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This has not been neglected, but it has not yet been carried to the extent required and intended.
Rewards and Punishments.
The necessity of rewards and punishments, as incentives to good behavior, has frequently shown itself, and is a subject in relation to which difficulty has occurred as to the most salutary course. In the second circular of the Royal Institution in Paris, inquiries are made and communications solicited on the subject. At our Asylum some neat and useful article of clothing has been given, by way of reward, and punishments for misbehavior have been of a nature both reformatory and mild, as incentives to diligence and good conduct. The directors have concluded to have a handsomely ornamented certificate prepared, to be given to the pupils on leaving the school, if their improvement and behavior should warrant such a distinction.
It is with great satisfaction that the Board proceed to state the very advantageous arrangements which they have been enabled to
make during the past year, in the departments of discipline and instruction.
The president, being about to visit Europe, in the early part of last spring, undertook, at the request of the board, and without charge upon its funds, to obtain, if practicable, a competent teacher from one of the most respectable foreign institutions, for the instruction of the deaf and dumb. His endeavors were not successful in Great Britain, but the Board have the pleasure of adding that the Royal Institute at Paris, kindly surrendered to them, Mr. Leon Vaysse, one of its well qualified professors, who was willing on reasonable terms, to emigrate to the United States, and to take a station in our Asylum. He accompanied the president on his return, has engaged in the duties of a professor, and the Board have reason to believe, as well from the high recommendations of the director and administration of the Royal Institute at Paris, as from their own observation since he has entered upon his office, that Mr. Vaysse, in point of moral and literary qualifications, and their useful adapta
tion to the art of instructing the deaf and dumb, is a very important acquisition to the institution.
Besides the advantages derived from the services of a teacher, capable of imparting a knowledge of the systems of the Abbés De L'Epée and Sicard, with such improvements as have been made in them since the death of those eminent men, the Board have also been successful in engaging the permanent services of Mr. Harvy P. Peet, so well known as a highly qualified instructor for several years past, in the American Asylum at Hartford. Mr. Peet is to reside, with his family, at the Asylum, and to occupy the name and office of principal, and in that character, besides his personal attention to the business of instruction, is to have the general superintendence of the government of the establishment in its intellectual, moral and religious departments, subject to such regulations as the Board have already established, or may hereafter prescribe.
Mr. Loofborrow and Miss Stansbury, who have so long given the Board the benefit of their talents and experience in the duties of instruction, also continue their services in conjunction with the principal and the professor from France. The Board apprehend that little will now be wanting but the continued patronage of the enlightened Legislature of the state, and the benevolence of their fellow-citizens, to afford through the medium of their seminary, the best means of education to any number of deaf inutes that may be committed to their charge.
It is also gratifying to the Board, that Mrs. Peet gives her services as matron at the Asylum, and that a lady of much experience from the Hartford Asylum will occupy a very useful department of duty in the female part of the establishment.
The mute assistant who was in the Institution at the date of the last annual report, continued until September last, and was then dismissed by the Board, with their disapprobation of his conduct during the latter part of his employment in the Institution. ar
Another person has been engaged as an assistant instructor and tutor in place of the deaf mute dismissed. He is a young man of uncommon mind, from New-Jersey, by the name of John R. Burnet, and is not a mute from birth, having lost his hearing when eight years old, after learning to read and write. As he has not until lately had intercourse with those laboring under the same inability with himself, he is now on trial, without any other remuneration than his board, to ascertain whether he can acquire the art of instructing the deaf and dumb, so as to make that employment the means of his future support.
The report of the president on his return from Europe, giving an account of his visits to several institutions for deaf mutes, his engagement of a teacher, and his inquiries on the subject of articulation, is a valuable document, and is hereunto annexed. (Document
The general state and condition of the institution continues to be prosperous, and even more so than at any former period. During the year the income has enabled the directors to pay all the ordinary and some extraordinary expenses, to lay up a stock of supplies for the winter, and to reduce the debt of the Institution three thousand dollars.
