Report of the Secretary of the Interior/1871
THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
Department of the Interior,
Washington, D. C., October 31, 1871.
Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this Department during the year. In preparing it I have compressed it within the narrowest limits possible, and have also embodied such suggestions and recommendations as my observation has convinced me will conduce to the success of the several bureaus under the immediate supervision of this Department.
The humane and peaceful policy which has been inaugurated by the Government in the conduct of Indian affairs for the past two years has been productive of gratifying results. The board of commissioners authorized by the law of April 10, 1869, composed of citizens distinguished for intelligence and philanthropy, and serving without pay, has assisted in withdrawing from the Indian service much that has been heretofore regarded as the source of evil and injustice, and which is supposed to have prevented the success of public measures intended as a means of civilization. The services of that board have exercised a wholesome influence in establishing the new policy, and its active aid and co-operation in carrying out the measures of the Government in that behalf have been valuable to this Department.
The members of the board have visited many of the tribes of Indians in the West during the past year, inspecting their condition, and observing the progress they were making in education. They have also given their personal attention to the awarding of contracts for Indian supplies, and have exercised a careful supervision over the expenditures from the Indian appropriations. Their report will afford a more detailed statement of their transactions.
The most noticeable effect of the new policy thus far has been to suppress Indian wars and depredations, to unite tribes upon reservations designated for them by Government authority, to improve their education in letters, in the practice of agriculture and other industries, in the reformation of prevailing vices, and the generally gratifying evidences of a degree of progress which offers good reason to hope for the gradual social elevation and christianization of the race.
As encouragement to those who believe in the capacity of the Indian for civilization an examination of the report of the Acting Commissioner will show that the various tribes have raised during the year agricultural products to the value of more than eight millions of dollars not including the products of the Cherokees from whom no report has been received, but whose products last year were valued at over two and one-half million dollars, an aggregate of about ten millions of dollars worth of farm produce. It will also be seem that there are 216 schools among the Indian tribes with 323 teachers and an average attendance of 8,920 pupils.
Though this peace policy has been generally maintained and a better understanding of the designs of the Government toward them prevails among the Indians excepting a few nomadic tribes in Arizona New Mexico, and on the western borders of Texas which have not yet been so fully reached by the influence of the new policy outrages by those bands or tribes have been punished so promptly by the military authorities under the influence of which the disposition to make peace is generally manifest.
Some progress is being made towards inducing the more troublesome of those tribes to accept and enter upon reservations and there is reasonable ground to hope that it will eventually be accomplished.
For this purpose it is of importance that increased and liberal appropriations for food, clothing and farming implements be made by Congress.
On the line of the North Pacific Railroad in the Territory of Dakota the Sioux have also made some offensive demonstrations against the progress of that work but thus far judicious management has prevented serious outbreak. The hostile disposition of that numerous and powerful tribe may require skillful treatment to avoid hostilities in the future.
Encouragement is afforded to the friends of the existing policy in the fact that the Indians long in contact with the whites as in New York Michigan and Wisconsin as also of those whose proximity to the whites is not of so long standing as in Kansas Nebraska and the Indian Territory have made considerable progress in the arts of civilization in the cultivation of the soil or in the pursuit of general business, with success as well as in their increased efforts in behalf of the education of their youth.
Without progress in industrial pursuits and in education we cannot hope for any lasting good results from the new policy and it should therefore be the first effort of the Government to so act as to encourage the Indian in those directions which will induce him to cultivate habits of industry and foster a desire for mental and moral culture. It might be well to establish a system of compulsory education to such an extent, at least, as to withhold annuities from those individuals who refuse or neglect to avail themselves of the educational facilities offered. This principle was adopted with the Pawnees in the third article of the treaty of 1857, and with good results.
The encouragement of agriculture might also be effectually secured by the payment of premiums for the best cultivated farm above a certain established standard of excellence.
The latter plan would not probably be productive of its legitimate results while the present system of holding their lands in common prevails, and could only be successfully carried out after the lands were divided.
These changes would entail additional and delicate duties upon agents, and would require increased vigilance in their performance Under existing laws the salaries of those officers are too small. They should be men who have no desire to speculate upon their offices, and, therefore, should have no income beyond their legal compensation. It is a singular fact, and one, perhaps, not entirely creditable to the Government, that some of the religious denominations which have been requested to name persons for appointment as agents have been compelled, in order to secure good men, to contribute to the support of said agents while in Government employ, on account of the insufficiency of the legal compensation to their support. This is utterly inadequate to their support and every consideration of justice and economy will justify a liberal increase.
To insure a faithful performance of their duties by agents, and to secure uniformity in enforcing the Government policy throughout the various agencies, I would suggest that authority be conferred upon the Secretary of the Interior to appoint inspectors, when necessity requires, whose duty it shall be to visit the several tribes and agencies at stated intervals, and report concerning the fidelity and capacity of the agents and the condition of the tribes under their charge; to enforce uniformity of management, and to suggest such measures of reform as may seem best calculated to promote the general policy of the Government.
I deem it to be my duty, also, to urge an increase of the salary of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The present rate of compensation is entirely inadequate to the position. Its duties require the services of a man of intelligence, capacity, and integrity, and he should be so compensated as to secure such services. Five thousand dollars per annum would be a small salary for the services of a proper man in that important place, and, in view of the great influence he would wield in carrying out the present policy, it would be economy to increase the salary to at least the sum named.
The Indian population now under the jurisdiction of the United States, according to the most reliable data to be obtained, is about 321,000. This number includes 75,000, the estimated Indian population of Alaska, and 3,663, scattered throughout the States of Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, Iowa, and Texas, not maintaining tribal relations. Excluding those in Alaska, and those scattered throughout the States just named, as not practically within the scope of the new policy, and the remaining Indian population is 242,371, located as follows:
|Washington Territory||15, 487|
|New Mexico||18, 640|
|Indian Territory||53, 476|
The Indians under the jurisdiction of the United States are now located on reservations of land amounting in the aggregate to 228,473 square miles, or 137,846 acres. Deducting from this statement the Indian Territory south of Kansas, and there remains a population of 172,000 occupying reservations of land amounting to 96,155,785 acres; being a per capita of 558 acres. The lands composing these reservations are generally of good quality, susceptible of.profitable cultivation, and lie in the direct path of the settler. These reservations are generally held under treaties guaranteeing Indian possession against the intrusion of white settlement.
The Indian Territory, so called, lying west of Missouri and Arkansas and south of Kansas, contains 44,154,240 acres of land, and a population of about 60,000. Westward to the 96° of west longitude the soil is of the very best quality, well watered and timbered capable of producing the largest returns to the labors of the farmer. West of the 96°, and lying between that and the valley of the Arkansas River, the country is mountainous, and offers less inducements to the settler. The mountains are known to contain very rich deposits of coal, and are supposed to contain other valuable minerals. In the valley of the Arkansas River the soil is of excellent quality for a width of ten miles while to the west of that valley the. entire country, although not so desirable for location as that in the eastern portion of the Territory, is well adapted. to the wants of the farmer. The present population of the Territory is but one person to every 630 acres. Could the entire Indian population of the country, excluding Alaska and those scattered among the States heretofore mentioned, be located in the Indian Territory, there would be 180 acres of land, per capita , for the entire number, showing that there is an ample area of land to afford them all comfortable homes.
On the other hand, such a disposition of the now scattered tribes would release from Indian occupancy 93,692,731 acres of land, and throw it open to white settlement and cultivation. This gathering together of all the outlying tribes into a comparatively small territory is the problem now before us. The proper solution of it must, in a great measure, decide the fate of that race. If they can be brought to realize their condition as we see it they will recognize the fact that if they do not speedily accept the friendly offices of the Government, and endeavor in good faith to work out their part of the policy the difficulties and dangers of their past and present condition will be increased by the increasing demand for the lands now occupied by them as hunting grounds and reservations made by our rapidly growing tide of emigration. Many of the tribes recognize the condition of things which compels the conclusions and suggestions herein made and are willing to co-operate cheerfully in the measures set on foot in their behalf.
With judicious management and a careful observance of treaty stipulations, I doubt not that the plan of gathering all the tribes into a smaller area can be successfully accomplished.
The foregoing facts induce me to regard it as of the utmost importance to the success of the existing policy that the Indian Territory be organized under a territorial government, with such restrictions and regulations as will secure the rights of the Indians in the soil, encourage them in their efforts to improve their mental, moral, and industrial condition, while at the same time maintaining a general supervisory control of their legislation as in the case of any other Territory.
