Page images


Galvin in regard to the detail of prisoners at Long Island was referred to him; that on the 13th day of November, 1891, the matter of furnishing convict labor to the contractors at Deer Island was referred to him and Commissioner Devlin; that on the 16th of November, 1891, it was voted that Dr. Newell employ a messenger, and that on the 18th, upon his recommendation, a messenger was employed at a salary of $1,000 a year; that on the 4th day of January, 1892, a complaint of an inmate of the House of Correction was referred to him; that on the 9th of January, 1892, a complaint against Miss Baker was referred to him and Commissioner Devlin; and that on the 28th of January, 1892, during the absence of the chairman, and when Dr. Newell himself was acting as chairman pro tem., it was voted that the superintendent at Long Island be ordered to furnish coal to the contractors at cost? And has he forgotten that during the absence of the chairman from July 28 to July 30, 1891, inclusive, he was acting chairman of the Board, and that from January 19 to January 30, 1892, inclusive, during the absence of the chairman he was acting chairman, and that all that time the quorum of the Board which was then transacting the business was unanimous ? And when he says that the Board never authorized the letting of convict labor to contractors, has he forgotten his report of November 16, and the action that was taken thereon, by the Board of Commissioners of Public Institutions, viz. : The committee recommend that the superintendent of Deer Island be directed to inform the Commissioners why the books are not kept up so far as labor is concerned that has been and is being furnished the several parties who have employed them; that in the future the roll of men detailed for work shall be called morning, noon, and night by an officer detailed for that purpose, who shall take charge of the men to and from from the work, and that the list shall be returned to the clerk, who shall make an entry daily of the men so employed; that until otherwise ordered no further work be done on the line of the sewer except such as is paid for by the contractor?" This report was accepted and the recommendations adopted, all the members of the Board being present. When he complains that he had no part in making contracts for new buildings, doesn't he know that never was a part of his duty as a Commissioner, but was the duty of the City Architect; and doesn't he know that this statement is not true when he says that the Superintendent of Public Buildings does not furnish rooms for the Commissioners at 14 Beacon street? If he doesn't, it is no wonder that he was such an utter failure as a Commissioner.

Notwithstanding Dr. Newell's denial that he tried to induce Mr. Flanders, representing the house of S. S. Sleeper & Co., to go to the Mayor with the story that improper groceries were sent to the institutions, he did descend to that very depth and tried to induce Mr. Flanders, by promises of more pay for the same goods, to go to the Mayor and tell him that Dr. Jenks was buying poor stock, hoping thus to induce the Mayor to remove Dr. Jenks, and that he himself might then become chairman of the commission.

Dr. Newell's statement that at two different times Mr. Galvin wrote a requisition for chamber vessels and Dr. Jenks drew his pencil through it is absolutely false. Mr. Galvin never made a requisition for those articles that was not honored. Equally false is the statement that Dr. Jenks destroyed requisitions; it is without a shadow of a foundation and is as absurd as it is false. and These requisitions are all made in duplicate and are numbered, are a part of the record in the office, and they are all there, both general and special. And who believes the charge that General Donohoe's records are incorrect? Even Dr. Newell himself can't expect any one to credit that.

Dr. Newell got so reckless at one time on the stand that be swore a prisoner complained that Superintendent Gerrish assaulted him in an unjustifiable manner, and that he (Newell) investigated and found that it was so. Now, when Dr. Newell made that statement he knew that the complaint was made in court and that it was not sustained, but that the superintendent was promptly acquitted. But as Dr. Newell investigated that complaint himself and paid the expense of the trial to the plaintiff he seems to have adopted Brother Riley's practice and disagrees with the judge.

The fact of the matter is that from the time this Board assumed control of the institution to the middle of August, 1891, the discipline at Deer Island was excellent and there was no trouble. Dr. Newell then stirred up trouble, making the arrangement with Deputy Upton, and Erskine, Morrill, Ryerson, and White. The plan was this: A riot was to be incited, the superintendent was to be blamed for it; Upton, Erskine, Morrill, Ryerson, and White were to furnish the evidence; Dr. Newell was to furnish the votes to decide the case in the Board, and the chairman of the Board and the superintendent of the institution were to be convicted of incompetency. Dr. Newell was then to become chairman of the Board, and Mr. Upton superintendent of the institution. But alas, they didn't have the nerve to bring on the riot at the time planned, and when it did come Dr. Newell's two votes as usual availed nothing against one and he utterly failed as a leader, his conspiracy was discovered, and he and all the rest of the disturbing element removed, and excellent discipline again restored.

