. The total amount expended for military affairs the past year is $107,869.32, the details of which will be laid before you by the Committee on Accounts, in their annual report. During the past year committees of the City Council have at two different times visited our soldiers in camp, contributing to their aid and comfort, and affording great satisfaction to their friends at home. Immediately following the battle of the Antietam,the Gov- ernment decided to send an agent to the relief of the invalid Eoxbury soldiers, who were lying in the various hospitals of Washington and its neighborhood. Mr. Rufus Wyman volunteered for that duty, declining compensation, other than for his personal expenses. Leaving Roxbury the iirst of October, he remained at his post until a few days since, devoting all his energies to the humane duty on which he was sent. Through the benevolence of our citi- zens, he has been enabled to render such assistance to the sufferers as has called forth their most heartfelt gratitude. The expense incurred by the city, through this agency, amounts to about $550. I learn that differing views are entertained in the com- munity relative to this agency — one portion conceiving that relief can be more quickly and certainly bestowed through such an agent j and the other that, as the Sanitary Association assumes to attend to all such cases, and has ex- tensive depositories and a multitude of agents, that it con- stitutes the proper channel through which assistance should be bestowed. It will be your duty to decide as to the propriety of continuing or discontinuing this ofifice. In this connection, I cannot refrain from referring to the MAYOR'S ADDRESS. 7 sentiments of our people, as to the qualifications of Mr. Wyman. It is universally acknowledged, that he combines in a rare degree every requisite for that duty. How faith- fully he discharged the labors he assumed, is so well known and so generally appreciated, that no endorsement of mine is necessary. Should you decide to continue this ofl&ce, I doubt not you will agree with me, in hoping that Mr. Wyman will again consent to represent the city as its agent. Our citizens are much indebted to the volunteer military organizations of the city, for their valuable aid rendered the Government in procuring enlistments. I refer to the Horse Guard, Colonel Hodges, and the Reserve Guard, Captain Wyman. The members of these companies devot- ed their time, energies and money to this object, and, as the result shows, with entire success. Through their ef- forts the companies commanded by Captains King, Graham, and Swift, were entirely recruited, and that by Captain Sherive, in part. It may be safely asserted that not less than four hundred men were enlisted through their instru- mentality. The Horse Guard and the Reserve Guard have both reached a high state of military "discipline; they are a credit to the city, and should be sustained. If occasion re- quires, I recommend them to your favorable consideration. An association, independent of the city government, has been organized for the relief of disabled soldiers, and their families ; and its members are ready to assist all in accord- ance with its rules. Great attention has been paid by the Government, and also by our citizens, to the care of our troops in the camp and field. I learn from undoubted authority, that Roxbury is acknowledged by the soldiers to occupy the front rank in this respect. CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. SCHOOLS. The annual report of the School Committee has been published, and is before you. From it I learn that the for- mer high standing of the schools is sustained. The question of reducing the salaries of the teachers is therein alluded to, and arguments are advanced why this measure should not be adopted. Statistics are presented to show that the cost of educating a child in Roxbury is not so large as in most of the places around us. Increased accommodations in certain localities are again indicated as necessary, and reasons are advanced why they should be granted, even in the existing condition of our national af- fairs and of our overburdened city treasury. I ask your examination of that document, and shall glad- ly cooperate with you in all matters necessary to advance the welfare of those institutions, which exercise so great an influence on the well-being of the community. Our schools cannot be too highly valued, offering as they do to all classes the opportunity of acquiring in early life those advantages which contribute to the happiness and good citizenship of the individual. The expenditures for them are scarcely less essential than those for our sol- diers. While the necessities of the country give to military ob- jects our first thought, nothing should induce us to deny the calls for education. These departments are both of primary importance, and other matters of public utility may well be postponed in aid of either of them. MAYOR'S ADDRESS. CITY DEBT. The Treasurer informs me that the city debt February 1st, 1862, was $721,215.00. It is now $829,565.00, show- ing an increase of $108,350.00. This increase has been devoted to the following uses : For aid to families of volunteers, - - - - $60,000.00 " bounty to volunteers, 40,000.00 " grading Madison Square, ----- 6,000.00 " support of poor, ------- 2,000.00 " deposit by Commissioners of Forest Hills Cemetery, 350.00 The city debt draws interest as follows : At 6 per cent, per annum, ----- $285,565.00 " 5^ " " 153,000.00 «< 5,i " " 2,000.00 «< 5 '« u 386,000.00 The loans contracted the past year, with one exception, and that of small amount, draw interest at the rate of five per cent, per annum. Our city debt is too large ; and if, while the war contin- ues, we cannot be expected to reduce it, yet we should not increase it for any purposes but for such as are of perma- nent utility. All other objects »of expenditure are of such a nature, that they should be paid for by those to whom they are immediately beneficial. As each year must present new and constantly increas- ing demands, it cannot be right to entail upon posterity a class of debts for which they will receive no benefit. No good reason exists why the city should not pay its ordi- nary expenses, when individual members of the community are expected to do the same thing in their personal trans- actions ; and could the increase of our municipal debt be stopped, except in outlays for matters which will not have to be repeated or renewed, I should decidedly favor that instalments of our debt be raised by taxation and paid yearly. 