The bill introduced at the third session of the Forty-first Congress for the organization of that Territory under the name of Oklahoma, and the Ocmulgee constitution adopted by a council of the Indian nations of the Territory in December last, are intended to accomplish the object referred to. Those instruments seem to be so carefully guarded as to secure the end desired, and will fully protect the Indian from imposition and injustice until he shall have made such progress as to enable him to protect himself.
As has been shown the Indian Territory is of sufficient area to locate all the Indians, and give each man, woman, and child among them 180 acres of land. With such an in gathering of the now widely scattered tribes, under an efficient territorial government, and with the nucleus of partially civilized nations and tribes already there, the entire race would be so well in hand and surrounded by such influences as to be more easily managed, thus enabling the Government to work out its humane policy toward them to its legitimate results. If it shall be deemed impracticable to bring all the Indian tribes into the Indian Territory, under an organized territorial government, I am satisfied that the good results that will accrue to those who conclude to settle in that Territory, under such a government as I have indicated, will demonstrate the necessity and propriety of locating the remaining Indians under a like territorial government, to be organized in some other place, and embracing such limits and having such location as time, experience, and subsequent information shall indicate as best adapted to the accomplishment of the great object which all good men so earnestly desire.
Such an organization would have a tendency to obliterate many of the existing obstacles to Indian civilization. The traditional feuds which now keep tribes in a state of continual warfare, compelling them to live in camps for protection, would be speedily crushed out by a strong home government. The custom of holding all property in common, which is always a tax upon industry, and a premium upon indolence and unthrift, would be abolished. Frequent changes of reservations, the source of so many of our troubles with that race in the past, would cease. The rewards of industry would be so liberal as to obliterate their long-standing prejudice against labor, while the lack of opportunity to engage in the chase, or in hostile raids, would soon do away with the desire to engage in those diversions, and those who were not convinced of the propriety of industry would soon be compelled to recognize its necessity.
We must not expect to great results from the immediate operation of the new policy. We cannot hope to make intelligent law-abiding citizens of a race of unlettered barbarians in a day in a year, or a decade. Time is required to change those habits which are firmly fixed by immemorial custom. Nor can we hope to mature a perfect system by a single act of Congress. We can only shape a policy and arrange its details gradually, as experience dictates, after a careful observance of the results of measures already in operation.
Few of those now actively engaged in promoting the existing policy may live to see its full fruition, and it may never succeed, but no candid philanthropic man will deny that the policy seems to be right and proper under all the existing circumstances. A Christian Government like ours owes it to her own good name, to civilization and Christianity, to use every effort for the elevation of a race which has been placed under her gaurdianship. Should it fail, I trust it may not be through any want of fidelity on the part of any of those now engaged in its execution. The path of duty seems clearly marked; it is ours to follow it.
During the year a number of citizens of the United States moved upon the lands of the Indian Territory adjacent to the Kansas boundary, evidently for the purpose of effecting a permanent settlement thereon. They erected improvements and began to till the soil. These trespasses gave great uneasiness to the owners of the lands, who naturally inferred that they were but the beginning of an organized movement to deprive them of their territory. Upon being informed of this condition of things, I issued a proclamation to the trespassers, ordering them to withdraw at once from the Territory, and notifying them that unless they did so promptly, force would be used to secure their removal. This step seems to have been generally effective, and but few of the trespassers remain. Trespasses of another character are sill being made, however upon these lands by citizens of Kansas, and much valuable timber is being cut down and carried away. The effort of the Department will be to prevent these spoliations in the future, as they do much to render the Indians uneasy as to the tenure of their lands, and the good faith of the Government towards them is seriously doubted, thus tending to retard the working out of the general policy.
The railroads authorized to be built through the Indian Territory by the eleventh article of the treaty of 1866 are in process of construction—the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad from north to south, and the Atlantic and Pacific road from east to west. The grant to those companies from the Indians was simply the right of way, and 200 feet of land in width for the occupancy of the road. The companies are anxious for an enlarged grant of lands, and that the lands lying adjacent to their roads, which are probably the most valuable in the Territory, should be open to general settlement. This is a question requiring the careful attention of Congress, and should be treated with a full consideration of the rights of the Indians, as guaranteed by existing treaties, and in connection with the general policy of the Government, not only to deal justly with them, but to secure, as far as possible, their education, civilization, and general prosperity.
At the request of the Cherokee delegation, and for the purpose of carrying out the provision of the treaty of 1866, ceding lands west of the ninety-sixth meridian, west longitude, to the Government for the purpose of locating friendly Indians thereon, a survey was ordered to establish that meridian. That survey is now in progress, and it locates the meridian about three miles west of its supposed former location. This change of that line has necessarily changed the boundaries of some of the reservations, and the tribes prejudiced thereby are greatly disturbed in consequence.
In the case of the Osage reservation, lying immediately west of the ninety-sixth meridian, and fourteen miles in width, the change of line cuts off all the rich lands lying in the valley of the Little Verdigris, or Big Caney River, and deprives that tribe of nearly all the valuable grazing and farming land in their supposed reservation.
The Seminoles have also entered complaints, showing a similar state of affairs with regard to their reservation, and doubtless other tribes will do the same.
When the report of the survey is received at the Department I will cause it to be carefully examined, and if any ground exists for supposing it to be erroneous, I will refer the whole subject to the President, and request that the attention of Congress be called to it. Should the survey prove correct, it will so materially disturb the equitable rights of several tribes of Indians as to demand, not only the serious consideration of this Department, but probably the attention of Congress.
The massacre at Camp Grant, in Arizona, and other occurrences preceding and subsequent to that affair in that Territory, have combined to produce a general feeling of hostility between the Apaches and the white settlers.
It was represented to the Department during the past summer that Cochise, the Apache chief was at last willing to cease his depredations, and would use his influence with his people to bring them upon a reservation, if they could be protected in going to such reservation, or while remaining thereon. To afford him an opportunity to manifest his good faith in making such offers, Hon. Vincent Colyer Secretary of the board of Indian commissioners was directed to visit the Territory of Arizona, and to offer Cochise the protection of the Government, while he should endeavor to bring his people upon a reservation.
Mr. Colyer set aside three temporary reservations for the purpose designated, and made encouraging progress toward inducing the Indians to enter upon them. Instructions have been given the military authorities to co-operate with the officers of the Indian Bureau, and to advise the Apaches that if they will enter upon the reservation provided them, in good faith, and live thereon peaceably; they will receive the aid and protection of the Government, but if they do not do so, and evince any disposition to renew their depredations, they will be promptly punished. The Indian agents have also been instructed to acquaint the Indians with the designs of the Government concerning them. It is sincerely hoped that these efforts will prove successful in the early accomplishment of the purpose designed. It is a subject of profound regret that so great misunderstanding of the temper and disposition of the Indians in Arizona should exist and it is hoped that both the Indians and the white settlers will so act in future as to give no ground for complaint.
Efforts are now being made to remove the Flatheads and Pend d'Oreilles from their location in the Bitter Root Valley, Montana, to the general reservation at Jocko Lake. Under the terms of the treaty of 1855, the President has declared it unnecessary to set aside any portion of that valley for a reservation and has ordered the removal of the Indians now residing there to the general reservation at Jocko Lake, after paying them for their improvements but allowing any Indians who may so desire to remain and become citizens granting them all the privileges of citizens under the homestead and pre-emption laws. This plan will when perfected, open up the valuable lands in the Bitter Root Valley to white settlement and it will doubtless be speedily settled up.
The attention of Congress has been heretofore invited to the fact that some portions of certain reservations which contain more land than the Indians need should, with their consent, be sold at their fair market value, and the proceeds applied to improvements such as building houses, fencing and breaking land, the purchase of implements and stock and the establishment of industrial and other schools. The details of this subject will be found in the report of Superintendent Janney and show that the Omahas, whose reservation contains 205,000 acres, have, by petition expressed a wish to sell from the most western portion of their reservation 50,000 acres as near as can be separated from the remaining part of their lauds by a line running along the section lines from north to south.
The Ottoes and Missourias, whose reservation contains 160,000 acres, have expressed a desire to sell about 80,000 acres, being the western half of the reservation, and lying wholly west of the Big Blue River, partly in Nebraska and partly in Kansas.