Mr. RILEY. Well, what page of Munchausen does that come from, Mr. Reed?

Mr. REED. Isn't that right; doesn't that suit you, Brother Riley? These are facts.

The true story about Broker Watson's cousin, Jones, who died at Deer Island is, that Jones, who was a drinking man, after a protracted debauch, was picked up by the police suffering with delirium tremens, not epileptic insanity, as Mr. Watson seems to want you to believe, and sent to Deer Island by Dr. Jelly. Jones' address was given to the authorities at Deer Island hospital, and by them entered in their books. Pueumonia followed the delirium tremens in Jones' case, as it often does in cases of that kind, and he died. Immediately upon his death Dr. Roche sent a notification of that fact to the address given. No response was received, so the body was placed in the tomb, and

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

when Mr. Watson called for it he got it. This envelope which contained the cards and letters, as Mr. Watson claims, was not pried into by the officials at Deer Island when Jones came there, but was sealed up, marked, and locked up in the safe, and never opened till called for by Jones' relatives. What occasion was there for the Deer Island officials to tear open that envelope and examine its contents? The man's name and the address of his friends were given them. There was no question as to his identity and no occasion for any investigation. Mr. Watson knows that these are the facts, but the influence which brings him here prevents him from telling you the whole truth, keeps fresh in his memory every fact that can possibly be construed against the institution where his cousin was cared for, and causes him to forget everything in its favor. He knows well enough that Dr. Roche sent notice of Jones' death because he saw and read a copy of the letter. He knows well enough too that his cousin had delirium tremens, and he knows that he is telling you what is not true when he says that Dr. Jelly called the disease anything else. Dr. Jelly said the man had delirium tremens, he says so to-day, and he has never said anything different. Is this man to decide that Dr. Jelly is mistaken? Can you name any man more competent to judge a matter of this kind than Dr. Jelly? Dr. Jelly told Mr. Watson, as he told you bere, that if it should turn out that Jones never used intoxicating liquor, in that event it would be clear that Jones could not have delirium tremens. But Jones himself said he had been drinking, and both Dr. Roche, who in Dr. Jelly's opinion is as well qualified as any man in Massachusetts to judge, and Dr. Cogswell confirmed Dr. Jelly's diagnosis of the case, and even Mr. Watson himself admitted here on the stand that Jones was a drinking man. Mr. Watson is the man to whom Mrs. Lincoln referred in her opening statement.

The only well-founded criticism of the management of the Deer Island institution is that expressed in the report of the prison inspectors of 1893; namely, the book-keeping in the receiving office was not what it should be either in accuracy or in appearance. Immediately upon the making of the suggestion, however, that defect was remedied and the books in the receiving office are now models of their kind.

Many desirable changes in these institutions are being brought about as rapidly as possible. The Truant School will be removed to the mainland as soon as the new buildings at West Roxbury, provided by the city government, are ready to receive the boys. It is the intention also to remove the House of Reformation to Rainsford Island as soon as the new building, also provided by the city government, on Long Island is ready to receive the poor now at Rainsford. Upon the completion of these changes, the House of Industry alone will remain at Deer Island, more room will be given for a classification of the prisoners, and there will be no possibility that juvenile offenders may come in contact with hardened criminals.

As to the House of Correction, we make no claim that the buildings are suitable. It is undoubtedly true that for the past twenty

five years the buildings have been wholly inadequate and unsuitable for the purposes for which they are used. We agree that the County of Suffolk should have a new House of Correction, and if this investigation shall in any degree contribute to that result we shall say the many hours devoted by this committee to it have been well spent. With the means at band, however, we say that

the Commissioners and the master and officers of the House of Correction do the best they can. It is charged that there is no lock-hox provided for prisoners' letters. That is true; but it is also true that every facility is given to prisoners to communicate by letter with those persons whom the law says prisoners may address by letter. If a lock-box were provided it would still be necessary for prisoners to ask for writing materials, and the master would have the key to the box. The facts in regard to the letter-box are not in dispute. If there is a violation of the law, it is a violation only of the letter and not of the spirit of the law, and is only technical.

