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City Document. — No. 1.
HIS HON OH
GEORGE LEWIS, MAYOR
CITY COUNCIL OF KOXBURY,
DELIVERED BEFORE THE
TWO BRANCHES IN CONVENTION,
JANUABY 4, 1864.
PRINTED BY ORDER OP THE CITY COUNCIL.
L. B. & 0. E. WESTON, PRINTERS, GUILD ROW.
Cits it $11 shut $.
In Common Council, January 4, 1864.
Ordered, That seven hundred copies of the Address of His Honor the
Mayor, be printed for the use of the City Council.
Sent up for concurrence.
FRANKLIN WILLIAMS, Clerk.
In Board of Aldermen, January 4, 1864.
JOSEPH W. TUCKER, City Clerk.
Gentlemen of the Board of Aldermen
and of the Common Council :
The year which has just closed has been one of unusual
prosperity with our citizens. No hostile army has laid
waste our fair City. No unusual disregard of law and
order has existed. Neither famine nor pestilenoe has
brought sorrow or suffering to our doors. No serious con-
flagration has destroyed our property. Nor has a commer-
cial revulsion, with its attendant evils, visited us.
I congratulate you on assuming the responsible duties of
government at a time when so great a degree of prosperity
prevails among us. The services of the laborer are in
demand, and at remunerative prices. Our mechanics are
busily and profitably employed. The transactions of the
merchant never were larger, nor the results more satisfac-
tory. The income of the capitalist, in most cases, is largely
increased over former years.
For all these blessings, let us, a Christian people, acknowl-
edge the kindness of our Heavenly Father, and invoke His
guardian care, and a continuation of His favors, toward
this City, for the year upon which we now enter.
The people of the loyal States, with great unanimity,
have decreed that the war shall not cease until the authority
of the Federal Government is acknowledged from the St.
John to the Rio Grande, and from the Atlantic to the
4 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 1.
Pacific. This result can soonest be attained through honest
loyalty to the legally constituted authorities, and in aiding
such in their legal requirements.
Contrary to the expectations of most of us, and to the
hopes of all, the war in which we are engaged to preserve
our nationality still continues, and realizing that great finan-
cial and social revulsions may suddenly occur, it is our duty
to exercise the strictest economy in our disbursements, and
only to authorize such expenditures as seem to be im-
I propose, gentlemen, to occupy but a few moments in
discussing such matters of a public nature as may be laid
before you for consideration in the future.
THE CITY DEBT.
A year since I urged on the members of the Govern-
ment that the city debt should not be increased for mat-
ters other than such as are of permanent utility. I am
happy to inform you that the action of the City Council was
in accordance with that suggestion, and I trust that no other
line of policy will be adopted in the future.
The amount of the City Debt, January 1st, 1863, was, - $829,565
Amount paid during that year, - 40,500
The City Debt was increased during the past year for the
following purposes, viz. :
Aid to relatives of soldiers, - $55,000
Bounty paid to volunteers in 1862, - - 12,000
Reimbursement bounty bill, - 38,000
Grading of Madison Square, - 7,000
Renewal of City Debt, ... - 25,500
Making a total present indebtedness of - - $920,565
The rates of interest payable on the City Debt are as
follows, viz. : At 5 per cent, per annum, $432,500 ; at 5£
MAYOR'S ADDRESS. 5
per cent., $2000; at 5£ per cent., $231,000; at 6 per cent.,
The loans contracted the past year draw interest as fol-
lows, viz. : At 5 per cent, per annum, $59,500 ; at 5£ per
I regret that it appears to be incompatible with the in-
terest of our city that the debt should be increased for any
object; but I cannot see that the large expenditure for
military purposes can be levied as a tax, without greatly
oppressing a large class of our citizens of moderate or small
means. I trust that no increase for any other purpose will
be authorized the ensuing year.
POOR AND ALMSHOUSE.
