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TREASURY DEPARTMENT, December 18, 1866. SIR: I have the honor to report, in reply to the questions contained in yours of this date, that on the 1st June an agreement was made by Mr. Fred. Chase, as agent on the part of this department, to purchase certain lots, amounting in the aggregate to 61 acres, near the Reform School in the city of Chicago, as a site for the new marine hospital, of W. H. Chappell, esq., for the sum of $22,000, which agreement was approved by you on the 7th June.
On the 23 September the abstracts of title were forwarded to the honorable Attorney General for examination. Certain difficulties were found to exist in the title; but it was believed by this department that they could be satisfactorily arranged.
Information was obtained on various points from time to time, as requested by the Attorney General; but on the 8th October that officer finally declined certifying to the validity of the title, which left the department without other resource than to endeavor to obtain other property.
On the 13th instant I addressed a letter to the Hon. W. B. Scates, collector of the port of Chicago, requesting him to ascertain what suitable property could be obtained, and the price, together with his views on the question, to which no answer has been received.
No plans have been prepared for the proposed marine hospital, it being desirable that the site should be selected before they are prepared, in order to adapt them to the peculiarities of the location, should there be any.
I propose to visit Chicago during the present month, in order to make a personal examination of such property as may be offered, and trust to be enabled to recommend a suitable piece on my return.
No effort has been spared on the part of this office to press the matter to a satisfactory conclusion, both in procuring information and otherwise, but thus far without avail. Very respectfully,
A. B. MULLETT,
Supervising Architect. Hon. Hugh MCCULLOCH,
Secretary of the Treasury.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, April 4, 1867. MY DEAR SIR: I was very much surprised to learn to-day that you had returned to Chicago without having made a report to the department in relation to the title of the proposed site for the United States marine hospital.
It would appear that a sufficient length of time had elapsed for an examination of the case, the more especially as you informed me that it was not at all complicated; and I have once more to request you to prepare the papers at the earliest possible moment, and forward them for the approval of the Attorney General.
I regret very much to be obliged to urge this matter so frequently, but have no option. The department has been attacked, both in Congress and outside, for the delay which it is not at all responsible for, and no rest can be obtained until we hear from you.
If it is impossible for you to prepare the papers at once, Mr. Nix has expressed his willingness to employ his own counsel; and you will please deliver all the documents relating to the case to him, and oblige, Yours, very truly,
A. B. MULLETT,
Supervising Architect. Hon. JESSE O. NORTON,
United States District Attorney, Chicago, Illinois.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, April 12, 1867. SIR: According to your instructions I have prepared designs for the proposed United States marine hospital at Chicago, Illinois, which I have the honor to submit herewith.
In the preparation of these designs it has been my effort to avoid the many defects existing in the present hospitals, which have rendered many of them totally inefficient if not entire failures, and I believe the arrangement proposed will provide all the accommodations desired and prove entirely satisfactory.
As there are, however, many questions arising in the construction of such a building which require medical education and experience in hospital management to determine, I would respectfully request, before a decision is made with regard to the plans, that you would submit them to a board of medical gentlemen for examination and such suggestions as their experience and knowledge of the requirements of such a structure will dictate.
As members of such board I would suggest the names of Assistant Surgeon J.J. Woodward, United States army; Dr. P. J. Howitz, United States navy; D. W. Bliss, M. D., and R. K. Stone, M. D., who are gentlemen of high repute in their profession, of large experience in hospital matters, and thoroughly conversant with all the questions to be determined.
As a reason for suggesting the names of these gentlemen, I beg leave to state that they have expressed their willingness to make the examination and prepare a report in the case without cost to the department, performing the service as a matter of professional pride.
Believing that the interests of the government and the comfort of the occupants of the hospital will be promoted by adopting this course, I would respectfully submit the matter for your most favorable consideration. Very respectfully,
A. B. MULLETT,
Supervising Architect. Hon. Hugh McCULLOCH,
Secretary of the Treasury.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, April 13, 1867. SIR: The supervising architect of this department has prepared sketches for the proposed United States marine hospital at Chicago, Illinois, which he desires should be submitted, before adoption, to a committee of physicians for such suggestions and modifications as will make the building, when completed, what the department desires it should be, viz., a model institution.
Understanding that you take a deep professional interest in all matters of this nature, and are willing to give the department the benefit of your large experience in hospital management, I have decided to invite you, (if consistent with your official duties,) in connection with the following named gentlemen, viz., Dr. P. J. Howitz, United States navy, D. W. Bliss, M. D., and R. K. Stone, M. D., to examine the plans at such time as you may mutually agree upon, and would feel obliged for a full expression of your views in regard thereto. Very respectfully,
Secretary of the Treasury. Assistant Surgeon J.J. WOODWARD, U.S. A.,
Washington, D. C.
Dr. P. J. Howitz, Chief of Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, April 27, 1867. SIR: I have to call your attention to the importance to the department of an early decision as to the title to the lot purchased of James Nix. esq., as a site for the proposed marine hospital at Chicago. This case was placed in your hands in January last, and it appears to the department that sufficient time has elapsed to have enabled you to prepare a report on the subject.