The Pawnees whose reservation contains 288,000 acres, would sell about 50,000 acres but the location of the part to be disposed of has not yet been determined.
I expect to submit a special report concerning these lands, together with a bill providing for a sale of such portions of said reservations as may be designated.
Mr. Janhey recommends that there be established a sufficient number of day-schools for all the children between the ages of 6 and 12 years, and a manual-labor boarding-school at such reservation, in which I cordially concur.
In accordance with my request, Hon. Felix R. Brunot, President of the Board of Indian Commissioners, was present at the council of the Indian tribes occupying the Umatilla reservation in Oregon. That council was for the purpose of ascertaining the feelings and desires those tribes relative to removing from said reservation upon the payment to them of certain specified annuities. The result of the council was the refusal of the Indians to leave their reservations.
Mr. Brunot's report fully details the proceedings of the council, and the proposions of the special commissioners, which the Indians declined to accept, and will be found with the report of the Office of Indian Affairs.
From the report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, it appears that during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1871, the transactions of that branch of the public service were as follows:
|Disposal of public lands for cash||1,389, 982.37|
|By military bounty-land warrant locations under acts of 1847, 1850,1852, and 1855||525, 920.00|
|By homestead entries under act of 1852 and amendments||4, 600, 326.23|
|By agricultural college scrip locations||494,446.98|
|By approvals to railroads||9, 911,938.36|
|By approvals to wagon-roads||239, 068.08|
|By approvals to States as swamp lands and swamp-land indemnity||428,597.01|
|By Chippewa and Sioux Indian scrip locations||16,513.00|
|Making a total of||10,606,792.03|
This statement shows an increased disposal, a compared with the preceding year, of 2,511,379.03 acres.
The cash receipts during the past fiscal year, under various heads, including fees to local officers, &c., amount to $2,929,284 70.
The public surveys have been extended during said year over 22,016,608 acres, which, with the area already surveyed, make an aggregate of 550,879,069 acres, leaving an estimated area yet to be surveyed equal to 1,284,119,331 acres. In addition to this, the eastern boundary line of Nevada has been completed and verified in the field by astronomical observations and determinations, and a contract has since been entered into for the survey of the Utah-Idaho boundary line, which survey is now being prosecuted.
The estimates submitted by the Commissioner for the astronomical surveys of boundaries between certain States and Territories are recommended to the favorable consideration of Congress, in view of their importance as controlling questions of jurisdiction and title.
The Commissioners report contains a very full synopsis of the laws governing the adjustment of private land-claims in California.
Special attention is invited to that part of the report relating to private land-claims in the Territories of New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado, setting forth the necessity for further legislation in regard to such claims.
The increased value of lands in these Territories, consequent upon the extension of railroads, is rapidly attracting settlers, and it is a matter of the greatest importance to their future prosperity that the private lands should be separated from the public domain at the earliest possible period, to accomplish which result existing legislation is inadequate.
I join in the recommendation made by the Commissioner for the appointment of a commission similar to that created by the act of 3d March, 1857, for the adjustment of titles of the same kind in California, and for the enactment of a statute explanatory of the intent of Congress, as to whether the provisions of the second section of the act of March. 3, 1869, (United States Statutes, vol. 15, page 342,) relating to the issuing of patents, applies only to claims confirmed by said act, or also to claims the titles to which were confirmed by previous acts, but which contained no provision for the issuing of patents.
The Commissioner, treating upon the operations of the pre-emption privilege, and the complications constantly arising under the same, thinks it questionable whether the pre-emption law, as now administered, is any longer a necessity to our public-land system, regarding the provisions of the homestead act sufficient at the date of its passage for a measure of complete substitution for the pre-emption laws, if we except the omission of the single feature of priority of settlement, which was not recognized under the pre-emption laws. I coincide with the views entertained by the Commissioner, that a complete unification of the law of settlement-rights is now not only desirable, but easily attainable, and recognizing the fact that some action should be taken to secure this; I therefore endorse the recommendation for farther legislation suggested by the Commissioner for the reasons detailed in his report.
Under the homestead law the necessity for additional legislation to meet special cases not contemplated or foreseen by the original framers of the law has become apparent, and when called to the attention of Congress will, I trust, receive such favorable action as will adequately meet the cases referred to.
It is also suggested, and the suggestion has my approval, that agricultural college scrip be by legislation assimilated to military land-warrants, to the extent that the same may be receivable in commutation of homestead entries. I also fully concur in that part of the report relating to homesteads which recommends that credit be given to soldiers in the late war for the full term of service rendered by them in the war, and that the same may be deducted from the term of years required by law to perfect a homestead.
In view of the reasons given by the Commissioner, I would also recommend the confirmation of all entries regularly made under the graduation acts of August 4, 1854, (now repealed,) so far as the land may be shown to have been actually settled upon or substantially improved by the original purchasers, or their assignees, to the end that this class of anomalous entries may be finally disposed of.
The operations under the mining statute of 1866 and subsequent amendments have shown a steady increase in the work of this important branch of the service. Owing, however, in a great measure, to the difficulties which are encountered in properly notifying the parties interested in any mine for which an application for patent has been made, the work has been somewhat retarded. I therefore concur in the recommendation of the Commissioner that, in order to properly notify all parties whose interests may be affected by an application for the exact ground sought to be patented, a survey of the claim should be first made, and the required notice be thereafter given for the period prescribed by law, and that at the expiration of said time no further adverse filing be received.
In the matter of the increase of compensation to the employes of the General Land Office, the suggestions of the Commissioner are well worthy the consideration of the legislative branch of the Government, with whom the remedy for the evils enumerated by him lies. The appeal is based, not upon the deserving merits of industrious clerks—which aside from other considerations would justify Congress in providing for their sufficient pay—but upon the absolute necessities of the Bureau, in safely and correctly administering the laws relating to the disposal of the public lands and in perfecting titles to the homes of thousands of worthy citizens. Equally important is the request for authority to appoint special agents at fixed compensation, to investigate charges against district land officers, and to assist in the opening of new offices. Believing, as I do, that those recommendations, if acceded to, will in the end, prove to be measures of actual economy, beside securing a more efficient execution of the important work of that Bureau, I have no hesitation in giving them my hearty approval.
The Bureau, under the control of the present Commissioner, has been improved in many important features, tending to insure greater efficiency in the discharge of its important and delicate trusts, and the general 'administration of the affairs of the Bureau has been entirely satisfactory.
There were filed in the Patent Office during the year ending September 39, 1871, 19, applications for patents, including reissues and designs 3,337 caveats and 181 applications for the extension of patents. Twelve thousand nine hundred and fifty patents, including reissues and designs, were issued, and 147 extended 514 applications for trademarks were received, and 452 trade-marks issued. The fees received during said year amount to $671,583 81, and the expenditures for the same period were $560,041 67, leaving a surplus of $111,542 14 of receipts over expenditures. The appropriation asked for the next fiscal year is $606,400.
The number of applications for patents, including re-issues and designs, received during said year, is a small increase over the number received the preceding year, while the number of patents issued is not quite so great. It is worthy of remark, however, that the labors of the clerical force of the office are increased proportionally more than the number of applications would seem to indicate, inasmuch as each yearns operations add about twenty thousand to the number of patented and rejected applications, with which the examining corps must become familiar, in addition to those previously filed. The examiners are, generally, men of distinguished ability and untiring industry, but their number is inadequate to properly and promptly discharge the increasing duties demanded of them.
The act of January 11, 1871, abolished the old form of annual report of the Patent Office, and authorizes the Commissioner to substitute therefor full copies of the specifications and drawings of all patents issued, these to be deposited in the clerk's office of each United States district court, and in certain libraries. This law was passed in the belief' that there was very little public demand for, or interest in, the annual reports of the Patent Office, which belief the Commissioner thinks was not well founded, although approving of the law, and regarding it as means of placing fuller information before those interested, and at a much less cost than before. Beside copies of the specifications and drawings for disposition under the law, other copies are printed for subscribers. These publications are rapidly becoming popular among those interested in patents, and will be of great benefit to the office in various ways. For the convenience of subscribers, the publication of the specifications and drawings has been arranged into one hundred and seventy-six different classes, according to their subject matter so that subscribers need not necessarily pay for the entire issue, but only for the particular class or classes in which they may be interested.
The rapidly extending business of the office requires more room, and although additional room has been provided during the year by the transfer of the Pension Office clerks to another building, the Patent office is still without sufficient room for the transaction of its business in a satisfactory manner.