This department, under its judicious management, is in
the same satisfactory condition which it has enjoyed for
many years past. Our almshouse is generally acknowledged
to be a model house of this class. The inmates are kindly
treated and faithfully attended to ; — they appear to be
happy, and to appreciate the privileges of which they are
in the enjoyment.
The disbursements of temporary aid to such as are not
in the almshouse, are made by an agent of the Board of
Overseers of the Poor. In the decease of Joshua Seaver,
Esq., late agent of this board, the department lost a valuable
officer, and the poor a sympathizing friend. The office of
Agent of the Overseers of the Poor is now filled by Dr.
Ira Allen. For many years an Overseer, and having given
much time and research into the practical workings of this
charity, Dr. Allen is fully equal to the trying duties of his
The calls for charity are larger this season than for
many in the past. It is believed, however, that the bulk
of such demands is largely from a class which always are
6 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 1.
found in cities and large towns, viz., the improvident and
the intemperate. No assistance is given without personal
investigation by the agent into the facts of each case.
The annual report of the Chief Engineer will shortly be
laid before you. From it you will be enabled to learn the
result of the labors of this branch of the public service for
the past year, and also of the condition of the department.
A year since the Chief Engineer recommended the sub-
stitution of steam fire engines for the hand engines now in
use. That recommendation is renewed, and with the unani-
mous approval of the Board of Engineers. In the opinion
of many citizens the time has arrived when such change
should be made. At two different times during the past
year petitions were presented to the City Council, that the
recommendation of the Chief Engineer be adopted.
The committee to which these petitions were referred,
reported in favor of such action ; but the recommendation
was not adopted, for the reason, as I believe, that no appro-
priation was made in the annual tax for that purpose. One
of those reports is now on the files of the Board of Alder-
men ; and it will be your duty to consider what action, if
any, shall be taken on the said reports.
The expense of two steam fire engines, with the necessary
equipment, one new engine house and land, certain changes
in another, the committee estimate at about $20,000.
Should you adopt the policy recommended by the Committee,
I trust that the sum necessary to defray the expense will be
levied in our annual tax, and that no part thereof will be
borrowed. I recommend that the same number of reservoirs
be constructed this year as heretofore.
Sewers were constructed the last year, through portions
of Washington, Dudley and Greenville Streets; and also
through a portion of Shawmut Avenue. The sewer through
Washington Street, from Shawmut Avenue to Eliot Square,
in size 33x22 inches, is 1625 feet in length, and laid at an
average depth of 11 feet; of which 1573 cubic feet was
through ledge. The cost of this sewer was $7626, or $4.69
The Dudley Street Sewer, laid this year, commences at
Guild Row and extends to Highland Street, being 1723 feet
in length, and its diameter 39x26 inches. This sewer is
laid at an average depth of 9 feet, of which 714J cubic feet
were blasted. The cost of this sewer was $6952.87, or
$4.03 per foot. The construction of this sewer was partly
done by the City per the day, and partly through contract with
Nelson Cuetis, Esq. Of that portion alluded to as having
been done by the day, the length is 73 feet; the average
depth of blasting 16£ feet; and 445 cubic yards were
blasted entirely through a solid ledge. That portion which
was laid by contract was 1650 feet in length, and at an
average depth of 8£ feet, with 269£ cubic yards of blasting.
The Shawmut Avenue Sewer measures 33x22 inches in
diameter, is 225 feet in length; laid at an average depth of
14 feet, with 213 cubic yards of blasting, and cost $954.65,
being an average of $4.46 per foot. This sewer was laid
in the same manner as that in Washington Street.
In Greenville Street, 244 feet of sewer was laid, in size
30x20 inches, and at an average depth of 13 feet, costing
$565.46, or $2.31 per foot.