The department has learned with surprise that you were examining the title of the property owned by Mr. James H. Rees, with a view of recommending it as a site. I deem it proper to remind you that the department has purchased the property of Mr. Nix, and is satisfied with the purchase.
You will therefore oblige me by forwarding the title papers, with your opinion, at the earliest moment, and informing me by return of mail how soon you can make your report thereon. Very respectfully,
.: H. MCCULLOCH,
Secretary of the Treasury. Hon. JESSE 0. NORTON,
U. S. District Attorney, Chicago, Illinois.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, April 30, 1867. SIR: I have the honor to enclose herewith the papers in relation to the title of the property purchased as a site for the proposed new United States marine hospital at Chicago, Illinois ; and as it is of the first importance that work on the building be commenced at the earliest possible moment, I should be greatly obliged if you would examine them at once and return them to me, with your opinion. Very respectfully,
Secretary of the Treasury. Hon. HENRY STANBERY,
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, April 30, 1867. GENTLEMEN: Mr. Leeds, in my absence, will give you any explanation you may desire in regard to the hospital plan submitted for your consideration. If you deem it advisable to place the kitchen, laundry, &c.. under the main building, please make such or any other suggestions reducing the expense, which will be thankfully received.
I would be pleased especially to have your opinion in regard to the centre or administration building. Very respectfully,
A. B. MULLETT,
Supervising Architect. Drs. Howitz, WOODWARD, BLISS and NICHOLS.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, June 24, 1867. SIR: The title to your property has at last been examined by the Attorney General and some defects pointed out. The Solicitor of the Treasury has given his opinion that the defects can be remedied in Chicago. Before the payment is made, the Secretary, in order to avoid all delay and close up the business at the earliest moment, has this day directed a draft for $10,000 to be sent to the honorable W. B. Scates, United States depositary, with full instructions.
The draft could not be sent to Mr. Coolbaugh as requested, but the same result will be reached by the mode adopted.
I regret that you have been kept waiting so long, but you certainly cannot blame this department, as the decision of the Attorney General was not received until the 16th instant; it was then referred to the Solici. tor of the Treasury on the same day, and his decision received on the 22d instant. Hoping all will prove satisfactory, I remain yours, very respectfully,
A. B. MULLETT,
Supervising Architect. JAMES Mix, Esq.,
Box 1593 Post office, Chicago, Illinois.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, August 14, 1867. SIR: The Secretary has decided to appoint you superintendent of the proposed marine hospital at Chicago, Illinois, and a formal appointment will be sent you as soon as arrangements can be made for commencing the work, which I trust will be very soon.
Meantime I would like you to inform me the comparative cost of making the exterior walls of good rubble stone from the Joliet quarries, and of brick. I would much prefer the former material if it can be obtained within our figures. Very respectfully,
A. B. MULLETT,
Supervising Architect. Gen. J. D. WEBSTER, Chicago, Illinois.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, August 23, 1867. SIR: You are hereby appointed superintendent of the construction of the new United States marine hospital at Chicago, Illinois, under the
instructions of the supervising architect of this department, at a compensation of $8 per diem, to take effect from the receipt of instructions to commence work.
Enclosed please find a bond, which, if this appointment be accepted, you will have properly executed and return to this department for approval. Very respectfully,
Secretary of the Treasury. Gen. JOSEPH D. WEBSTER, Chicago, Illinois.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, August 26, 1867. SIR: You are hereby instructed to commence operations at once upon the construction of the new United States marine hospital at Chicago, Illinois.
Plans of the concrete trenches, foundation walls, and cellar story are herewith transmitted, and the location of same on site will be determined by me as soon as I can reach Chicago, which will be during this week.
You will at once prepare a project of operations, of sheds, tools, and machinery, in your opinion necessary, and an estimate of funds required for the ensuing month, which latter you will please pass to the disbursing agent, (collector of customs,) for him to approve and forward to the department for action.
You will make the necessary preliminary arrangements to commence the excavation at once, after I shall have located the building, the same to be done by days' work. In doing that work you will have due regard to the most convenient dumping places for grading, if any is needed on the premises. Enclosed please find form of advertisements for rubble stone for cellars and foundation walls, also for lime and cement, which you will have inserted, every other day for 15 days, in the Chicago Tribune and Times.
You will open the bids received as prescribed in general instructions, and forward them to the department, together with your recommendations relative thereto. The remainder of the plans and complete specifications will be forwarded you. Very respectfully,
A. B. MULLETT,
Supervising Architect. General J. D. WEBSTER, Sup't United States Marine Hospital,
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, August 27, 1867. SIR: I have to request you to proceed without delay to Chicago, Springfield, and Cairo, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; Des Moines, Iowa; Madison, Wisconsin ; and St. Paul, Minnesota ; and inspect the work now in progress and make arrangements for commencing the same, as follows:
You will upon your arrival at Chicago locate the new marine hospital building on the lot lately purchased of James Mix, esq., placing it so as