The general business of the office has been promptly and satisfactorily administered during the term of the present Commissioner, and his efficiency and capability for its delicate duties is cheerfully attested.
There are at the present time on the pension rolls the names of 634 widows of soldiers in the Revolutionary War, a decrease of 93 since the last annual report. 49 were married prior to January 1, 1800, and 585 were married subsequent to that date.
There are on the rolls the names of 1,214 widows and children of soldiers who served in the wars subsequent to the revolution and prior to that of the rebellion, being 72 less than the preceding year.
During the past fiscal year there were examined and allowed 7,807 original applications for invalid pensions of soldiers, at an annual aggregate rate of $491,905 80, and 3,379 applications for increased pension of invalid soldiers, at an aggregate yearly rate of $170,522 80. During the same period 8,282 original pensions to widows, orphans, and dependent relatives of soldiers were allowed, at an aggregate annual rate of $1,116,156, and 1,816 applications of the same class for increase of pension were also admitted, at a total annual rate of $58,212 14. The number of claims, original and increase admitted during the year was 21,284, and the annual amount of pensions thus granted was $1,836,796 74. On the 30th day of June, 1871, there were on the rolls 91,290 invalid military pensioners, whose pensions annually aggregated $8,141,734 85, and 112,428 widows, orphans, and dependent relatives of soldiers, whose yearly pensions amounted to $14,212,551 19, making an aggregate of 203,718 Army pensioners, at a total annual rate of $22,354,287 04. The whole amount paid during the last fiscal year to invalid military pensioners was $12,304,520 37, and to widows, orphans, and dependent relatives, $20,188,409 70, making a grand total of $32,930 07, which includes the expenses of disbursement.
Since the passage of the act of February 14, 1871, granting pension to the soldiers of the war of 1812, and to their widows, 727 claims for pension thereunder have been allowed, at a total annual rate of $67,792. There has been paid during the last fiscal year to pensioners of this class $3,066 05. During the same year there were admitted 127 new applications for invalid Navy pensions, at an annual rate of $11,804; 67 applications of the same class for increased pensions, at an annual aggregate rate of $2,995; 117 original applications of widows, orphans, and dependent relatives of those who died in the Navy, at an aggregate rate of $17,394; and 7 pensions of the same class are increased at a total yearly rate of $282. At the close of the last fiscal year there were borne on the rolls of Navy pensioners 1,377 invalids, at an annual aggregate of $125,233 25, and 1,673 widows, orphans, and dependent relatives, at an aggregate annual rate of $257,682, making the number of such pensioners 3,050, at a total annual rate of $382,915 25. The total amount paid during the said year to Navy invalids was $190,045 52, and to widows, orphans, and dependent relatives, $391,342 09; a total amount of $581,387 61.
The number of pensions, of all classes, granted during the past fiscal year was 17,060. During the same period there were dropped from the pension rolls, from various causes, 8,251, leaving a grand total of 207,495 pensioners on the rolls June 30, 1871, at an aggregate annual rate of $22,804, 994 29. The amount paid during said year for pensions of classes, including the expenses of disbursements, was $33,077,383 63, being $5,296,571 82 in excess of the amount paid during the preceding year. This excess is chiefly owing to the operation the act of July 8, 1870, making pensions payable quarterly, whereby the whole amount of pensions accruing between March 4, 1870, and June 4, 1871, became due and payable within the fiscal year just cloud.
There were 2,598 bounty-land warrants issued during the year, for 406,160 acres, an excess of 840 over the number issued the preceding year.
Eight thousand nine hundred and eighteen persons availed themselves during the year, of the benefits of the act of June 30, 1870, providing for artificial limbs and apparatus for resection, or commutation therefor, of whom 7,707 preferred the latter.
There are now on file, unadjusted, 33,182 claims for invalid pension, and 35,597 claims of widows, orphans, and dependent relatives, a total of 68,779 claims. On the 13th ultimo 24,844 claims for pension of survivors of the war of 1812 had been received, and 7,101 claims of widows or such soldiers, making a total of 31,945 applications of this class, 7,871 of which have been disposed of. The Commissioner estimates the number of those now living who are entitled to the benefits of said act to be 32,444; their average age seventy-nine years; their average duration of life less than six years; and the amount that will be required to pay, during the life of the pensioner, all pensions granted by said act $18,095,855 44.
The act of July 14, 1862, and the act supplementary thereto, make no provision for pension to the following officers in the naval service, their ranks having been created by acts passed subsequently to that of 1862, viz: Admiral, Vice-Admiral, rear-admiral, commodore, ensign, and secretary to Admiral and Vice-Admiral I recommend that the right of these officers, their widows, orphans, and dependent relatives be recognized by statutory provision.
The Commissioner, in his report, furnishes much interesting information relative to the various diseases and injuries on account of which so much of the bounty of the Government is dispensed.
The time for the biennial examination of invalid pensioners required by the act of March 3, 1859 occurred on the 4th day of September last but the results thereof are not apparent, as the returns of the medical officers have not yet been received. The sound policy of such examinations is fully established by the experience of the office, and it is believed that the aggregate results of the recent examinations will exhibit a considerable reduction in the number of invalid pensioners.
Especial attention has been given to the investigation of frauds. Through the instrumentality of special agents, 301 persons have been dropped from the rolls during the year, and the cases of a greater number are under investigation. Thirty indictments have been found against dishonest attorneys or agents of whom nine have been convicted five are fugitives from justice, and the cases of sixteen were pending at the date of the Commissioner's report.
It is estimated that $30,480,000 will be required for the pension service for the next fiscal year.
Owing to the requirements of the Patent Office for more room for offices it became necessary, during the year, to vacate those rooms in the Patent Office building occupied by the Pension Bureau. To accommodate the latter Bureau and at the same time to consolidate it into one building, I leased the Search House in this city, for the term of five years, at an annual rental of $10,000. That house was believed to be large enough to accommodate the entire Pension Bureau, and enabled us to vacate several outlying buildings, which have been heretofore occupied by said Bureau, and, at the same time to save some $5,000 per annum in rent.
The policy of renting private buildings for office uses, and of keeping valuable public records in structures liable to destruction by fire can only be excused on the ground of necessity. The Search House is as safe from any danger of loss by fire as the buildings which were vacated when it was leased, but it is not fire-proof, nor can any fire-proof buildings be obtained in the city.
A due regard for the safety of the public records would dictate the pressing need for the construction of suitable buildings for the comfortable and safe occupancy of the Bureaus. I therefore renew the recommendation made by several of my predecessors, that early action be taken by Congress looking to the erection of a suitable building for this Department.
OFFICE OF EDUCATION,
The report of the Commissioner of Education exhibits, in fullest detail, the interesting and important results he has achieved, although the clerical force at his command would seem to be inadequate to the proper discharge of the duties with which the Bureau is charged. The details of the report will show the vast amount of work which the Commissioner has performed and I take pleasure in attesting the ability fidelity and energy with which he has administered the affairs of his office.
It has been the design of the Commissioner to establish and maintain an intimate and constant communication with the various educational centres of the country; to seek and to supply information to distribute documents and to pursue original investigations. In the course of official duties the Bureau of Education has received and sent out about 2,000 written communications has distributed about 12,000 printed documents and has received many valuable accessions to its library. This sort of interchange is constantly and steadily increasing and is already greater than the limited clerical force of the office can properly attend to thus leaving very little opportunity for original investigation in its many interesting directions.
Among the workings of the Bureau may be noted:
First. The inauguration of a system of direct exchange of documents and information with foreign ministers of public instruction.
Second. Visits by the Commissioner to the whole educational field in this country especially in the-South and on the Pacific Coast for the purpose of personally acquainting himself with prominent educators and the demands of the work to be done.
Third. A great variety of original investigation respecting 0rphanageg pauperism crime insanity &c., in their relations to education.
Fourth. The papers accompanying the report of the Commissioner comprise an abstract of State and city reports for the whole Union a résumé of the progress of education in Europe Asia and Africa a great number of statistical tables respecting public systems of States and cities colleges professional schools, and other institutions and original articles on various educational subjects by universally acknowledged authorities.