From the varying nature of the excavations necessary to
constitute sewers in this city, as well as from other causes,
which are apparent to all, but slight approximation can be
made in estimating the expenses of such as are to be con-
8 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 1.
structed through comparison with the cost of such as are
The City Council only authorized the laying of such
sewers as were petitioned for by a majority of the real
estate owners on the streets through which sewers were
proposed to be constructed; excepting that in Shawmut
Avenue, which last was necessary to enter the Washington
Street Sewer into the trunk sewer in Dudley Street. As
the abutters are assessed three-fourths of the expense of the
sewer, it seems to me that such a course is equitable ; and
I recommend that the same be adopted in the future.
I learn that some citizens signed petitions for sewers
opposite their respective estates, thinking the cost thereof
was only to be assessed when the sewer was used by the abut-
ters. Such is not the case. The assessment is made at as
early a day as is practicable, and at once becomes a lien on
the property ; and if not paid within a limited time, the
estates so assessed can be sold for such non-payment, — the
legal formalities being substantially the same as in the case
for the collection of unpaid taxes.
In this connection, I desire to say that great delay has
occurred in collecting the assessments, owing, as it is believ-
ed, in part to the reluctance which exists among citizens
and corporations to pay for sewers before they are used by
the abutters. Large sums remain unpaid for sewers con-
structed in previous years.
The City Treasurer, under whose direction such claims
are collected, has refrained from taking legal measures
against these delinquents ; but he informs me that such
action will at once be resorted to. I trust, however, so
unpleasant a step will not be necessary.
It is evident that unless the assessments for sewers are
more promptly met, the authorities must refrain from con-
structing sewers, or that the law must be rigorously enforced.
In my address a year since, I alluded to the imperative
MAYOR'S ADDRESS. 9
necessity of sewerage in Wards 2 and 3. During the past
year a Committee of the Government have been in frequent
communication with the officers of the Boston Water Power
Company, for the removal of certain obstructions to our
natural rights of drainage into Charles River. The inter-
views between the committee and the officers of the said
company occurred at intervals through nearly the whole of
the last year, but without accomplishing the desired result.
The demands of the Water Power Company were considered
to be unreasonable, and in accordance with the recommen-
dation of the Committee, the City Council adopted an order
instructing the Mayor to petition the Legislature that the
obstructions maintained by the said Company be removed
without delay. That order has been obeyed, and the sub-
ject will come before the Legislature at the ensuing session.
I recommend that the Committee on Sewerage be instructed
to urge the claims of Roxbury before the committee to
which the said petition may be referred, with all possible
Surveys were made and levels taken the past year, for a
Trunk Sewer, commencing at Franklin Place, and extending
through unimproved lands, until it reaches the junction of
Stony Brook and Muddy River. Should success attend our
efforts in securing . a proper outlet into Charles River, I
recommend that a Trunk Sewer be at once commenced and
prosecuted to completion without delay.
No section of our city requires sewerage so much as the
wards alluded to, and it may be apparent that until those
obstacles be removed the full force of tidal current cannot
be obtained, and therefore no sewer can be generally used,
having its termination at the junction referred to, without
the possibility of creating a nuisance at the outlet thereof.
10 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 1.
During the past year the contract to grade Madison
Square was partially completed. In the present condition
of the finances of the city, I recommend that no outlays be
made on the public squares.
FOREST HILLS CEMETERY.
The condition of our beautiful Cemetery continues to be
highly prosperous. Some 125 lots have been sold the past
year. The debt of the Cemetery is reduced to $3000, which
matures this year and will be paid. The policy of former
years has been continued, and experience proves the same
to have been judicious. The increasing demand for lots
renders necessary the yearly developments of land into lots,
avenues, paths, &c. Many years must elapse before the
expenses of the Cemetery can be reduced.
The gateway to the main entrance to the Cemetery being
somewhat decayed, the Commissioners have decided to erect
an elegant and substantial gateway, the materials thereof
to be mostly of Roxbury stone. From some twelve plans
and models which were submitted for competition, the Com-
missioners, after consideration and consultation with experts,
selected one designed by Mr. C. W. Pantee, of Brookline,
of Gothic architecture, as combining most fully correct
architectural porportions and elegance of design. It is
contemplated to commence this work as early in the coming
Spring as practicable.
