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has been said here, but I think I should say, if I were asked the question, that the wind blew from the east every three days out of four.
Q. Have you, in your experience, ever noticed the mortality or death rate in any portion of the city?
A. Yes, sir. I have not within a year or two, but during the last two cholera epidemics, I had occasion to look into the matter a good deal, and the made land was the part that was principally afflicted by cholera. Where there were positions on the original soil, they were not troubled by cholera as much as on. the made land. Some portions of Fort Hill undoubtedly were, but there was a very potent reason for it, in the closely crowded style of buildings, and the crowded condition of the houses, and the absence of proper sewerage. I remember one place near Broad street, in what was called Bread street, I believe, where there were a number of cholera cases, and which was not on made land; but still it was where there were three rooms, one within another, and below the ground, and where the only possible means of ventilation was one bulkhead in the cellar door-ways. And then where that long flight of steps was, "Jacob's Ladder," as I believe it was called, there was the drainage from the top of the hill pouring down into this alleyway below where this was, and all the filth and the urine was poured down there. There was a chance for the wind from the harbor to blow up this flight of steps, but yet of course it had to blow over all this filth.
Q. Suppose the channel of Charles River is two thousand feet, and suppose this to be filled up, leaving a channel of five hundred feet, and supposing that in the next twenty-five or thirty years Brookline and Cambridge on the opposite shore should be settled, whether that five hundred feet wide would be as useful for ventilation as the present channel?
A. I should say not. I should say decidedly not. And I cannot conceive-well, I have no right to go any farther than
that. I think that if you took the bridge away from Charles River it would be a good thing.
Q. That is, you think the channel is too much filled up already?
A. I think it is filled up too much. I think if you took away every pier there, it would be a good plan.
Q. (By Mr. KIMBALL.) You think it would be a good plan, I suppose, because there would be pure air, and more of it?
A. I don't know whether there would be any more air, that was not what I considered; it was the general obstruction, and the consequent sinking of the sewage in the channel. I think we ought not to put all the sewage into the river dock or harbor. I think it would be a matter of economy to pump it out, and carry it away from the city.
Q. If the sewage were not there, you would not see the objection?
A. Yes, sir, I should, inasmuch as it would close up a large open area.
Q. Then you do believe in an abundance of good air?
A. Yes, sir, I do believe in an abundance of air, but I do not believe that Commonwealth avenue and those streets are any better than Fayette or Marion streets, on account of their location, but because they are wider.
Q. The sulphuretted hydrogen gets diluted before it gets to the lungs ?
A. You don't get quite so much of it.
Q. (By Mr. CROSBY.) You testify then, doctor, that this new area down in the vicinity of Commonwealth avenue is in your opinion decidedly unhealthy?
A. I think it will be.
Q. Are they not affected by the influence of the sulphuretted hydrogen at present?
A. To a certain extent; but I believe that it will be worse, as the effect of the mud and filth on this made land is more perceptible.
Q. You would not recommend an investment there for a residence?
A. Well, sir, I should not. If I had the means to buy on Commonwealth avenue, I think I should take the money and go out of town somewhere.
Q. (By Mr. ALLEN.) Do you mean that in a year to come that will be more unhealthy than it now is?
A. I believe that it will be worse two years hence than it is now, and that it will be worse ten years hence than it will be two years hence. I do not know how many years it is going to take, but I believe that a great many of the houses down there are going to be mechanics' boarding-houses.
Q. (By Mr. CROSBY.) You believe that from the necessity of the case these costly buildings that have been erected there are going to be supplanted by manufacturing establishments and buildings of a poorer class?
A. I believe so.
Q. (By Mr. ALLEN.) And the growth of the city which is going on there at present?
A. I believe it has got to go out of town.
Q. (By Mr. KIMBALL.) You spoke of the mud. You mean the silt from the sewerage; not so much the mud, but the old cesspool?
A. It is both.
Q. Of course that same argument would not apply to filling on a good bottom. Isn't it a fact that the excellent clean gravel which has been spoken of has been the very best substance for this to work through?
A. The difference is, that it would be obliged to work through this, otherwise it would have been right on the top.
Q. But my point is, supposing it had been filled with good, clean, clayey soil, whether or not it would have been hermetically sealed?
A. I think it would have been, if it could have been put on in one complete chunk.
Q. (By Mr. DERBY.) It is apt to force itself up, is it not? A. Of course it is.
TESTIMONY OF FRANCIS MINOT, M. D.
Q. (By Mr. PUTNAM.) Dr. Minot, how long have you been in practice as a physician in Boston?
A. About twenty-two years.
Q. Where is your residence?
A. I live on Charles street.
Q. How long have you lived on Charles street?
A. Twenty-two years.
Q. You live just round the corner of Charles street?
Q. Are you well acquainted with the locality?
Q. Are you familiar with the basin of Charles River? A. Yes, sir, I have lived in the neighborhood all my life forty-eight years.
Q. What would be, in your judgment, the sanitary effect of having a portion of the basin filled up upon the rest of the locality adjacent to it?
A. I think it would cut off a great deal of the ventilation from that part of the city; I think it would deprive that part of the city of a very great deal of the cool fresh breeze in the summer, and I think the effect would be injurious generally.
Q. Have you been connected with the management of the "Old Ladies' Home"?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Where is that?
A. At the bottom of Revere street. The front is on Revere street.
Q. Runs back to the water?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How many inmates have you there?
A. The number of inmates is not less than ninety-five, and
not over one hundred.
Q. Have you a large and expensive building there?
A. Yes sir; quite so.
Q. A charitable institution?
A. Entirely so; built entirely by voluntary subscriptions, legacies, and endowments.
Q. Was it located where it is on account of the healthiness of the locality?
A. Yes, sir; formerly it was on the opposite side of Charles street, and then they bought land extending from Revere street down to the water.
Q. Now, what has been the condition of that institution since it has been where it is now, backing on the river? Has it been healthy?
A. Yes, sir, extremely; I should say a very healthy place. Q. To what should you attribute it?
A. I should say a large part of the effect may be attributed to the situation certainly; it is open to the west to an unlimited extent, you may say; it has cool breezes in the summer.
Q. It was built with a view to these advantages, was it not? A. Yes, sir.
Q. If this plan of building out to a line twelve hundred feet beyond the present sea-wall in the rear of Beacon street, and filling it up, was carried out, should you expect as favorable a rate of health there as now?
A. Well, no; I should think not, sir; I do not see how it is possible for that house to maintain its perfectly healthy condition, because I think a very important consideration, as I have said, is the situation, which would be destroyed.
Q. The class of patients which you have in your institution are, I take it, as sensitive as almost any other class?
A. Well, they are all women over sixty years of age, and their health is remarkably good after they come in there.