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bill $165; for temporary relief to paupers $253; overseers fees $54; justices' fees $40; total 512 dollars; number of paupers unknown to us. The children have been sent to the district school about three months; but we are preparing a school-room in the poor-house, which will soon be in readiness. Paid for farm 500 dollars, which is not added in the report of expenses.
ONEIDA, A school has been taught by some one of the paupers in the poorhouse during the whole year, and the number taught has varied from 15 to 30. We have not the means of ascertaining the allowances made to justices and overseers, as their accounts were settled by the boards of supervisors.
There has been a sehool taught in the poor-house eight months during the year ending on the first day of October, 1829, the average number of children taught during the above mentioned time, is fifteen. The branches taught in said school, are spelling and reading; and when the children become of any size they are bound out as servants and mechanics, until they shall respectively become of agre.
*This establishment was opened in October 1826. The first year
an attempt was made to have the towns support their own poor; but it was soon found very difficult on account of crediting the paupers for the labor they did; as some could do much less than others, and again, some required much more attendance, medicine, &c.; the superintendents therefore immediately reported the difficulty to the board of supervisors, recommended to them to make all the poor of the county, county paupers; which was accordingly done. Since which time the poor have been kept as a common stock; and since that time we find no difficulty in keeping the accounts, and managing the concern. We think we have improved some in the management of the concern, and we think there is much room for further improvement. We think aur farm is not large enough; that a larger number of cows ought to be kept, because we find it not only much cheaper to keep the paupers on butter and milk as much as possible, but it adds much to their health and comfort.
The reasons why we report from October to October, are, 1st. That our books and reports are made during that time; secondly, the board of supervisors meet on the first of October in each year, and our accounts are all credited up to that time. The expense of the paupers since the first day of October 1830, up to the first day of December, will not vary much from what they were during the same time in 1829.
ORLEANS. We would suggest an alteration in the 42d section, page 624, of the poor law, so that in those counties where the distinction between town and county poor has been abolished, which is the case in our county, each town shall be obliged to support those paupers who are unable to be removed to the county poor-house in cases of sickness, so long as such inability to be removed shall exist. We would, as the superintendents of the poor in and for the county of Orleans, most humbly solicit you to lay the above before the Legislature, so that an alteration may be made if expedient.
In this county the distinction between town and county poor has been abolished.
The estimates are all calculated for the year ending 10th November, 1830, the date of the report of the superintendents to the board of supervisors.
The superintendents find a difficulty in complying with the form prescribed by the Secretary of State. The number of paupers relieved or supported during the year, seems to include those relieved in the towns under justices’ orders, as well as those supported at the county house. The number of paupers temporarily relieved, is not known to the superintendents; they have therefore divided the expenses into such as may be strictly considered as incurred for temporary relies, and such as may be considered as constituting the actual expense of supporting the paupers at the poor-house.
The children have been instructed in the poor-house the whole term by one of the paupers. The average number of scholars was 15.
The whole expense of the support of the poor, was..... $3,688 80
Of this sum was paid for temporary relief, or relief out of poor-house, as follows:
By county treasurer on justices' orders, $958 03
Accounts allowed by supervisors, .... 19 00
Allowance to justices, ... . . . . . . . . . . 71 60
do overseers poor, ....... 79 75
For permanent relief or support at poor-house, as follows:
Victualling, clothing, hired labor, repair of buildings, furniture and imple- ments of husbandry, and incidental expenses, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,729 88 Transportation of paupers, ... . . . . . . 151 99 Estimated allowance to overseers for orders of removal, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 87 Allowance to superintendents, ...... 125 18 do keeper, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 850 00 do physician, . . . . . . . . . . . 83 00 2,489 92 —$3,688 S0
The average number of paupers at the poor-house, was 94.
The expense of supporting town paupers in the several towns, so far as heard from, for the relief of 70 paupers, $540.58 cents; three towns not heard from, estimated at $175; temporary relief in different towns to 39 county paupers, $198.44 cents; do. three towns not heard from, estimated at $275. The children have been taught at the poor-house, reading, and some have been sent to the district school. It is suggested that the superintendents and overseers of the poor should be furnished with the laws relating to the duties of their offices. Our report bears date the first of October. The reason of this is, that our board of supervisors hold their session the beginning of October, and if we reported from December to December, we should be under the necessity of ascertaining the expense from the time the supervisors meet until the first of December, and also for the same period the preceding year. Our report, however, gives the expense of one year.
PUTNAM. We are now building a county poor-house, which will be done by the first of May next. When this is done, the distinction between town and county poor will be abolished. We have made no report to you, as the poor have been kept in the towns as usual.