By direction of the City Council, a contract was made
with Messrs. Runels, Clough & Co., of Lowell, for a gran-
ite enclosure to the " Soldiers' Lot," to be completed in
September last. Owing to circumstances beyond the control
of the contractors, the work is not completed, but the granite
is now being delivered, and will be placed in position as
soon as the weather will permit.
MAYOR'S ADDRESS. 11
During the past year 14 miles of streets, out of 25 J miles,
have been thoroughly repaired. Our streets are believed
to be generally in good condition. The expense incurred
in widening and alteration of grades of our streets, has been
unusually light the last year. Many old claims for damages,
through such alterations, have been settled. I know of but
one claim of this class which is unsettled, and that of small
The increased price of labor and materials largely affects
the expenditures in this department, and therefore we should
refrain from authorizing outlays other than such as can not
be postponed without injury to the public good.
While our citizens desire that our streets should compare
favorably with those of Boston, and the vicinity, it is im-
possible, from the nature of the soil, and from the great use
of our main avenues for heavy travel from the metropolis
to a large extent of country, that the expense of repairing
these can be materially reduced. I recommend that the
cost of watering streets, and of collecting ashes, <fec, in
the future, be kept separate from that of repairing the
The management of this department is satisfactory. The
officers are intelligent, and efficient in the discharge of their
several duties. I am happy, after a year's experience, to
repeat my language of a former occasion. I believe them
to be vigilant, temperate and humane.
JOINT RULES AND ORDERS.
I recommend that section number nine of the joint rules
and orders of the City Council be strictly enforced, or that
the rule be omitted.
12 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 1.
The management and supervision of our schools being by
law entrusted to the Board of School Committee, I refer
you to the annual report of that body for such information
as may be desired.
The increasing evil of truancy, in our city, induced the
School Committee, a few months since, to request that an
officer be appointed, with especial reference to checking this
crime. Such an officer was at once appointed. I trust the
result of his labors will be satisfactory.
In accordance with a request of the School Committee,
a Primary School House, intended for four divisions of fifty
scholars each, is in process of construction in Ward Two.
This building, which will soon be ready for occupancy, will
relieve the overburdened school houses in the location re-
One of the most useful of our charities is the Evening
School. This institution benefits a class of persons who
are employed during the day. The management of this
school is under the direction of a committee of the Me-
chanics' Institute. Four sessions are held each week during
the Winter months. The average attendance on the even-
ings devoted to males is some 80, and on those devoted to
females about 50 persons. No one is admitted to share
the benefits of the school who can attend the day schools.
The superintendents are faithful, and devoted to the
trusts reposed in them. The teachers — mostly females —
are deeply interested in their work, laboring earnestly
among a class of our people who desire to acquire knowl-
edge, and who appreciate the opportunities offered through
the liberality of our citizens.
It is impossible to over-estimate the benefits to society
arising from this school. No one can doubt that such influ-
ences are there brought to bear on many, that a career of
vice and ignorance is avoided, and that the information thus
MAYOR'S ADDRESS. 13
acquired must induce virtuous and useful lives. I trust that
the fostering car© of the City Council will continue toward
the Evening School. The expense of this object is some
three or four hundred dollars a year.
