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REPORT OF THE DIRECTORS.
His Excellency Richard J. Oglesby, Governor of Illinois :
Sir:-Two annual reports, recounting the history, progress and results of the experimental school for the “Instruction and training of Idiotic and Feeble-minded children in the State of Illinois," having been submitted to your Excellency by the undersigned, in accordance with the act authorizing the organization of said Institution, we presume that a brief relation of the subsequent growth, and present condition of the school, with a statement of its receipts and expenditures for the year now closing, will sufficiently meet the requirements of that provision of said act which makes it our duty to report annually; and as being all that your Excellency expects in this report.
At the date of our second report, the schedule of the Superintendent bore the names of thirty-four children who had been admitted as pupils. Eight of these had been discharged and returned to their parents, for reasons that were set forth in the same schedule. Of the twenty-six pupils then remaining, there are now in the school twenty-one.
To this number there have been accessions, from time to time, of new pupils, increasing the number to thirtynine, which, although below the maximum number of pupils that the Institution is almost prepared to accommodate, is quite gratifying and encouraging, showing that the school, though in its infancy, has attracted a considerable share of public attention, and secured to a great extent the sympathy and approbation of the people.
Satisfied that this sympathy is merited, we confidently look for its continuance.
The improvement in the mental and physical condition of all the children is very marked and noticeable, and the development of the hidden and apparently unreachable powers of mind of many of them is clearly in advance of our own anticipations, hopeful and sanguine as those anticipations were at the outset.
In our last report we alluded to the probability of the Legislature making provision for the permanent establishment of the school and placing it upon an independent basis, that it might occupy its appropriate and deserved position among the benevolent Institutions in the State; well knowing, however, that if that honorable body should so determine, many months, and probably years, must elapse before a suitable edifice for the purpose could be erected, we made what we regarded as necessary arrangements for its continuance, and we submitted our request for an increased appropriation. We also asked for a grant of three thousand dollars to enable us to erect an additional building for school, gymnasium, bed and wash rooms.
We are happy to state that our action in this respect was endorsed by the Governor and the Legislature, and the appropriations solicited generously granted. The sums specified seemed to be large for the purposes named, but in consequence of the continued high prices of supplies, building material, and the wages of mechanics, we found them hardly sufficient to defray the expenses incurred.
The new building described by the Superintendent in his report herewith, is substantial, capacious and admirably adapted to the wants of the school, and affording to the Superintendent nearly all the facilities and appliances needed to thoroughly test the utility of the important experiment entrusted to our supervision.
Circumstances which we could not control delayed the completion of this addition until a later period in the fall than we expected, and therefore the reception of many pupils who had applied for admission was postponed. Of late they have been received as fast as the requisite accommodations could be prepared, and it is expected that, in the course of a few days, the school will be full.
The domestic affairs of the Institution are managed as efficiently as they were last year—and by the same persons. We speak with pleasure and approbation of the motives which apparently govern the Superintendent and the Matron in the prosecution of their numerous and, in some respects, repulsive duties. These officials seem to be actuated by an earnest desire to benefit the unfortunates under their care.
No punishment is inflicted in any case, and the only means resorted to for the necessary subjection, and to secure the intelligent obedience of the most refractory or impulsive pupil, are of the simplest character, amounting in fact to nothing harsher or more objectionable, than a gentle but firm restraint, and patient efforts to awaken and incite to action the dormant faculties of the mind.
The frequent personal inspection of the premises by the President of the Board, and the careful examination and inquiries into all its departments, made by the directors at each of our quarterly sessions, enable us to assure your Excellency that all the children in this school are looked after and cared for with a vigilance as constant, and a zeal as enduring and tolerant, as any observable in the bestregulated families. The health of the inmates has been remarkably good, and so continues—not a death, nor an instance of violent disease has appeared among them.
Before concluding this report, we think it proper to remark that we appreciate the difficulties which the Superintendent experiences in procuring and retaining the services of persons who are fitted by training and disposition for the duties so varied and so constantly recurring in an Institution of this class. But we do not wonder that it is so, when we reflect that similar embarrassments are experienced generally throughout this section of the State, by private families having domestic situations at their disposal that are comparatively desirable.
As a remedy for this evil, if it may be called an evil, and which certainly militates against the rapid progress of our school, but one expedient has suggested itself to us, and that is an increase of wages. Such an increase we would be glad to authorize, if the means at our command would justify us in so doing.
Much might be said upon questions arising out of the management and maintenance of the school, and especially upon the questions of cost and results, a subject which is now assuming an importance, and beginning to exert an influence equal to any that may demand the serious attention of the Legislature; but deeming a bare reference to these topics all that is necessary at this time, we think it best to reserve an elaborate discussion thereof for our next report, which your Excellency will receive from us in time for your consideration before you communicate your biennial message to the next General Assembly.
Respectfully referring to the financial statement of the Superintendent, hereunto appended, which shows an excess of expenditures over receipts, and expressing our belief that the deficit will be amply met from resources outside of the appropriations from the State Treasury, We are your obedient servants,
JOHN R. WOODS, President.
P. G. GILLETT.
Directors Illinois Institution for Deaf and Dumb. JACKSONVILLE, ILL., December 6th, 1867.
REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT.
To the Board of Directors of the Illinois Institution
for Idiots and Imbeciles : GENTLEMEN -I herewith very respectfully submit the Third Annual Report of the Illinois Institution for Idiots and Imbeciles, for the year ending November 30th, 1867.
At the date of my last report, November 30th, 1866, we had received one hundred and thirty applications for the admission of pupils, since which time sixty more have been received, making in all one hundred and ninety applications to the present time.
There were, at the date of our last report, twenty-six pupils connected with the school, all that could be accommodated by the building in use at that time. Eighteen have since been added, and five removed, leaving thirtynine now inmates of the Institution. Arrangements have been made for the admission of quite a number more, who are expected daily.
Of those who have been removed, one was sent away because of evident organic disease, preventing improvement to any profitable extent. Another was taken away after a three months' stay at the Institution, that she might receive the care and instruction of a special attendant and teacher at home; but her parents have recently made application for her re-admission to the Institution. One was sent home for the vacation, but will not return