QUEENS. The number of persons relieved and supported during the year preceding the first of December instant, was 285...Qf the persons thus relieved, the number of county paupers was 120; the number of town paupers, 165. The whole expense of such support was
$8,220 34 Of this sum, there was paid for transportation of paupers, ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20 25 Allowance made to superintendents, . . . . . . . . 127 05 44 4& overseers, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 1 00 44 44 justices,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 817 00 to 44 keepers and officers, ...... 318 00 44 &&. doctor's bills, . . . . . . . . . . 159 36 Allowed the different persons for taking pauper children off the county, at an earlier age than such children can be put out as servants without compensation, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 00 1,272 66 $6,947 68 -
The actual expense of keeping each person per week, can not be ascertained, as the overseers have kept no account of the time the paupers were severally supported. . A house, with 21 acres of land attached to it, has been hired for the use of the county poor, at an annual rent of $75; and from the first of October last, it is intended a correct account shall be kept of all proceedings had in relation to such paupers as are chargeable to the county; but the overseers of the poor manage the town paupers in their own way, and it is not possible to obtain any information from them beyond a statement of the amount of money expended in support of the poor; nor can the number or description of paupers be more than conjectured at any given time, under the system adopted by the towns. As yet our pauper children receive no instruction, either in the poor-houses or at school. The superintendents with pleasure avail themselves of the privilege granted by the printed circular of the Secretary, under date of the 28th May last, to state the following facts and circumstances relative to the maintenance of paupers in the county of Queens, which, it is hoped, will satisfactorily apologize for the deficiencies of their report. on the date of the operation of the law requiring the counties to support certain paupers not chargeable to any of their towns, up to the appointment of superintendents in this county, the overseers of the several towns have adopted various plans for relieving town and county poor. In some towns it has been the practice to hire board for the paupers, in such poor families as could be found to take them at a low rate. Some of the overseers have hired houses to keep them, and purchased provisions, clothing, &c. at the expense of the town, and employ persons to cook and take care of them. Others, and the greater number, put all the poor of the town out on contract, to the person who will take them for a year at the smallest sum, pay all their expenses, and retain the balance of the sum contracted for as his own compensation. The first of these modes of affording relief to paupers is considered extremely objectionable, inasmuch as it furnishes facilities for the grossest impositions on the public, and is the most expensive plan that has yet been resorted to. It is within the knowledge of the writer, that one of the towns which now puts out its poor on contract for $700 per annum, formerly expended from $1,800 to $2,200 a year for the same objects; and it is believed that the paupers may now be as well j, after reasonably paying the contractor, as they were under the former extravagant expenditure. Many of those who formerly applied to the overseers to have their board provided in the family or house of some friend or relative, and generally succeeded in getting it, by craftily imposing some tale of wo on the overseer, will now work and maintain themselves, rather than submit to leave the haunts of their associates, perform the labor, and comply with the discipline exacted from them by the persons who contract for their support at a limited compensation. Supporting town poor in a poor-house is also liable to objections, on account of the impossibility of conducting such establishments on a small scale, with the same degree of economy, and under the same wholesome regulations, which may without difficulty be advantageously applied to more extensive institutions of the same description. The last mode resorted to, and which appears to be gaining favor, in our county, has nothing to recommend it, excepting that it makes a temporary saving in dollars and cents; whilst its natural tendency evidently is to degrade the pauper, and demoralize the contractor. Immediately after the appointment of superintendents, it became necessary for them to visit the town poor-houses, in order to reexamine the paupers, and provide for such as should be found chargeable to the county. The condition of the poor in one town, j. the care of a contractor who was liberally paid, was truly such as to excite the warmest feelings of commiseration and sympathy for the wretched subjects of poverty, vice and misfortune, who had fallen into his hands. From 12 to 16 persons were tenanted, in the month of February, in a miserable house about 24 feet square, with only one fire-place; around which, old and young, black and white, male and female, sick and well, half naked children and ragged dirty negroes, were crowded together, covered with filth, rioting in idleness and disgusting conversation, and apparently indulging in every thing to corrupt and brutalize the human mind. Nor is this disreputable state of things confined to the towns whose overseers put out their poor on contract. In one town in which a house and keeper is hired, and supplies are furnished by the overseers at the expense of the town, at an average cost of about $1,200 a year, so great was the want of care on the part of the overseers and keeper, that the paupers were not comfortably supplied either with clothes or fuel; and even cleanliness, the foundation of comfort, health and credit, was so shamefully neglected, that we thought it prudent to inquire whether the house was free from vermin, and were kindly cautioned by the paupers, that our safest way would be to keep our feet, and not make use of their seats. It is understood from good authority, that the contractor and keeper last referred to, have both been removed, and the poor in those towns now receive better treatment. From this deplorable state in which pauperism now exists in our county, no relief is to be expected without the assistance of the Legislature; and this it is hoped may be speedily obtained, as further legislation on the subject, we think, must soon be had and frequently repeated. The gradual increase of our own citizens, under the most favorable circumstances, would soon require it; and suffering as we are from the corrupting and destroying vice of intemperance, and exposed to an accumulating influx of emigrants from the vagrant population of Europe, the most vigilant and watchful care of government will be absolutely necessary to keep down this growing evil of the times, which already threatens the State, and particularly the southern counties, with a heavy and oppressive tax. The whole poor of the county are now kept in seven different parcels, each attended by a keeper and the legal quota of town officers. It cannot require an argument to show that an important item would be saved in their expenses, by consolidating the whole into one general and well organized company; which would also be the means of enabling the county to derive some little advantage from their labor, which is now lost by the subdivision. The P. too, if properly employed, would soon feel the benefits of wholesome exercise, and sensibl enjoy its good effects upon their health and constitutions. The correcting restraints of discipline and labor, would tend to reform and improve that numerous portion which has been reduced to