Employment of the pupils out of school has been a subject of solicitude and inquiry. A portion of that time must necessarily be devoted to study, and yet several hours in the day would still be consumed in idleness, if some useful occupation for the pupils were not provided. The Board has therefore engaged in the working department a professed gardener, tailor and shoe-maker. A number of boys, with the approbation of their friends, have chosen to work at one or other of the two last trades, and during the past season four boys were regularly and alternately detailed for one week to assist in the garden out of school hours. The directors are satisfied that all the pupils who are able should be occupied in some useful employment, when not engaged in study. But to extend the working department into numerous arts and employments, with a few at each, and a master of the trade to direct, would necessarily create much additional expense. The directors however contemplate some others, that the choice of pupils and their parents may not be confined to so small a number. Weaving has been proposed as an employment in which both males and females may be advantageously employed.
The female mutes are regularly occupied in sewing when not otherwise engaged, and two well qualified females are constantly with them to help make and mend their clothes, and to instruct them in the use of the needle. It has been the practice regularly and alternately to detail four of them to assist for one week (out of school hours) in the domestic concerns of the Asylum, reserving the more laborious work for the hired persons.
The Board anticipates making an attempt to cultivate the mulberry and rear the silk worm, which being agreeable and light employment, may be conducted principally by females. The late improvements in Europe of sowing the mulberry seeds annually, and using the leaves of the young plants to feed the worms, will admit the experiment being tried and the result determined without waiting for the growth of the young plants to trees.
Library and Cabinet.
The library which was commenced the last year for the use of the teachers and pupils, has been increased by the addition of a considerable number of volumes principally received by donation. They now amount to several hundred volumes, and there are promises of
A cabinet has also been commenced, and it it is intended to extend it, so as to embrace some articles of philosophical apparatus, tools and implements, to make it practically useful, and enable the Board to raise this institution above a mere elementary school. The work is already begun, a case has been prepared, and a number of articles received. Among them is a moveable sun dial, and a thermometer, with the last of which the mute assistant teacher has commenced making meteorological observations, and keeping a thermometrical journal. Further donations for the library and cabinet will be solicited.
In the working department the garden has been the most useful and productive. It has been well cultivated, and furnished much light work for the male pupils, who have been amused while thus employed, and gratified with the use of roots, fauits and vegetables which they themselves have assisted to raise. Nearly four acres have been under cultivation during the past season, producing several successive crops. Every vegetable production usually cultivated in gardens has been raised, and the pupils have enjoyed them in abundance while they were fresh and good; and a large stock has been laid up for winter supplies. When a surplus quantity of perishable articles was on hand, they were sent to market and sold. The amount received from such sales is stated in the treasurers account; but if we add to it an estimate of the value of articles consumed during the summer, and of those laid up for winter, the sum would more than pay the expenses of the garden.
- Supervisors' Pupils, &c. The interest which others have taken in the institution has not been diminished. The supervisors of the county of New-York continue the provision for eleven mutes commenced last year, and the Female Association still have three children ir the school.
If further evidence were wanting that this institution has merited and continues to attract public attention and regard, it would be found in the liberal donations, during the past year, in money, books for a library, materials for a cabinet, and flowers, shrubs and trees to ornament the grounds around the Asylum. Credit is given to the . numerous individuals from whom they were received, and a list annexed, (Document No. 6.)
The grounds around the Asylum have been much improved and ornamented by cultivation, ditching, draining, and fencing, and by bettering the roads leading to the Third and Fifth Avenues, the two great thoroughfares from the Asylum to the city. This work was absolutely necessary for the comfort and convenience of the institution; and owing to the nature and condition of the ground, has been considerably expensive. Further expenditures for similar work will in all probability be necessary.
As good water is one of the indispensable necessaries of life, the Board have made great efforts to procure the same, and after some discouragement and delay, hope they have at length succeeded in their object.
The recent visit of the president to several institutions in Europe, has been the means of opening an intercourse from which a friendly correspondence may be anticipated, and in addition to their reports already received, others may be expected. A number of valuable books on the subject of the deaf and dumb, in French, German, and Italian, have been purchased in Europe and placed in our library, and an agent has been directed to procure the most approved works from Germany. During the year a communication and report have been received from the institution for deaf mutes, at Troyes in France, and a letter from a gentlemen who has established a school
[A. No. 95.] 2