Attention is invited to the report of the Superintendent of Census. The enumeration of inhabitants at the Ninth Census as well as the collection of social and industrial statistics which under the American system is made a part of the census has been completed since the last annual report of the Department; and the compilation of the statistical tables usually published in that connection as well as of many others, which appear to be equally desirable has been well advanced. Appreciating the importance of giving the results of the census to the country at the earliest possible date, I have fully met the views of the Superintendent in respect to the amount of clerical force to be employed. Three fourths in bulk of the statistical tables which it is proposed to embody in the three volumes of the census authorized by resolution of Congress have already been sent to press somewhat over 1,000 pages being already in type The compilation of the remaining tables has been begun and the completion of the work upon the three quarto volumes will be accomplished during the winter. I would recommend that authority be given for the preparation and publication of an octavo volume which shall contain the most important results of the census within each department of inquiry in a form convenient for popular use; and that of this volume a large edition be issued of which 2,000 copies at least shall be by law reserved not to be distributed until the occurrence of the next decennial enumeration.
I would particularly ask attention to the facts and considerations presented by the Superintendent which appear to require extensive and radical changes in the census law.
The act of May 23 1850 was of necessity in most of its parts a tentative measure. Even were the conditions of the country and the requirements of statistical science substantially the same at the present time as at the date of that enactment it would be unreasonable to assume that the experience of three censuses taken under that law had not shown occasion for many and important changes both in the machinery of the census and in its schedules. But in the twenty-one years that have elapsed since the enactment of the census law of 1850 the occupations of the people have become so greatly diversified that the present industrial schedules fail to reach some of the most vital interests of the country and are plainly insufficient adequately to represent many of those which they assume to embrace. Within the same period the area over which the agencies of the census are to be extended has been practically trebled and has been made to include vast territories under conditions of settlement and of industry such as did not require to be provided for when the present law was enacted. By the creation of the system of internal revenue and the enactment of the election law the officers to whom the act of 1850 commits the supervision of the census work have been charged with duties so numerous and engrossing as to render it impossible for them to give to the census the time and attention absolutely necessary to its proper completion. Moreover the whole scale of prices and of wages throughout the country has been so advanced as to render the rates of compensation both for marshals and assistant marshals as fixed by the act of 1850 generally inadequate while yet the experience of the recent census has shown that this defect is neither to be justly nor economically remedied by any provision for a uniform per centum increase of compensation but only by a thorough readjustment of the entire scheme. In the field of social investigation again opened up by the act of 1850 the experience of the last year has shown that the schedules propose many inquiries for which the country is not yet prepared.and at the same time omit to notice many subjects appropriate to the ceusus in respect to which information is urgently required in the interest alike of science and of good legislation. The last and most impressive reason I have to present for a general revision of the census law is that the act of 1850, while charging important and critical duties upon this Department, fails to commit to it that control over its immediate agents in the census which is recognized in every other service known to the law as essential to the satisfactory performance or duty, and even to official responsibility for results.
By the law of May 23, 1850, it is made the duty of the Secretary of the Interior, on the completion of each decennial enumeration of the population of the United States to apportion the representation in Congress among the several States. This duty will be performed about the first of January next, in accordance with the provisions of said law, unless Congress shall in the meantime direct that a change shall be made in the existing law governing the subject.
The general plan of the report of the Ninth census, as shown by those portions of it which are already in print, exhibits many interesting and valuable improvements in classification and arrangement over any preceding report, and the condition of the general work of the Census Bureau is so well advanced that the full reports of the census will be given to the public at a much earlier day than ever before.
The Department acknowledges the valuable services of General Walker, the Superintendent of the Bureau, whose thorough practical knowledge of the science of statistics has enabled him to effect such valuable improvements as cannot fail to be recognized by the public when the reports are issued.
In accordance with the act of the third session of the Forty-first Congress making appropriations for the continuation of the geological survey of the Territories of the United States, under the direction of this Department, Professor Hayden was appointed chief geologist. He was instructed to direct his attention to the little-known but interesting region about the source of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. He took as his initial point Ogden, Utah, and examined a belt of country northward to Fort Ellis, Montana; then proceeded up the valley of the Yellowstone explored the wonderful ranges of mountains, casons, falls, hot-springs, geysers, &c., connected with that remarkable region. A careful topographical and pictorial chart, with soundings of the lake which forms the sources of the Yellowstone, was made. Numerous maps, charts sketches, photographs, &c., of the entire route explored were obtained, and are now in the possession of this Department. The geologist was also instructed to direct his attention to the economical resources of the public domain, and thus a great amount of valuable notes and specimens, illustrating the agricultural, mineral zoological, and botanical wealth of the West, was secured.
The results of this expedition show it to have been a complete success, and it is the opinion of this Department that they fully justify the liberal provision made by Congress for it. A preliminary report of the results will be presented to Congress at an early date.
To reap fully all the advantages from this survey, it is important that every facility be afforded Professor Hayden in the preparation of his reports, maps, and charts in their publication in a style in some degree commensurate with the great value of the explorations to the country and to the scientific world.
I would also recommend the continuation of the system of geological explorations so auspiciously prosecuted thus are under the direction of Professor Hayden, that all our public domain yet unknown may be brought to the attention of the country.
The subscriptions to the stock of the Union Pacific Railroad Company amount to $36,783,090, of which $36,762,300 has been paid. The receipts from the transportation of passengers, freight, and miscellaneous sources, for the year ending June 30, 1871, were $7,362,015 19. The entire cost of the road to said date (unadjusted balances with contractors not included) was 7 including fixtures, $112,793,618 29. The indebtedness of the company amounted, at the time above mentioned, to $74,653,512 of which $27,236,512 is due to the United States.
Stock of the Central Pacific Railroad Company to the amount of $59,644,000 has been subscribed, and $54,283,190 paid. The receipt from transportation of passengers and freight for the year ending 30th June, 1871, were $7,326,327 36, and the expenses $3,745,766 24, leaving net earnings to the amount of $3,580,560 12. At the close of said year the indebtedness of the company amounted to $71,430,751 88, of which $27,851,000 was to the United States. The act of Congress approved 6th May, 18707 (16th Statutes, 121,) provided for fixing the point of junction of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads within the limits of certain sections of land therein specified. On the 7th September, 1871, the Department received certified copies of resolutions passed by the companies, (that of the Union company on the 12th July, 1870, and that of the Central June 21, 1870,) fixing, in compliance with the law, "the common terminus and point of junction of" said railroads at a point on the line of said roads 1,038.68 miles west from the initial point of the Union Pacific Railroad, near Omaha, the same being five miles west of Ogden and five miles west of the crossing of the Utah Central Railroad, on section 1 in township 6 north, of range 2 west of the principal meridian and base-line of the Territory of Utah." The Western Pacific, the California and Oregon, the San Francisco and Oakland, and the San Francisco and Alameda Railroad Companies have been consolidated with the Central Pacific, as shown by its last annual report.
The stock subscription of the Central Branch Union Pacific Railway is $1,000,000, of which $980,600 has been paid. The receipts for transportation of passengers for the year ending June 30, 1871, were $67,971 66, and for freight $137,625 78. The expenses on account of the road and fixtures have been $3,723,700, and the indebtedness of the company (exclusive of first mortgage bonds, $1,600,000, and the Government loan, $1,600,000, is $205,076 75. On the 27th ultimo the Department received a map of the continuation of the road from Fort Riley to a junction with the Union Pacific Railroad at the one hundredth meridian of longitude west from Greenwich. On the 30th of that month this office transmitted said map to you for approval.
Stock of the Kansas Pacific Railway Company to the amount of $8,972,500 has been subscribed and paid in. The receipts for the transportation of passengers, freight, &c., for the year ending June 30, 1871, were $3,146,661 82. The cost of construction and equipment of six hundred and thirty-nine miles of main line and thirty-three miles of branch line is $29,517,999 75. The road extends from the mouth of the Kansas River to Denver, Colorado, a distance of six hundred and thirty-nine miles. It was regularly opened for business on the 1st September, 1870, and since that date has been in operation, in connection with the Denver Pacific Railroad, (one hundred and six miles,) to Cheyenne, Wyoming, on the Union Pacific Railroad. The total funded debt is $26,061,100, and the other liabilities and indebtedness amount to $3,133,504 89 making a total debt of $29,194,604 89, of which $6,303,000 is due to the United States.
