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Full text of "[City documents, 1847-1867]"

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City Document. — No. 1. 
ADDRESS 

OF 

HIS HON OH 

GEORGE LEWIS, MAYOR 

TO THE 

CITY COUNCIL OF KOXBURY, 



DELIVERED BEFORE THE 



TWO BRANCHES IN CONVENTION, 
JANUABY 4, 1864. 




PRINTED BY ORDER OP THE CITY COUNCIL. 



ROXBURY: 

L. B. & 0. E. WESTON, PRINTERS, GUILD ROW. 

1864. 



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. 



Concurred. 



In Board of Aldermen, January 4, 1864. 
JOSEPH W. TUCKER, City Clerk. 



ADDRESS. 



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- 
perative. 

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 

$783,065 

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 

137,500 



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., 
$255,065. 

The loans contracted the past year draw interest as fol- 
lows, viz. : At 5 per cent, per annum, $59,500 ; at 5£ per 
cent, $78,000. 

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 
office. 

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. 



FIRE DEPARTMENT. 

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. 



MAYOR'S ADDRESS. 



SEWERAGE. 



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 
a foot. 

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 
already laid. 

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 
energy. 

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. 

2 



10 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 1. 

PUBLIC SQUARES. 

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 

HIGHWAYS. 

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 
amount. 

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 
highways. 

POLICE DEPARTMENT. 

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. 

SCHOOLS. 

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- 
ferred to. 

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. 

MILITARY AFFAIRS. 

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- 
monwealth. 

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 
the Commonwealth. 

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 
demonstrated. 

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 
refunded. 

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 
our fellow-citizens. 



i 



I 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 9999 06660 794 4 



LI 



PUBLIC LIBRARY 

or THE 

CITY OF BOSTON 



ABBREVIATED REGULATIONS. 

One volume can be taken at a time from ihe 
Lower Hall, and one from the Bates Kail. 
Books can be kept out 14 clays. 

A line of 2 cents for each volume will be 
incurred for each day a book is detained more 
than H days. 

Any book detained more than a week be- 
yond the time limited, will be sent for at the 
expense of the delinquent. 

No book is to be lent, out of the household 
of the borrower. 

The Library hours for the delivery and re- 
turn of books are from 10 o'clock, A. M., to 
8 o'clock, P. M., in the Lower Hall ; and from 
10 o'clock, A. M., until one half hour before 
sunset in the Bates Hall. 

Every book must, under penalty of one dol- 
lar, be returned to the Library at such time 
in August as shall be publicly announced. 

The card must be presented whenever a 
book is returned. For renewing a book the 
card must be presented, together with the 
book, or with the shelf-numbers of the book.