2 10 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. SEWERAGE. During the past year, there has been but slight exten- sion of sewerage in the city. The work done in this department has been confined to constructing a sewer from Sumner Street, through Short Street, to Zeigler Street, — that being the extent, in this direction, of the privilege en- joyed of entering the City of Boston's sewer in Plymouth Street, — and also a connection between our sewer and that of Boston in Plymouth Street. A number of cesspools have been built for conveying the street water into the sewers. There are portions of Wards One, Two and Three, where sewerage is necessary, not only as a convenience, but as a sanitary measure. Owing to the continual raising of the low lands, the natural flow of the water is diverted, and either remains stagTiant on the surface of the ground, or finds its way into cellars and wells. It must be apparent that unless sewerage is generally in- troduced, thereby discontinuing the use of cesspools and other receptacles for ofial, the spring water will shortly become impure throughout the city ; and the day is not far distant when we shall be obliged to incur the expense of introducing pure water. In each section of the city wells have been, without doubt, rendered unfit for use by the present system of drainage, and the number of these is con- stantly on the increase. Some years since, levels were taken, and i ilans drawn by competent engineers, for sewerage through all our principal streets j the correctness of these plans I have never heard questioned. Various plans have been considered by former govern- ments with reference to an outlet for the sewerage of Wards Two and Three, but none have been decided upon. I recommend that we investigate the questions connected with the sewerage of this locality ; and hope that the result MAYOR'S ADDRESS. U, of our investigations will be such as to enable us to pro- ceed with the work. On all ordinary-sized sewers the city has assumed, as its proportion, one-quarter of the cost of construction, and the balance has been assessed upon the estates benefited thereby. I agree with my predecessor, " that the existing troubles furnish no excuse for discontinuing the work," and shall gladly unite with you in furthering the extension of sewer- age, where desired by a majority of the owners of real estate, on any street where the interest of the city warrants the construction. FOREST HILLS. The labor at Forest Hills has been continued the past year as usual, adding greatly to its constantly increasing attractiveness. The number of lots sold in the 3^ear 1862 was about ninety. For details of the condition of the Cemetery, I refer you to the annual report of the Commissioners, which will shortly be laid before you. ALMSHOUSE. The Almshouse is almost exclusively under the control of the Overseers of the Poor, the Mayor being ex-officio Chairman of the Board. I am informed that its manage- ment is satisfactory, and that the inmates are humanely treated and faithfully cared for. The reports emanating from the various officers con- nected with this institution will be shortly published, and submitted for your examination. FIRE DEPARTMENT. I am informed by the Chief Engineer, that the effective- ness of the Fire Department never was greater than at present. Its ranks are full, and harmony exists among its members. 12 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1. Our city has been highly favored, the past year, in its exemption from serious iires. Two reservoirs of large capacity have been built, one on Grove Hall Avenue, and one on Highland Street. I recom- mend that the same number of reservoirs be constructed this year as the last. This most valuable branch of the public service calls for, and I doubt not will receive, your continued care and attention. POLICE DEPARTMENT. This important branch of our municipal organization is in the highly efficient condition which it has sustained for some years past. Few changes have been made in its ranks, and I believe its members to be vigilant, temperate, and humane. PUBLIC SQUARES. Nothing has been done on the public squares, the past year, except the partial fulfilment of the contract to grade Madison Square by May next. The engineer informs me that about two thousand squares of earth will be necessary to raise it to the grade required. After this work is completed, I recommend that no ex- penditures be made upon them this year. HIGHWAYS. The Superintendent of Streets informs me that the labors of the past year, in his department, were mostly devoted to the repairs of highways, and that these are in their usual condition. No expense was incurred in the widening of streets, and I hope we may be equally fortunate the present year in this respect. A number of matters relating to both Streets and Sewer- age have been referred to you, by your predecessors, for final action. MAYOR'S ADDRESS. 13 Our citizens feel great interest in the condition of our highways, and true economy requires that these should be kept in good order. EMPLOYMENT FOR THE POOR. 1 concur with the plan, which has heretofore been adopted, of providing such employment for our poor, during the winter months, as shall be profitable to the city, and, at the same time, of aid to those who are dependent upon us for labor, through which to obtain the means for their support. I know no reason why the calls for charity, this winter, should exceed those of the last, as labor has been in demand, and at remunerative prices. Gentlemen of the Board of Aldermeii, and of the Com- mon Council, — We are invested with the administration of the affairs of the city of Roxbury, for the year on which we enter : its interests are in our hands. The year may be one of comparative quiet; it may be one which requires the exercise of those traits of character which are most appropriate to times of trial and anxiety. 1 assume the labors of my office with a full appreciation of its honorable position, and of its arduous duties. It shall be my aim to give whatever time is required, and whatever ability I possess to their performance; and I rely upon you all for that generous support and advice, which I am confident you will afford me. The government which preceded us has left a record which has secured the public approval; let us strive for a similar endorsement. And may God, the Father of all, who guides us through the years of our earthly pilgrimage, look with especial favor on our city, during that season on which we are now to enter.