The amount of stock of the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad Company subscribed is $4,478,500, of which $1,791,400 has been paid. The receipts from the transportation of passengers, freight, &c., for the year ending June 30, 1871, were $313,259 55, and the expenses during that period were $216,807 34, the net earnings being $96,452 21. The cost of the road and fixtures is $4,650, and the indebtedness of the company is $5,323,920. The line of this road commences at Sioux City, Iowa, and runs thence, by the most direct and practicable route, to a connection with the Union Pacific Railroad, at Fremont, about 48 miles west of Omaha, Nebraska. The entire length of the main line, as per map filed in this office, is 101.77 miles, besides extra tracks on each side of the Missouri River, and many miles of side-tracks; all of which, with the telegraph line, is now completed, equipped, and in successful operation. This company also owns a branch-road from Blair to De Soto, in Nebraska, about four and a half miles long, which was a portion of the Northern Nebraska Air Line, and was obtained through the consolidation of the two roads. The company have recently purchased of the Cedar Rapids & Missouri River Railroad Company the short line of road, heretofore operated by the latter corporation, between Missouri Valley and California Junction, which has proved indispensable, as affording direct communication between this road and Chicago, and also by way of Council Bluffs, with St. Louis, &c., together with the valuable depot-grounds, side-tracks, and all other improvements and buildings. The Fremont, Elkhorn, & Missouri Valley Railroad, commencing at Fremont, where it connects with this company's line, and also with the Union Pacific Railroad, has been extended to Wisner, about fifty-one miles northwest of Fremont, and is now operated by said Sioux City & Pacific Railroad Company. This line was designed to open Northern Nebraska and create business for the last-named company, the intention being to consolidate the two lines by lease or otherwise.
At the close of the last fiscal year, June 30, 1871, the amount of subscribed stock of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company was $5,224,000, and the amount actually paid in, $1,994,800. Since the date of the last annual report of the company, two hundred and eighty miles have been surveyed and explored. Of this distance, nearly all the work has been on that portion of the line from Gilroy through the different passes over the Mount Diablo Range to the San Joaquin Valley. The cost of the surveys has been $30,090 52. The amount received for the transportation of passengers is $256,410 13, and that received for the transportation of freight is $144,444 48. The expenses on account of the road and fixtures are $222,427 06. The principal of the company's indebtedness on account of their bonds issued is $480,000, and on account of the assumption of the bonded indebtedness of the San Francisco and San José Railroad Company, $740,000, possession having been taken of the latter company's road, &c., on the 13th of October, 1870. 50.26 miles of the Southern Pacific Railroad and telegraph line have been completed and accepted by you.
The second, third, and fourth sections, of twenty miles each, of the Oregon & California Railroad, were accepted by you on the 28th February last. This portion, with the section previously accepted, makes a length of line already reported upon and accepted of eighty miles, running from East Portland, Multnoma County, Oregon, to about half a mile beyond the station of the city of Albany.
Stock of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company to the amount of $100,000,000 has been subscribed, of which $2,241,600 has been paid. The expenses of the company to June 30, 1871, were as follows: Surveys, $479,603 11; construction, $4,065,315 45; rolling-stock, $289,634; general expenses, $112,318 83; total, $4,936,871 39. The indebtedness of the company to that date is as follows: First-mortgage bonds issued, $7,441,900; bills payable for material in transitu, &c., $1,465,116 87; due contractors, $178,746 84; total, $9,085,763 71. A map of the Minnesota division, filed in this Department on the 18th instant, shows the line so far as then located and completed, beginning at its junction with the Lake Superior & Mississippi road near the Dalles of the St. Louis River, in Carlton. County; thence running in a nearly westward course to Sandy River; thence in a general southwesterly direction to the crossing of the Mississippi River, at Brainard, in Crow Wing County; thence in a nearly westward course to the crossing of Crow Wing River; thence in a general northwesterly course to the crossing of the Buffalo River, in Clay County; and thence in a nearly westerly coarse to the Red River, a few miles from Georgetown, Minnesota; a distance of 228.2 miles. Three lines have been surveyed in Dakota. The one extending from the point where the forty-seventh parallel of latitude crosses the Red River, and thence in a general westerly direction to the mouth of Heart River, Dakota, has been adopted as the line of location, and has been put under contract., The work on it is being vigorously prosecuted the contractors binding themselves to have the line completed to the Missouri by the 1st of July next. A preliminary line has also been run from the mouth of Heart River, in nearly westerly direction, to the Yellowstone, and from this latter point to Bozeman's Pass and from thence several lines have been run, testing the various passes of the Rocky Mountains, through to the Columbia River. On the Pacific coast lines have been run testing all the passes through the Cascade Range between the Columbia River and the boundary line. The line from Portland to Puget's Sound has been located, following the valley of the Columbia River from Portland to Kalama crossing the river at that point thence following the valley of the Cowlitz River to the mouth of the Skookumchuck River, Washington Territory from thence several lines have been surveyed, extending on both the eastern and western sides of the sound. Upon the lines, as located, the work of construction has been commenced, and twenty-five miles will be completed and in operation by the 1st of January next, as required by the company's charter.
You accepted on 3d of January the completed portion of the Cailfornia & Oregon Railroad, 77.6 miles, commencing at Roseville, Placer County, California, where said road connects with the Central Pacific Railroad, and thence running northerly through the city of Marysville to a point at or near the town of Chico, Butte County, California.
The initial point of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad is near the ton of Springfield, Missouri, "upon the west line of the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 12, township 29, range 22 west" was stated in the last annual report of this Department, work on this road was commenced on the 4th of July, 1868, and fifty miles were completed, equipped and opened for business on the 13th day of June 1870. You have accepted said fifty miles and also an additional section of twenty-five miles reported on since that date.
One hundred and twenty miles of the road and telegraph line constructed by the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad Company in Nebraska has been accepted by you, and the commissioners for said road were, on the 30th ultimo, instructed to examine another section of twenty miles. The initial point of this road is at Plattesmouth, Nebraska.
The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Pacific Railway Company, (formerly Union Pacific Railroad Company southern branch,)having been authorized to extend their line through the Indian Territory, the vice-president thereof reported, under date of the 13th instant, that the extension of the road had been completed, and was then in operation from the southern boundary-line of Kansas to the Arkansas River, about ninety miles. He states that the piers for the bridge over said river are all built, and that it will be finished by the end of the present month. The road is graded from the Arkansas to the Canadian River a distance of forty-three miles. It is definitely located to Red River and the company intend to have it in running order to that point by the 1st of July next at which time the Texas Central Company promise to have their road constructed to the same point. When the connection is made there will be one continuous line of rail from New York City to Galveston. The initial point of this road is at Junction City Kansas six miles from Fort Riley and it runs thence down the valley of the Neosho River to the southern line of the State of Kansas and extends as above stated.
The act of July 1, 1862 (12 Statutes 498) requires an annual report under certain specified heads to be made by the following-named railroad companies: Union Pacific Central Pacific Western Pacific, Central Branch Union Pacific, Denver Pacific,Sioux City and Pacific and Kansas Pacific. And the act of June 25, 1868 requires that one shall be rendered by each of the companies named below: Northern Pacific Atlantic and Pacific and Southern Pacific. Of these ten corporations two the Denver Pacific Railway and Telegraph Company and the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company have failed to make a report to this Department for the last fiscal year. The 1st section of the act of 25th June 1868 (15 Statutes, 79) requires that the "reports shall furnish full and specific information upon the several points mentioned in the twentieth section of the said act of 1862 and shall be verified as therein prescribed and on failure to make the same as herein required the issue of bonds or patents to the company in default shall be suspended until the requirement of this act shall be complied with by such company." In each case where additional portions of roads have been completed and accepted during the year the instructions given by you in regard to the issuance of patents for the lands due the companies have been carried out by this Department.
The report of the Architect furnishes details of various improvements and repairs made upon the Capitol extension during the past year. The corridors leading from the Senate chamber to the hall of the House of Representatives have been enlarged the floor of the hall between the rotunda and the old Representative hall raised to the level of the other floors and the bronze doors taken from the corridor and placed at the center door of the east front. A steam-engine and two large fans have been placed in the basement of the south wing for the expulsion of vitiated air and other important improvements have been made in both of the legislative chambers to effect better ventilation The grounds on the south of the Capitol hare been filled in and a roadway made around the grounds on the north side which marks the line of the proposed street on that side. The Architect recommends that some provision be made by Congress for inclosing, planting and otherwise improving the grounds surrounding the Capitol building which belong to the United States, and also for paving both of the streets and foot-ways around the lower grounds of the building.