The alleged cruelty and drunkenness of officers is not true and cannot be proved. Drunkenness is not allowed, and does not exist, and only such force is used as is absolutely necessary in dealing with the hardened and vicious criminals who populate the House of Correction.

There has been no evidence that the variation in the number of prisoners sent to the insane asylums from year to year has any connection whatever with the punishments inflicted in the House of Correction, and there can be no such evidence. The increase or decrease is merely accidental, as any competent witness will tell you, and as the statistics completely demonstrate. And you will find that the statements and insinuations of counsel here have been entirely unwarranted. There has not been a steady increase in the number of insane from this institution. In 1887, seven years ago, the percentage was greater than it has ever been since. This year the percentage is less than last year, and the same is true of insanity generally in this county. The commitments this year have been less than last by sixty-one.

Ex-Commissioner Prescott has been called here as a witness, and has testified for the side that called him. Dr. Jenks was a holy terror to him, because he declined to adopt Mr. Prescott's ideas. At first Mr. Prescott denied that upon his motion General Donohoe was made clerk of the board pro tem., but when the record was produced he admitted it. Mr. Prescott had a man for the place. That was the reason for the pro tem. Mr. Prescott's testimony, you will remember, relates to the period from 1889 to 1891. He says himself that he has no knowledge of the institutions for the last three years. It is during these last three years that the important work of the commission has been accomplished.

He tells you that Superintendent Gerrish was a good officer and ran Deer Island well, but that his deputy, Mr. Upton, was not a proper man for the place, and we agree with him. He tells you that Superintendent Galvin, General Donohoe, Clerk Prescott, Superintendent Gerrish, and Dr. Fisher are good officers, and will


be honest witnesses, and once more we agree with him. He tells you that his feeling against that very pleasant, genial, social, liberal gentleman," Dr. Jenks, still exists and we agree with him again. But when he tells you that the master of the House of Correction relies too much upon his deputy, we take issue with him, and simply calling your attention to Mr. Witham, as he appeared here upon the witness-stand, we leave you to judge whether he is a man to be relied upon.

Mr. Prescott's slur upon his associate Mr. Laforme, now deceased, was in bad taste and was unwarranted. Mr. Laforme passed in and out for many years before the citizens of Boston, and was a respected and successful business man.

[ocr errors]

When the paid commission assumed control of the department in 1889, the old institution building on Rainsford Island was entirely without plumbing of any sort. The old small-pox hospital was in use as the institution hospital. On Long Island the only institution building was the three story brick building now used as a dormitory and infirmary. Neither island had any water-supply. The insane were all at South Boston, and Austin Farm was a poor-house. To-day the institution building on Rainsford Island is plumbed throughout. A new hospital has been built on Long Island; the two wings already completed contain 176 beds, and a third wing. to contain 114 beds, is in process of erection and substantially completed. An electric lighting plant has been furnished to light the institution building and the hospital; and the ventilating fans in the hospital are run by electric motors. A new barn, 50 × 83 feet, has been added to the old barn, which was rebuilt. Both Long and Rainsford Islands have been supplied with Cochituate water, and a large new dormitory for women, capable of accommodating 320 persons, is nearly completed on the north-cast side of Long Island. A reservoir, to hold 2,000,000 gallons, is nearly finished, the excavation having been completed and the concrete now being laid, and the water is ready to turn on as soon as the reservoir is done. At Austin Farm a new lunatic hospital has been established, and many of the insane have been moved there from South Boston. Of the new buildings at Austin Farm the combination dining-room and chapel measures 50 X 98 feet, with an L 31 feet, square. The dining-hall and chapel has a seating capacity of 400, and can seat at table 200 persons. Two new dormitory buildings two stories in height with high basement have been erected also, with accommodation for fifty patients in each building. These two have been occupied recently, the third domitory having been occupied more than a year. A new boiler-house and laundry complete the plans at Austin Farm.

Two dormitories for the insane have been erected at Pierce Farm on the high ground facing Walk Hill street. They are two stories in height with basement, having a frontage of 250 feet, a middle wing 140 feet deep, and two end wings 75 feet deep. One of these dormitories is intended for men and one for women. The domestic building and heating plant are in the rear between the dormitories. The administration building is to be between the dormitories and in front of the domestic building. Each dormi

« PreviousContinue »