The draft ordered in July last to fill the ranks of our
armies having failed to accomplish the desired result, the
President of the United States, in November last, issued his
proclamation calling on this State for 15,126 soldiers. Of
this number 420 is assigned as the quota of this city. This
number is universally believed to be largely in excess of our
legal proportion. This levy is based on the enrolment of
the United States, and is found to be very incorrect, so far
as this city is concerned. A revision of that enrolment is
now being made, and it is supposed some nine hundred
names will be dropped from the list. I recommend that the
result of this revision be submitted to the State authorities,
with the request that our quota be so altered as to conform
with the result of the said revision throughout this Com-
As our quota is not filled, it is the duty of every "mem-
ber of the government to use his individual exertions
toward the work of recruiting. Our citizens, with their
usual liberality, have contributed a large fund in aid of the
object. This work has been performed under the direction
of the Committee on Military Affairs, assisted by a commit-
tee of citizens. And as this mode of conducting the labor
has thus far been satisfactory, I recommend that the same
system be adopted in the future. The amount paid as aid
to relatives of volunteers the past year is $60,790.80, of
which sum it is expected that two-thirds will be repaid by
A detailed account of the disbursements for military
affairs, will be made by the Committee on Accounts in their
14 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 1.
annual reports. I trust that the payments as aid to the
relatives of our soldiers will be continued as heretofore.
The Horse Guard and the Reserve Guard sustain the
efficient character they have enjoyed since their organiza-
tion. The members of the Horse Guard form a part of
the police force of the city; and the Reserve Guard have
signified their readiness to aid the city authorities in what-
ever legal duty their services may be required. I desire
to acknowledge the obligations which our people are under
to the members of these two companies, for the valuable
assistance rendered the authorities during the riotous de-
monstrations in Boston, and other cities, in July last. The
efficiency of these companies, and the character of the
members is such, that should occasion require, entire reli-
ance can be placed upon them in the future as in the past.
I regret being obliged to allude to an act of the last
Legislature, of manifest injustice, if not illegal in its
nature, as affecting this city. I refer to the reimburse-
ment bounty bill. As no parallel case has occurred in
the legislation of this Commonwealth, it may be appro-
priate that I explain the matter, as I understand it.
Through this law the State assumes all sums paid as boun-
ties by cities and towns, prior to the passage of the bill,
to an amount not exceeding $100 for each recruit, where
such a sum had been paid.
The result of this law, so far as our city is concerned,
is this. That after having answered all requirements of
the State for volunteers, and having received a receipt to
that effect, we were assessed the sum of $38,441.15.
This sum was, in accordance with law, and the decision of
the City Council, borrowed, and added to the city debt.
The amount of $48,700, being the same as paid by this
city for bounties to 1510 soldiers, was assumed by the
State, and passed to our credit. Our proportion of the
State tax, before alluded to, was $87,141.15 — the differ-
ence being paid into the State treasury.
MAYOR'S ADDRESS. 15
The causes of this unfortunate and unjust result are
manifold. Large numbers of our citizens enlisted from
patriotic motives, asking no bounty. Our people, as indi-
viduals, contributed largely, thus relieving the city treas-
ury where bounties were desired. This fact can be easily
We recruited 1510 men, for which the sum of $48,700
was paid as bounty, being an average of $32.25 per man;
whereas some towns and cities recruited few soldiers with-
out paying bounties to the full amount as assumed by the
State. Another cause of this result, is in the fact that
our valuation, as fixed by the State, is enormous. In addi-
tion to the valuation of our property, as fixed by our asses-
sors, which you well know to be at the highest legal limit,
the Commonwealth increases the same some $4,000,000.
When it is considered that the policy of the small towns
is to keep their valuation low, to avoid the State tax, it
can readily be seen that the large and wealthy cities and
towns pay an undue proportion thereof. It is understood
that the constitutionality of this law will be contested by
the City of Lowell ; and it is to be hoped that the decision
of the court will be such that the amount paid by us will be
Gentlemen, — I improve this opportunity of thanking
my fellow-citizens for the honor they have again conferred
upon me, in my election to the highly responsible position
of their chief magistrate. I recur with pleasure to the
kindly feelings, unanimity of opinion, and promptness in the
discharge of duty, which characterized the City Council of
the last year.
With adhesion to like sentiments and action, and with
the blessing of God, our deliberations must be satisfactory
to ourselves ; and I doubt not will meet with the approval of
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