The extension of the Government Printing Office building, located on North Capitol street, authorized by an act of Congress approved March 3, 1871, has been completed, and is now occupied.
That portion of G street, which lies north of the Patent-Office building between Seventh and Ninth streets is being paved with an asphaltic concrete pavement, which has been approved by the Architect, and by the owners of the property lying along the northern side of the said street.
The appropriations asked for make an aggregate of $99,000, viz: Capitol extension, $50,000; Capitol repairs, $10,000; new dome, filling and grading Capitol grounds, $10,000; and paving B street northeast, $25,000.
The whole number of persons who received treatment in the Government Hospital for the Insane during the year ending June 30, 1871, was 648, a number greater by 153 than were treated the preceding year; 365 were from the Army and Navy; 491 were males. 194 patients were admitted during said year; 63 were discharged as recovered, 24 as improved, and 9 as unimproved. The recoveries were 45 per cent of the discharges including, and 66 per cent. excluding, deaths. The number of deaths during the same period was 44, leaving under treatment at the close of said year 508, of whom 309 were from the Army and Navy; 2,999 persons, of whom 1,434: were native born, have been treated at the institution since it was opened. The expenditures for the past fiscal year were $116,702 72. The sum of $11,170 65 was received for board of private patients, and $1,016 18 from the sale of live-stock, &c. The estimated value of the products of the farm and garden during the year was $10,186 12; and the live-stock, farm and garden implements, &c, belonging to the institution, are estimated to be worth $14,118 25.
The board of visitors submit the following estimates:
For support of the institution during the year ending June 30, 1873, including $500 for books, stationery, &c., $130,000; erection of additional building, $37,800; erection of two barns and poultry-house, $9,000; new heating boilers and connections, $6,000; and for completion of roads and walks, $2,000; a total of $185,300.
An act of Congress authorizing the prolonged restraint of inebriates, suggested by the board of visitors in their report, seems to be necessary to the effective reformatory treatment of cases of inebriety occurring in this District, and the passage of such an act, with carefully guarded provisions for determining the fact of confirmed inebriety, and the duration and character of the restraint, is respectfully recommended. It is understood that two or three public institutions for the care of inebriates, already in full operation, and having many of the material appliances required for the successful, moral, and hygienic treatment of their inmates, will take patients from a distance at a rate of board but slightly in excess of the of the current cost of their maintenance, and the suggestion of the board, that an arrangement should be made with the proper authority of one or more such institutions to receive inebriates from the District, under the authority of such an at as Congress may see fit to pass, seems to be the only ready and feasible mode of undertaking the correction of that evil habit, which unquestionably gives rise to a large percentage of the crime and domestic suffering which are fearfully prevalent in this, as in most other large communities. Unless Congress should make a small appropriation for the payment of the board of indigent inebriates, that class might be unable to avail themselves of any legal provision that may be made for their reformation.
It is certainly to be hoped that the moderate cost for which handsome and comfortable additional wards for chronic cases have been erected, furnished, and fitted up during the past year, will be regarded by the State and municipal authorities, upon whom the obligation rests, as affording whatever additional evidence may seem to be required that the expense of properly providing for the chronic indigent does not exceed what they can fairly afford, and, therefore, what they are in duty bound to expend, if it be necessary to effect the humane purpose in view.
On the 30th ultimo there were 104 pupils in the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, 43 of whom were received since July 1, 1870. Sixty-four of them were in the collegiate department, representing twenty-thres States and this district, and 119 have received instruction since July 1, 1870, of whom 101 were males. Eight pupils have left the college during the year, and seven have left the primary department, one of whom was removed by death.
In 1867 and 1868, provision was made by Congress for the admission of a limited number of indigent students from the States into the collegiate department free of charge. Twenty-five, the number authorized, were duly admitted, and were pursuing their studies with view to graduation when Congress, in 1870, repealed the laws under which they entered. Had not the directors been able, with funds derived from sources other than the United States Treasury, to continue to support these young men, they would have suffered the evident injustice of being dismissed from an institution to which they had been sent by the Government to be educated before the term of education for which they were entered was completed. Simple justice would seem to demand that Congress should so amend its action as to allow these youths to complete the course of study upon which they entered as beneficiaries of the United States; and, further, it would seem not improper that Congress, having established the only collegiate school for deaf-mutes in the country, and having provided it with suitable buildings and a competent crops of professors, should make its advantages available to persons of that class in the several States. I would commend the mater to the consideration of Congress, with the suggestion that probably some method of appointment could be devised, similar to that made use of in the military and naval schools of the Government, which should secure to the people of the States an impartial distribution of the benefits of this, the only institution of its grade. The directors urge, and justly, that Congress, having aided largely in the endowment of colleges for hearing-youth, ought, in some way, to provide similar facilities for a class of persons who, though bereft of one sense, have proved themselves capable of receiving and profiting by education as readily and as fully as their more favored brethren.
The receipts for the support of the institution during the last fiscal year exceeded the disbursements $389 40. The disbursements for the erection and fitting up of buildings were $8,380 30 less than the receipts, and the amount received for the improvement of grounds exceeded the disbursements $2,302 01.
The directors have purchased for the institution the estate known as Kendall Green. Eighty-one acres of land, lying within two miles of the Capitol, and adjoining the former premises of the institution on two sides, were secured, together with two dwelling houses and other valuable improvements, for the sum of $85,000. Toward the payment of this the directors are providing by subscription for $15,000, together with the interest that has accrued or may become due up to the 1st of July, 1872.
There will then remain to be paid the sum of $70,000, for which the task Congress to make an appropriation. I have examined the land in question, and consider that a due regard to the interests of the institution demands its retention. Prior to the purchase of Kendall Green, the premises of the institution comprised but nineteen acres, an amount plainly insufficient. The price agreed upon for the new purchase is low, compared with the present market-value of land similarly situated, and its proximity to the old corporate limits of the city insures a prospective rise in value, promising a handsome profit, should it be found desirable hereafter to sell any portion of the land. I therefore recommend that the appropriation be made.
The board of directors submit the following estimate for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1873:
|Support of the institution, including $500 for books and apparatus||$48,000|
|Payments falling due on or after July 1, 1872, on the purchase of the Kendall Green property||70,000|
|Improvement of grounds||6,000|
|Deficiencies the current year||9,500|
During the last fiscal year 2,256 women were treated by the officers of the Columbia hospital for Women and Lying-in Asylum of whom 38 were pay-patients. One thousand six hundred and twenty-five were restored to health 30 relieved 2 sent to the Government Hospital for the Insane, 18 died, and 304 remained under treatment. The estimates for the ensuing fiscal year are as follows: For subsistence, medicine salaries, fuel lights and bedding, $18,300 for rent of building and necessary repairs $5,000; making an aggregate of $23,000 being $4,000 in excess of those submitted for the current year. The directors report that the utmost economy in the expenditure of the hospital has been observed during the past year and that the advance over the appropriation made for the current year is necessitated by the rapidly increasing demands upon the institution.
JAIL AND REFORM SCHOOL.
On the 20th ultimo there were in the custody of the warden of the District jail 83 prisoners, 10 of whom were females. During the year preceding this date 1,335 persons were committed 184 of whom were females; 896, of whom 136 were females; were convicted of various misdemeanors; 40 were sent to the Reform School; 39 were sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary at Albany New York; 1,112 were released; and 1 was executed. The expenses of the jail during the year including the cost of transporting prisoners to Albany penitentiary salaries repairs &c, were $39,583 72 being $4,007 95 less than those of the preceding year.
I deem it incumbent upon me at this time, to allude to the pressing necessity for a new jail-building for this District. The present structure is utterly unfit for the purposes for which it is used. The arrangement of the cells the absence of sewerage and proper accommodations and the poor material of which it is built render it a most unfit place for the confinement of prisoners whether their safe-keeping or health be considered; and solitary confinement, claasification, beyond that of sex, &c., are impracticable. The insecurity of the building necessitates the employment of a much larger force of guards then would be required were a proper jail-structure to be erected involving a considerable item of expense which would be thereby avoided.
The subject has been adverted to, at considerable length in the three last annual reports of this Department in one of which that of Mr. Secretary Browning of November 30 1868 a full history of the matter is given. I earnestly concur in the suggestion made by Mr. Secretary Cox in his report of October 31 1870 that the difficulties which exist in carrying into effect existing legislation be removed by Congress in order "that the selection of a site for a new jail-building should not be limited to one of the public reservations."
There were 46 boys confined in the Reform School on the 5th of October, 1870, and 58 were received during the year ending on the 5th ultimo, making 104 juvenile offenders who have been cared for during said year. The criminal court committed 3, the police court 43, the beard of trustees 10, the mayor of Washington 1, and the mayor of Georgetown 1; 15 had lost both parents, and 24 one. Their ages range from ten to eighteen years, the majority being from twelve to fourteen years old. All but 11 were born in this District and the adjoining States; 4 were of American parentage, and 37 were committed for petit larceny. There were discharged during said year 38, and 1 escaped, leaving 65 in the school on the 5th ultimo, although the board report that but 60 can be properly accommodated at present. Of those discharged, 2 were fully reformed 27 were released by the expiration of their respective terms of sentence, and 9 were sent away to make room for others committed by the courts, although, in the judgment of the board these last should have been longer detained, in order to effect a more complete reformation. They, therefore, earnestly recommend that the law governing the courts in the premises be so amended that said courts shall be required to give notice of the sentence, in each case, of juvenile offenders to the president of the board of trustees, and await his order to forward the boy to the school; and, also, that all such offenders shall be committed until fully reformed, or during their minority, giving the board discretionary power to discharge when, in their judgment, a complete reformation has been accomplished.
The board report very favorably upon the general behavior of the boys, the improvement in their morals and their proficiency in their studies. They are required to work on the farm half the day and to be in school the other half. Especial care is also taken for their moral and religious education.
No appropriation for the support of the school having been made at the last session of Congress, the board would have been compelled to close the school had not several humane gentlemen merchants and others, agreed to furnish the necessary supplies, and await an appropriation by Congress for payment of their accounts. The indebtedness, thus contracted, for provisions, clothing &c., amounts to $3,646 49, and the treasurer of the school having permitted the superintendent to over-check upon him to the amount of $230 97, the total indebtedness of the school on the 5th ultimo amounted to $3,877 46. The cash expenditures for salaries, provisions, clothing, &c., during the year ending on that date, amount to $7,066 62, aggregating, with the indebtedness of $3,646 49, the sum of $10,713 11, as the total expenditure of the school for said year. Unless an appropriation be made by Congress at an early date the beard state that they will be compelled to close the school.
The board report that they have been unable to obtain any money from the city of Washington since the school was commenced. The amount due prior to the recent change of government in this District was $3,345 80, and since then the sum of $1,034 08 has accrued making a total of $4,379 88. There is also due from parents and guardians the sum of $69 51, making an aggregate of $4,449 39 now due from those two sources.
The experience of the past year has demonstrated the insalubrity of the present location of the school, it being exposed to the malarial atmosphere of the Potomac River. The beard, therefore, earnestly recommend that, before permanent buildings for the school are provided, another location, more remote from the river, be selected, the first requirements of which shall be pure air and water, and good soil. That portion of the farm which will not be required for aqueduct purposes might be sold, and the proceeds, with an additional sum to be appropriated by Congress, applied to the purpose of the new location.
In view of the great benefits which this community must derive from an institution of this kind, and also those which would result from it as a model national institution, the board of trustees earnestly hope that Congress will make' provision for erecting buildings for it sufficient to accommodate at least 300 boys.
The following are the estimates for the next fiscal year: For support of the school, $12,000, and deficiencies of the current year, $8,000 a total of $20,000.
The Metropolitan Police force consists of 238 men, of whom 6 are detectives. In view of the fact that the population of this District is one-third greater than when the present number was fixed by law, and is rapidly increasing, the board earnestly recommends that an increase to the force be authorized to the extent of 16 sergeants and 50 privates or patrolmen.
The members of the force have been active and. vigilant in maintaining good order and protecting the rights of persons and property within the District. During the year ending September 30 last, 11,462 persons were arrested, of whom 1,980 were females. Seven thousand one hundred and fifty-two of those arrested were unmarried, and 4,427 could neither read nor write; 4,902 were dismissed, 15 turned over to the military, and 1,277 committed to the jail; 77 were sent to the Reform School, 792 were committed to the work-house, 188 gave security to keep the peace, and 43 cases were undisposed of at that date. In 557 cases minor punishments were inflicted, and fines were imposed in 3,611 cases, amounting to $33,879 32; 4,409 destitute persons were provided with temporary lodgings, 187 lost children were restored to their homes, 323 sick or disabled persons were assisted and taken to the hospital, and 211 horses cattle, &c., were returned to their owners. Of the number arrested, all but 2,238 were born in the United States; 7,790 were charged with offenses committed upon the person, and 3,672 with offenses against property. During the year, lost or stolen property to the amount of $8,144 35 was recovered by precinct officers, and a large amount of money and property has been recovered, the loss of which was never reported.
The detective force made 296 arrests, recovered lost or stolen property to the amount of $13,948 78, and rendered other valuable and important service.
The sanitary company have been actively employed in the abatement of nuisances and the enforcement of the police regulations for promoting the cleanliness and health of the city. Several important amendments to the law governing the company are submitted for the consideration of Congress.
The penitentiary at Boise City, Idaho Territory, was completed on the 14th of January last, and, on the 13th of May following was pursuant to the act of Congress approved January 10, 1871, placed in the custody of the marshal of the United States for that Territory.
The commissioners appointed by the legislative assembly of Washington to select a site for a penitentiary in that Territory selected a tract of land, situate on McNeill's Island, near the city of Steilacoom, and the deed by which the property was conveyed to the United States was submitted to and approved by, the Attorney General of the United States. The site was approved by this Department, and proposals were invited for the erection of one wing of the building, in accordance with plans and specifications prepared by the Architect of the Capitol Extension. Three proposals were received but as neither of them came within the amount of the appropriation made for that purpose by the act of Congress approved January 22, 1867, I was compelled to reject them all. Congress appropriated the sum of $40,000 for the erection of penitentiaries in each of the Territories of Colorado, Idaho, Montana Arizona, and Dakota, and but $20 for that in Washington Territory. I am reliably informed that a suitable building for the reception and safe-keeping of convicts cannot be erected for a much less sum in Washington than in any of the other Territories, and therefore recommend that an additional appropriation of $20,000, to be set apart from the proceeds of collections of internal revenue in that Territory be made by Congress for that purpose.
Commissioners were appointed by the Governor of Wyoming to select a site for a penitentiary in that Terrritory, and fixed upon a tract of land, one mile square, situate within the Fort Saunders military reservation, near Laramie City. The Commissioner of the General Land Office certified that the location was on land owned by the United States, and the Secretary of War seeing no objection to a penitentiary being located upon said reservation, I approved the site, and caused proposals to be invited for the erection of one wing of the building. Several bids have been received, but none accepted, and, owing to the lateness of the season, it is probable that no active measures looking toward the erection of the building will be taken until the opening of the ensuing spring.
Inasmuch as the fund for defraying the expenses of the courts of the United States, which also includes the cost of keeping prisoners, was transferred to the Department of Justice on the 1st day of July, 1870, the date when the law creating that Department went into effect, I respectfully suggest that additional legislation be had by Congress, with a view of transferring from the Secretary of the Interior to the Attorney General all supervision and control now exercised by the former over such convicts as come within the terms prescribed by the acts of Congress, respectively approved March 12, 1864, March 3, 1865, March 2, 1867, June 14, 1870, and by the act to establish in the District of Columbia a House of Correction for Boys, approved July 21, 1866.
It appears to me eminently proper that the Department that has the control of the fund out of which the expenses of keeping the United Stats prisoners are defrayed, should also have the power of making contracts and of exercising all such control over them as is now vested in the Secretary of the Interior; and for that reason the Department of Justice is the proper one to exercise such supervision and control. I hope, therefore, that Congress will, at its next session, take such measures as may be necessary to transfer to the Department of Justice the full control of matters of this nature.
In making appointments in the clerical force of the Department, strict attention has been given to the qualifications of applicants, no appointments being made to clerkships of any grade until the applicant has been subjected to an examination touching his fitness for the position. This course has had a beneficial effect in increasing the efficiency of the working force of the various bureaus, by giving to the service a much better class of clerks. Promotions have also been made for merit and efficiency, with like beneficial results. By a strict enforcement of the system of examinations now in use in the Department, with such improvements, from time to time, as experience will suggest, the service will be improved. This plan will be continued in this Department until a better is suggested.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Secretary of the Interior.
- The President.